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The Maestro Motion Sensor Light Switch

Your Laundry Room Needs This

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by Jeff Patterson in Interior DIY Projects

Being a busy person is tough stuff and that’s one of the reasons you’ll love a motion sensor light switch.

Does this sound familiar: you walk into the laundry room carrying all your clothes and can’t turn on the light.

Or, you forget to turn off a light only to find it on after being at work all day!!

You need a motion sensor light switch because it’ll turn your lights on and off automatically. Initially my wife was skeptical as to how well this kind of switch would work but now she’s requested one for our closet.

I chose to use the Lutron Maestro because it was mentioned in a few podcasts and sounded like a cool product.

The Maestro also prevents expensive light bills since you can set it to turn off 1 minute after you leave the room. But it’s sensitive enough to keep your lights on while you’re reading or doing paper work.

The cool part about the Maestro is that it has two different modes.  Occupancy mode automatically turns the light on and off for you. Vacancy Mode allows you to turn the switch on by hand and then the light goes off automatically if no one is using the room. What do you think? Isn’t this perfect for homes with kids or forgetful adults like myself?

Here are the supplies you need to install the Maestro:

Holy toledo, this has to be my shortest supply list to date! These Amazon links help support HRT, so many thanks when if you use them.

The installation of the Maestro is pretty darn easy. You’ll be enjoying hands free light control and lower electric bills at the same time. Sweet!!

Let’s get to it

How to Install Your Maestro Motion Sensor Light Switch

The installation instructions in this tutorial explain how to replace a single-pole switch with a single-pole version of the Maestro motion sensor light switch.

Single-pole switches are easy to spot because they have two screw terminals plus one green grounding screw.

Single Pole Light Switch

The first step with any electrical project is to turn off the electricity to the circuit that controls the light switch you want to replace.

Before continuing on with the installation, test the switch to see if there’s still power running to it. Turn it on and off.

Take off the switch’s faceplate. Then remove the mounting screws that hold the switch to the electrical box. At this point DON’T touch any wires. Gently pull the old switch from the electrical box by holding the tabs on either end.

Test for power by touching one probe of the circuit tester to the bare copper ground wire and the other probe to each screw terminal. If your circuit tester lights up like a Christmas tree you still have power running to the switch. You’ll need to find the correct circuit that feeds electricity to the switch and turn it off (unless you’d like your hair to look like Einstein’s). You can also use a voltage tester to test for power.

Once you’re sure power is off TAKE A PICTURE of your switch’s current wiring. Trust me, you’ll want this photo as a reference.

There are three different wiring scenarios for a single-pole switch

  1. One electrical cable (you’ll have a black, white, and bare copper wire in your electrical box)
  2. Two electrical cables (you’ll have two black, two white, and two bare copper wires in your electrical box)
  3. Two electrical cables (one cable has a black, white, and bare copper wire while the second cable has a black, white, red, and bare copper wire)

If you have one electrical cable entering your electrical box the installation of the motion sensor switch is super easy. First, wire the bare & green ground wire from the Maestro to the ground wire in the box using the correct size wire nut (the yellow nuts that come with the Maestro will accommodate 3 wires and I used one for this step). Cap the blue wire on the Maestro with a second wire nut. Wire one black wire on the Maestro to the black wire in your box and the second black wire from the Maestro with the white neutral from the box (again using the correct size wire nut).

If you have two electrical cables entering your electrical box the installation process is very similar. Your white wires should be connected together with a wire nut and pushed to the back of the box. You’ll have two ground wires instead of one. Just connect the bare wire and ground wire from the Maestro to the two ground wires. Then connect one black wire from the Maestro to one black wire in your box and the second black wire from the Maestro to the second black wire from your electrical box.

 

The third wiring scenario that involves a red wire is a bit more involved. It’s very similar to the second installation procedure in that your white wires will be wired together and pushed to the back of the box. The red wire acts as a hot wire and will need to be connected to one black wire from the Maestro.

The next step is to connect both black wires together from the electrical box with a third piece of wire that will then connect to the Maestro’s second black wire. Fortunately, Lutron provides the extra piece of wire in case you don’t have one. This is the wiring situation we had in our laundry room. It’s not super complicated but needs a bit more explanation than the first two scenarios. And this is one reason I made the video below

Making safe wire connections is just as important as knowing how to correctly wire your new motion sensor switch. The next step is to program your Maestro switch.

Programming Your Maestro Motion Sensor Light Switch

In order to truly get a great experience from the Maestro you need to set up the

  • Timeout (time it takes for the lights to go off after your room is vacated)
  • Sensor Mode (more on this below)
  • Motion Sensor Sensitivity (how quickly the your light turns on when you enter the room)

There are also three parts on the Maestro you should be aware of in order to program it: the large push button, small tab to the right of the push button, and light/motion sensor.

 

Setting the Timeout for the Maestro

You can program your Maestro to turn off  1, 5, 15, or 30 minutes after the room is vacated. In order to achieve a 1 minute Timeout, press and hold the large push button until you see the light/motion sensor flash two times. To get a 5 minute Timeout you need to press and hold the large push button until you see 3 flashes. Here’s a quick breakdown

 Maestro Timeout Mode

 

Setting the Sensor Mode for the Maestro

The Sensor Mode is just as easy to set up as the Timeout. There are three different types of Sensor Modes

  • Auto-On and Auto-Off (aka Occupancy Mode):  your lights automatically turn on when you enter the room and automatically turn off when you exit, kinda makes you feel like Darth Vader
  • Manual-On and Auto-Off (aka Vacancy Mode): you’ll have to manually turn on the light by touching the large push button but the light will automatically turn off when you exit
  • Auto-On Daylight Sensing and Auto-Off: your lights will turn on only if natural light in the room is low and will turn off automatically

You can “Train” the Maestro in the Auto-On Daylight Sensing mode to be more sensitive. For example, if the Maestro turns on when there’s enough natural light  or doesn’t turn on if there isn’t enough natural light , you can press the large push button within 5 seconds of entering the room. This will eventually teach the Maestro your preferred light sensitivity. If this isn’t cool I don’t know what is 😉

Set the Sensor Mode by pressing and holding the small tab to the right of the large push button. To get the Auto-On and Auto-Off mode press the tab until you see the light/motion sensor flash 1 time. The Manual-On and Auto-Off is achieved by pressing and holding the tab until you see the light/motion sensor flash 2 times. To get the Auto-On Daylight Sensing mode push the tab until you get 3 flashes. Here’s a second breakdown to help you

Maestro Sensor Mode

 

Setting the Maestro’s Motion Sensor Sensitivity

The final setup step is to program the Maestro’s motion sensitivity (I can’t tell you how many times I misspelled sensitivity in this post, holy crap). Anyhow, you’ll need to press both the large push button and sensor mode tab at the sam time to set the sensitivity level. One flash from the light indicates “Low” sensitivity and two flashes indicates “High” sensitivity. I set our Maestro on “High” because I want it to be quick to turn on when we enter the laundry room. Again, here’s a grid to help with this process

Setting Maestro Sensitivity

Do you like video explanations better? Okay, you’re in luck because I made this specifically for you

 

Learn how to remodel your bathroom, save money, and increase your home’s value with Bathroom Repair Tutor

 

 

What’s Next

Our tutorial showing how to wire a dimmer light switch also comes in handy. Plus you’ll save money doing it yourself.

Grab our free guide if you’re doing a DIY bathroom remodel – it shares how to remodel a bathroom in 10 days or less

Send Me The Guide

 

Thanks as always for reading, watching, and being part of our awesome community.

Ask your questions below and we’d be happy to help.

Cheers,

Jeff Patterson

 

 

 

 

P.S. Our online store has great supplies for homeowners doing a bathroom remodel. You’ll find shower systems, tiling tools, and more.

19 Comments
  1. Awsome post. We have one in our laundry room / garage as well. Very convenient. Nice work.

    1. Thanks John, it’s been awesome to have this switch in our laundry. It’s super sensitive, goes on when needed, and shuts off quickly. Really appreciate you dropping by today 🙂

  2. maude says:

    That’s a very interesting idea that I’d never even considered. As long as I wouldn’t have to wave my hands around to make sure that it doesn’t shut off when I’m standing very still…lol
    Maude

    1. Haha, the sensitivity of the switch is pretty good. So you shouldn’t have to wave your hand, unless you want to just for the heck of it.

  3. How cool! I am curious if this would work for a light controlled by more than one switch? This would be perfect for our dark hallway (that has three different switches) or our dark basement stairs (which has two switches)? This would work so well in my kiddos bathroom, I ALWAYS find the light on in there!

    1. Val, this switch was made for kids’ rooms-LOL.

      You can use the Maestro for three-way switches where the switch has two control points. For example, one switch upstairs and one downstairs.

      For more complicated wiring like three switches in a row it’s probably a good idea to either call an electrician or Lutron’s technical service line. Hope you’re having a great day 🙂

  4. Judy D says:

    This is just what I need. I have an older dog who is starting to have problems with his vision. He has particular trouble with a stairway which is dark even throughout the day. Most of the time he is right by my side but the other day I found him sitting at the top of the steps waiting for someone to turn on the lights so he could go down. I felt so bad for him and worried he could have gotten hurt. When I read this post and saw I could do this myself I had my answer to this problem. Thanks, Jeff for always giving informative posts.

    1. Awww, poor fella. Glad I could help Judy. Let me know if you have any questions during the installation.

  5. tammy Allison says:

    Hi! I am considering getting this for our stairwell down to basement but halfway down, the stairs changes and you go 180 degrees down in a different direction. Is this sensitive enough to turn back on when you have the main switch upstairs out of sight, as you go back upstairs?

    1. Sounds like you have a 3-way switch Tammy. You can use the Maestro with that kind of setup. That said, the motion sensor is very sensitive but still needs someone to walk past it to set it off.

      You could install it and see how it works. If you’re not satisfied with the responsiveness just uninstall it and return it to the store. That’s what I’d do 🙂

  6. Erin says:

    Hi there, I have installed a Maestro switch in my entrance way but am finding it too sensitive even at the lowest sensitivity setting as if u walk 15 ft to the side of it it switches on. Is there any other way to make it less sensitive??

  7. Ryan Stavig says:

    I have no bare wire in my box behind my switch. It is single pole. Is there a way to ground the censor switch without the bare wires?

  8. Cheryl says:

    I have this installed in my pantry entrance but it picks up any motion in the hallway as well, even with the lowest sensitivity setting. Is there anyway to remedy this? Perhaps something to shield motion until a person is inside the room? We have no other option for location of switch on the wall.

  9. Bob says:

    Does this switch work with fluorescent bulbs? Is the connection the same as as wit ha regular bulb? Thanks

  10. Kevin Young says:

    Does the motion of the washer cleaning/spring clothes activate the lights? Was hoping to install in laundry room as well, but was worried that the washer/dryer would activate the motion sensor and turn the lights on.

  11. Laura says:

    Can you use this if there are two switches on each side of the laundry room? or is it only for a one way switch? Please advise what you would recommend for a 2 way switch? Thanks

  12. Danielle Smith-Reed says:

    I have this installed in my laundry room and it works fine during the day. However, it randomly turns on in the middle of the night when there is no motion in that room.

  13. Michael says:

    I use motion sensors myself and love the convenience, but there are some considerations:

    1. It will likely use more electricity! The switches draw power 24/7 in order to operate. It is not much, but it adds up. Unless the switch will help you keep the lights off when not needed on a regular basis, you will not save electricity.

    2. Be sure to get the right switch for you. Some do not support certain types of bulbs. There are lots of configurations as well. I had a need for a switch with an override (always ON) and supporting LED. The only ones available required a neutral which was not available in the box I needed due to a specific 3-way configuration – and I had to do some rewiring.

    3. These switches require a line-of-sight to the movement. This is important in a laundry room if the switch is beside a Washer/dryer blocking line-of-sight to the person in front of the machines. The amount of time to wait before shutting off is configurable, but the scenario could occur where the light goes off after XX minutes of not sensing any motion.

    4. Most/all of these switches sense movement by detecting a change in heat signature. Take note of anything that might create a rapid change in temperature in front of the switch such as heating registers. By laundry room switch faces my furnace, so that was a no-go even when considering #3

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