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Physics/What is the best way to make my low wattage appliance work with my motion sensor plug?


I bought this item:

It is a motion sensor that turns lights and appliances you connect to it on and off. It has a minimum load rating of 5 to 7 watts. The problem is the appliance I've plugged into it uses only less than 2 watts. When motion is detected, the sensor turns my appliance on. But it fails to turn if off after I've left the room. I think this is because my appliance uses only less than 2 watts.

I've tried plugging in other appliances and lights that use more watts and they all work correctly. So the sensor is working correctly. But I really want to make my appliance that uses less than 2 watts work with the sensor. That is the reason I bought the sensor. How can I increase the wattage so that my appliance will work with the sensor? I know I can add a light bulb or plug in a radio just to increase the watts so my appliance will work. But going that route is an inconvenience. I don't want a light bulb unnecessarily lighting up, or the radio unnecessarily playing (even if I mute the radio, it is just unnnecessary inconvenience).

Is there a neat way to make this work? Can I add something that is tiny, doesn't make any noise, and doesn't produce heat? The appliance is housed inside a plastic box. So it is important whatever I do does not produce heat, is tiny, and ideally does not make noise. Is there anything I can do to make this work?

Thanks in advance,

I passed your request on to the other experts and then I thought about it some more.  Anything that uses watts is going to produce heat.  The minimun that I can think of is a Christmas tree light or a night light bulb.  If you don't want to see the light, put black paint on it.  


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Richard J. Raridon


I can answer most questions in undergraduate physics courses, including electricity and magnetism, atomic and nuclear, mechanics and optics.


I have taught undergraduate physics courses

Sigma Xi, AAAS, SE section of APS

BA in math, MA in physics, PhD in physical chemistry

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