Motion Sensor Lights On Shabbat

The Daily Halacha Moment - Motion Sensor Lights On Shabbat 💡


״כל השונה הלכות בכל יום - מובטח לו שהוא בן העולם הבא״ (נידה עג ע״א, מגילה כח:)


“Anyone who studies Halachot every day is guaranteed that he is destined for the world-to-come” (Megilla 28b, Niddah 73a)


Question:

May one walk pass by a motion sensor light on Shabbat?


Answer:

One should not walk in front of a place that has a motion sensor activated light that will turn on as one is passing by, even if one could see where he is going without the light. However, if one has no other way around this area, then one may rely on the lenient opinions who allow one to pass by even though the light will turn on. If one cannot see in that place without the lights, then it is preferable that one should close his eyes as he is passing by the area. One may also walk behind a non-Jew in such areas, since the non-Jew is causing the lights to turn on. If the lights are LED lights, then one does not even have to be stringent and may even initially walk in the area, even though there are other ways around.[1] Some are stringent one should follow one’s custom.


If one is already in the room that has a motion sensor and the lights are on and as long as one is inside the lights stay on one may stay in the room. [2] Similarly, If one is already in a room that has a motion sensor and if one leaves the room the lights will go off one may leave the room.


Sources: 

[1]. See at length on this subject in Halachah Berurah, vol. 17, p. 244 and Otzrot Yosef, siman 5; Shema Shlomo, O.C. 6:3. See also Shevet HaLevi 9:69.

[2]. Minchat Asher 1:31:5


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