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How To Wire A Motion Sensor To An Existing Light


Are you looking to increase the security and convenience of your home in Cranston, Rhode Island? One great way to do so is by installing motion sensor lights. These lights will automatically turn on when they detect movement, providing you with the added safety of not having to fumble for the light switch in the dark. If you already have existing lights in your home, you may be wondering how to wire a motion sensor to them. Don’t worry, with the help of B&K Electric, a family-owned electrical business based in Warwick, Rhode Island, it’s a simple process that you can easily complete on your own.

B&K Electric specializes in electrical repair, panel maintenance, and installation, and has been proudly serving the residents of Cranston, Warwick, and all of Rhode Island for over 17 years. Our experienced and knowledgeable electricians are dedicated to providing excellent customer service and ensuring that our community is well-lit and safe. So, if you’re in need of a licensed electrician for your home or business in the Warwick area or the greater Providence area, make us your go-to electrician.

Benefits of Motion Sensor Lights

Before we dive into the steps of wiring a motion sensor to an existing light, let’s first understand the benefits of having motion sensor lights in your home. The most obvious benefit is increased security. Burglars tend to avoid well-lit homes, so having motion sensor lights around the exterior of your home will make it less of a target. Additionally, the light turning on automatically can act as a deterrent for potential burglars. Furthermore, motion sensor lights provide convenience, especially if you have young children or guests who may have trouble finding the light switch in the dark.

Another benefit of motion sensor lights is energy efficiency. They only turn on when they detect motion, so they’re not constantly using electricity like traditional lights. This can also help lower your electricity bill in the long run. Plus, with advances in technology, there are now solar-powered motion sensor lights available, making them even more energy-efficient and eco-friendly.

Steps to Wire a Motion Sensor to an Existing Light

First, gather all the necessary tools and materials. You will need a motion sensor light kit, wire strippers, wire nuts, a screwdriver, and a ladder. Make sure to turn off the power to your existing light before starting any work.

Step 1: Prepare the Existing Light Fixture

Remove the light bulb from the existing light fixture and unscrew the fixture from the wall or ceiling. Carefully disconnect the wires connecting the fixture to the power source.

Step 2: Install the Motion Sensor

Follow the instructions provided with your motion sensor light kit to properly install the sensor. Typically, this involves securing the mounting plate to the wiring box and connecting the wires to the corresponding terminals on the sensor. Make sure to use wire nuts to secure all connections.

Step 3: Connect the Wires

If your existing light fixture had multiple wires, you will need to connect them to the corresponding wires on the sensor. Most motion sensors will have a black, red, and white wire. The black wire is the live wire, the red wire is the switched wire, and the white wire is the neutral wire. Connect the black wire from the sensor to the black wire from the power source, the red wire from the sensor to the black wire from the light fixture, and the white wire from the sensor to the white wire from the power source and the light fixture. Again, make sure to use wire nuts to securely connect the wires.

Step 4: Test the Sensor

Turn the power back on and test the sensor by walking in front of it. The light should turn on when motion is detected. If it doesn’t, double-check that all the wires are securely connected and that the sensor is properly installed.

Step 5: Secure the Sensor

Once the sensor is working correctly, secure it to the mounting plate using the screws provided. Then, carefully attach the light fixture back to the wall or ceiling.

Step 6: Adjust the Settings

Most motion sensor lights have adjustable settings for things like sensitivity and the duration of time the light stays on after detecting motion. Consult the instruction manual to adjust these settings based on your preferences.

Closing ideas

By following these simple steps, you can easily wire a motion sensor to an existing light and increase the security and convenience of your home. Of course, if you’re not comfortable working with electricity, it’s always best to hire a licensed electrician to do the job for you. At B&K Electric, we’re happy to assist with any of your electrical needs, including installing motion sensor lights. Trust us to keep your home well-lit and safe in the Cranston and Warwick areas and throughout Rhode Island.


Motion Sensor Lights,

Wiring Motion Sensor,

Existing Light Wiring