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Old 04-22-2010, 02:09 PM   #1
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Outdoor light with motion sensor and switched from inside


I would like to install a motion sensing flood light on my garage. I would like to be able to switch it on from inside the garage, bypassing the motion sensor. I assume I would need to purchase a 3-way switch and a 3-way motion sensor - do they make such an item?

Reason for this is I like to keep the light on when working in front of my garage at night. I would like to avoid the light flashing on and off as I trigger the motion sensor. Just wondering if this is possible.

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Old 04-22-2010, 02:12 PM   #2
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Outdoor light with motion sensor and switched from inside


A standard light with a built-in motion sensor should work. Usually, when the light is in montion-sensing mode (which it will be most of the time), you turn the switch OFF, wait a few seconds, then ON, and the light stays on permanently. To switch back to motion mode, OFF, wait a few seconds, back ON.

They design the lights like this so you have the option to leave the light on.
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Old 04-22-2010, 02:34 PM   #3
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Outdoor light with motion sensor and switched from inside


Thanks, didn't know that's how they work. My only concern is I leave the switch off and mtion light never comes on. Does anyone make a 3-way version like I described above so the light switch is independant of the motion switch?
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Old 04-22-2010, 02:40 PM   #4
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Outdoor light with motion sensor and switched from inside


I think this will work, but let an expert chime in:

If your motion sensor is separate and installed between the switch and the light, you could just wire two switches to the light in parallel. Split the feed to each switch. One switch (switch A) would go directly to the light. The other switch (switch B) would feed the motion sensor, then the light. Switch B would remain ON all the time.

Whenever switch A is on, the light would be on.

When switch A is OFF, the motion sensor should still activate the light via switch B.
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Old 04-22-2010, 02:54 PM   #5
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Outdoor light with motion sensor and switched from inside


I follow where you are going.... but not fully there.

Why not wire the motion sensor (switch) and the light switch in parallel. This can be acheived by running hot leads to both the light switch and the motion sensor.

As long as the hots are on same phase, wouldn't matter if both were switched on at the same time. Not too sure if this is code compliant and how the motion sensor would react.
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Old 04-22-2010, 04:07 PM   #6
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Outdoor light with motion sensor and switched from inside


When you buy a light, the wires for the sensor are connected to the lamps, and unless you want to rewire the light, you can not bypass the sensor.
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Old 04-22-2010, 04:17 PM   #7
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Outdoor light with motion sensor and switched from inside


With parallel switches, if the motion detector wants the lights off and you are powering the lights I'm not sure that the detector would like having power forced backward into the circuitry.
To fix this, you'd need to run wires from the detector output and from the lamp input, or else mount a DPDT relay at the detector and switch the relay from inside. The relay contacts should then be rated for a tungsten [lamp] load.
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Old 04-23-2010, 01:10 PM   #8
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Outdoor light with motion sensor and switched from inside


Thanks for the advice. I think I will install the 'normal' way. What I wished to achevie doesn't seem possible or at least can done properly.
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Old 04-23-2010, 02:29 PM   #9
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Outdoor light with motion sensor and switched from inside


my porched light is wired with constant power to the motion sensore and a switched power to the light. Basically even if my switch is off the light will still be motion activated. if i turn the switch on, the light is on constant.

Check the local stores as i'm sure, like my light, lights are made for this configuration.
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