Every time you walk into the bedroom with the laundry basket, you have to put it down to turn on the light switch. With a motion sensor light switch in the bedroom, the lights come on automatically when you walk into the room. Save yourself some time by installing motion sensor switches throughout the house. You'll no longer have to feel around in the dark for the light switch for the room.
Materials You'll Need
- flat blade screwdriver
- wire strippers/cutters
From the lighting supply area of your local home improvement store:
- motion sensor light switch
- decorative cover plate for the switch
DIY Steps to Installing a Motion Sensing Switch
- Shut the power off to the light switch being replaced.
- Take the cover plate off of the old switch. You won't be able to use this plate on the new motion sensing light switch.
- Loosen the two screws holding the switch in the electrical junction box.
- Pull the switch and the wires connected to it out of the junction box.
- Remove the green or bare copper wire (ground wire) from the screw on the side of the old switch.
- Cut off the black (hot) and white (neutral) wires from the back of the old switch.
- From the ends of the black and white wires, strip off about a half inch of insulation.
- Push the end of the black wire into the hole in the back of the motion sensing switch that is marked "Hot" or "Black".
- Push the end of the white wire into the hole in the back of the motion sensing switch that is marked "Neutral" or "White".
- Attach the green or bare copper wire onto the new light switch with the green or copper screw on the side of the switch.
- Push the wires and light switch back into the junction box.
- Tighten the two screws that hold the switch in place in the junction box.
- Find the adjustments on the bottom or sides of the motion sensing switch. Set these to control:
- the amount of time to wait to turn the lights on after a person has entered a room
- the amount of time to wait before turning off the lights after a person has left the room
- Put the new cover over the switch.
- Turn the power back on to the new switch.
Potential Problems That You May Encounter
If you have any of the following problems, you'll need an electrician to help you finish the light switch installation.
- The old switch didn't have a ground wire. The electrician will need to run a ground wire to the junction box.
- There are more than three wires going to the old light switch. The switch may be connected to a second light switch at the other side of the room. The electrician will have to sort out the wires to find the right ones to use on your new switch.
- The wires in the junction box don't match the black/white/green color coding standards. An electrician will determine which wires are hot, neutral and ground and mark them properly for safe installation of your motion sensing switch.
For more information, contact Midway Electric Inc or a similar company.