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kenjackson 12-20-2011 11:37 AM

Complete newbie and changing garage light switch
Hello all,

I'm a complete newbie to any type of DIY activities, but I decided that now's the best time to start.

My first attempt will be to switch the light switch in my garage from a regular switch to a motion sensor switch. I do have a general understanding of electricity, enough to know to turn off the power, attach the proper wires, etc.

This may be a dumb question, but one question I have is if there are any gotchas associated with garage light switches, ie. current, voltage, etc. The garage light switch is a metal box with a thick metal wire enclosure going into the light switch, entirely different from the light switches in the house. The garage lighting is a few fluorescent lights, so it doesn't seem like it's any different than usual but I just want to make sure.

Thanks in advance,


Jim Port 12-20-2011 12:17 PM

First you need to see if the sensor will work with fluorescent lights, not all will. Second you need to find out if the sensor needs a neutral in the switch box.

kenjackson 12-20-2011 01:51 PM

Thank you. The sensor does seem to work with fluorescent lights, based on the instructions. However, I ran into two issues:

1) I couldn't figure out how to turn off the electricity in the garage (I removed all the fuses in the fusebox and the light remained on, so I will have to ask the landlord)

2) I instead tried to change the light switch in the kitchen, and the wiring inside only had red and black wires, and this switch apparently needs 4. So as you mentioned, the switch doesn't work with the wiring.

Thanks again for your reply.


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