Occupancy Sensors for Stairwells: Ultrasonic or Microwave? That is the Question.

Occupancy Sensors for Stairwells: Ultrasonic or Microwave? That is the Question.

Applying the latest occupancy sensing technology to a fixture can increase energy savings by up to a whopping 80%. This game changer allows end users to reap the rebates and incentives offered by many utility organizations when using energy efficient luminaires.

Now let’s talk stairwell fixtures. When it’s time to select the ideal fixture for your stairwell, which sensor do you choose? You may have heard of Passive Infrared (PIR), but it’s not the best sensor to use in a stairwell as it requires a straight ‘line of sight’ making the detection of an occupant too late.

The two most common occupancy sensors we recommend from our portfolio of stairwell lighting fixtures are Ultrasonic and Microwave. Whether you are looking for a fixture for a commercial, industrial or vandal prone stairwell environment we make it easier for you to decide. 

See the chart below:

Features & BenefitsUltrasonic
Occupancy Sensor
Occupancy Sensor
Detection Range
Best Good
Cost  Premium Technology  Economical Technology
Appropriate for
Vandal Resistant
No. Sensor is exposed on the exterior of the fixture  Yes. Sensor is mounted within the fixture to protect it from dust, moisture or vandalism
Detects Occupant Before Arriving at Landing Yes Yes. However, microwaves can pass through walls causing false triggers 

Visit our resources page to view our Stairwell Fixture Solutions guide


Written by Viscor's Marketing Team member Daniela De Marco


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