I had to make changes in my office and now the main light switch (which is slave to an occupancy sensor, very likely passive infrared) is blocked from seeing me.

The result is that every 5 min or so my lights go out and I have to wave my arm to get it to turn on the light again.

Is there any kind of device I could buy (or build) that would emulate infrared changes that I could leave on while I'm at the office so as to keep the sensor triggered?

enter image description here

2 Answers 2


Many occupancy sensors allow you to adjust the amount of time that they can't see you before they shut the lights off. I'm not sure what model you have, so I can't instruct you exactly how to adjust, but setting the timeout time to something longer would probably save you the trouble of building something to circumvent it.

For example, a panel on this Leviton switch pops off to reveal some adjustment controls.

control panel

PDF instructions

If your office is managed by your company or a building manager, it may be worth asking the maintenance guy.

  • John I added a picture of the switch. It isn't similar to your diagram so i wonder if you know this model?
    – pepe
    Mar 10, 2014 at 13:15
  • Great. I'm not familiar with that model. Do you see a manufacturer or model number? Does the raised area with 5 ridges come off?
    – John
    Mar 10, 2014 at 17:27

If this is in your home office where you have some control over things it seems silly to have to design or build some gadget to override the occupancy sensor. The whole purpose of the sensor is to shut the lights off when you leave and forget to do so. You could just as likely leave and forget to turn off your override gadget!!

In this instance I would simply recommend that you remove the connection from the light switch to the occupancy sensor and return the lights to conventional manual control.

  • this is not a home office situation
    – pepe
    Mar 8, 2014 at 12:48

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.