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Garage Lighting Ideas

Motion Sensor Switches – Leviton ODS10-ID

February 6, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Sensor Switch

Motion sensor light switches, or occupancy sensors, wire in just like a regular light switch, and are most often seen in public restrooms, but work just as well in your home, wherever your kids forget to turn the lights off when they leave, or for switching an outlet with other devices plugged in. This model turns the power on when it detects motion or the switch is pushed, and off after a predetermined duration  (30 seconds, 10 minutes, 20 minutes, and 30 minutes), or pushing the switch again.

This ODS10-ID Leviton occupancy sensor in particular is made to work with a wide variety of loads, including  florescent ballasts. You could also use it to run something like a bathroom ventilation fan. I would avoid the cheaper models, because this is one of those sensors that can be really irritating if it isn’t functioning right. You can wire several of these occupancy switches up to the same load (if you have an L shaped room or hall to light for instance) and the switch won’t go off if any of them have recently detected motion.

This is a single pole indoor motion sensor, and is not weatherproofed. It has a 180° sensing zone, up to 40′. It has adjustments for sensitivity, duration, and can be adjusted to only turn on if the ambient light is below a certain brightness, which is another great energy saving feature. There is a red LED in the sensor that blinks when it detects motion, so you can fine tune the controls quickly.

This fixture comes in different colors and fits standard Decora wall plates, so make sure you have one on hand.

This sensor switch can be found on amazon:
Leviton ODS10-ID Decora Wall Switch Occupancy Sensor (120/277V rating), White

Garage Lighting Ideas

Plug in Motion Light

January 31, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

plug in motion sensor security light

This corded plug in motion sensor light is great when you don’t want the fuss of installing something permanent. If you have a work bench in the garage, or other occasionally used locations like shed lighting, attics, and basements where you have electricity but wiring is inconvenient, where solar powered motion lights won’t get enough light, and battery powered lights just don’t put out enough light, then this is likely your best option. To my knowledge this is the only light of its kind, although it would also be easy enough to rig something with a motion sensing outlet or motion sensing light socket adapter.

The cord (grounded) is a bit short at eight feet, so you may also need an extension cord for those hard to reach places. This is a 100 Watt halogen floodlight, so it’ll be plenty bright. The motion sensor detects within 110° , and according to the manufacturer, up to 60 feet away, but I wouldn’t count on that range. It has dials for sensitivity and duration, though I’m not convinced they have much effect.

Bottom line: What it lacks in features it makes up for in convenience. The Cooper Lighting MS100PG Plug-in Motion Floodlight has a metal and plastic housing and should hold up alright outdoors, so long as you don’t leave the extension cord in a puddle.

You can find this light for sale on amazon, with prime shipping.

Garage Lighting Ideas

Motion Detector Light Socket | American Tack OMLC3BC

July 26, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

(Hemco) OMLC3BCmotion light socket

One of the difficulties of motion lights is that they generally don’t play nicely with CFL bulbs. This socket by American Tack is an exception, which makes it an excellent choice for those who put energy efficiency as a priority.

With a compact fluorescent bulb in addition to the motion sensor, this socket becomes an excellent choice for those off the grid. It can be used indoor or outdoor, and would be an excellent way to make sure those pantry/garage lights get turned off.

It accepts CFL, incandescent floodlights, and halogen, up to 150 watts, which gives you a lot of flexibility. The sensor is effective to 30 feet with a 180° detection radius, and the orientation is fully adjustable. The light will stay on for 10 minutes after the last motion is detected.

This is a relatively new unit on the market. Some thought seems to have gone into its manufacture, but if you are looking for something cheaper, or more proven, you may prefer this First Alert motion sensor socket.

Amazon sells the   American Tack (Hemco) OMLC3BC Outdoor Motion Activated Light Control for around $20.

Garage Lighting Ideas


May 17, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 


This little plug in motion sensor light plug isn’t terribly glamorous, but it is so useful it is worth picking up a couple just to have when you need one. Use a motion sensor indoor plug for your Christmas tree, so you don’t always have to go unplug it, use it for fans, lights, radios, and other things you only tend to use while you are in the room. You can even put them on the ends of extension cords to get a motion detector plug right where you want it for a specific task, like shooing the cat off the table with a fan. Use them to light up display cases or bookshelves as someone approaches them. Use a motion light plug for accent lighting for when you enter a room or bathroom at night and don’t want the main lights on.

A motion sensor outlet can be nice in the garage or other outdoor places that don’t get hit with bad weather, this model doesn’t sense passive infrared very quickly when it’s very cold.

The unit can handle up to 500 Watts, which should be enough for most things you would plug into it, but not for the higher powered heaters and air conditioners. It does have a safety fuse, and comes with a spare. There is a duration adjustment on the back (2-6 minutes), and a switch for night or anytime. They’re cheap, and they save a lot of electricity. This is one of those items that more than pays for itself in short order.

You can Get SensorPlugs on amazon.

Garage Lighting Ideas

Cheap Motion Sensor Light Socket | First Alert

April 25, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 


Attic lights, garage lighting and lighting basements are all situations where where a motion sensor light socket can save you a lot of money on electricity. These are places where if someone forgets to turn the light off, it can potentially stay on for quite a while without you noticing. The standard nature of this socket gives you flexibility. It accepts bulbs up to 100 Watts.

This fixture is about as easy to install as it gets. Just twist it into the existing light socket, and twist your bulb into the top. It senses motion in all directions. These lights have been out for many years and are reliable. They also make great pantry lights, since the light only comes on when you open the door, and you can’t forget it on.

You can purchase motion sensor light sockets through amazon here: First Alert PIR720RN Motion Sensing Light Socket

Related Products:

If you would prefer something more aimable, or you want to use a CFL bulb, you may prefer this motion detector socket by Aerican Tack.