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How to install a motion sensor light switch

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Today, I’ll be discussing the installation process for a motion sensor light switch that can greatly benefit various areas of your home. As someone who had never ventured into electrical projects before, I initially had reservations about installing an occupancy motion sensor light.

Installing a motion sensor light switch is a breeze and doesn’t require an electrician and yes, you can add a motion sensor to an existing light! With the assistance of my brother, we quickly installed the new motion sensor light switch.

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Motion Sensing Light Switch

We installed the Lutron Motion Sensor in one of our bathrooms which has been a huge help in keeping the lights off when not in use.

What is a motion sensing light switch?

1. Motion-sensing light switches detect movement within a designated area and automatically turn on the lights when someone enters the room.
2. They can be set to time out after a certain period of inactivity, allowing lights to shut off even if no one is there to manually switch them off.
3. These switches are an energy-efficient, cost-saving solution for both residential and commercial spaces as they help reduce unnecessary electricity consumption when an area is not in use.

As a visual learner, I believe that seeing the wires and understanding the switch installation process will greatly assist anyone who feels daunted by this project.

Although I initially found this project intimidating due to my lack of experience in electrical work, in reality, there was no need to worry. It turned out to be remarkably simple and surprisingly quick.

Motion Sensor Light Switch Directions

Step 1: Turn off power at the electrical panel

Shut off the main breaker in the electrical panel. Locate the panel and open it to reveal the breakers. Flip the main breaker switch to “off” position to disconnect power from the home.

Step 2: Remove your existing light switch

Remove the light switch cover plate from the wall and pull out the existing wires and switch.

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Step 3: Remove the existing switch

Unscrew the two screws holding the wires in place. Depending on what type of existing switch you have, this may be different.

Step 4: Find your ground wire inside the wall

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Step 5: Tie the silver and green wire together on the back of the Lutron Occupancy Sensor

Note in video how we tied the wires together and connected to the existing ground wire in your wall.

Use the yellow nut cap supplied with the sensor to fasten all the wires together.

Screw the yellow cap until it is tight (as shown in video).

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Step 6: Connect the wires

Connect the two black wires on the back of the sensor to the two wires from your wall. Use the yellow nut caps to fasten the wires together. The same as in step 5.

Step 7: Tuck Wires Back In Hole

Once all the wires are connected, tuck the wires into the wall hole as neatly as possible. Fasten the sensor to the wall with the screws provided.

Step 8: Add the matching Lutron plate switch cover

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The install directions with the motion sensor light provide detailed instructions on how to set and adjust the motion timer/sensitivity levels.

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The motion sensor light offers a very modern and stylish look which is appealing to the eye.

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Here is the latest Lutron motion switch ranked by google and Amazon as one of the best motion light switches

I chose to have the bathroom light come on at the high setting (high sensitivity) and shut off after one minute of no motion. If you are loving the idea of a motion sensor switch indoors, be sure to check out the outdoor motion sensor light options as well. It’s so nice having the lights automatically come on and shut off!

Disclaimer:  We are not responsible for the outcome of your installation including but not limited to zapping yourself. Shut the breaker off! Consult an electrician if  you are unsure.

How to install a motion sensor light switch

Meet Jessica

What started as a hobby, Jessica’s blog now has millions of people visit yearly and while many of the projects and posts look and sound perfect, life hasn’t always been easy. Read Jessica’s story and how overcoming death, divorce and dementia was one of her biggest life lessons to date.


  1. Cindy Parisi says:

    What a great idea. I am always turning lights off, even at my place of business (I’ve actually turned the lights off when I didn’t realize someone was in an office). I’d love to try this motion sensor light switch.

  2. Sheila Moore says:

    My husband says he’s always turning lights off after me…lol…would love to try one of these.

  3. I didn’t even know these existed! Hmmm, I’m coming up with some ideas. Thanks for letting us know about these and for showing us they aren’t too intimidating to install.

  4. My Boyfriend is the worst at turning off lights. I swear it’s like he doesn’t know how:) I’ve never heard of using motion lights in the house, but its an awesome idea

  5. Erika Svard says:

    We have 16, 6, and 3 year old girls! I could probably put a sensor light in every room of the house! However, I would start with the main hall bathroom! That light is always on.
    Thanks for the chance to win

  6. I am the worst about leaving the light on:(

  7. This is my husbands biggest pet peeve – lights left on. This would be fantastic!

  8. izzy miller says:

    Great idea! We could definitely use this with the kids!

  9. Very cool Jess! I need to put these in my kids bathrooms for sure!!! Great video! I’d love to install one in my pantry too!

  10. Allison Grasso says:

    This would be great in the kitchen…kids always leave light on.

  11. The bathroom is a great place for this! I am constantly turning the lights off in there!

  12. Irene Lund says:

    I would love this for my kids bathroom and our half-bath. Lights are constantly left on.

  13. I love this! Hubby is the worst at leaving lights on all over the house. I was raised with 5 siblings and my parents were always after us to turn the lights off, so it’s just a habit with me.

  14. Laura Abanedo says:

    I NEED this in my laundry room anyone in the house that goes there they leave the lights ON.

  15. The house gremlin named, “Not Me” leaves lights on in my house…. the same one who moves things and doesn’t put them back!

    I’m not really sure which room I would put a motion sensor light switch in first…. I’d have to give that some thought!

    Thank you!

  16. I’m the one guilty of not turning out the lights 🙁 hahaha…but i’m sure once I have kids it will switch to them.

  17. My son refuses to turn off the bathroom light when he’s done! I would love to put one of these in my bathroom!

  18. I do! it’s worst in the master closet.

  19. Looks great and saves money, too! Perfect. My laundry room is the room that stays light and bright because the switch is almost inaccessible. The motion switch seems like the perfect solution.


  20. Laurel Sandler says:

    Great idea..my husband always leaves the bathroom lights on…drives me crazy!!!

  21. I would love one of these in my craft room. I’m that person that always walks out with the light left on!

  22. These are so amazing! I seriously could use one in my pantry. I’m always forgetting and leaving the light on. Great video too!

  23. My fiance leaves every light on wherever he goes, but in our bedroom would be the best place to have the sensor, especially when I have my hands full of laundry & can’t reach the light switch easily!

  24. we are pretty good at turning them off but sometimes my husband forgets a light or two on his way out the door for work.

  25. I totally need these in my house!!! My kids and hubby are SO bad about turning the lights off!

  26. The biggest culprit in my house is my HUSBAND! And according to his mom, it’s been a problem since he was little 🙂

  27. Megan Cuy Castellanos says:

    Our family room/play room could totally use a motion sensor. Or maybe the laundry room. Or the storage room…. Ok, I could use at least 3 of these things! 🙂

  28. Our roommate leaves lights on in the main living spaces a lot. He also leaves them off. a lot. when it’s dark and we’re getting home late. Clearly these sensors would change my life and keep me from being afraid of the dark. 🙂

  29. Shari Montague says:

    With 5 kids and a husband who refuses to turn off a light switch, I’ve been wanting to have motion sensor lights in my home for years. I didn’t think it would be something I could do without hiring an electrician. I’m excited to try these!

  30. My husband always falls asleep with the light on in the living room. I would love to win these for there!

  31. I was just looking at these today at Lowes and then saw this in my Pinterest feed. Thanks for the great tutorial!

  32. I think I’d install one in the laundry room. That seems to be the light “no one” always leaves on!

  33. Great job. Hope to win.

  34. There are many rooms I would love to install these switches into…. our entryway, play room, kids bedrooms…heck, maybe every room! 🙂

  35. My niece! Would install in the kitchen as the switches are in weird places.

  36. What an awesome prize!! I would love one of these.

  37. Would LOVE this! My kids are forever leaving the lights on!

  38. i’m trying to convince spousal unit Tom Bodett doesn’t live here and we DON’T need to leave a light on… need this for multiple rooms!

  39. Marsha Anderson Corns says:

    Our children leave their restroom light on all of the time! I have to ask if their restroom is afraid of the dark:)

  40. I have only two wires in my switch box. Does a sensor switch work without being hooked to a ground?

    1. Consult the Lutron customer service department that is located on the packaging or a licensed electrician.

  41. Thanks…but…

    Find The Ground Wire…

    How do I find the ground wire…which one is it and then what do I do with it and do I have to do the ground wirey thingee first.

    Have always wanted to do this, but again…it’s the ground wire thingee.

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