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Old 12-23-2008, 10:26 PM   #1
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Another motion sensing light problem


A guy at work approached me the other day to see if I could figure out his problem with his motion sensing light. He tells me that his light supposedly works fine except when he turns off a space heater that I'm guessing is on the same circuit. The light will be off ( it's dark out and there is nothing outside to set it off) and he would turn the space heater off and the light will come on. I'm not sure how long it stays on. The only thing I can think of is that the sudden surge from shutting the space heater off triggers something in the circuitry for the motion sensor turning the light on. Anybody have any ideas?

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Old 12-24-2008, 12:27 AM   #2
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Another motion sensing light problem


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A guy at work approached me the other day to see if I could figure out his problem with his motion sensing light. He tells me that his light supposedly works fine except when he turns off a space heater that I'm guessing is on the same circuit. The light will be off ( it's dark out and there is nothing outside to set it off) and he would turn the space heater off and the light will come on. I'm not sure how long it stays on. The only thing I can think of is that the sudden surge from shutting the space heater off triggers something in the circuitry for the motion sensor turning the light on. Anybody have any ideas?
Can you move the light or the outlet to a different circuit and see if the problem goes away?

I think your getting voltage drop when the heater runs, and there isn't a surge per say when it is turned off, but the voltage comes back up. I think the sensor in the light that allows it to be set to either motion or continuous on with the flip of a switch sees this increase in LV and mistakes it for someone hitting the switch. Thats my best guess at this late hour anyway... I bet it will be fine on a separate circuit.
Jamie

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Old 12-24-2008, 12:40 AM   #3
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Another motion sensing light problem


That sounds about right. I'll have to ask the guy at work and see if he'll let me come over and check it out so I can verify. Thanks for your input.
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Old 12-24-2008, 09:04 AM   #4
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Another motion sensing light problem


Many motion detector lights have a feature for over riding the motion feature by turning off the power and then turning it back on. This makes the light come on.

Turning on the heater drops the voltage to a low enough level at startup that the motion light thinks the power has been shut off.

I'd say everything is working correctly.
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Old 12-24-2008, 09:13 AM   #5
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Another motion sensing light problem


Thanks John!
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Old 12-24-2008, 10:48 AM   #6
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Another motion sensing light problem


If the voltage to the detector varies enough to do that, with an on/off 10A load, I'd look into a bad neutral connection and other symptoms in the house.
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Old 12-24-2008, 10:50 AM   #7
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Another motion sensing light problem


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If the voltage to the detector varies enough to do that, with an on/off 10A load, I'd look into a bad neutral connection and other symptoms in the house.
Good Point. I am curious as to what voltage drop a meter reads when that heater is on vs without the heater.
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