Do Motion-Sensor Lights Save Energy and Money?

We just noticed that many of the offices at work have motion-sensing light systems. People move into a room and the lights go on. After some time of inactivity, the lights go off. It's a great way to save a buck on electricity. But would it be useful in a home?

In the office, with so many people coming and going, it's tough to keep everyone accountable for turning off the lights when you leave a room. We understand the implementation of the lights for that reason.

But in a house, where the average household maxes out at 3 people, does it still seem like a useful idea?

Sure, it would be nice to make sure you never left the lights on accidentally. But will it really save you money?

Over at Planet Green, we found the answer we were looking for:

Motion sensors are best used in areas of the house that get little foot traffic: The garage, the bathroom, the stairwell, the porch, the front door, basement, the attic, the laundry room. When a person enters one of these rooms, the motion sensor will catch their movement and switch on the light. When the person leaves, the light will go out after a set period of time. This ensures that lights, like the basement light, do not get left on needlessly for hours or even days.

Although they warn that if you are the type to always shut the light off and you don't really need that extra assurance, installing motion sensors might have you end up use more electricity than you previously did

(Image: Flickr user Kai Ross under license from Creative Commons.)

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Taryn is a writer, maker, designer, and editor of lifestyle blog Formal Fringe. She lives in an apartment in Atlanta with her fiancé, their Boston Terrier and lots of serving dishes.