Project Proposal: Motion Sensor Lights

Description and Overview:

The basic idea for my project is to see if it is feasible to install motion sensor lights into the Smith (East and West Wings), Bashford and Thompson dormitories. Currently only Stuyvesant, Hayes and Welch Halls have installed motion sensor lights within the past ten years. With the installation, these lights have decreased the cost of electricity significantly than just using the LED lights that are always on. Smith Halls have five floors each with twenty-four hour lights on, making this dorm one of the least electrically efficient buildings on our campus. The first step is to analyze the buildings without the motion sensors. To do this, I would have to require floor plans from Buildings and Grounds to map out all of the lights within each building. The next step is to set up a meeting with the head of Electricity at Buildings and Grounds, Gregg Blume, to get an estimate on the cost of lights, removal of current LED lights, installation of motion sensor lights and duration of the whole process. With this meeting, I will be able to get an estimate on how efficient this process will be for the long-term costs instead of keeping the twenty-four-hour lights on constantly. The purpose of this project is to maximize efficiency with motion sensor lights and reduce our carbon footprint on the residential side of the Ohio Wesleyan University campus in the future.


  1. Introduction or Overview
  2. The Dormitories
    • Halls with Motion Sensor Lights: Stuyvesant, Hayes and Welch Halls
    • Halls without Motion Sensor Lights: Smith (East and West Wings), Bashford and Thompson Halls – including walk-throughs of light placements
    • How efficient Motion Sensory Lights would be, and usage in the dorms without these lights
  3. The Meeting
    • Cost of Lights
    • Removal of older LED lights in all hallways of interest
    • Installation of Motion Sensor Lights
    • Labor Costs
    • Long-Term Cost and Benefits of Motion Sensor lights versus keeping the current light system
  4. Conclusion
    • Recommendations and Future work

Annotated Bibliography:

Petersen, John E., Shunturov, Vladislav, Janda, Kathryn, Platt, Gavin,

Weinberger, Kate. Dormitory residents reduce electricity consumption when exposed to real‐time visual feedback and incentives. International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education 2007 8:1 , 16-33

This study was focused on the Oberlin College’s dorms to research the efficiency and energy consumption of its residents. Their results of this research provide evidence of real-time resource feedback systems when combined with education and an incentive, interest, motivate and empower college students to reduce resource use in dormitories.

Blume, Gregg. Electrical Shop Supervisor at Ohio Wesleyan University.

Gregg gave me access to the floor plans of all the residency halls on campus that do not have the motion sensor lights installed in their hallways. He also gave me more details about how to walk-through all the halls to record where the current LED lights are and how my project could help influence the directors to follow through with the installation of these efficient lights.

Niwa, Minoru. Pulse oximeter with physical motion sensor. Colin Electronics Co., Ltd, 1991. Grant Number: US 07/531,769 1-11

Multiple types of sensors of these lights allow for different levels of sensitivity to turn on these lights for efficiency.

Shulman-Ment, Maya. Motion sensor lighting in Lord/Saunders. The Freen EDGE Fund, 2016.

Student Maya Shulman-Ment analyzes the possibility of installing motion sensor lights in the Lord and Saunders dormitories at Oberlin College, Ohio. This is a project idea but she has a good train of thought about how she can accomplish this project to move forward.

Britton, Rachel. Motion sensor lights going up in residence halls. Tommie Media. 2011

At St. Thomas campus dormitories, motion sensor lights were installed in 2011. The campus spent $2,658,635 for electricity the previous year and the motion sensor lights are expected to save 5% or approximately $130,000 on the total electrical cost.

Piekarz, Jeannie. Dormitory Motion Sensory Lighting. Clarkson University PDF 1-11

Eta Kappa Nu, or the Electrical, Computer and Software Engineering Honor Society wrote a project outline for installing motion sensor lights in the dormitories at Clarkson University. This society analyzed the materials needed, impacts, assessments, and feasibility of the installation of these lights.

Building and Grounds at Ohio Wesleyan University.

The Buildings and Grounds department will allow me to research cost of labor and installation costs that will allow for the motion sensor lights to be installed.

Sarkisian, Ellen. Benefits of Using Motion-Sensor Light Switches. The Eco Guide 2016.

Ellen Sarkisian uses multiple sources to analyze the effectiveness of motion sensor lights than the traditional LED lights. She uses national data to show an overall benefit to changing to motion sensor lights.

Energy.Gov Energy saver. When to Turn Off Your Lights.

The cost effectiveness of when to turn off lights depends of the types of lights and the price of electricity. This article analyzes the efficiency of LED lights as well as disadvantages to these lights.

College Programs to Reduce Energy Consumption in Dorms. Electric Choice.

This article shows how colleges all over the United States have raised awareness about college students’ consumption as well as kick-starting programs to encourage students to develop positive energy behaviors and reduce their energy consumption.

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