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Dark Sensing NIghtlights on Shabbos


Hi! I want to install dark sensing nightlights into my house. They are not triggered by motion but rather when it gets dark. Would that be a problem on Shabbos? My husband thinks that by standing next time, we may make it darker in the room and cause them to turn on. Thanks for answering my question!


There is a lot of discussion among the poskim regarding how to act on shabbos when there are electronic sensors. In your case your husband’s concern is valid, but it should not be a problem, and you can get the sensors. The reason being that when someone stands in the room it is not going to surely activate the sensor, therefore standing in the room will be a davar sheino miskaven, and would be permitted. However to shut the shades of the room, when it will surely activate the sensor and turn on the nightlight would not be permitted. The same would be to stand close up againt the sensor, if it is so close that it is clear that it will turn it on.


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  1. I have noticed some of these sensors (during the week), that when the curtain is closed during the day, the night light goes right on The same, when a person stands right near the wall where the light is plugged in near the baseborad.
    This strikes me as an example of a “psik reisha”.

    1. I hear your point, and I thank you for it. If someone is going to close the curtains, let say shabbos day before they take a nap, and it will be a psik reisha, and it is neicha lei, then it would be assur. I would go further to say that if opening the shades in the morning will turn the sensor off, that would be a psik reisha dlo neicha lei with one d’rabonon, which shouldn’t be done.
      Regarding walking near the sensor, if the person is going to go so close to it, that it would surely turn it on, then it would be a psik riesha, and it shouldn’t be done, as you pointed out. But until the person gets so close, it is still going to be a dvar sheino miskaven.
      I am going to revise the post to include these important points.

  2. Thank you for considering my comments and revising the post.

    Given the above, that there are various common scenarios where people will come to transgress Shabbos prohibitions, it would seem that it would be preferable to avoid using such night lights on Shabbos.

    1. true, but we can’t say that it is assur.

      1. Agreed.
        A possible solution for those that want to be able to use these night lights on Shabbos, and not to have to worry about any possibility of tiggering them on, is to put a piece of dark tape over the light’s sensor. This will cause the light to stay on the entire Shabbos, and it will not be affected by any movements in the room.

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