Occupancy Sensor Light Accidentally Turns Off When In Shower?

Horace He

Last Updated: December 9, 2022


Most people enjoy the benefit of an occupancy sensor switch in the bathroom for smart auto lighting control. After washing hands or taking a hot bath, there’s a risk of getting an electric shock when turning off the light with the touch of our wet hands. Bathroom sensor switches can turn off the lights for us, making us complete hands-free.

What’s more, the sensor light switches can turn on the lights when we need to use the bathroom at night. It reduces the risks of falling down in the dark, especially for kids and older people.

In modern homes, every homeowner should consider upgrading their toggle light switch to a sensor light switch, at least in the bathroom.

Imagine you will never have to push the light switch buttons anymore. Life gets a lot easier and happier.

But when we are taking a long, hot, cosy shower after a tiring day, it would ruin our good moon if the bathroom sensor accidentally turns off the light while we are still enjoying a hot bath.


Taking a hot bath to reduce stress after work

Why does it happen?

In bathrooms, most occupancy sensors are installed on the wall to the door to detect motion when people enter or leave the room. And these occupancy sensors are also light switches, so they should be installed on the wallbox where the normal toggle light switch locates.

That’s fine for the sensor to work, and they work flawlessly if we just use the bathroom the same as any other room, like the bedroom.

But what makes the difference is, the bathing area is usually far from the bathroom’s door for privacy and not letting water flow through the whole floor. And there are also glass doors to prevent the water from the shower from spreading.

Some people prefer to use curtains to block shower water and obtain good privacy.

So, in a bathroom, occupancy sensors have to detect motion far from the bathing area, and there are a lot of noise sources like heat from hot waters, which confuses the sensor whether there are motion activities.

So, occupancy sensors in the bathroom may not be able to detect motion as good as in other rooms. The sensors may “think” the room is empty after the time delay expires and shut off the lighting.

That sounds reasonable, right? So how can we fix this small but annoying problem?

Here are some workarounds:

Use an Ultrasonic Sensor

Unlike PIR motion sensors, ultrasonic sensors can “see” through obstacles and corners and detect motion by receiving ultrasonic waves. It can normally detect motion when you shower and keep the lights on, but it is too sensitive and not quite suitable for home-usage.

Use a Ceiling Mount Sensor

A ceiling occupancy sensor is better at detecting motion from top to bottom, it works better at detecting movement in the bathroom, but the installation requires some work. 

If you have a high ceiling, install a ceiling sensor takes time.

If you don’t have a wall box on the ceiling already, you need to use a wireless sensor/switch combo to install the ceiling sensor successfully.

And you need to find a good location for the ceiling sensor to cover both the bathing area and the rest of the room.

Longer Time Delay

Most people would simply adjust the time out/time delay to a longer period to keep the lights on, for like 20 mins. 

But you have to change the time delay back to normal, like 5 minutes when you finish the shower, because 20 minutes is too long for daily usage.

Set a longer time delay when showering and set it back after.

That would temporarily solve the problem, but you need to change it twice every time.

And there are people who enjoy a hot bath for way longer than 20 minutes.

Add a Humidity Sensor or Contact Sensor

Some people prefer to add another sensor to individually control the light when showering. 

For example, some may add a humidity sensor to keep the lights on when humidity is high. Some people prefer to add a contact sensor to the sliding door of the shower area to make sure the light is on. Others might like to use a water leak sensor to detect water.

This solves the problem, but maybe not in a very wise way. It takes so much extra money and works for buying and installing another sensor, solely for the water detection.

Add more sensors to control the lights but it needs more spaces and wall boxes.

Use a Manual On/Off Sensor Switch

Maybe it’s the best solution?

What if you can take your shower for as long as you like or enjoy a long bath and take a good read?

You don’t have to worry whether the sensor can or cannot detect your motion or time delay anymore!

With a manual on/off function sensor, you can turn your occupancy sensor into a normal mechanical light switch by just pushing one button.

Push one more time, the sensor will work as motion detection mode like nothing is changed.

What’s the more exciting about our sensor is;

rz021 motion sensor switch manual instruction

An all in one occupancy and manual on/off sensor switch to solve all problems in one unit.

Many sensors claim to have a manual on/off control, but they are all temporary. The sensors could only work as manual mode for a short given time.

But if you can have an occupancy sensor with a “permenat” manual on/off feature like the good old toggle switch? Even better!

With Rayzeek 3-in-1 occupancy sensor switches, before showering, you can simply press a button to turn the sensor into manual mode to keep it on, or even keep it off if you want to enjoy a night bath.

Rayzeek RZ021-5A-G
Motion Sensor Light Switch

Occupancy/Vacancy Sensor

  • Exclusive Manual ON/OFF Mode
  • No Neutral Required
  • 110v~277v Commercial Grade
Buy on Amazon
Buy on Shopify

You can take as long as you need, when you’ve done bathing, by simply pushing the same button, the modern, energy-saving occupancy sensor is back to work!

Enjoy your life in a smarter way with Rayzeek!