Walk-in pantry has door activated light

try_hardJanuary 15, 2008

My walk-in pantry will have a ceiling light that automatically turns on when the door opens and turns off when the door closes. DH thinks this is a brilliant arrangement and tells me I'll love that I don't have to turn the light on and off. I've never had a lighting arrangement like this before and would like to hear from those of you who have these automatic lights in your pantries or closets. What do you think of it? Love it? Hate it?

The pantry is about 57" x 77" and I don't plan to hang out inside it with the door closed.

try_hard

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sue36

I have one, but mine turns on when it detects motion inside the pantry rather than from the door opening. I considered both and went with the motion activated one since DH always leaves doors slightly ajar (so the pantry light would have been on all the time). I love it and wish I'd done it in the laundry room as well (I may do it, all it takes is rewiring the switch). To use the motion activated on there has to be a light switch IN the room where the light is.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2008 at 5:36PM
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lowjo1

We have one and it is one of my favorite features of our remodel. You can still have the door slightly ajar and the light stays off, so it doesn't have to be completely closed. For my family, there is just as much of a chance of having the door open too much (and the light on) as forgetting to turn the light off when leaving the pantry. We love it!

    Bookmark   January 15, 2008 at 5:46PM
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talley_sue_nyc

or you can buy motion-activated light FIXTURES. I saw some this morning at Home Depot that looked like they could be indoor fixtures.

Of course, now I can't find them.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2008 at 5:55PM
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rosie

My daughter has the door-activated ones in a few places in her house, and I decided I did't like them. Having the lights come on every time I opened the door, when most times the ambient light level was completely adequate for grabbing what I came for, was irritating.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2008 at 6:13PM
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sweeby

Have them - LOVE them!

But the motion-activated ones sound potentially even better. Anyone know the cost and durability of motion activateds?

    Bookmark   January 15, 2008 at 6:56PM
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mooring_girl

My pantry has a jamb switch so the light comes on when I open the door. I like the convenience. The pantry is big enough that things can get lost in the corners, so having the light is a plus. And the light goes off immediately when I close the door.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2008 at 7:00PM
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raehelen

My sister has a door activated light in her closet, and we plan to do the same in our front hall and master bedroom closets. Never thought of doing it in the pantry (our walk-in pantry is under the stairs, so ALWAYS dark). I think the motion activated one would be perfect there as my DH NEVER turns a light out, and rarely closes a door. (I'm thinking that maybe the door activated closets will be like behaviour modification and perhaps teach an old dog new tricks!?!)

    Bookmark   January 15, 2008 at 7:15PM
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saskatchewan_girl

We just installed this into our walkin pantry. I'm so looking forward to it : ) Mine has a switch to turn it off/on/motion 150 deg so it will activate when the door opens. It is in the switch but isn't attached to the door jam, just activates by motion. It was approx $30 at HD and $38 for the 180 deg motion activated one.
I think you will like it : )

    Bookmark   January 15, 2008 at 7:35PM
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mcbird

We have them on our pantry door and all our closet doors. LOVE them. All our guests have commented on them and love them. Our custom builder has now added them as a standard feature in all his builds because he too loves them. They are just great were like $8 per door if I remember correctly. Did I say that I love them?

    Bookmark   January 15, 2008 at 7:39PM
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patti_bee

This is one feature of our last house that I really miss. Never had it before and loved it. Thought I didn't need it for this house and miss it especially in the coat closet -- too many dark blue and black jackets that look alike! It's like air conditioning in cars, once you have it, you don't want to be without it.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2008 at 8:14PM
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kec01

I have them in our bedroom closets and wish I had them in all closets. I love them.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2008 at 10:10PM
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gizmonike

We have a motion-activated sensor in our walk-in pantry and most closets. LOVE IT! No need to turn on a light with my hands full, AND no need remember to turn it off. I especially like it in DS's closet! Originally I planned to do door activated sensors, until I realized that door operation is not the most convenient way to get automation. The motion sensors are fairly inexpensive, and have to be saving energy by turning off automatically.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2008 at 11:28PM
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momof1

We love ours. WE even had one in our old cabinet pantry. It facinates everyone who comes to the house. Good idea on the motion sensor light for the laundry room. I need that...

    Bookmark   January 16, 2008 at 12:15AM
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patches_02

Our pantry is so big that without one we'd never find anything. DH put in the door jamb one years ago. When our kids was little they thought it was a kick to have a friend to get something from the pantry and tell them to shut the light out when finished.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2008 at 7:11AM
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jillypie

WE have door activated lights and love, love them.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2008 at 7:27AM
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buehl

We've had two motion detectors in our laundry area in the basement and both have stopped working after about a year or so of use. I don't know why, I just know that the last one stopped working at night when I had no light at all in the laundry area and boy was I irritated! I had to go upstairs to get a flashlight and then get on a chair to take the motion activation insert out of the socket & replace it w/a bulb b/f I could get any light in the area!

I hope the door-activated idea works for you. Right now I plan to have a regular switch...we haven't had problems in the past w/the pantry light being left on so I doubt it will start to be a problem now.

If the door activated switch dies, is there an easy way to convert it to a regular switch and/or get to it to fix or replace it?

    Bookmark   January 16, 2008 at 8:08AM
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mnhockeymom

We had motion detectors in our pantry, laundry and my boys' bathroom - absolutely LOVED them - no special fixures needed, just a motion sensor on the wall, very discreet - had a small button that allowed you to work the light manually if you wanted (such as to turn it off right away, etc) - never broke, never had any problems with them - highly recommend them!!

    Bookmark   January 16, 2008 at 8:17AM
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sweeby

"If the door activated switch dies, is there an easy way to convert it to a regular switch and/or get to it to fix or replace it?"

It's not so bad to replace -- We thought the one in our pantry door dies last week, but as it turns out, it was the plain ole' ceilinf fixture that had a loose connection. So we pulled out the door switch and installed a new one -- about a 30-minute job.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2008 at 9:23AM
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natal

Our draftsman put them in all 3 closets and the pantry in our remodel/addition. Love 'em!

    Bookmark   January 16, 2008 at 12:19PM
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vvelo

I have searched at all the major harware stores and no one knows what I am asking for: door activated light switches.
What are they called? Where can I get some?
FRUSTRATED !!!!!! Thank YOU !

    Bookmark   February 4, 2008 at 5:04PM
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flatcoat2004

You could maybe try asking for a jamb switch at a specialty electrical supply house ?

    Bookmark   February 4, 2008 at 5:21PM
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flatcoat2004

Link attached

Here is a link that might be useful: Leviton jamb switch

    Bookmark   February 4, 2008 at 5:27PM
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saskatchewan_girl

Both the door activated ones and motion ones were at HD. Door was $10 or so and the other was about $30. Maybe they have them online?
HTH

    Bookmark   February 5, 2008 at 1:45AM
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