Motion Sensor Activated Wall Light Switches

By on March 19, 2015

Normal people are probably asking “why do I need these when I’m in the habit of turning on a light switch when I enter a room?”  I had them in my previous home and believe me, when you get used to them, you’re left in the dark ALL the time. You don’t want to install this type of switch in every room of your home. There are certain rooms and spaces that make sense to have a motion sensor light switch.

I am totally sold on incorporating Motion Sensor Activated Light Switches into every home!

Motion Activated Wall SwitchRooms or spaces that are ideal for a Motion Sensor Activated Light Switch:

  • Bathrooms
  • Hallways
  • Entryways
  • Garage
  • Walk-in Closets
  • Stairways
  • Kitchen Pantry
  • Laundry Room

Just picture yourself waking in the dark hours of the morning with the urge for a bathroom break, you stumble around in the darkness feeling the walls to guide you into the bathroom and you enter and . . . WHALA, the light automatically turns on for you!  Then, when you’re finished with your business you leave and make your way back to your bed with the glow of your bathroom light behind you because you know it will turn off automatically!  After you experience it, you too, will think it’s pure genius!


Laundry in the dark . . .ugh


Motion Activated Switch

Motion Activated . . .Look, No Hands!

Ok, here’s another scenario,  and this one was mentioned by my wife because she does our laundry. I know, lucky me:) But she told me she wanted another one of these motion activated light switches installed in our laundry room.  She explained to me how she always enters the laundry room with her arms full, carrying a laundry basket and would like it if the light turned on automatically. My answer was yes, of course, and now we have a motion activated proximity light switch installed in our laundry room.

There are a couple details you’ll need to know before you go and purchase your motion activated light switch sensor.

  • Determine what type of light bulb you have in the light fixture you want to control. The main bulb types are incandescent, CFL, LED, and florescent.
  • Determine if you have a “single-pole” light switch or a “three-way” controlled light switch. Single-pole switches are the most basic switches. They simply turn a light on and off. They come in a variety of colors and are rated for 15 and 20 amps. Three-way switches control lights from two different locations. Common uses for three-way switches are hallways, stairwells, or large rooms like living rooms with more than one doorway in them.

These are the 2 different Motion Activated Light Switches that I recently installed in my home. 



Motion Activated Light Switch

GE Motion Activated Light Switch







I purchased the GE Motion Switches in bulk and saved money. But the GE Motion Switches caused a buzzing noise when I used it with a 4 foot florescent light fixture in my walking closet so I purchased the LURTON brand Occupancy Switch for this space and it worked perfectly! The Lutron occupancy switches do cost a little more but seem to work better when using along with florescent lighting. I’ve also used the Levitron branded motion activated sensor switches in the past and they work well. The most important thing to look for is the type of light bulbs they’re compatible with. You can find these motion activated or occupancy sensor switches at your local Home Depot, Lowes, or online stores such as eBay or Amazon.


SHOP and REVIEW:  Motion and Proximity Light Switches

INSTALLATION of Motion Sensor Activated Wall Light Switch

**WARNING**  Consult an electrician if you are not familiar with basic electrical knowledge! 

Please refer to your individual Motion Sensor Switch model’s Installation Manual for detailed instructions.

Watch the LUTRON/Meastro  installation video below for reference

I’ll explain my Very Cautious steps for the installation of a Motion Sensor Wall Switch:

  1. Turn ON the light switch that you want to replace.
  2. Turn OFF the breaker at your home’s main electrical panel that your current switch is currently on.
  3. Make sure the light switch you turned ON is still switched ON and the light has gone OFF (flip the switch a couple of times to make sure).
  4. Remove the light switch wall plate with a small head flat screw driver.


    Single Pole Switch & Electrical tester tool

  5. Take an electrical voltage tester and place it into the switch box and next to the wires and connections within the light switch box. Make sure there is no electrical current.
  6. Unscrew the top and bottom screws of the old switch and pull the switch out of the wall box. Dis-connect the 3 electrical wires (single pole switch).
  7. You should have 3 wires after you disconnect the switch. 1- Bare copper wire (ground), 1 – White/or Black Wire, 1- Black Wire.
  8. Connect your new Motion Sensor Activated Light Switch.
  9. Use included “Wire-Nuts” to twist together the three wires as described > Your bare cooper wire should be twisted together to the “green” wire of the motion switch, the 2 black wires from the motion switch should be twisted together with 1 to the black and 1 to the white wire (it doesn’t matter with the colors matching on these).

Watch Videos about Motion Activated Light Switches HERE!

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