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Guide to light timers and sensors

It can be hard to remember to turn off lights and other devices when they're not in use. Timers and occupancy sensors work automatically once installed, allowing you to set it and forget it.

Save effort and electricity with timers and sensors

Advanced light switches feature programmable timers. They enable you to program for certain lights to go on and off at set times.

Light timers are great for:

  • Setting exterior lights to turn on at dusk, off at dawn – based on your latitude/longitude.

  • Setting Christmas lights to go on and off.

  • Setting interior lights to turn on and off for a lived-in look while you're away on vacation.

Occupancy sensors turn the light on when motion is detected in the covered range. You can typically set them to turn off when motion is no longer detected for 30 seconds, 5 minutes, 15 minutes, or 30 minutes. They work well in spaces that are used occasionally, or spaces where a person is likely to have their hands full and thus not able to reach for a light switch.

At home, occupancy sensors work well in:

  • Closets and pantries.

  • Garages.

  • Storage and utility rooms.

In the workplace, occupancy sensors are great for:

  • Conference rooms.

  • Warehouse facilities.

  • Restrooms.

More sophisticated sensors can slowly dim the light rather than a hard shutoff.