How to Install a Motion Sensor Light Switch

Written by debbie cummings
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How to Install a Motion Sensor Light Switch
Motion Sensor Switches Have Different Ranges (

Motion sensor switches offer excellent energy-saving opportunities. Fifteen-, 30-, 60-minute and 24-hour timers are available depending on the one you prefer. The motion sensitivity can be either 150 or 180 degrees. This innovative way of saving energy will make a difference well worth the investment. Using these switches in the home or a business setting will allow you to start saving money immediately.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Sensor switch
  • Phillips-head screwdriver
  • Flat screwdriver
  • Circuit tester
  • Electricians tape
  • Wire connectors
  • Wire strippers

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    How to Install a Motion Sensor Light Switch

  1. 1

    Turn the power off at the circuit box to the light switch you will be changing. If the breakers are not identified by labels in the circuit box, you will have to turn them off randomly until you find the right one.

  2. 2

    Remove the wall plate from the switch you will be replacing. Using the circuit tester, test the switch to make sure there is no power.

  3. 3

    Clip the wires on the old switch with wire cutters. Using the wire stripper, remove the plastic insulation from the ends of the black and white wires.

  4. 4

    Connect the black wire on the motion sensor switch to the black wire coming from the outlet. Twist them together, and use a wire connector to hold them. Do the same with the red wire on the motion sensor, connecting it to the white wire coming from the wall. The green wire and the yellow wire will not be used. They can be capped with a wire connector.

  5. 5

    Put the wires back into the switch box carefully, and place the motion sensor in the switch box. Using the screws that came with the switch, attach the sensor to the outlet. Your new motion sensor is ready to use.

Tips and warnings

  • The wires may also be wrapped with electrical tape to help prevent them from coming loose.
  • Never work on electrical switches without first making sure the power is off.
  • If you are unsure of which breaker goes to the switch you will be changing, turn off each one until you find the right one.
  • The main breaker can be turned off if this makes you more comfortable.

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