How to Install an Automatic Light Sensor

A motion sensor light mounted to a brick wall
  • 1-5 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 20-200
What You'll Need
New cover plate
Light bulbs
Needle nose pliers

Lighting with automatic sensors are an attractive feature that also act as a safety feature for the homeowners. It might appear to be a bit difficult to install an automatic sensor, but by following the steps mentioned below this task can be accomplished by any homeowner.

Step 1 - Power Off

For the safety of the whole house, make sure that there is no power supply in the house while installing the automatic light sensor. This is done to avoid any currents or electric shocks while working. Utilize a voltage tester to check if the power is off.

Step 2 - Remove Old Fixtures

porch light mounted to the house

Remove the old bulbs from the fixtures and with the help of a screwdriver, remove the bolts holding the fixture to the junction box. Then, while removing the second bolt, you need to make sure to hold onto the old fixture so it doesn’t fall out.

Step 3 - Unscrew Wire Nuts

Unscrew the wire nuts and separate them with the help of a screwdriver. There should be a black wire as well as a white wire present. Remove the old fixtures. Once the fixture is removed, you will be able to see a knockout on the cover plate, with a slit through it so you can unscrew it with a screwdriver.

Step 4 - Install Sensor

Get ahold of the automatic light sensor, which comes with a rubber ring gasket. Fit the appropriate wires through the gasket and move the gasket so that it is right against the base of the automatic sensor. Insert the wires through the knockout hole and attach the automatic sensor into it.

Step 5 - Wire

motion light mounted to wood ceiling

There will be a black, white, and red wire coming out from the automatic light sensor. Connect the white wire to the white wire fixture and the wall box. The black wire is connected to the black wire of the wall box and the red wire should be connected to the black wire of the fixture.

Step 6 - Use Electrical Tape

Cut a piece of electrical tape and wrap it around the wire nut and gently push the wires back into the junction box. The next step is to connect the fixture to the junction box with the bolts that are supplied to you.

Step 7 - Use New Bulbs

Turn the main power back on and the light should work, although it may need to sense movement first.

Lastly, you can also adjust and set the automatic light sensor by setting the light sensitivity on a range of high to low. Also keep in mind that if the light sensor is too high, then it might just become a nuisance and trouble your neighbors. This automatic light sensor will be able to light your way when you come home late at night.