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The importance of light and water sensors

A console which facilitates operation of lights, fans and other electrical appliances.

A console which facilitates operation of lights, fans and other electrical appliances.   | Photo Credit: ABHIJIT DEV KUMAR

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Anupama Mohanram on how light and water sensors can make your home eco-sensitive

With the rising levels of environmental degradation we are witnessing today, it is imperative that we stay sensitised and avoid the overuse of resources. The good news is that technological advances can help us with this, and one such product is the automatic sensor.

Automatic daylight sensors can be used to control the amount of artificial light in a space, by detecting how much natural light is entering the premises. The principle is simple: the electric lights will automatically be dimmed downed or turned off when enough natural light is entering the area. This process is termed as ‘daylight harvesting’ in the building industry.

Energy savings

A thoughtfully deployed daylight harvesting program for building lighting can typically deliver energy savings of 40-60%, while providing the assurance that occupants have the right amount of light in the desired space.

This system ensures areas are not too bright or too dark. As daylight levels change, the sensors automatically adjust the lights.

Another type of light sensor is the ‘occupant sensor’ which turns on/off or adjusts lighting levels by detecting human presence. This sensor can be used in spaces such as corridors, bathrooms, basements and/or store rooms, where lights need to be switched on only when the areas are being used.

This gadget ensures energy savings by avoiding unnecessary lighting. Such sensors can also be used for building security purposes. But it’s not just lighting fixtures that the sensors can be used for. They can also control other electrical appliances such as fans, air-conditioners, etc.

Water check

Similarly, you can also opt for sensors that not only detect and track the quantity of water consumed, but also alert occupants about leaks in water pipelines. There is a huge variation in the type of sensor technologies used to monitor and record water use. These range from water sensors and level monitors for large scale corporations and townships, to simpler metering devices for homes. Using these smart meters, building owners can remotely view water use, detect leakages and even turn off water lines during times of leakage or overflows. This is a technology has the potential of reducing our water use by almost 30%.

After decades of mismanagement of energy and water, it is high time we turn to technology to help us with using our resources wisely and reducing consumption. It is also essential our authorities mandate such metering and bring in regulations to control overuse of resources and help mitigate global warming. Smart homes that incorporate the above technologies provide us with a solution toward mitigating environmental degradation.

The author is the founder of Green Evolution, a sustainable architecture firm

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Printable version | Dec 6, 2019 3:37:32 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/columns/how-light-and-water-sensors-can-make-your-home-eco-sensitive/article29796992.ece

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