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Dallas, Texas, United States

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Motion Detection Bulbs

I replaced all of my incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs. I then replaced the CFLs with light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs. Now I am replacing the LED bulbs in our hallways with LED motion detection bulbs.

We use Energy Ogre so our monthly electricity bill tends to be very low. Nonetheless I feel compelled to turn off any light bulb as soon as it is no longer needed. Rationally I understand that I am only saving a fraction of a cent by doing so but the behavior is compulsive.

A smart home could turn the lights on and off for me as I pass through a room. A downside to this is that it would require adding the special hardware to detect motion and control the bulbs. Plus a smart home is a networked solution which can be hacked.

The new LED motion detection bulbs can operate without a network because each contains its own integrated motion sensor. They independently turn on whenever someone comes near and then automatically turn themselves off a minute or so after the person leaves. Some of them are smart enough to only turn on when it is dark or dim so there is no wasted electricity when the sun is shining through the windows.

My criteria for the LED motion detection bulbs that I buy is that they have to be warm white and bright. To avoid light that appears bluish, I look for bulbs with a color temperature of 3000 kelvin or less.  The bulbs also have to be in the 12 watt range which seem to be bright enough to replace the old 100 watt incandescent bulbs.

It is a bit confusing that some of my bulbs automatically switch on as I approach and some do not. My fix for this is to buy more motion detection bulbs.  At around $12 or more each, I probably would be better off financially just leaving my old LED bulbs powered on all of the time.