How To Install A Motion Detecting Light Fixture

5 Materials
1 Hour

This project is part of a paid partnership with Dremel Tools, but as always the thoughts & opinions are always my own.

Let me start by dedicating this super simple home improvement project to my dad. The man who has a sixth sense about a light being left on in any room of the house.

He used to drive me crazy growing up, coming up behind me & shutting off all the lights, but once I had a home of my own I understood exactly why.

I would much rather be buying something fun, than paying a high power bill.

So when I started to notice the pantry light was being left on at all hours of the day, I decided solving that problem would be my next big DIY home improvement.

Except it wasn’t a big project at all. It was actually really simple & easy, plus it only requires two tools!


Turn Off Power

Dremel has a new Home Solutions tool line available that includes a cordless flashlight & electric screwdriver! They are both rechargeable using a USB plug which makes them perfect for big & small home improvement projects!

The first thing you need to do when adding/changing a light fixture or any kind of electrical work is to cut off the breaker. Be sure to test the right one was cut off by plugging in a lamp & making sure it does not turn on! 

Remove Old Fixture

power is disconnected remove the old light fixture with a screwdriver. 

Flashlight Tip

TIP: Always use a flashlight when working in dark spaces. The Dremel Home Solutions flashlight is my favorite because it easily clips onto the bill of my hat for hands free light access! 

Trace Gang Box

If the old light fixture was installed with a gang box move to step 6. If not you will need to trace the new gang box onto the drywall.

Cut Out Trace

Cut it out using a box blade or knife. Be very careful to not cut any of the wires. 

Connect Gang Box

Pull the wires through the knockout hole & use a screwdriver to connect the gang box to the brace or to open the flaps on a remodel version gang box.

Attach New Fixture

Connect the wires together using wire nuts & according to the installation instructions. The Dremel electric screwdriver is ideal for this installation because you only have to apply pressure to the back of the screwdriver for it to function. Making juggling multiple parts easy.

Next, attach the new light fixture to the gang box. 

Complete Installation

Depending on the new light fixture you chose, you may need to caulk & use touch up paint. 

Once the installation is complete, simply add a motion detecting light bulb. I found mine off of Amazon but they can be found at most home improvement stores! 

It is so nice to not have to monitor this light anymore because it’s only on when it needs to be!

Dremel Tools

This two tool Dremel Home Solutions DIY project was super simple & quick, but really makes a big impact on the room & my electric bill.


Let me know if yall have any questions & where else you would install a motion-detecting light fixture!

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Lia with Southern Yankee DIY
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3 of 5 comments
  • Barbara Barbara on Dec 17, 2020

    We have motion sensor light in the closet, which was always left on. Great improvement. You will enjoy yours.

    I am concerned about the installation of the box. I cannot see a clamp for the wires, where they enter the box. Eventually, the wires and the box will rub and you will get a short, at best, or a fire, at worst. You can open things up and add a clamp without too much trouble.

    • Jr1012 Jr1012 on Dec 17, 2020

      In Canada you must use a restraining devise (clamp) whenever entering device box.

  • BECKY Shields BECKY Shields on Apr 03, 2021

    I absolutely LOVE this! A lot cheaper than having to buy those bulbs when I constantly forget to turn them off! Thank you so much!