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Motion Sensors: Lighting your Dark Places Efficiently

Motion Sensors: Lighting your Dark Places Efficiently By Craig Friesen
HIPhome Columnist
December 31, 1969

The typical place to see a motion sensor is in a security-conscious building or with home security systems to activate features such as video surveillance. You will also see motion sensor lights outside in residential areas. But sensors are also great for providing light inside your home.

Most people are more familiar with lights operated with a photocell like some nightlights. When the sensor on the photocell does not receive enough light it turns on the bulb. Motion sensors wait for movement instead of darkness in order to activate. This allows some great functional and energy efficiency uses without compromising on your home décor.

The Motion Sensor in Action

How often have you gone downstairs in the dark and spent anxious moments fumbling for a light switch that never seems to be in the right place? A nightlight with a photocell can resolve this problem but the light will likely be on more hours than needed. Ideally, the sensor would only turn the lights on when you are there. This is where a motion sensor light is not only functional but is also energy efficient. The motion sensor recognizes unusual movement around it and responds by activating the light. It will then stay on for a preset time or for as long as it detects movement around it. Some motion sensor lights can also be voice activated to initiate the lighting or keep it on. Often installed over a light switch, motion sensors do not have to look like they are part of a security system.

Practical Places for a Sensor

Whether for security purposes or just to light up the dark places in your home efficiently, here are some suggestions for placing a motion sensor light:
  • Make your stairwells safer with a sensor;
  • Basement rooms with light switches in hard to find places;
  • Inside the garage for motion sensor lighting when you take out the trash;
  • Sidewalks along the house can be made less hazardous with a motion sensor.


About the Author
Craig Friesen is a freelance writer and an ordained Mennonite minister in rural Saskatchewan, Canada. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Religious Studies from University of Manitoba and a Master of Divinity degree from Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary in Elkhart, Indiana. A computer hobbyist, Craig operates several home-based online businesses in his leisure time.

*Before you apply any of the advice described on the Hip-home.com website, you should consider if the advice is safe and suitable for your individual home situation and consult experts as necessary to evaluate the suitability for your circumstances.
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