A few weeks ago, I installed an occupancy-sensing switch in our bathroom. It was trivially easy and super helpful. And they're reasonably priced (only about $20), so I'd really recommend people try one out. Today I wanted to check in and let you know what I think about having one in the house, and why I think they're great. But don't forget to scroll down to the bottom of the post to learn how you can enter to win five Lutron Maestro Occupancy Sensing switches of your own!
So, you may not know this, but the world of switches (and outlets, for that matter) has progressed a lot in the last few decades. Now there are specialized switches for all sorts of things (occupancy/vacancy sensing, timers, dimmers, remote controlled, you name it). Power outlets can now come with USB charges, built-in tamper resistance, and even rotating receptors.
We installed Lutron Maestro dimmer switches all throughout the house last year, and I have to say – hands down – it's the biggest bang-for-your-buck upgrade we made. Nicer switches definitely cost more (about 10 times more than the standard toggles), but since you probably don't have that many in your house, the total doesn't add up to a huge number. And the payoff is worth it. Our dimmer switches add a touch of luxury to every room (weird, I know, but it just feels fancy to be able to set the light to any level).
Anyway, occupancy sensing switches have an even better justification: they can help save on your electrical bill. I love that I don't really have to worry about our kids turning off the light in the bathroom anymore; I know it'll just go off by itself after a little while.
And the convenience factor of having a sensing switch in the bathroom is huge. Grabbing a wet and slippery kid out of the tub to put him to bed? Don't sweat the light switch; it'll take care of itself. Going to the bathroom in the middle of the night (or worse, taking your four-year-old there)? The light comes on automatically the moment you enter the room. Honestly; I almost never touch the bathroom light switch anymore. It just goes on when I go in, and turns off after I'm gone.
If you're on a tight remodeling budget, but want to do something easy to give your space a 'nicer' feel, I'd suggest looking at some switch upgrades. They're great.
The prize is five
This post sponsored by Lutron. All opinions are mine alone.