The Benefits of Motion Activated Lighting

The Benefits of Motion Activated Lighting

Posted under Living With Low Vision, Low Vision Info

Recently my husband and I decided to take an afternoon to explore a new housing development that included 11 model homes with the latest in home decorating from window treatments to flooring to light fixtures.  As we walked into any room the lights automatically turned on and when we left, they automatically turned off.  The purpose for the builder was to save money on electricity so that the lights didn’t need to be left on all day, but for those with vision problems this technology could be a most convenient way to provide light without having to search or fumble  for switches on your walls or lamps.   Imagine walking into a dark hallway or bathroom and suddenly you have instant light. Or when your hands are full and a motion activated light automatically turns on in the kitchen, laundry room or basement. You can also illuminate places that typically don’t have lighting like a kitchen cabinet or a dark drawer.

Here are several benefits to motion activated lighting:


Apply Anywhere

Motion activated wall switches can be applied to any room of the house from the attic to the basement.  There are also battery operated motion detecting lights so you there is no  limit to where they can be placed.   With this type of lighting you can open up your kitchen cabinet of canned goods and the lights automatically turn on so you can now read the labels.


Easy to Install

A peel and stick application allows one to place a battery operated light bar or round discs under top cabinets to light up your countertops, inside cabinets to light up your shelves or in kitchen drawers to light up your cooking utensils. There are also motion activated light bulbs that screw into existing light fixtures and will detect motion if the top of the bulb is not obstructed. Some lights use magnets so the light can be attached to anything metal.


Bright LED Lights

Check the number of LED’s  for brightness. The number of LED lights range from 8-27.  LED lights never burn out so you won’t ever need to replace the bulbs.



The initial cost of these lights and light switches are in the range of  $10-$30.  The lights turn on when motion is detected and turn off automatically after a set time of around 20-60 seconds of no motion, saving energy.

Some sensors are activated only when it’s dark and someone or something moves in front of them, while others are activated only by motion during daytime and nighttime hours.   Installation can be as easy as magnets applied to something metal or adhesive pads that secure to almost any surface.   Here are some suggestions for where to place these lights – inside kitchen or bathroom cabinets, under upper cabinets, near stairs, by your front entry, inside closets, in hallways, pantries, bathrooms, linen closets, laundry rooms, garages, basements or attics.  For more tips on how better lighting can impact your vision and quality of life visit:

Low Vision Lighting


Leslie Degner, RN, BSN