How to Install a Three-Way Motion Sensor Switch

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A three-way motion sensor switch will save you money by turning lights on and off automatically when you enter or leave a room. It's useful for rooms like bathrooms or utility rooms, where you may forget to turn off the lights when you leave. A three-way switch offers dimming options unavailable with a regular switch -- a useful feature to have. You can install a three-way motion sensor switch even if your electrical wiring skills are limited.

Things You'll Need

  • Screwdriver
  • Wire cutters
  • Wire strippers
  • Wire nuts
  • Electrical tape
  • Turn off the power to the circuit you'll be working on at the circuit breaker panel. Confirm that the power is out by testing the light switch before you begin working.

  • Take out the screws at the top and bottom of the existing switch plate and remove the plate. Unscrew the screws at the top and bottom of the switch proper and pull it out of the wall box. Loosen the screws holding the wires onto the switch and remove the switch.

  • Cut off the ends of the wiring in the wall box with wire cutters, and remove 1/2 inch of insulation from the ends of the wires with wire strippers.

  • Place the bare end of the black wire from the new switch together with the bare end of the existing black wire. Place a wire nut over the ends and twist to hold the wires. Wrap electrical tape around the wires for extra insurance.

  • Place the bare end of the red wire from the new switch together with the bare end of the existing white wire. Place a wire nut over the ends and twist to hold the wires. Wrap electrical tape around the wires for extra insurance.

  • Place the switch in the wall box and attach with screws at the top and bottom. Read the programming instructions -- sometimes you must program the switch before placing the cover on. Place the cover on the switch when you're done programming it.

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References

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