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Old 01-28-2013, 02:54 PM   #1
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Motion Sensor & Fluorescent tube Fixture


I have a large garage/workshop and was trying to install a motion sensor in corner of the garage to turn the tubes on - if someone in the house needed to run in to the shop real quick and couldnt be bothered to enter at the other entrance and (use the switch at the far end) let alone having to remember to turn it off when your done in there.

Obviously most motion sensors (especially the one got at the home despot) are for incandescent only, so I connected the 180 dual-brite zenith sensor input to the 120v with the RED sensor output line going to an AC-AC electrical relay (SSR) (with the same neutral going to the sensor) connected to the AC control input. I have the same hot 120 (connected to the sensor) going to the load-in on the relay with the load out powering a 12' tube with ballast. when the motion is sensed in test mode the ballast just makes a horrid noise and the tubes flicker dim but nothing else.

I know the ballasts are good, and have tested the relay by bypassing the sensor and wiring the relay direct to the switch - and the lights work fine. I was thinking that the relay would solve my problem with the sensor not putting out enough juice to get the ballast's going but dont know why with the relay in place. suspect i might not have this issue with electro-mechanical relay but wanted use the SSR.... anyone have any thoughts how to rectify the situation.


see attached picture to clarify the setup, but anyone have any ideas how to get it to work?
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Old 01-28-2013, 05:34 PM   #2
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Motion Sensor & Fluorescent tube Fixture


The motion sensor and control side of the relay should be on one source. The load side of the relay and fluorescent should be from a second source. (Both hot and neutral)

Those outdoor sensors are not real sensitive to movement towards them, so if you come into the shop and start working, without playing with the switch, your lights may go out on you.

If it was my place, I'd install a second switch location and wire it up as a 3-way. Then I'd yell at anyone that forgot to turn the lights out. (Right there, before you went out the door.)

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Old 01-28-2013, 05:56 PM   #3
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Motion Sensor & Fluorescent tube Fixture


Is the existing wall switch location too far away from the second door to use an occupancy sensor switch?
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Old 01-28-2013, 06:19 PM   #4
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Motion Sensor & Fluorescent tube Fixture


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Originally Posted by Oso954 View Post
The motion sensor and control side of the relay should be on one source. The load side of the relay and fluorescent should be from a second source. (Both hot and neutral)
maybe thats just it one would think it shouldnt matter but perhaps i need a secondary source of power - rather than using one source in parallel, for the lights and sensor...

I was thinking that perhaps the sensor doesn't put out a proper sinusoidal wave that the SSR recognizes - and hence thats why it just hums and flickers.. i will give your suggestion a try though..


As for the other respondant:

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Originally Posted by silversport View Post
Is the existing wall switch location too far away from the second door to use an occupancy sensor switch?
yes its pretty far - ive toyed with the idea, but it's a bay door so a wall occupancy sensor would not work... but thank you for the suggestion
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Old 01-28-2013, 06:44 PM   #5
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If you are going to use that sensor, make sure the dual brite is off.
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Old 01-28-2013, 08:44 PM   #6
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The motion sensor and control side of the relay should be on one source. The load side of the relay and fluorescent should be from a second source. (Both hot and neutral)r.)
I disagree. It should not be necessary to run two branch circuits to the light, one for the relay control and the other for the light itself.

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