By Gene and Katie Hamilton
Make your light switch a motion-sensing switch and enjoy the safety of having instant lighting. Just walk in a room and the light goes on, so there's safe footing and no surprises. Stand on a staircase to walk down a dark stairwell and instantly the basement is illuminated. It's not magic, it's a light switch with a sensor that turns on when it detects motion. It's easy for anyone to replace an existing switch with one of these motion-sensing devices because there's no additional wiring to install. Even if you normally shy away from electrical projects, this is easy and you'll appreciate your effort every time you use the switch.
An electrician will charge $126 to install one of these devices. That includes labor and material. You can buy the device for $25, install it yourself, and save 80 percent. It's well worth your time and effort. It's a simple job of turning off the power at the circuit breaker, removing the old switch and cover plate, and then replacing it with the new one. Adjust the control panel of the new device and it's good to go.
Don't be surprised if you end up installing these devices throughout the house, especially at both ends of a long hallway or at the top and bottom of the attic staircase. They work with both regular incandescent lighting and rapid-start fluorescent fixtures.
Here's Nerd Techy's take on the Best Motion Sensor Light Switch Outlets.
That sums it up. Knowing the average cost to install a motion sensing switch lets you compare doing it yourself with what you can expect to pay a contractor. To customize the cost to where you live add your ZIP Code in the cost box.
Improvement and Repair Cost Updated 2018
The cost and time data is generated by averaging labor and material data from annually updated cost books used by contractors and refined by the authors'
experience remodeling 13 houses. They are authors of 20 home improvement books and Do It Yourself or Not, a weekly column syndicated by Tribune Content
Agency. The national cost can be adjusted by ZIP Code.