I have a bathroom mirror with built in led lighting around the mirror casing. It is controlled by a touch switch on the front of the mirror. I would like to control the light by using a motion sensor switch (Lutron Maestro Motion Sensor Switch | 2 Amp, Single Pole | MS-OPS2-WH). Initially I thought about bypassing the switch to make the mirror light 'ALWAYS ON' and then connect it to the motion sensor. Is this the best way? The downside of this would be the touch switch on the front of the mirror wouldn't work anymore and a person couldn't physically turn it off outside of just waiting out the motion sensor timer in the room. Is this the only option?

  • Rooms require a light switch by the entry door/opening, so you don't step on legos/snub your toes in the dark. I also like the keep it simple principle. You also do not want the light to go off when stitching up a cut(rare but could happen,on tv). Seems little benefit for a motion sensor in a bathroom, unless a 1000 square feet.
    – crip659
    Sep 5, 2023 at 21:57
  • It does have a switch by the door in the bathroom but it connects to overhead bright lights. We would prefer the lighting around the mirror come on automatically and be the primary light source in the evening hours. The light will be on a 30 minute timer, but not a primary light for wounda. TBH, I'm asking how to solve a wiring issue not opinions on it. Sorry if that comes off as rude : ) , but I need technical help here. Preferably I'd like the touch switch in the mirror to work in tandem with the motion sensor. Is this possible?
    – Logan
    Sep 5, 2023 at 22:35
  • An on/off switch before the sensor will work. The sensor will only work if the first switch is on. Touch switch to sensor to light, or a switch somewhere else(at door). The sensor controls the lights, but the switch controls the power.
    – crip659
    Sep 5, 2023 at 22:45
  • Perfect, thanks for your help
    – Logan
    Sep 5, 2023 at 23:03
  • @crip659 The caveat to the on/off switch is that majority of motion sensors will auto-power on at initial connect to power, shut off, and then the motion detector goes online. If you're going to add an extra switch, it might actually not do what you want and you'll probably just leave it on all the time.
    – Nelson
    Sep 6, 2023 at 1:56

1 Answer 1


The solution is a motion sensor that includes an on/off switch. This is quite common in commercial bathrooms (e.g., office buildings) because you don't want the lights on 24/7 when they are really only needed a few hours a day, but you really can't count on the general public to turn switches off. In fact, in many buildings the general public is essentially told not to turn off the light switches for a variety of reasons. On the other hand, you also don't want the lights to go off too soon - think person in a stall with the door closed for several minutes. Or in a residential bathroom, a long time behind the shower curtain. Plus you definitely need a real "on" function when there is an emergency.

So the solution is a switch that:

  • Primarily uses a motion sensor
  • Allows a programmable - to suit your personal needs - automatic off time (or really, the amount of time it stays on if no additional motion is detected).
  • If the light is on, the switch turns the lights off immediately (your specific requirement)
  • If the light is off, the switch turns the lights on immediately

So to the manual we go! Started with the Lutron web site - a bit of a mess, didn't get far. But Home Depot usually has good reference materials. On the page for Maestro Motion Sensor Switch, 2 Amp/Single-Pole, White (MS-OPS2-WH-2) (2-Pack) It says Programmable time-out of lights - set to turn off 1, 5, 15 or 30 minutes after leaving a room, so you figure out the longest period of "no motion might be detected even though someone is in the bathroom" and set it for that.

Found the installation manual. Which in turn references the troubleshooting manual And that manual talks about various on/off and manual/automatic modes. If I understand it correctly, you can have Manual On + Auto Off and then use the switch to turn the lights off but if you use Auto On + Auto Off then when you turn the switch off manually it will turn back on because it senses motion.

So as far as I can tell:

  • You can always turn the lights on with the manual switch
  • If you configure it for Manual On (so that it does not automatically turn on due to motion sensing) then you can effectively turn the lights off with the manual switch

This will work fine if the reason for a motion sensor is to make sure the lights are not left on all night. If you also want the lights to work automatically so that you can enter the bathroom and the lights go on without touching anything then this will not work for you.

I am pretty sure I have seen other motion sensors where a manual off will disable the motion sensing for an extended period of time - i.e., so that only another press of the switch will turn the lights back on. However, this switch does not appear to be one of those.

But wait, there's more! ThreePhaseEel found the advanced manual which includes the Manual Off-While-Occupied mode, which will, I believe, do what you want:

The sensor automatically turns on when you enter the room, and turns off when you vacate the room. When this mode is enabled, if you turn the lights off when you enter the room, they will remain off as long as the room remains occupied and the Timeout has not expired.

  • Awesome thanks!
    – Logan
    Sep 5, 2023 at 23:02
  • Welcome to DIY SE. The way we say thanks here is with upvotes (for meaningless internet points) and - when you are the person who asked the question - marking it as the accepted answer (big checkmark). Please take the Tour. Sep 5, 2023 at 23:13
  • 1
    It turns out that the OPS2 does support Off-While-Occupied functionality, although it's not described in the base instruction sheet -- you need to use the instructions in the Maestro advanced programming guide to enable it, as it's not the default on the OPS2 model. Sep 6, 2023 at 2:44
  • @ThreePhaseEel Thank you! I will add that to my answer. I got annoyed pretty quickly with the Lutron site - hard to find the documentation that I really wanted and Home Depot had more (but not all of it) of it readily accessible. Sep 6, 2023 at 2:52

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