Sensors: Why you need them
Here at 181 Electrical we are fans of anything that can make life easier.
While some may find the idea of having electrical sensors scattered throughout the house a little space age and daunting, they may already be operating in places you wouldn’t imagine. And bonus, they could actually make your day to day activities a whole lot easier.
In the age of the “smart home,” technology is making our lives better by making things more convenient — electrical sensors are no different. Indeed, sensors are the future of home automation.
Sensor technologies are also advancing rapidly. Sensors have already seeped into many from the gadgets you use every day, to the cars you drive (think remote locking).
In fact, there are a lot of average household items that already have in built sensors you wouldn’t even bat your eyelids at.
In this article, we’ll take a look at why sensors are worth looking into for your home and business.
What Are Sensors?
Sensors are objects, devices or mechanisms capable of detecting changes in physical variables (pressure, temperature, infrared light, wind speed, etc.) and relaying this information to the user or electrical device.
To make it simple, they are tools that help control or monitor various conditions.
Sensors come in all different forms and use various ways of detecting and converting signals into useful data.
For example, sensors that detect the presence of a person in a room use infrared to measure temperature and motion to establish movement detection which then triggers the desired automated response.
It works by sending out waves, some of which bounce back off objects causing changes in the sensors output.
5 Benefits of Sensors
There are many benefits of having electronic sensors installed in your home, including (but not limited to!):
Sensors can be programmed to turn on and off devices at set times so you no longer need to worry about turning them on and off yourself.
This could be a light sensor programmed to turn on an outdoor light when it starts to get dark or a sensor to measure temperature that turns on your heating or cooling when the temperature moves outside your desired range.
Reducing Energy Expenses
Utilising motion sensor will reduce the amount of energy your home or business expends by limiting the amount electricity is used at the device will only turn on when there is someone in the room.
The same can be said for light sensors as your lighting will only come on when it is required.
This low power consumption leads directly to lower figures on your electricity bill.
Reducing Carbon Footprint
This one directly related to the point above. As well as saving you money, using sensor technology to power devices will help you save the environment too!
Sensors that reduce power consumption greatly reduce the amount of pollution and waste put into the atmosphere which affects our environment as it significantly cuts down the energy expended unnecessarily.
Motion sensor lighting can be utilised to improve home or business security by illuminating rooms when they are vacant.
This can also help disorient burglars who may try to gain entry into your home.
They are also increasingly being used in security surveillance systems to monitor homes and businesses.
Sensors are being used in security systems to detect break ins, they can be fitted to doors and windows to detect movement or monitor if they are opened.
They can also be integrated with smart home technology to switch lights on when they detect movement.
Let’s face it, we’ve all had the odd lazy day where even the simplest of tasks such as getting out of bed to turn off the light before going to sleep seems like the ultimate chore. Sensors can eliminate this problem.
For example, a sound sensor in your lighting means a simple clap of your hands and those lights will be off!
Using sensors for your devices will make it easy to automate your home or business. It can work to reduce the amount of time spent on housework and other daily activities.
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How Could You Use Sensors?
There are many different areas of your home or business that can be improved through the installation of sensor solutions:
You could use sensor activated lights as you enter the room, turning the light on as you enter and turn off once you leave – this will also help save energy.
Sensors make sure your lights are only on for as long as needed which is far more cost efficient than leaving your main light on all day.
Taps that are activated using sensor controlled technology can be super convenient.
As sensor taps are automatically triggered, it eliminates the need for you to turn them on and off yourself. This is great for large businesses or shops to prevent the spread of germs and reduce the need to touch dirty surfaces.
It can also really help cut down on the spread of bacteria and need to clean in homes as very dirty or greasy cooking hands no longer need to be used to turn on the tap. This is a great option for households with young children.
Taps with sensors can also be equipped with water conservation devices so that they only provide as much water as is required. Sensors save both water and energy!
You can also purchase extra sensors for your own appliances, such as refrigerators and ovens etc., which will send you alerts when they detect a fault or an empty compartment.
Many businesses and properties benefit from using sensors to permit entry.
Sensors may be used to permit entry into the building or carpark, activate lighting or even grant permission to electronic equipment.
This also reduces the potential for any crime (such as theft) to occur.
If you have ever worked for a large company, chances are you have had to use a sensor system to sign in when your shift starts and clock off when you finish for the day.
Using sensor systems to track this movement can help employers ensure their employees are where they should be.
With sensor activated sprinklers, you can set them to detect movement – this will then send a signal that water must stop. No more wet cats and dogs running wet and muddy into the house for safety!
It can also stop unsuspecting guests from getting accidentally soaked if they happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Use multiple sensors together for the best results. The more you have operating at the same time, the easier your life will be!
Everyday Items that Use Sensors Already
Sensors have been around for a long time now.
Indeed, most home appliances have been manufactured with the inclusion of sensors which reduce energy usage (we are all aware of the fridge beep that tells warn you have been perusing for too long!).
Here are just some of the items we use daily that rely on this technology:
Heating and Cooling Units
These almost always have temperature sensors which measure the air temperature of the room and therefore when they can turn on and off.
Essentially, optimal use of this tech could help to ensure you never arrive home to a freezing cold or boiling hot home.
However, you could also use this function in conjunction with motion sensors so the heating/cooling system is only functional when it knows someone is actually home to reap its benefits.
Either way, you will definitely reduce your electricity bill and carbon footprint.
These gadgets operate optimally by using a combination of multiple sensors.
They have sensors in the door that let them know when it has not been shut properly which triggers that annoying beeping noise.
While it may be frustrating, it will ensure that your food doesn’t go off and you aren’t wasting a whole heap of energy by releasing all that cold air and accidentally refrigerating your whole kitchen.
They also utilise sensors to ensure the set temperature is regulated and maintained.
Nowadays, many appliances you own (such as televisions, coffee machines, etc.) come with sensors already installed.
This is great for your wallet because sensor-equipped appliances can shut themselves off when they aren’t in use to save you money on your energy bill.
Many electronics use inbuilt battery temperature sensors to prevent damage.
This measurement is what helps to prevent overheating and damage to the device. For example, when your smart phone is disabled and displays a temperature warning, this is a result of the data from inbuilt sensors.
Similarly, a laptop fan will be triggered to cool down the device if the temperature measured is too high.
These are just a few instances of sensors in electrical devices in the home we already rely on quite heavily. You would likely end up missing these handy sensors a lot if they were taken away!
Now we have established that sensors are already commonplace items in most households and businesses, what type of sensors could help you get the maximum out of your property?
Types of Sensors
There are many types of sensors used to measure pressure, distances, light, sound and more. This detection will then trigger a desired result.
Motion sensors are currently the most popular type of sensor on the market. These sensors detect when someone or something enters a room and illuminates that area with an electric current or infrared radiation.
Motion sensors are commonly used to operate indoor and outdoor lighting. However, they can also be utilised by businesses and households for other functions such as turning on taps or hand dryers to reduce the spread of germs or dirt.
Often motion sensors can be adjusted to reduce or increase sensitivity.
This means you won’t have lights that are turning on automatically when a bird flies past as the sensor will be able to determine what level of movement is required to turn it on.
These sensors react to the presence of light. They can be programmed to turn a light (or lights) on automatically when it gets dark outside.
Not only is this great for home security but it can also be a great feature for businesses to reduce the risk of break-ins at night and ensure you don’t miss out on any marketing opportunities as all foot traffic will still be able to see your business name lit up.
These sensors are handy as they mean you don’t have to use the time automation function for the lighting you want to turn on when it gets dark.
This may not seem like a big deal but the sunrise and sunset times actually fluctuate a lot throughout the seasons (especially when you factor in day light savings!) meaning you would have to manually adjust the lighting times quite frequently.
Most homes already utilise temperature sensors as part of their heating and cooling systems.
The unit or system can be set to start working in a certain temperature range ie. when the temperature drops or raises past a certain number. Helping you ensure the property is always at your preferred temperature.
Furthermore, the remote control for this system will display the current temperature it is sensing and you can choose to set a different temperature and turn the device on and off based on this data.
Having a temperature sensor is great because it puts less stress on your heating and cooling unit — it won’t have to work as hard when you’re not at home.
Pressure sensors can be used to detect when doors or windows are left open which is a great way to ensure homes and businesses remain secure.
They are also responsible for handy reminders such as the beep that occurs when the refrigerator door is left a crack open.
These sensors can pick up sound, which means they can be programmed to do a bunch of cool things, such as, turn your TV off for you if the room becomes silent.
Alternately, this audio option can also be used to activate devices. For example, a clap of the hands can be programmed to turn on your lights as you enter a room.
Commonly used in commercial spaces these sensors can detect signs of gas leaks to prevent potential carbon monoxide poisoning and further hazards, especially in facilities that use dangerous chemicals.
They are also slowly becoming more common in homes to prevent undetected gas leaks that could be harmful to families.
All of these sensors may seem like a futuristic idea, but they’re already making their way into homes around the world!
They don’t just work to make your life easier — they also reduce energy expenses and help the environment. But these are not the only wins you will get from installing sensors in your home.
Sensors are truly an amazing innovation that can change your life for the better!
Sensors Make the World Go Round?
It’s not only our homes and business lives that are being improved and could be further benefitted by using this tech – there are other sensors that operate all around us making our fast paced lives possible.
For example, traffic light systems use sensors to monitor the flow of traffic and then signal the light accordingly to get us to our destinations quickly and safely.
They are also used for street lights and other lighting in public spaces with light sensors detecting when it is getting dark and automatically turning on the lights. As you can tell they are becoming an increasingly important aspect of both safety and convenience in today’s technological world.
We now live in a sensor-equipped world, so sensor technologies are worthwhile for your home, business, or community. Keep this in mind as you begin researching sensors to improve your home’s functionality today!
Ready To Take The Plunge?
Great! Sensors are relatively easy to install and do not require any major maintenance; plus sensors never wear out. Sensors will make life more efficient and secure for you and your family.
Sensors are great for homes and businesses alike.
Many appliances you own come with them already installed so why not take advantage of the extra benefits you could gain by adding a few more throughout your property with the help of a licensed electrician.
Sensors make properties more secure and efficient. If you have any questions about sensor technologies, sensor systems, sensor lights, sensor alarms, or anything else sensor-related.
Contact us on 0403 734 299 or by clicking the button below to book an appointment today!