FAQs - Frequently Asked Questions


What is passive infrared technology?
Designed to detect motion from a heat-emitting source (such as a person entering a room) within its field-of-view and automatically switch lights ON and OFF. Sensors have segmented lenses. For units to see motion, the person must cross between two segments or bands. The distance between the segments or bands increases the farther you are from the sensor, so motion has to be larger the farther you are from the unit. PIR sensors are considered line-of-sight sensors, meaning that the sensor must be able to have a direct line-of-sight to the person making the motion.

What is ultrasonic technology?
Ultrasonic sensors use the Doppler principle. These sensors produce low intensity, inaudible sound and detect changes in sound waves caused by motion, such as walking into the room, reaching for a telephone, or turning in a chair. They are volumetric in nature and therefore not line-of-sight dependent. Since they fill the space with these sound waves, they are excellent in bathrooms with stalls, enclosed hallways, or other oddly shaped rooms. In addition, they are much more sensitive to smaller motions.
What is dual technology?
Dual technology is the combination of PIR and Ultrasonic into one sensor and is the ultimate sensing solution available today. This pairing helps to eliminate false activations (both ON and OFF) thus saving additional energy use. Dual technology sensors ensure the greatest sensitivity and coverage for tough applications without the threat of false triggers. Cooper Controls sensors use PIR to turn the lights ON then one of two modes to turn the lights OFF. The first mode will accept either PIR or Ultrasonic to keep the lights ON and the second mode must see both technologies to hold the lighting ON.

What is major motion?
Major motion is defined as movement of a person walking into or through an area. Typical examples are a person walking into a room or through an open area. Major motion may be required to turn ON the lights, but transitions to minor motion once the occupant is in the room.

What is minor motion?
Minor motion is defined as movement of a person sitting at a desk reaching for a telephone, turning the pages of a book, opening a file cabinet, or picking up a cup of coffee.

What is NEMA?
NEMA provides a forum for the development of technical standards that are in the best interests of the industry and users, advocacy of industry policies on legislative and regulatory matters, and collection, analysis, and dissemination of industry data. More information about NEMA can be found at www.nema.org.

What is NEMA WD 7-2011 Occupancy Motion Sensors Standard?
The purpose of this standard is to promote uniformity for the definition and measurement of characteristics relevant to the use and application of occupancy motion sensors. Cooper Controls sensors are tested using the NEMA WD 7 Standard to verify coverage. To download a free electronic copy of the standard - Click Here.

What is the difference between occupancy and vacancy sensing?
An occupancy sensor turn lights ON automatically upon the detection of motion then turns the lights OFF automatically soon after an area is vacated. A vacancy sensor requires manual activation of the lighting by the occupant then turns the lights OFF automatically soon after an area is vacated.

If you don't see your question, please contact us at occsensortesting@cooperindustries.com.