How To Install Closet Motion Sensor Lights

How To Install Closet Motion Sensor Lights

Jason Yang
Mar 30, 2011

Tired of being constantly reprimanded for leaving the lights on, I did what any sensible man would do in such a predicament. I worked hard to remember to always turn out the lights when I left a room. I bought an inexpensive motion sensor and swapped out the light switch. Read on for a simple installation guide for a quick way out of the doghouse!

There have been some great ideas from Unplggd on location and battery powered lights and I decided to give it a go. I wanted a closet full of light and decided to install a motion sensor switch over smaller battery powered units. While the energy/cost savings are debatable, my reasons were pure convenience. The switch itself was inexpensive, only $20 from the local Home Depot. Installation is a snap and you can do it yourself in 15 minutes.

If you're in any way uncomfortable playing handyman, please do call a professional electrician. If any readers notice any issues with my installation, please comment and let me know asap so I can run home and shut off the power. ;) Otherwise, follow these quick and easy steps to install a motion sensor light switch in your closet or anywhere in your home.

1) SHUT OFF THE POWER! I can't stress this enough as you really don't want to electrocute yourself. Turn on the light you are working on, identify the circuit, and shut it off. The light should now be off! Check and double-check. Make sure you have plenty of ambient light or a flashlight on hand to see where you're working.

2) Remove the old light switch. Unscrew the cover and assembly, then pull everything out without damaging the existing wires. Disconnect the existing wiring, noting the (generally) black line (hot) wire and red load wire. If your box does not have a ground wire, you'll need to use a wire nut or electrical tape to cap off the wire from the motion sensor and/or attach it to the metal wire box itself.

3) Install the new motion sensor light switch. Connect the black line (hot) wire, red load wire, and ground wire if you have it. Carefully put the wires and assembly back into the wire box and screw everything back in. Get yourself a new matching wall plate and you're ready to switch the power back on to test.

Delight in your handiwork and the comfort of no longer worrying about being nagged for leaving the light on.

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