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The Maestro Motion Sensor Light Switch

Being a busy person is tough 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 paperwork.

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 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 same time to set the sensitivity level. One flash from the light indicates “Low” sensitivity and two flashes indicate “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

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.

If you’re doing a bathroom remodel and need help, join one of our online courses – they’ll make your bathroom renovation much easier!

Let me know if you have any questions and I’ll do my best to help.

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



Motion Sensor Light Switch