Small, inconspicuous occupancy sensors—in common areas, laundry facilities, or living units—can detect when someone is (or is not) in a room and turn the lights on or off to save energy. Lutron’s new Maestro occupancy-sensing switches off er the sensor and light switch in one unit. They work with incandescent, halogen, CFL, LE, magnetic low-voltage, electronic low-voltage, and linear fluorescent lights and detect not just people from up to 30 feet, but also ambient light. The units can be set to allow residents to manually turn on the lights upon walking into a room but turn themselves off automatically when occupants leave. For more information, call Lutron at 888-588-7661 or visit www.lutron.com.
You’ve heard of the smart grid and smart meters? Normally, people talk about them in the context of single-family detached homes. But Leviton has a line of Mini Meters specifically for multifamily properties. With Mini Meters, building managers can track and allocate energy usage costs across multiple tenants. Plus, they can better manage energy expenses in common areas, such as parking lots, hallways, foyers, and more. The units are available in indoor, flush-mount enclosures and indoor/outdoor, NEMA 4X-rated enclosures (pictured). And if you need to install several in one area, Leviton offers Multiple Meter Units that hold two to 19 Mini Meters. For more information, call Leviton at 800- 736-6682 or visit www.leviton.com.
The EcoVéa recycling shower continuously analyzes water flow and cleanliness during a shower, saving water and energy. It’s all accomplished in the shower base, which includes a special cell that performs the analysis. If the water is clean, it’s treated, injected with a little hot water, and sent back through the showerhead. An electronic control pad can be installed in the wall of the shower to allow the user to set the temperature and water flow rate. The EcoVéa base unit can sit directly on the floor or be built in. Its cover plate comes in tempered glass, stainless steel, wood, or plastic. For more information, call Reveeco at 514-303-0276 or visit www.reveeco.com.
For large buildings and multifamily developments, Crestron Electronics has developed Crestron Fusion EM , an energy management software program that enables building managers to monitor and control energy use throughout one or many properties. The program tracks a facility’s carbon footprint while making it easy to change and schedule temperature set points, lighting levels, and more. For example, with Fusion EM, building managers can ensure that when the fitness center isn’t in use, the TVs and lights are turned off, thermostats are adjusted, and blinds are drawn to keep the room from overheating in summer. To use the product, multifamily properties must be running a Crestron control system and operate lighting, thermostats, and other controllable units that can communicate via the Internet Protocol . For more information, call Crestron Electronics at 888-273-7876 or visit www.crestron.com.
A New Level of Smart
LG Electronics continues to push the concept of smart appliances. In January, it rolled out its next generation of products, including refrigerators, ovens, and washing machines, based on what it calls Smart ThinQ technology. At the heart of LG’s new smart appliances are two concepts: the ability for residents to monitor and manage their appliances via smart phones, and compatibility with smart-grid technology so that appliances consume less energy during peak consumption periods. In the absence of a smart grid, LG’s smart refrigerator, for example, has Night Saving Mode, which reduces energy consumption for up to four hours at night, and Customize Saving Mode, which cuts energy use when the user decides it should. (The refrigerator can even tell the LG smart oven what temperature to heat up to depending on what the cook wants to eat.) For more information, call LG Electronics at 800-243-0000 or visit www.lg.com.
Control4’s HC-250 controller works with lights, thermostats, smart appliances, and electronics to manage their energy use. The product is designed to be easy to install in multiple residential units because it’s small (it can be tucked behind a TV or in a closet) and doesn’t need its own power supply. Rather, the HC-250 draws its energy from the network cabling that’s increasingly being installed in new residences. It also incorporates ZigBee wireless communication, which is the standard that many utilities are adopting for smart-grid and smart-metering projects. For more information, call Control4 at 888-400-4070 or visit www.control4.com.