Ceiling Mount vs. Wall Mount Occupancy Sensors From Veris

Posted on Thursday May 12, 2022 at 01:12PM  

Occupancy monitoring solutions help facility administrators to maximize the energy efficiency of a building while adding convenience for all occupants. Occupancy sensors for lights, for instance, save building occupants a trip to the light switch while ensuring unused spaces are not wasting electricity.

The types of occupancy sensors you need will depend upon your space’s configuration. While you’re evaluating our occupancy sensor products and accessories, take the time to explore both wall-mounted and ceiling-mounted options from Veris.

How Do Occupancy Sensors Work?

An occupancy sensor can use either passive infrared (PIR) or ultrasonic technologies to accurately detect occupancy and automatically switch room lighting on or off.

  • Passive Infrared (PIR) Detection: PIR sensors emit infrared light to detect motion. There are typically two slots in a PIR sensor, each of which can detect the presence of infrared radiation (heat). When a warm object such as a person enters the area, it will trigger the first and then the second detector window, representing movement. The occupancy sensor switch will turn the lights when motion is detected, and off again after a preset delay (if motion is no longer detected).
  • Ultrasonic Detection: An ultrasonic detection approach uses sound waves at a frequency higher than people can hear. Similar to the way a bat detects objects in its environment, the sensor sends out an ultrasonic sound pulse, which is reflected off of objects in its path and bounces back to the receiver. A person entering the room will interrupt the path of the sound pulse and it will take less time to bounce back to the sensor, signaling occupancy.

Types of Occupancy Sensors

An occupancy sensor can use one or both of the above motion-detecting technologies to confirm occupancy, but where you place the sensor in the room will depend upon your application and obstructions. There are two main types of occupancy sensors you can deploy.

  • Wall-Mounted Occupancy Sensor Switch: Typically PIR sensors are fitted within a light switch, this style of occupancy sensor is one of the simplest ways to achieve energy-saving lighting control with minimal installation time. These are common occupancy sensors for offices, small conference rooms, storage closets, and most common building areas. They’re also great for retrofit installations since they fit in the place of existing wall switches.
  • Ceiling-Mounted Occupancy Sensors: These types of occupancy sensors use PIR and/or ultrasonic technologies within a low-profile ceiling-mounted device. An ideal format for maximized motion sensitivity in large areas, you might choose a ceiling sensor in a space with high square footage or many ground-level obstructions. Choose these for large conference rooms, classrooms, multi-stall bathrooms, warehouses, and large office areas.

Veris MSB Wall Switch Occupancy Sensors


The Veris MSBPA1W Occupancy Sensor is an automatic occupancy sensor switch that detects motion with PIR technology to automatically control lighting for areas up to 1,000 square feet. With 180-degree motion detection and an adjustable time delay, it’s the easiest and most convenient solution for achieving energy savings. 

MSB sensors fit in place of existing wall switches, connect to existing wiring, and are compatible with both electronic and magnetic ballast loads. You can also use the bypass button for “always-on” operability as needed.

Veris MSC Ceiling Occupancy Sensors


The Veris MSCD2000 Occupancy Sensor combines passive infrared and ultrasonic occupancy technologies into a single sensor platform for ceiling-mounted applications. Detect motion and occupancy with up to 2,000 square feet of coverage and a full 360-degree field of view.

The coverage sensitivity of MSC Series sensors is adjustable from 60-100%. Daylight sensing capabilities also help your facility avoid any unnecessary lighting when there is sufficient ambient light — common in windowed areas. It’s easy to mount these sensors to drop ceilings and configure them for appropriate time delay and sensitivity.

If you have any questions about these Veris sensors (or occupancy sensors in general!), feel free to schedule a quick virtual meeting with one of our sensor experts and get the answers you need.

Clean Air Is Complicated

Indoor Air Quality Monitors

Comply with indoor air quality standards for healthy and safe building environments

Learn more