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Thread: Help me understand Occupancy Sensor logic?

  1. #1
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    Help me understand Occupancy Sensor logic?

    I'm struggling with trying to get an occupancy sensor (LRF2-OCR2B-P) to behave as I'd like it to. Hoping someone can help me here.

    Project has several rooms with these sensors that act as motion-activated nightlights... there's a timeclock event that sets the rooms that have these to "enabled" at 10pm, so that anyone walking around late at night gets soft lights that turn on while they walk through. There's another timeclock event that sets all these sensors to "disabled" at dawn. It's great, they work fine.... turning up lights with walking motion in the home late at night, leaving everything alone when the house is occupied day and evening.

    But I'm adding another on the front porch (fully protected overhang and warm climate area), and the behavior I want is this: When there's any motion detected on front porch, raise all the front outside lights to a given level. When no more motion is detected,take those lights back down to a dim setting. do all this from 10pm until dawn.

    Independently, those outside lights (4 different zones) automatically go from a bright "evening" setting, to a dimmer "late night" setting, to "off" at 2am. Those timed events work fine.

    I'm using the same logic on this zone as i did in the interior rooms. Give the sensor an "enable" trigger via timeclock at 10:00pm, a "disable" trigger at dawn. Set lights in front-outside zone to 50% on "occupied" and back to, say, 10% on "unoccupied". Not that complicated.

    But the lights are NOT turning on with motion outside if the lights are on at any level when the motion occurred. Everything work fine if the lights were entirely off when motion happened.

    Yes, i've put motion sensors into "test" mode and they sense motion properly. The internal setting (rear buttons) on the sensors are set to regular "enabled" (not low-light or disabled mode)... just like my other working motion sensor zones.

    Do "occupancy" events NOT turn "up" lights to the designated level if they're already on? That's what I'm seeing. If that's right, how does it handle a whole bunch of zones that it's supposed to raise? which ones determine if the event triggers or not? I think I'm noticing that if the porch lanterns are on low and all other lights are off, then it works fine. But if several other outside lights in the zone are on, the occupancy event decides not to raise the lights.

    Very frustrating... is what I'm trying to do doable in RR2-E?

    Thanks for any help/advice,
    -josh

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  3. #2
    Authorized Lutron Contributor
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    Hi Josh,
    I was able to mock this up on my test board and have everything act the way that you are explaining. If you are still having issues with this application, could you email your project file to systemsupport@lutron.com and we can take a look at it to see why you may not be able to get this working.

  4. #3
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    thanks. just sent.

  5. #4
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    I see this exact same glitch in my system at home. It only happens when I have something set to the 'unoccupied' portion. My case is as follows: When I walk in the door, my foyer light goes to 100% using a sensor. After the timeout, the light drops to 20%, where it stays, unless controlled by another scene. Often, when the room is 'unoccupied' (20%), walking in front of the sensor does not turn the lights up to 100%.

    Another oddity for using this method... if, when the motion is 'occupied' (100%), I shut off that foyer light with another scene, when the 5, 15, 20 minutes sensor timer ends the lights goes from 0% to 20%. Light just comes on. The logic makes sense, it is doing exactly what it is supposed to do but it should be noted that this may negate the usefullness of your setup.

    I would really love to have a non battery powered sensor with some two way communication so the sensor always knows the status of the lights associated with it.

  6. #5
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    I received an email back from Lutron after they looked through my project file. They said they were able to recreate the problem I'm having and it turns out to be a bug in the RR2 software. They say they've fixed it in the next release.

    BUT, as Feeypower points out, the whole system of motion detectors and clock settings really needs to be re-thought. It can't be all that uncommon to want lights to do the following two things:
    - one set of occupancy/vacancy actions at one time of day, but different actions at another time of day
    - an override setting of how to handle occupancy/vacancy actions when lights in the zone are already on.

    This would permit:
    • set outside lights to 20% at sunset, then shut off at midnight.
    • If motion detected, raise lights to 100%, then go back to the proper state they were in... either 20% if it was between sunset and midnight, or full off if it was after midnight"


    This same behavior could be written another way:
    • set outside lights to 20% at sunset, then shut off at midnight.
    • If between sunset and midnight, occupancy should set lights to 100%, then back to 20% when vacancy
    • If after midnight, occupancy should set lights to 100%, then back to off when vacancy.


    That would seem to be a somewhat common use case, especially for outside lights or garages.

    --josh

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  8. #6
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    Does anyone else struggle to get lights to obey both timed events and motion events?

  9. #7
    I have seen how this works in several Lutron systems, and I see your point. In HWQS you could create the behavior that you are looking for by using conditionals or variables, which are not in RA 2. Thus you have just the pre-canned functionality.

    One thing to consider is that a majority of the sensors that Lutron sells are used in commercial applications and the design is normally done so that any given area has EITHER occ sensors or timed events. They have a feature called after-hours, that uses to the timeclock to save energy in areas that don't have sensors.

    in RA 2 you could set the sensor to only turn on lights in low light, which you can set on the sensor itself. That function is based on the light sensor on the sensor. You select LowLight on the back of the sensor.

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  11. #8
    And yes, I forgot that you can also set a timeclock event to enable or disable sensors.

  12. #9
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    Yes, my systems use enable/disable for motion sensors, and also have used the built-in light-sensor enable/disable, but still can't get the kind of functionality I want. I don't think it's that unusual to want lights that go on via motion to one level at one time of day and a different level at a different time of day.

  13. #10
    Authorized Lutron Contributor
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    Josh, That would require conditional programming which is a feature of Homeworks QS. I have forwarded your interest in this to our System Development team to look into adding as a feature in the future.

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