Switchable Light Sensing Night Light

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This instructable shows how I hacked a night light sensor so it can be manually shutoff. Read carefully, mind any opened circuits, and shut off your area if needed before unit testing.

Step 1: The Problem

I have a cheap $1 night light with sensor. It’ll turn on only if ambient area is dark. The problem is it’s too sensitive and will be on regardless of bed time rituals. There’s no off switch, short of unplugging it,

Step 2: The Solution

I invision mounting a micro switch, it and just soldering it to override sensor if needed. Little do I know ...

Step 3: Micro Surgery Time

Once I remove the single screw, I quickly realized there’s no room, and drastic measures are needed.

Step 4: Dremel Time

Besides being a small night light assembly, the plastic housing is almost half the switch thickness. With a huge capacitor on the board, I have no other options but to dremel on the edge and mount switch that way. I clamped down everything, mark the hole, and slowly nibble away, cleanup area with utility knife, until micro switch fit snugly on to the housing corner.

Step 5: Micro Soldering Time

With circuit board securely clamped, I unsolder the LED end (doesn’t matter which one), then replacing it with thin 12 gauge wires, adding small heat shrinks to both ends.

Step 6: Trim Time

This is probably the hardest step. Hot glue the spliced LED end first, to reduce any wiring bending, then thread thru cut slot, trim to appropriate length and solder one lead to middle of micro switch, then other lead to one end of switch (doesn’t matter which end); I suggest no more that .5”, else too much wire slack will leave switch dangling.

Step 7: Testing Time

Before pushing micro switch in, plug in unit and cover sensor with switch on, then switch off. Micro switch should overrive sensor. If all works, hot glue all solder joints and put back light housing. You may need to trim off any excess glue blobs.

Step 8: Enjoy

Close the switch housing, screw tight, and enjoy.

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