Our walk in closet lighting has been a problem for a few years. You see, the single bulb light is a pull chain type fixture. There is no switch on the wall to control it. Those fixtures are rather cheap. I have replaced the pull chain several times and I am not sure what it is but they don’t seem to last very long. I was fed up having to replace the pull switch and I was determined to add a wall switch to the light fixture to lessen the hassle of replacing the pull chain switch every year. While at the hardware store I passed by the outdoor lighting section and a light literally turned on above my head. That’s when it hit me. What if I installed a motion-detecting light that would automatically turn on and shut off when there was no more movement in the closet? This would solve a two-fold problem. I was as guilty as my wife of leaving the light on on more than a few occasions.
After looking around I had gathered materials for wiring a wall switch with a motion detector integrated into the switch. As I started to make my way back through the outdoor lighting section, a device wrapped in entirely too much plastic caught my eye. The device was a screw-in lighting fixture with a built-in motion detector. It was not going to be a pretty solution but I would not have to fish electrical wiring through the walls. Who even looks up at the light in a closet anyway? The only time I look up there is to change the bulb or switch. I replaced incandescent bulbs with LED bulbs a couple of years ago so I have not had to replace a bulb since then. Now, hopefully, I will not have to replace a switch.
I did have to leave the glass bulb off the fixture, but again I am going for usability not looks in this case. I just screwed the new motion detector in the light fixture, made sure the pull chain switch was on and screwed in the bulb. The motion detector has a user selectable shutoff timer. I set it to shut off after one minute of inactivity. It took a couple of weeks of learning not to reach up to pull on the chain. I shortened it to a stub so we would not accidentally pull on it. My wife has commented that I should have done that upgrade sooner. Now I have plans to add the detectors to the bathrooms. My daughters are always leaving the lights on in there. Those will be the wall switch type detectors.
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