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Old 11-19-2013, 09:44 PM   #1
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Add dusk/dawn light AFTER 2 on/off switches


Add dusk/dawn light AFTER 2 on/off switches Ok for those that do this for a living I am hoping this is easy. Thx. for any insight/help. Respectfully, plz. read carefully so as to not assume or draw conclusion w/o facts - this is a unique effort or application (I think).
SETTING = CA, residential, outdoor, 120V/15 amp line.

EXISTING = outdoor dual on/off switches in dual gang surface mount box on brick wall... one switch turns on 2 pillar lights on posts in front yard... 2nd switch operates a regular surface mount grounded dual receptacle (which we have a fountain and sm. water lights plugged into constantly). All 1/2" Sched. 40-80 conduit and watertight fittings. B/W/G 18 G solid wire used. FYI -Electricity for switches and this outlet is down the line from a builder's GFCI outlet (came w/house). The above 2 switches and box were added later and work fine and to code (or so we were told).

CHALLENGE/NEED = based on the above, how do I get constant power to a newly installed dusk/dawn light (14G b/w/g solid wire) extending off roof awning to 4' off house (to light up area in front of home yard & sidewalk near house so security cameras show more than pitch black at night!). Is there a way to get CONSTANT power to this light with existing wiring and without disrupting the operation of the setup described at beginning of this post (with outlet & 2 switches)? (FYI- I cannot pull more wire in conduit as is.) I have tried to draw power off switch box and outlet (diff. wires) and the best I can get is new light to go on ONLY when I turn on the pillar light switch for example. In other words I can operate new light only when light switch is on but not when switches are in off position. Because of this (and from my view, not an electrician!) i am thinking I need to tap into the 'hot' black BEFORE the dual switches and run a separate/new conduit to meet up with the existing receptacle to connect this new hot black to the lamp black (the ground and white should be fine as are already wire nutted to other whites/greens in receptacle box). Does all this make sense ok? Is my logic/though correct or is there an easier, faster, more efficient way please? Sincere thx. for your professional expertise and understanding.

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Old 11-19-2013, 10:04 PM   #2
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Add dusk/dawn light AFTER 2 on/off switches


The 1st problem you have is the 18g wire that is already installed! It is completely against code and very unsafe on a 15 amp circuit! Once you correct that problem all you need to do is connect the power to the new light fixture to the supply side of either switch and to the neutrals that are in the box (they are probably picked him together with a wire nut).

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Old 11-19-2013, 10:09 PM   #3
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Add dusk/dawn light AFTER 2 on/off switches


yes, my bad... existing wire is 12G not 18G (forgot the higher the # the smaller the wire right?). Thx.
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Old 11-20-2013, 12:10 AM   #4
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You need IR lighting, not Dusk to Dawn lighting for use with outdoor Security cameras. The Dusk to Dawn lighting is fine if you want them to come on, when something comes around, but you need IR lighting, so that the cameras are able to see in the dark, before the lights go on.

Regardless, even with the extra lighting, the cameras will still be limited in their range, in what they will see in the dark, due to the sensor will sense the darkness more than the lighting.

If you want the motion lighting up, you just need to connect them to the existing lighting circuit that you already have, in place of the existing lights that are there. If you want them farther out, you will need to just come off the Load side of the GFCI, or pigtail or use the two extra holes on the line side of the gfci to feed them.

You will need a switch to turn them off, when you do not want them coming on when you are out there working on them, or having power to that circuit, when you go to replace the light bulbs.

It is really pretty straightforward in your setup, you just need to figure out how easy you want to make it. But I would still suggest also putting in IR lights also for the camera.

BTW, what is the make & model of your camera, since most of the consumer grade lower priced units, regardless how much external IR or regular lighting you use, they will not show any better of a picture at night.

The manufacturer info will state what the range is for day & night. In night mode, it will be limited more, unless you put in extra IR lights towards the middle of its range. I use a 18 LED IR light, just outside the front window, where I have a Foscam FI9821 IP camera. I get about 100' in range, including having the lights on a couple of structures on the other side of the street, that helps, but all you see is just a blob, because the camera being in night mode, is just going to show that.

You would really need high end camera equipment, if you want to see what is out there, as if it was daylight, so that you can see who or what it is.
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Old 11-20-2013, 12:12 AM   #5
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Add dusk/dawn light AFTER 2 on/off switches


To add, if you want to catch what is out there, without spooking them, get a really good game camera and use that. They make them so that they will connect via your wifi network, or you can use a SD card in them, and pull it every couple of days, to check the images.

This is about the best CCTV camera out there, with the longest Night vision range at zero light http://www.backstreet-surveillance.c...-camera-3.html This is the best IP camera out there that money can buy http://www.backstreet-surveillance.c...-camera-1.html
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Old 11-20-2013, 12:21 AM   #6
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Add dusk/dawn light AFTER 2 on/off switches


Msradell and gregzoll - thx. for the time and input...appreciate it. Respectfully, my need at the moment is the electrical connection to new light. Cams are cheap, color, IR and already installed - in getting some light out there my cams can make out more than without the light (given the distance I am trying to get in view of cam the IR of cam is not optimal). I already tested with other lights and appears my need would be met fine. As I am sure you are correct and if money and time were no issue I'd make further adjustments. For now I am just hoping to get the light wired to be constant hot. I think I am good at moment thx. to the posts and input. Thx. again.
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Old 11-20-2013, 12:24 AM   #7
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Buy a couple of these and put them out at the edge of where you have outlets, before doing the Dusk To Dawn lighting. It is what I have right outside my front window. It throws about a fifty foot path. They run around $45. The eight LED model is crap and will stop working after a couple of weeks. I have had the 96 LED model since June 14, 2013, no problems what so ever with it. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

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Old 11-20-2013, 12:31 AM   #8
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Add dusk/dawn light AFTER 2 on/off switches


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Originally Posted by gregzoll View Post
Buy a couple of these and put them out at the edge of where you have outlets, before doing the Dusk To Dawn lighting. It is what I have right outside my front window. It throws about a fifty foot path. They run around $45. The eight LED model is crap and will stop working after a couple of weeks. I have had the 96 LED model since June 14, 2013, no problems what so ever with it. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

nice - thx. will check out!

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