Archive for the ‘Motion Sensors for Lights’ Category

Motion Sensor Light Switch–Finding the Right One to Buy

 Finding ways to lower house hold expenses has become a very popular activity in resent years and there are hundreds of different ways to accomplish this. Since your electric bill is probably you highest utility expense it only makes since to try and lower it first. Once all of the basics like insulating and sealing windows and doors you can start using other methods like the use of a motion sensor light switch. These switches can be very effective at conserving electricity especially if you or others in your home have problems remembering to shut off the lights when leaving a room. They are best used in low traffic areas like bathrooms, basement or closets but can be used just about anywhere you want. In this article we will be comparing a variety of different motion sensor light switches and their features so that you feel more educated when you decide to buy.

Which Motion Sensor Light Switch Should I Buy?

Now one of the first things you will notice when you start looking at the motion sensor light switches whether online or in a home improvement store is the wide ranging prices which can be anywhere from $10 to $80 and everywhere in between. There are two reasons for the big price differences one being that some switches are just cheap and poorly made which you want to stay away from for obvious reasons and second is there are different types of switches that have more features. Which bring us to the next point, before running out and buying the first switch you come across you need to know what type of light you will be installing your motion sensing switch to. The reason for this is some switches will only work on incandescent bulbs so if you have florescent bulbs, CFL (Compact Florescent Lamp) bulbs or LED bulbs you will have to buy a motion sensor light switch that is designed to work with these types of lights. Another situation that requires a specific type of motion switch is for a light on a 3-way switch. For those that don’t know a 3-way switch is when you have two switches that turn on one light. In this situation you have two options you can either have two motion sensing switches or one normal 3-way and one motion switch. So know what you need before you buy.

Some of the Best Motion Activated Light Switches

So now that you know what type of switch you need let’s take a look at some switches you may be interested in for different situations. Like the Watt Stopper / Legrand RS-250-W-CS light and fan control switch which can be used with any type of bulb incandescent, florescent, CFL’s, Halogens or LED’s plus it can be used in conjunction with a ceiling fan as long as the fan has a 1/6 HP motor or smaller. The Watt Stopper comes in two colors white and ivory has an adjustable delay of one to thirty minutes, has a passive infrared sensor that detects motion at 180 degrees and is recommended for rooms up to 600 square feet.  A number of reviews can be found by clicking the picture as well as more detailed information on this switch.

The Leviton ODS10-ID Decora Wall Switch Occupancy Sensor is another motion switch worth looking at and is a good example of a higher end model. The ODS10 has many great features like being able to be used with any type of light (incandescent, florescent and low voltage), it can work with electronic or magnetic ballasts and has an auto on/off or manual on/off switch plus it will work on as a 3-way switch. It also has many adjustable setting like the field of view which can be adjusted between 32 and 180 degrees of arc covering up to 2100 square feet and the adjustable light sensor that keeps the lights from coming on if there is measurable amount of day light in the room. One other thing that makes this a great choice is the low profile design and the fact that it is actually made for commercial use so you know it durable. Customers on Amazon have rated this switch 4.5 stars out of 5 and give many tips on using it with the best results.

If you’re looking for something on the cheap end of the price scale then the Leviton PR180-1LW Decora 500W Incandescent, 400VA Passive Infrared Wall Switch Occupancy Sensor may be just what you are looking for. The downside to using the cheaper switches is that most are not made to handle anything but incandescent lights but if that’s what you have and plan to use then you shouldn’t have any problems. The PR180 -1LW is a cheaper version of the previous model with many of the same options but without the ability to be adjusted. For example it has a 180 degree field of view but it isn’t adjustable and it only covers 400 square feet but this should be fine for most closets and bathrooms. It also has ambient light sensor so the lights don’t turn on in the daytime but the sensitivity is non-adjustable as well. One feature that is adjustable is the delayed off time which can be adjusted from 15 seconds to 15 fifteen minutes.

Using a motion sensor light switch in your home can have many benefits ranging from saving money to giving you the comfort of knowing you will never have to fumble in the dark to turn a light on when your hands are full. The three products mentioned in this article are but a few examples of what is available (click to see full list). With over 25 different options you are sure to find one that you will love.

*Please note the links above direct to Amazon as I have found they offer the biggest selections and most competitive prices.*