I want to install an occupancy sensor, preferably something simple that I can just plug into the wall socket, like one of those:

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Westek-Plug-In-Motion-Activated-Control-MLC4BC/203675444 https://www.homedepot.com/p/Westek-4-in-1-Wireless-Motion-Sensor-Dusk-to-Dawn-Light-Control-White-MLC18BC/310550582

But I want it to turn off the socket when motion is detected (how I would use it: noisy air filtration is automatically turned off when I enter the kitchen, and couple similar uses). All the models I've found are designed for light control, and can only turn the socket on when motion is detected, and don't provide way to do the opposite. What's the easiest solution to do this?

Is there any ready solution, either stand-alone, or maybe in-wall socket type?

I can't find anything and started to think about following, but would like to avoid it and use off-the-shelf solution if possible:

  • get one of those above, disassemble and see if I can change wiring to do what I want,
  • buy a smart sensor and smart socket, automate with IFTTT,
  • build DYI one.

2 Answers 2


You could combine a standard Occupancy Sensor:
with a Relay:

The Occ Sensor controls the relay, and you use the relay's Normally-Closed terminal to power your Outlet, something like this:
enter image description here

So when the Occ Sensor is off, your outlet is on.

You would probably need a 2-gang box to be able to fit the sensor, the relay and all the connections (the relay is mounted outside the box through a knockout, so make sure you get a box with knockouts.

  • Only caveat with this is that the occupancy sensor must be a "neutral required" type for this to work properly Jun 25, 2020 at 0:13

i used the following to make an "inverter" out of aftermarket code-friendly devices when i was renting and couldn't mod anything permanent: a cheap always-on LED nitelight and a screw-in dusk-to-dawn(d2d) sensor.

I tape the nightlight to shine into the d2d's sensor. Now, when power is provided to the nightlight, the d2d socket turns off. You can use socket to plug adapters and extension cords to hook up the desired end-products. And of course, you can hide the mad scientist tap and wire creation in a decorative box, behind a couch, etc.

In you case, the motion sensor would turn on the nightlight, which turns off the sensor, which turns off your light/appliance that now avoids occupancy instead of embracing it.


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