Motion activated wall swtich for controlling lights

Sometimes you need to monitor rooms in your house with something other than an alarm system.  You may be caring for an elderly person in the middle of the night. You don’t want an alarm going off in the middle of the night. That is too much stress and comotion for you and the person you are caring for. One alternative is to purchase a motion activated switch. This switch can then be hooked up to a light, or a wall outlet so that it can turn on a light or a radio perhaps.  This will alert you to a problem without setting off a loud alarm.

First, let’s review how much these switches cost. They run in the neighborhood of $20 dollars and up to around $60 dollars. They work the same way that a motion detection switch works to turn on lights outside your house. When something passes in front of the motion sensor, a switch is turned on and then you could have your lights come on or perhaps a switched outlet.

How well do these systems work you might ask. Many of them can detect motion from a good distance away, typically 15 to 30 ft. That is a good distance. I know that is 1/2 of my main floor area. I have experimented with some of these motion detection devices. Some of the poorer made ones will turn off the switch if they don’t sense any movement. I have seen these switches used before in individual offices. This doesn’t work very well sometimes because if the person stops moving in the office for some time, then the lights go off and that’s not fun in the dark.  Those types of systems are generally called “occupancy” motion detectors, which mainly watch to see if someone is in a room.

You can adjust some of these sensors to guage how much light is in the room so that they don’t turn on devices when it is daylight.  That is a handy feature as well.