However, after I walked around our home looking at each electric outlet I didn’t find a place where I could give it an honest trial. These plug in motion sensors are intended to switch on a lamp or some other small appliance when someone walks into the room.
Most of our room lights are plugged into outlets that are located behind furniture. As example, a motion sensor could not see through the couch to know when someone walked into the room.
I thought there was an opportunity in the kitchen. We have some plug in fluorescent lights stuck up under the cupboards. When I mentioned this idea to my wife, I got booted out of the kitchen.
We also have a plug in fluorescent light under the cupboard above the clothes washer. I put that light up to satisfy the need to see into the tub of our top loading washer. Using a flashlight to search for that missing sock gets old real fast.
Folks normally enter the laundry room with both hands carrying over loaded laundry baskets. A perfect use for motion sensor controlled light.
But, my loving wife uses that light as a signal. She leaves it on to remind herself that there is quilting fabric or laundry in the machine. As long as the machine is in use the signal light must stay on.
She reminded me that I am not allowed to enter the laundry room without special permission. Good thing I put in a low wattage light.
Fun with Motion Detectors
I can think of some practical joke uses for a plug in motion detector. I’d use it to turn on a tape recorder with a funny message when someone enters the room.
We have a small decorative pine tree named Douglas Fir who talks to you when you walk by it. I guess the Billy Bass wall mounted fish works the same way.
News Flash: Motion Detectors Use Electricity
I thought about using it in a hallway to turn on a nightlight when someone wanders around in the dark. But, it takes more energy to operate the motion sensor than it does to leave a LED nightlight on all the time.
The plug in motion detector that is getting some advertising buzz now is rated for 0.3 amps, when the light is off. That does not sound like much. But, it equals 36 watts times 24 hours a day or 0.86 kilowatts a day. That is about $37 a year in addition to the purchase price.
They might actually save money if they are used in an outlet that has a good clear view of the room to control a light that gets used often.
It can light your way and save money by shutting the light off automatically after is does not “see” any motion for ten minutes.
If you want to keep the light on you may have to wave at the sensor every few minutes. It would work well in an exercise room. If you rest too long between each exercise, the light will go off reminding you to get moving.
Don’t Over Power Your Motion Detector
I bought a motion detector that screw into a light bulb socket and then screwed in a 100-watt bulb into it for testing. It stopped working after about the third test. I then read the instruction that said it was recommended for no more than 75 Watts. Read the instructions first.
Keep in mind that all electric devices have a limit as to how much power they can control. Home use plug in motion detectors usually can safely handle 500 Watts of power. If you go over their power limit, they will either not work or you will be risking a fire. Do as I say, not as I do.
Safety Saves Money but Not Energy
Some motion sensors can make your home safer. Automatically turning on a light may prevent you from tripping as you cross a dark room to reach a light switch. Preventing injuries does save money.
Please leave a comment or send me an email if you have found an application where a plug in motion detector is saving you money on your electric bill.
by Birney Summers – 2009 All Rights Reserved