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Old 03-07-2012, 10:40 AM   #1
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Motion Light and fluorescent lighting.


New to the forum - Be gentle.
I bought my first house three years ago. I am starting to do some projects around the house. I have ran into a little problem. My current project is putting a motion switch in my garage so when I open the door or walk in the lights come on. Well the lights are fluorescent lamps. 4 sets of about 5 feet long bulbs. All lights work fine with a standard switch. I went to my local hardware store, Home Depot, and bought a motion switch that said it was made for fluorescent lamps. I am somewhat decent in AC wiring so I followed the directions on wiring into the lights. I go to test the lights and they just flash. SO I called Home Depot and the guy told you can't make that work. Well I'm sure you can because I work at a warehouse and they have a ton of motion lights. Plus my old college had them. I don't have the motion switch with me so I can't tell you the model and such. I'm not worried if i have to buy some other model.
Any help with be great.


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Old 03-07-2012, 11:05 AM   #2
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Motion Light and fluorescent lighting.


What did he say when you told him the package said it would work? What reason did he give you that it wouldn't work? Are you picking up a neutral to power the sensor?

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Old 03-07-2012, 11:11 AM   #3
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Motion Light and fluorescent lighting.


Model number and how it is currently wired will help.
Make sure the detector says fluorescent lighting and not cfl!
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Old 03-07-2012, 11:17 AM   #4
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Motion Light and fluorescent lighting.


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Originally Posted by Luckymc420 View Post
I am somewhat decent in AC wiring so I followed the directions on wiring into the lights. I go to test the lights and they just flash.
Did you accidently get a light sensor instead of a motion sensor?

Try covering the sensor and see if it stops flickering.
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Old 03-07-2012, 11:19 AM   #5
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Motion Light and fluorescent lighting.


I didn't want to argue with him. I do remember him saying something about a certain type of light. I think he said the new style are smaller in diameter. I think that might be true because at my work has the some small diameter lights. They are like 50 a pop.
Yes it was a 3 wire setup. Hot, common, and light wire. The motion switch has 3 settings. On, Auto, and Off. Like I said I don't have the model number with me since I'm not at home.

This is not the one I bought but close.
http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1...&storeId=10051
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Old 03-07-2012, 12:59 PM   #6
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I just figured there is a standard specs you would need for this type of setup. SO many amps.....
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Old 03-07-2012, 01:14 PM   #7
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If your load exceeds the rating of the motion sensor you can use the sensor to switch a lighting contactor or relay.
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Old 03-08-2012, 01:07 PM   #8
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Its a Leviton’s Cat. Nos. PR180-1L:
Line Voltage 120VAC
Operating Frequency 60HZ
Load Rating Incandescent: 500W @ 120V
Rapid Start Magnetic Fluorescent
Ballasts Only: 400VA @ 120V
I am assuming that I do have a rapid start ballasts since they don't need to warm up. Switch the power on and they are on.
Here is the Manual for it.
http://www.leviton.com/OA_HTML/ibcGe...minisite=10251
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Old 03-08-2012, 01:16 PM   #9
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Motion Light and fluorescent lighting.


Could you possibly have electronic ballasts instead of the old heavy magnetic?
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Old 03-08-2012, 01:31 PM   #10
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Motion Light and fluorescent lighting.


You know I think I prolly do. I mean the garage was built in 92. I'm also not sure. I took some pictures and I was wrong on the size of the bulbs I think those are the 8 footers. I could be wrong again.
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Old 03-08-2012, 01:36 PM   #11
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I just did a quick lookup on that bulb number. It said it was an instant light.
http://www.grainger.com/Grainger/GE-...ent-Lamp-3V480
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Old 03-08-2012, 01:49 PM   #12
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Motion Light and fluorescent lighting.


Interesting. I'm pretty sure, given the age of those lights that they are magnetic ballasts, so your unit should work. If they are the new electronic balllasts then you'd think they would work as well, given that the switch is new, but it specifically states in the specifications that it works with magnetic ballasts only. That's really odd since magnetic ballasts are only available as replacement items these days.

I suppose there is a possibility that the previous owner replaced the ballasts in those fixtures with electronic ballasts. Would not be hard to pop open the plate and take a look.
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Old 03-08-2012, 02:09 PM   #13
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8 of those 8' lamps is 480W plus you will have some loss at the ballasts, your sensor is rated at 500W. What is the VA rating of the ballasts? First check to see if the ballasts are magnetic or electronic, then check the VA rating and make sure you are not overloading the motion sensor.
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Old 03-09-2012, 12:54 AM   #14
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Motion Light and fluorescent lighting.


Quote:
Originally Posted by JRigby View Post
8 of those 8' lamps is 480W plus you will have some loss at the ballasts, your sensor is rated at 500W. What is the VA rating of the ballasts? First check to see if the ballasts are magnetic or electronic, then check the VA rating and make sure you are not overloading the motion sensor.
I am pretty sure the inrush current will knock the motion sensor out pretty fast due the mangatic ballast inrush current can be up 2 to 4 X of running amps.

By the way I never read the bulb wattage if you are going to size the circuit or switch rating I have to go by ballast rating so you will have to look it up but IIRC 8 foot slimline they will take about 1.5 to 2.5 amp depending age of ballast itself.

Note: with bad slimline ballast they will draw more current than a good one will draw.

Merci,
Marc
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Old 03-09-2012, 07:28 AM   #15
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What colors and how many wires are connected to the switch and in the switch box?

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