Lights Out: Sensor Light Switches
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Light switches out of reach of the little people in your household? Kids leaving the lights on when they head out for school? Here's a solution that will save energy, offer independence to kids who can't reach the light switch, and reduce your need to nag bigger kids to turn out the lights. Above: Occupancy sensor switches with auto-on and auto-off operation are ideal for playrooms and children's bathrooms where switches may be out of reach and where you want to encourage your child's independence. They are also great for rooms like the laundry room (no more propping the door open with your hip while you wrestle with a laundry basket as you reach for the light switch). Most are equipped with adjustable time-out settings ranging from 1 to 30 minutes. They are easy to install and relatively affordable. Image via Flickr. Above: Designed for residential use, the Leviton Universal (Model #IPS05-1LZ) Occupancy Sensor has a 180-degree field of view for an automatic on and off functioning and an ambient light sensor that prevents lights from turning on when there is ample natural light; $29.99 at Amazon. Lutron offers the sleek Maestro Occupancy Sensor Switch for $44.25, also at Amazon. Above: While they require you to manually turn on the lights, vacancy sensor switches are a better choice for childrens' bedrooms (you don't want the lights to turn on when enter the room to check on your sleeping child, or when a child tosses and turns in bed). By turning lights off when the room is vacant, they effectively reduce energy waste and nagging. The Lutron Maestro Vacancy Eco-Dim Switch detects when a room has been vacated and automatically turns the lights off. An adjustable timeout function allows you to set the time before the lights turn off. This model also features an energy saving dimmer function; $38.81 at Amazon. For more ideas, check out our posts on Children's Lighting .