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Thread: LRF2 Vacancy sensor & manual switch usage

  1. #1

    LRF2 Vacancy sensor & manual switch usage

    I think there is a basic design issue with the LRF2 (and perhaps others) with the timeout period after manual operation of the switch.

    The notes, and our experience says:

    NOTE: The lights can be manually turned off at any time by using the receiving device directly. If the lights are turned off manually, the room must be unoccupied for the duration of the Sensorís timeout period before the lights will turn back on in response to occupancy.

    And the timeouts are:

    1, 5, 15, and 30 minutes, with the defaulting being 15 minutes.

    This means, if I press the switch to turn off the lights manually as I leave the room, with our 15 minute setting, the lights will not turn back on automatically upon occupancy for 15 minutes! If the setting is 30 minutes, then there is a 30 minute dead time where occupancy does not work. That's insane! Why would anyone not want lights to come back on for 30 minutes?

    I think there reactivation should be short, and not tied to the TIMEOUT period for vacancy (the two are entirely unrelated).

    I need to vacancy period to be 15 minutes (because the lights keep turning off while in the shower with the next lower setting of 5 minutes), but to have the lights no longer operational for occupancy for the next 15 minutes is nuts.

    How can this be avoided or worked around?

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  3. #2
    Authorized Lutron Contributor
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Currently there is no work around except to set the timeout to 1 minute. I have sent your feedback to our System Development team so they can look into adding another feature to work around needing to wait for the vacancy timeout.

  4. #3
    Thanks for the confirmation, and request for improvement here. The excessively long timeout is become a problem for us, so hopefully the crack team of engineers finds a workable solution.

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  6. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    5 minutes is usually sufficient. We use that for closets, powder rooms, pantry, workshop etc. It's short enough that eventually you learn to not bother using the wall switch to turn things off. While still being short enough that if you come back around it'll likely be ready to go again.

    I do not use it in places like a bathroom where someone isn't going to be in line of sight the entire time they're in there. As in, I wouldn't use it in a bath with a shower.

  7. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Ugh, I edited that and it took too long, so the forum software ate the post.

    Is there more than one lighting circuit in the bath? Then how about using a delay on one of them? Set the timeout to 5 minutes but put a 30 minute delay on the other dimmer. This way if it'd stay on until the delay expires.

  8. #6
    Thanks for the feedback.

    There are actually 5 light circuits and one fan circuit in the bathroom, with two motion detectors.

    The fan and a commode light come on in that (private) room via one occupancy / vacancy sensor. Lights go off upon 1 minute of vacancy, fan stays on.

    Two light circuits come on via occupancy via a second sensor.

    The lights and fan get turned off after 15 minutes of vacancy.

    I want the fan to stay on for 15 minutes, and need lights on for 10 minutes of no motion detection (for when in the shower). But there is no choice but to set both to 15 minutes. Hence the dilemma.

  9. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Only one fan? What about the shower humidity? I tend to set those up to run-on for 30 minutes. But then I also prefer to leave those on Maestro count-down timers, but that's another topic of conversation. The fan being automated never quite seems to work out as desired. Better to leave it as a manual control with the timer built into the switch. Because most of the time you want a fan running, but sometimes you don't (steam showers, especially). But what you DO want is the fan to keep running for a while longer to get the humid air out.

    Have you tried setting a delay on anything? It's not an obvious setting and doesn't appear by default. You'd normally see just 'level' and 'fade'. Right click on the column headers and you'll see an option to enable delay. That'll let you set a per-device delay for when the command gets executed AFTER the occupancy/vacancy setting changes.

    I'm thinking something like set the sensor timeout to 5 minutes, set the fan delay for 25 minutes and set the lights to 15. This way the sensor can timeout 'quickly' to get around the manual restart timer, but not lose lighting too quickly when the occupant is in the shower. It might be likely they'd come out of the shower and trigger the lighting to come back on again given the now-shorter 5 minute timeout.

    I don't make a lot of use out of the delays except in situations where I want to allow someone to travel through an area after dark and not lose lighting.

  10. #8
    Here's a long overdue followup to the problem I was trying to solve. I finally got around to reworking the programming.

    I was able to achieve what we wanted by using a combination of Fallback timers, Delays, and a 1 minute timeout to the Occupancy sensors.

    First, I had to create a separate zone (e.g. Master Bathroom Sensor) for the main Occupancy sensor (because the UI hides Fallback settings when a zone has an occupancy sensor). I set the fallback timer here for 15 minutes. This will turn off the Fan only after no activity in the room. I did not place any light switches in this zone, to prevent the zone from appearing in Home Connect program on my tablet. The fallback has advantages over a simple delay, in that it reacts to activity from either of the rooms occupancy sensors (vs. a static fixed delay), and each sensor has different fan time requirements (shower fan wants more time than WC fan)

    Second, I placed the relevant lights to be controlled by the Occupancy / Vacancy sensor. Two sets of lights come on upon entering, all lights turned off after a 10 minute Delay. This is a sufficient time for a shower (where the sensor cannot see movement). The short sensor timeout will re-trigger the lights upon leaving the shower area). So long as we're taking < 10 minute showers, the lights will remain on (since the occupancy sensor will re-trigger upon exiting the shower and entering the main bathroom area). And lights will eventually turn off about 10 minutes after leaving the room, but will turn on after a 1 minute delay should someone leave, turning off the switches upon exit (this was the area that troubled me with my previous solution - a 15 timeout before Occupancy was reactivated was ludicrous -- a shamefully poor implementation by Lutron).

    Third, the WC area's occupancy / vacancy sensor is set for a 1 minute timeout, and turns on the lights / fan upon entering, but only triggers lights to turn off after 1 minute. The fan remains on, subject to the zone's 15 minute fallback.

    Fourth, we disable the main room's motion sensor during evening hours via RA2 schedules, so bright lights don't automatically turn on at night.

    This all seems to work well. I chose not to use wkearney98's fine solution above because of the reason above - the bathroom areas really want two different fan run times.

    Since then, I've also added a Lutron inline appliance switch, to allow remote control of the water re-circulation pump. It has an old-fashioned rotating clock timer w/pins for on/off. Its a pain to reset after every power outage, every Daylight Saving Time change, and only has a single 24-hour schedule (so weekends always miss our schedule), and we're not very schedule-driven at home anyway. Now, in bed, or 5 minutes prior to taking a shower, we trigger the switch, the water recirculates heating up the shower water in advance, and the switch turns off automatically via zone fallback after 10 minutes. Awesome, best of both worlds for us.

    @wkearney98 - RE: our bathroom fan. We do have one fan, but it is a very large 3-intake remote fan, which draws way more than enough air via the three intakes distributed throughout the three bathroom areas to clear the room quickly. The mirrors never fog, and the room is never damp. The floor heaters -- separate bathroom and shower -- also help keep the room dry. We designed the system, including the airflow, so that moisture would never been an issue, and it works great. Thanks for looking out for us!

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