I am replacing the old switches with occupancy/vacancy sensor light switches. However Lutron only has 2amp and 5amp while the ones I have are the standard 15 amp.

I don't know about the significant of amp value of a light switch. Could someone explain?

Will it be OK if I use 2amp switches here? Why doesn't Lutron have 15 amp motion sensor switches if it is the standard?

  • I'm gonna go out on a limb here and take a guess that the previous motion light switch 15 Amp rating was for the minimum branch circuit rating, not the load it could carry
    – Kris
    Mar 10, 2016 at 21:30
  • Moreover, just for comparison, 150 Watts @ 120V is barely 1.25 Amps
    – Kris
    Mar 10, 2016 at 21:33
  • I am a newbie so I don't know the difference here, that's just what I read homedepot.com/c/switches_and_dimmers_buying_guide_HT_BG_EL, but I guess with LED lights with low wattage it should be fine?
    – Motoko
    Mar 10, 2016 at 22:12
  • Well, what is throwing you off is the motion sensor switch actually has a load rating. This is provided for energy awareness. Less is better. The average switch is just rated for the maximum possible load from a array of lights, rooms, and so on.
    – Kris
    Mar 11, 2016 at 1:32

2 Answers 2


2 amp is really small for a 120V switch type replacement. The ones I use for a single fixture are rated at 6.Amps. you might want one that is larger switch this is 800W a little bigger. With that said the total draw needs to be less than the rated value to use them. I usually like to use 50-75% of the rated value so they will last longer. Power in watts / Volts = Amps, add up the wattage total you will be switching and that will give the minimum size of the switch to use.

  • I already switched all the lights to LED so each bulb is ~10W, let's say 15W. The biggest fixture has 6 bulbs so it's like 90W so that would be 0.75 amp. So do you think 2 Amp or 5 Amp is fine?
    – Motoko
    Mar 10, 2016 at 22:14
  • in this case the 2A would fine.
    – Ed Beal
    Mar 11, 2016 at 13:53

In common 120V household lighting, amps are fairly simple: amps = watts / 120. Another way of looking at it is, 2A is good for 240W, and 6A is good for 720W.

One-dollar switches are not good for 15 amps, no matter what their 'rating' tells you. I've replaced plenty that were asked to handle 5-10A. If you need to run that kind of power, spend $7 on the 20A ones.

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