How To Install A Motion Light Switch For Added Safety

If you’ve often found yourself searching a wall in the dark for a light switch, you might want to consider a motion detecting switch! Similar to a motion detecting light, these switches will detect any movement and automatically turn the light on for you!

These switches are great for garages, basements and tool sheds. But, they’re also very handy to have in the home to provide hallway, or bathroom light during the night. They’re very easy to install and you can do it yourself with just a few simple tools.

You just replace one of your regular light switches with the motion activated switch. Many models also feature a delayed setting, you can have the light switch off automatically at a set time after you leave the room. It’s a great way to add safety to dark areas of your home.

Anytime that you work with electricity the most important thing to remember is to turn off the breaker to the outlet or room you’re working in. Most breakers are labeled for each room, but if you’re not sure exactly which one you need to turn off, turn the light on and keeping flipping the breakers off until the light goes off.

Remove the cover plate from the light switch, it’s a good idea to use a circuit tester to check to make sure that there’s no electricity on the wires as a added precaution. If you’re sure that’s the electricity is off, remove the two screws that hold the receptacle in place.

There will be three wires that are connected into the back of the switch. One will have a white vinyl covering and one will be black, the third wire will be bare and it is just the ground wire. But, the ground wire won’t be used when installing the motion detector switch.

You can loosen the screws or braces that hold the wires in place, but it’s best to just cut them off. Starting with a fresh piece of wire can help prevent breakage from crimped areas in the old connections. Once you’ve removed the wires, cut the vinyl with a utility knife or a wire stripper if you have one.

If you’re using a knife, just cut the vinyl all the way around the wire about an inch back on the wire and pull the vinyl off. Now the wires can be hooked into the new receptacle. Some models vary in the way the wires are connected. But, generally the wire will either be wrapped around a screw and tightened or there will be little tabs that you pull out and insert the end of the wire into a hole closing the tabs back against the wire.

Follow the manufacturers instructions as to which wire to place in each connection. With most switches it doesn’t matter where you put a specific color wire, but make sure before you hook them up. After you’ve got the ends of the wires connected to the new switch, push any excess wire back inside the plastic box and into the wall out of the way.

Place the switch into the box in the correct position lining up the screw holes and secure it into place. You will also need to set your controls, the instructions will tell you how to set the amount of time before the light comes on when someone enters the room and the amount of time to stay on after someone leaves the room. Once you’ve got your settings adjusted, attach the cover plate to the switch and you’re done!