Stop fumbling in the dark. Install an occupancy sensor instead. These smart home must-haves automatically turn the lights on when you enter the room. Plus, they automatically turn off when you leave, meaning less wasted energy if you forget to flip the switch on the way out the door.
Occupancy sensors are also easy to install. On most outlets, the task can be completed in 15 minutes or less. All you need are a few simple tools and access to the outlet's circuit breaker.
What You Need
- Occupancy sensor (we used a Lutron Maestro occupancy sensor)
- Wire caps
- Occupancy sensor switchplate cover, if desired
Step 1: Turn Off Power
Turn off power at the circuit breaker for the room or outlet where you'll be installing the sensor. Flip the switch on and off to confirm the power is out.
Step 2: Remove Switchplate
Remove existing switchplate cover with a screwdriver. Then unscrew and disconnect the standard switchplate. Remove wires, one at a time, paying attention to the existing wire placement.
Step 3: Connect Sensor
Connect the occupancy sensor to the outlet, one wire at a time. The green and bare copper wires from the switchplate attach to the ground wires in the outlet. The black wires from the switchplate connect to the black wires in the outlet. Cap off any remaining wires with wire caps.
Editor's Tip: Carefully read the manufacturer's instructions for your sensor before installing, especially if you're installing the sensor on a dual-circuit switch. You may need to connect the wires differently.
Step 4: Screw In Sensor
Once the wires are all connected or capped, push them back into the wall. Screw the sensor switchplate into place with a screwdriver. Attach sensor switchplate cover, if desired. Restore power at circuit breaker.