f Occu-Smart motion sensor

LaMar Lighting: Pioneers of Motion Sensor Controlled Bi-level Lighting

The ultrasonic sensor was developed by Wattstopper specifically for Lamar Lighting over 20 years ago, and the concept of automatic lamp conditioning was patented by Lamar Lighting. This enabled successful long-term operation of fluorescent lamps on bi-level ballasts without premature end blackening.

LaMar offers Occu-Smart fixtures which utilize a customized ultrasonic motion sensor coupled with a bi-level lighting system, offering standby light levels as low as ten percent, with standby wattage as low as four watts during unoccupied times. Immediately upon occupancy detection, the lights are brought up to full brightness for safety and security.

Occu-Smart LED units offer a proprietary multi-level driver, giving the choice of occupied state light levels to minimize electrical use while providing the proper light levels for safety and code compliance. Low standby light levels can also be optimized by an unique adjustment within the fixture.

The competition simply does not offer these two very important features in conjunction with superior detection technology.

Ultrasonic vs Passive Infrared
Ultrasonic sensors work on the Doppler principle much like sonar on a boat. A high-frequency signal is continuously emitted, and anything that disturbs it is interpreted as motion. These signals are not limited to line of sight, so motion can be detected around corners such as when a person is walking up or down a flight of stairs. These sensors will typically pick up an entry door opening, as well as motion from several floors above and below in most stairwells.

Passive infrared sensors detect emitted infrared energy from people and animals in the form of heat. The person or animal moving must be in the detection range of the sensor and lens. The Fresnel lens on typical motion sensors is designed to be mounted on ceilings and detect motion in a 360-degree area, which typically becomes wider the higher the sensor is mounted, up to the designated mounting height and range. A sensor lens detection pattern looks like long and short range “fingers,” in that major motion is detected in alternating zones with more minor motion. This means a sensor that works well on a warehouse ceiling may not offer the detection range and pattern needed for a stairwell, and the pattern that works well on a ceiling will not be optimized for fixtures mounted on a wall as is very often done in stairwells. Additionally, PIR sensors mounted on corridor ceilings that are eight to ten feet high will not be able to detect motion nearly as far in range as a properly set ultrasonic sensor, and they simply cannot detect motion outside the range and pattern of the lens.

Overall cost of Occu-Smart lower than the competition
Many low-cost stairwell fixtures are supplied with PIR motion sensors designed for warehouse use. They may have a marginal detection range, and offer bi-level operation which typically is only 50% of full light output — so a medium output, 35-watt fixture will still be using about 18 watts at standby, which is about 95% of the time. Occu-Smart fixtures can be set as low as 3 watts (2’ low output), and the medium output unit is 36 watts at full and only 5 watts at 10% standby. The cost of one watt in New York City is about 21 cents. Running 24/7, that’s about $1.80 per watt per year. So 13 watts saved per fixture is $23.40, which can easily make up the marginal cost difference in a short period of time between Occu-Smart and the lesser-performing competition.

Occu-Smart Difference
OccuSmart Competition
• Ultrasonic sensor not limited to line of sight• Passive infrared limited to line of sight
• Adjustable output driver-installer• Adjustable fixed output driver
• Standby wattage as low as three watts• Low is 50% of high, 25-50 watts
• Adjustable low light level• No low light level adjustment
• Designed for wall or ceiling mount• High bay type sensor, not designed for wall mount
• Walk test set-up mode for quick commissioning• No walk test mode

Featuring LaMars’s VOL Gen2 Series LED Lights
  • Field adjustable output power (Low, Med or High) when in normal mode integrated in the universal voltage driver.
  • Available in lengths of 2′ and 4′
  • Equipped with die formed end caps and formed steel housing and gear tray
  • High quality MPCB (metal core) LED array ensuring long life and high efficiency
  • Frosted acrylic lens with up to 94% transmittance
  • Field adjustable standby dim levels of 10, 20, 30 or 40% of full light output

LaMar Lighting provides LED fixtures to West Gate House

When the “A” Train was extended through the Upper West Side of Manhattan in the early 20th century, it opened up whole new neighborhoods to the development of multi-family dwellings.
The West Gate House, built in 1921, has seen nearly a century in the Hudson Heights neighborhood: the building survived the construction of the George Washington Bridge in the 1930s and the I-95 expressway construction in the 1960s, both of which wiped out entire city blocks.


As part of a New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA)-funded program, the West Gate House co-op board had originally decided to replace and upgrade the buildings’ steam heating system. At some point in that process, a recommendation was made to retrofit all the lighting in the common areas of the buildings.
This was no small feat: the West Gate House is actually two six-floor buildings, comprising 125 apartments and running the length of a city block on West 181st Street. Hundreds of lighting fixtures throughout the common areas, with different purposes depending on their location, needed to be unified in their look and feel, and modernized to boot.

The Plan
Robert Prouse, IALD and FIES lighting designer with Brandston Partnership, was brought on board for the job. Under his design, LaMar lighting was tapped to provide the LED fixtures. To modernize the buildings, the lobbies were entirely redesigned, floors to ceilings, walls and all, for the first time since the 1920s. Prouse and LaMar replaced the old incandescent bulbs with high efficiency “Torpedo” light sources.

“Bringing the building into the 21st-century but keeping the prewar feel of the public areas was very important to the board,” said Prouse. “The residents overwhelmingly prefer to retain the look of ‘old New York’ in the more public areas. LaMar’s LEDs made it easy to retrofit the existing style without sacrificing any illumination.”


In the common areas that see less daily use, such as stairwells and laundry rooms, LaMar installed occu-smart® LED fixtures. These bi-level, sensor-controlled lights deliver 100% illumination when a person is in the area or room, then dim down to save energy costs. State of the art LED drivers allow the lighting designer or installer to set multiple standby or low-light levels, with energy savings up to 88% of full output during unoccupied times.


Aside from the fixtures in the lobby, LaMar supplied 39 Dual-Level Luminaire (DLIRL) Occu-Smart motion sensor controlled fixtures for the stairwells. Common corridors were fitted with 50 MTRN “Monitor” ceiling-mount luminaires. The circular shape and appealing nickel accent fit the prewar time period of the rest of the building, and the integrated ultrasonic sensors maximized energy usage, dimming the fixtures to a fraction of their total illumination when the corridors are unoccupied.

In Conclusion
In the final tally, 4,186 watts of fluorescent lighting was replaced by LEDs that consume 3,777 Watts at full power, and only 2,272 Watts at reduced power.
As part of the NYSERDA funding program, the West Gate House is currently undergoing an energy usage monitoring/observation period to quantify the extent of the energy savings gained by upgrading the steam and lighting.


Email us at info@oblaneyrinker.com or call 212.577.2552 for more information on LaMar Lighting