I’ve worked with Lutron products for years now, it’s a solid system but they have an incredible array of different model numbers and parts that can be very confusing when trying to figure out exactly what you need.

Lutron Leader

Go to their website and look under the products tab, it’s insane just how many lines they carry. But there are a few hidden gems and some of those can be found in the Maestro line of products designed for single rooms for a very specific purpose. I will be covering two products in this article, both of which you can readily find at Lowes, Home Depot, or Amazon. The first is the MS-OPS2H-WH which is a single pole motion occupancy/vacancy sensor light switch. The second is the MA-T51H-WH, which is a hardwired countdown lighting/fan timer.

Lutron Motion Sensitive Light Switch

Let’s start with the MS-OPS2H-WH light switch. It solves a few simple bathroom problems for just $20. For bathrooms where the toilet is in a separate room, this is a perfect light switch because you don’t need to touch it to turn on the light, you only need to turn it off when leaving; or don’t and it will turn off after a set time. This is called occupancy mode, it senses when a person enters and turns off at a set time after they leave. I installed this in two bathrooms, one with a separate toilet room and one in a guest bathroom, both work great. But what about the vacancy mode?

Secrets Sponsor

I had the perfect scenario in my house to use it. The master bath is adjacent to the master bedroom and has very bright vanity lights, so if you get up to use the bathroom in the middle of the night, you wouldn’t turn those on, but just the lights in the toilet room. This is where the vacancy mode comes into play. Vacancy mode allows you to disable the motion sensor, instead it will only turn on manually, but still turn off after a set time. A simple and very useful feature for families who forget to turn off lights. Another cool use for it is in garages, when you pull in, the lights turn on and will then turn off after a set time. I have three of these switches installed in my home and I think they’re a fantastic deal.

Lutron Fan Timer

Then there is the MA-T51H-WH ($29), a hardwired fan countdown timer, it does a surprising number of useful things. I installed one in each of my bathrooms to activate the exhaust fan. I used the 15-minute presets, so during or after showering (and number two), the fan will be on, but you won’t need to remember to turn it off after you leave the room. A great way to save money on your power bill! Another unique use for it is in kids’ rooms. You can give them, say, 30-45 minutes to play before bedtime; it will flash the lights with one minute remaining, then the lights go out. I really like that there is a rocker switch on the side to quickly adjust the amount of time remaining, no complex programming here, and you can set it to just stay on if you like. It’s very simple to use and install and once you have one, you’ll wonder how you lived without it.

Secrets Sponsor

Installation and programming for both of these devices was a snap, if you can install a light switch, you can install these. Programming was also very simple; just read the manuals and you will be up and running in minutes. Just note that these are not smart switches and won’t integrate with any home automation system, they are standalone products. I think that is a good thing as it keeps the price down. And I don’t really need to control my bathroom fans from 100 miles away, I know it would be cool, but it wouldn’t be something I would go out of my way to pay for.

For about $120, I was able to update both bathrooms in my house to save power and money. It won’t be a huge savings but every little bit helps. It provides some very useful features at an affordable price and only takes an hour or so to install. You will be surprised at just how easy they are to set up, it’s just a few steps that almost anyone can figure out. Next time you feel like your house needs an upgrade, give these a look. They are available at most big box hardware stores and at Amazon.