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Expert Review – Motion Activated Light Control



1. Motion Sensor




2. Plug In Converter


MANUFACTURER
Heath/Zenith

Brand name: Wireless Command (Motion Activated Light Control)

COST
Each unit sold separately
  • Motion Sensor Model 6030: $25.00
  • Plug-in Converter Model 6011: $20.00
Batteries: 2 AA batteries for sensor (not included)

VENDORS
Home Depot; Internet vendors

DISCLAIMER
The listing of these products is for informational purposes and individuals must use their own caution and judgment when using these resources. Functional levels and changes in judgment and reasoning are highly variable in people with dementia. Interventions must be individualized and continually assessed because those that are effective for some individuals may only work briefly and may not work at all for others.

DESCRIPTION
This wireless motion activated light control device consists of two separate units:
  1. Motion Sensor
  2. "Plug-In Converter"
They're sold as separate units, but work together. When the motion sensor is activated by someone walking into its detection range, it turns on the lamp that is plugged into the plug-in converter. The nearby pictures show the motion sensor and the converter (with the lamp cord plugged into it). This kind of light control is ideal for lighting otherwise dark rooms at night, since the lamp can remain off until the motion sensor is activated, making the light come on to light your way through the room. The converter has a switch for manual control.

The manufacturer's specifications include: motion detection up to 70 feet in a 180 degree arc and control of up to 300 watts of lighting.

PROS
Worked very consistently in our short range testing (approximately 20 feet).

Automatically lights dark pathways at night.

The manual switch on the converter allows you to operate the lamp as you normally would, but, of course, then it cannot respond to motion.

We recommend using this product with a 25 or 15 watt bulb to minimize glare at night.

If positioned carefully, could be used in the bedroom to catch the motion of sitting up rather than turning over in bed. The motion sensor can be aimed up or down.

CONS
You need to carefully position the motion sensor to have the light come on exactly when you want it to; try adjusting it in a few different locations while someone walks back and forth, or use double-sided tape to position it temporarily while you walk back and forth. If its not positioned properly to turn the lamp on as you enter the room, and there's no other source of lighting, the person could still be walking into a dark room or hallway. Best to use it along with a nightlight.

If installed on a lamp you use in the evening, it automatically turns the lamp off after five minutes. Then you need to move enough to trigger the motion sensor to turn the light back on.

Some individuals with dementia may be agitated by the light's turning on and off automatically. The person can still turn the lamp off manually using the lamp switch, but then, of course, it will no longer turn on automatically.

Using the manual switch (so the sensor function is temporarily disabled) on the converter may not be convenient, depending on where it is plugged in.

CAUTION
The converter is for use only with 120 volt incandescent lights; do not use with fluorescent lamps, power supplies, low voltage lighting, or other devices.


Product Selection Criteria

Our goal is to teach you how to be a good consumer and to help you learn about specific products and unique product features that may enhance your safety and the safety and function of the person with dementia. The products shown in This Caring Home serve as examples only. Manufacturers continually change product specifications and the products represented may be different from those now on the market.

We realize this is not an all-inclusive list. Products featured in This Caring Home were chosen for one or more of the following reasons:
  • Affordability
  • Attractiveness
  • Availability
  • Color selection
  • Ease of use
  • Quality
  • Safety
We encourage you to discuss product selection with other caregivers and health care professionals.


How We Tested

"ThisCaringHome.org tested many products that are commonly recommended for best practices to identify the best use of these products and any potential problems in their use by caregivers and individuals with dementia. Each product included in an Expert Review was tested in a home environment, either an apartment or a single family home (or both), by at least two people. Rosemary Bakker, interior designer, gerontologist and dementia specialist, was one of the testers for every product. Whenever possible, we tested the product over time, sometimes days, weeks, or months, for:
  • Ease of use
  • Reliability
  • Potential safety issues
As a result of our testing, we're listing the pros and cons for using these products and including safety precautions for various products. These products were not tested by persons with dementia. We hope in the future to do case studies to learn more about what works and what doesn't work in a larger variety of caregiving situations and home environments."

Products listed on our website but not tested by ThisCaringHome.org are referred to as "Product Listings".



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