4 Stars By John Rockey on 2016-01-26
THE DEVIL IS IN THE DETAILS!! Don't assume this switch will save energy for every application
This clever switch does exactly what it's said to do and has an extra feature... if it shuts itself off in vacancy mode (vacancy mode = manual on, automatic off), but someone is actually still in the space, it can be reactivated by detecting motion within 30 seconds of shutting off. This is cool for those family members who get annoyed when your technology leaves them in the dark while they're trying to take a shower (oops).
Why did i give it 4 stars instead of 5?
I have only one gripe, but it happens to nullify the purpose for the switch. I noticed none of these cool "green" devices specify the idle current draw. That is; how much power it's consuming while the lights are off. This may seem like a trivial piece of information until you examine the details, so I tested all of my hardwired z-wave devices and also tested these switches. Here are some results:
Aeon Labs micro switch: 13 mA
Aeon Labs plug adapter: 15 mA
GE Smart Switch: 16 mA
GE Smart Dimmer: 19 mA
TopGreeener TDOS5 (this switch): 37 mA
(hmm... it would seem I've outed myself as slightly OCD at this point)
Now, instead of converting everything to power/energy and talking about the estimated cost to power the idle switch, I'll just make a few comparisons based solely on current draw (all devices share the same voltage and $/kWh, so this will be apples to apples).
Lets say you have a few spaces in your house that don't get used very often, but you want to avoid the possibility of the light getting left on for days just because no one goes in to check on it (e.g. the utility closet, attic light, basement light, etc.). One might think this is the perfect solution, a switch that will turn itself off! The problem is: a 40W LED bulb takes ~72mA and this switch takes 37mA when the light is OFF! that means installing this switch will become the equivalent of leaving the light ON 12 hours a day, every day! This is worth restating; even if you NEVER turn the lights on, this switch will consume just as much power as if you left the light ON for half of every day, or 4,380 hours per year. So, if you would have only used the light for a few hours per month, installing this switch will drastically increase that circuits energy consumption.
It's equally counter productive for things like bathroom fans. If you have a few bathrooms and want to keep fans from running unnecessarily long, this switch would, again, seem like a convenient solution. Well... I measured my vent fan and it draws about 650 mA. So, in a 24 hour period, this switch will consume about 30% more energy than the fan would if it were left ON for an hour. That means any fan that is typically used for less than an hour per day will be better off without the constant load of this switch. Installing the switch in these applications will drastically increase your overall energy usage.
As bad as all of that sounds, there are cases where this switch would save energy like a champ. For example:
1. A room with several incandescent lights that consume large amounts of energy very quickly
2. A room with several LED lights that get used frequently (i.e. a bathroom vanity with 4 or 6 bulbs)
In these cases, the energy saved by reducing the ON time will add up very quickly and the energy spent on idle current will become insignificant.
Unfortunately, this switch can will only provide value to me in about 3 of the 12 applications I intended. (i.e. counter productive for the guest closet, guest bathroom, all bathroom fans, utility closet, basement sump closet, attic, etc).
The moral of the story is that you have to consider all of the elements of your "green" efforts to avoid unintended wasting of cash and energy. In several applications, a $3 toggle switch will ultimately prove more energy efficient than the more expensive, automated options.
3 Stars By Visceral Soul on 1969-12-31
Works OK, but somewhat inconsistent
I've had this in our pantry for about 7 months now. It works well enough, but I wish the motion sensor was a bit more sensitive and/or able to be re-positioned. Sometimes it will turn on right away when someone enters the pantry; other times you have to wave your hand around for a few seconds before it will turn on. It is mounted on the same wall as the door, which is not ideal but that's where the switch wires are. So, you are walking into the edge of the 180-degree viewing angle when you enter the pantry. My main frustration is that it is inconsistent, even if I enter the same pantry the same way each time.
2 Stars By Jeff Patterson on 2017-11-11
Awkward access to limited controls
Just installed it today... it's deeper than the one of the same type that it replaced, making it hard to fit in the box. Opening the compartment to get at the controls is overly-difficult - almost need a screwdriver to pry the button off to make adjustments underneath. And surprisingly there's no "just stay on" mode at all - every mode/setting auto-turns-off after some length of time, whether you want that or not - I wouldn't buy it again if I'd known that.
5 Stars By Michael Gary on 2017-01-14
One of my top 10 best buys!
I love this motion sensing light switch. I had recently purchased one and installed it in my elderly parents bathroom. My Dad makes several trips to the bathroom at night, and always has difficulty finding the light switch just inside the door. So he would leave the light on, which disturbed my Mother's sleep. This switch has really made a difference in both of their lives. My Dad no longer has to feel for the light switch in the dark, the bathroom light comes on when he opens the door. And since the switch turns off automatically, after a pre-set time, my Mother is no longer kept awake by the bathroom light. And my Dad has plenty of time to get back in bed before the lights turn off. This has to be one of the best purchases I have ever made. And since it worked so well for my parents, I punched these two for my bathrooms! They are already in and working beautifully. I highly recommend this product. If you're sceptical that it could make a difference in your life, just purchase one and try it out, you'll be glad you did....
5 Stars By Ian M on 2015-12-04
Great switch. Red indicator LED
This switch was easy to install and works exactly as expected. It was great to find an inexpensive motion sensor that does both vacancy and occupancy, unlike some of the Lutron switches that cost four times as much.
In case you need to know, the LED is a faint red light. It turns on each time it detects movement, and you can adjust the length of time the indicator stays on after detection.
4 Stars By Working Mom on 2015-03-06
Door open, light turns on!
All the wires in my wall were of the same color so I needed my dad to install this, a voltmeter was required. That being said, I LOVE THIS!!! My husband is on a long-term assignment out of town so I'm trying to juggle a full time with three kids 4 & under. Our entryway light switch was awkwardly placed on the far wall and not near the entrance so I swapped the original switch for this one and now when I open the door, the light turns on automatically! It is also nice because when the kids want books at night they can just walk down the hall and it turns on as they enter the office (my 2 year old son is afraid to just go in the office and turn on the light, admittedly it is quite dark).
We have a small dog (a 'shorkie' type mutt at 9 lbs) and if we throw her small tennis ball down the hall she can fetch it and it will not activate the light. I like that it has different sensors so this is possible.
My only complaint is that I thought it had a dusk to dawn sensor and would only turn the light on when dark. This switch always turns the light on. For me, it is well worth the convenience as getting home at night juggling two short kids, an infant carrier, and the bags from the day I love just opening the door and the light turning on.
All in all, a must for anyone who wants the light to turn on as you open the door!
3 Stars By kendra cardino on 2017-05-13
A little trickier to install than initially thought, but ...
A little trickier to install than initially thought, but I figured it out. Iif the directions included the step about multiple switch outlet boxes it would have helped (we have a light and fan in the bathroom.) I have this as an ok because we got this for my daughter so she could go to the bathroom by herself as she is too short to use the light switch and even though the range is expanded it still does not pick up when she enters the room till she is on the toilet waving her hand in the air. we have expanded in enough so that it works for her if she closes the door when she goes in, so it does serve its purpose :)
4 Stars By Steve K on 2017-12-14
Works as expected and we definitely like the granularity of time that can be set for ...
Works as expected and we definitely like the granularity of time that can be set for the light to stay on. We have ours in our pantry and it's set for 15 seconds. The reason we bought it was because our son would never turn off the light in the pantry but it also fits in well with the rest of our Smart Home. It's only single-pole so you'll need to go more expensive for anything that's a 3-way switch.
5 Stars By caojiang on 2016-07-12
i am glad i bought this device and i am actually thinking ...
i bought this motion sensor wall switch to put in the bathroom. I live with five roommates and four of us share one bathroom. One of my roommates always leaves the light on in the bathroom. I am not sure if it is forgetfulness,laziness, or they don't care but in the early mornings or at night when the light is on. I assume that someone is in the bathroom and i just wait until they are done. Most of the time it turns out that nobody was evening the bathroom! The Light was just left on! I try to remind them to turn off the lights but this happens quite often despite my friendly reminders. Anyways, i am writing this review because i finally did something about this issue. I bought this motion light sensor. this switch has got rid of the confusion if anybody is in the bathroom or not. it simply turns off automatically if nobody has been in the bathroom in a while. the possible time settings are 10 or 30 mins. Anyway, i am glad i bought this device and i am actually thinking about getting another one for the kitchen since sometimes the light is left on all night
4 Stars By andrew xie on 2017-12-04
Good product with awkward design
The product works as expected. I got version that have TIME and RANGE adjustment and does not have LIGHT adjustment. So even it is daytime, the light still comes on when it detect body moving. Also the design is kind of not convenient. you have to open the cover to change OCC or VAC or OFF mode. why do not give three small buttons on the cover to change modes? If you can do these change, the product will be perfect.