My husband is an electrician by trade, in conjunction with myriad other things. He and his boss do pretty much everything that has to do with houses (or any other kind of building, for that matter).
They are technically focused on HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning), but as a privately-owned, small-business contractor, they end up doing all things mechanical and a whole lot of things construction and cosmetic. From framing out new walls to installing light fixtures and towel bars, they do it all, and judging from the many referrals and repeat customers, they do what they do well.
One of the side benefits for our family is that my husband is exposed to an incredibly wide range of products—not only the ones they install, but also many other things that people have in their homes. Since we’re in the midst of home renovations, ourselves, we’ve been able to incorporate many of those discoveries into our house. Probably my favorite of his discoveries is the motion sensor he installed in our laundry room/office area. It’s set in such a way that, no matter which way you come into the space, the overhead light kicks on and stays on as long as there is movement (then for fifteen seconds after movement stops). In addition to the sensor option, there’s a button on the sensor plate that you can push to turn it off entirely or turn it on “permanently.”
I have discovered only two drawbacks to having the motion sensor. The first is that I get so used to having the light come on automatically that I often walk into other rooms and am surprised when the light doesn’t pop on. The other drawback is that I often switch it to “off” or “on” and forget to switch it back to the automatic sensor setting. When that happens, it stays on after I expect it to shut off, or it doesn’t come on when someone walks into the room later on. All things considered, the pros far outweigh the cons, as far as I’m concerned!
We used to have another motion sensor set up on the light in our storage room. Our house was a poster child for “unconventional construction,” according to the inspector that walked through it with use before we bought it (okay, he didn’t call it a “poster child,” but he did use the phrase “unconventional construction” quite a few times!). One of the best (or worst, depending how you look at it) examples of this was the way the entrance into the house from the garage was directly into a bedroom, with a door then opening into a hallway that went to the rest of the house. Since the room was a) the storage room and b) the entrance from the garage, it only made sense to have a sensor there, as well. Now, though, that room has become the baby’s room, so we’ve eliminated the motion sensor (just what we need is something else to wake her up!).
So, from motion sensors to handheld shower heads, we’re having all kinds of fun, picking and choosing from the many, many gadgets out there on the market today. Best part of it is, we don’t have to take the time to visit a million showrooms—my husband gets paid to check out the options!