Motion Sensor Light Switches – Good or Bad?

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I understand that they can be useful and save money if they are positioned well and in the right rooms. Why wouldn’t they? Lights switch on when there is someone in the room and switch off when it’s empty.

My experience, however, says otherwise…

Personally, I think they are a complete waste of time and pretty pointless. At least in my place of work! Let me explain what triggered this venting post…

As you have probably guessed, we recently had motion sensor light switches fitted in our offices (although, funnily enough, the senior management offices were omitted from the scheme). This includes the toilets. Now, without going in to too much detail, I’ve had a slightly dodgy tummy for the last week or so and to be honest, I’m not the fastest on the toilet at the best of times.

Anyway, I had to go today. Nothing like being paid to poo, eh? You know toilets often have two doors (to prevent people from seeing in when the first door is opened), well that is where the motion sensor is, between those two doors. The light switch, which no longer works, is also situated here. I, and everyone else, used to simply flick the lights on when going in and flick them back off when we left. We have now had this privilege taken away from us.

Whoever set the timer on this sensor must be the fastest defecater in history, because today the lights kindly switched themselves off before I had finished my business. Actually, this isn’t the first time this has happened but today it was extremely dull and cloudy outside so not much light was coming through the window. Couple this with the fact that I was sat in an enclosed cubicle and, as you can imagine, it was pretty bloody dark. I was, however, grateful that it wasn’t a late winter afternoon as I would have been sat in pitch black. Now, is it just me, or does it make sense to put a sensor above the one and only cubicle that resides in this toilet? Clearly not!

This now meant that I couldn’t really see what I was doing. I needed that light back on. I waited a while hoping that a fellow colleague would need to relieve themselves and enter the toilet, triggering the motion sensor. This did not happen. The only way that light was coming back on was if I triggered it myself…

So there I am, trousers around my ankles unlocking the cubicle door. Luckily, the second main door to the toilet is literally two metres away from the cubicle door so I only had to venture out for a couple of seconds. I pulled the door open, half expecting someone to be coming through the first door, and the lights flickered and jumped back in to action! To my amazement, I managed to get back in my cubicle, lock the door and reseat myself without anyone coming in and witnessing the act. I can’t even begin to imagine what I would do (or what they would do for that matter) if someone had.

So this is the main reason I really hate motion sensor light switches.

Another reason, which actually costs the company more rather than saving them money, is that when I pop into the kitchen, which has its own window by the way, to put my lunch in the fridge, the lights come on and stay on for about 10 minutes. How is that more efficient when before we had motion sensor light switches I would have just walked in and put my lunch in the fridge without even turning a light on!! This is also the case with many other rooms, I really can’t see the point…

Anyway, that is enough ranting from me, I think you get the idea that I don’t like motion sensor light switches!

I will just have to remember to take a torch with me on my next toilet break.