The obvious solution is to not have occupancy sensors in labs. This is actually a safety issue, and safety must trump energy-saving endeavors. I know administrators/management only want to look at the bottom line, but that’s not always possible. We have occupancy sensors in our offices and bathrooms, but not our labs. There are 2 possible fixes I can think of which might work, but will of course involve some rewiring and therefore money. First, wire one light in each lab as an emergency light that is always on. That way the lab personnel at least have enough light to see by until they get a chance to “get up and wave” at the sensor. The second is an override switch that can be turned on when the lab personnel are performing more stationary tasks.
Has anyone had issues with occupancy sensors in laboratories? We have a new research building on campus and one of the steps taken to achieve LEED certification was to install occupancy sensors in all the laboratories. We are now having issues with the lights going off when the laboratory is occupied. This is a concern for me, particularly when we have employees working in biosafety cabinets and fume hoods and the lights go out. Laboratory work typically does not involve large amounts of movement and we teach our researchers not to make quick or exaggerated movements when working in our biosafety cabinets and fume hoods, so these sensors are having difficulty detecting movement and are shutting the lights off. I am hoping some of you have experienced the same problem and can provide recommendations on how to resolve the issue.
Your feedback is greatly appreciated.
K. Lee Stone M.S., MT (ASCP), NRCC-CHO
Laboratory Safety Manager
Chemical Hygiene Officer
President- IUPUI Staff Council
980 Indiana Avenue, Room L4430
Indianapolis, IN 46202
317-278-6150 (T) | (317) 278-2158 (F) |
Problems cannot be solved at the same level of awareness that created them.
- Albert Einstein (1879-1955)
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