Turn out the lights without making a move

If you’re tired of reminding everyone in your house to turn off the lights when they leave a room, install light switches that do it for them.

Motion-sensing light switches contain small sensors that detect movement in a room. When they sense motion, they turn the lights on, and when all is still, they switch the lights off.

Buy a good-quality model that is not so sensitive that it will flick on the lights every time a fly buzzes into the room. On the other hand, avoid models that only sense major movements, or you’ll wind up waving your hands at the sensor every time you’re working at your computer or watching TV and the switch thinks the room is empty.

The switches are easy to install on your own by removing your existing switch and face plate, and disconnecting the wires. Reconnect the wires to the motion-activated switch, screw it back into the wall, and reattach the face plate.

Of course, you should shut the electricity off at the breaker before installing the switch.

For rooms that you use most often during the day, install a motion-sensor switch that also detects daylight. It will switch the light on only when there is motion and the room is too dark.