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Old 03-28-2009, 10:33 PM   #1
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Wiring Help Needed


We had an attempted home burglary/invasion while we was home early one morning. Now I want motion lights around my house.

I want two motion lights in the front yard and two motion lights in the back yard. All motion lights will use 2 95watt bulbs. I want one switch to control the front yard and one switch to control the back yard. I want them on switches so I can override the motion if needed.
I will be using 12 gauge wire on a 20 amp breaker. I was told the wiring and breaker might be overkill, but I want to be able to turn on all lights at the same time.

My question is on the wiring. I know I must run the main wire to the switches, then from one switch(front) to one front yard light then from that light to the other front yard light. Do the same for the other switch on the back yard lights.
Now how do you hook up 2 switches off one main wire?
What I'm wanting in diagram

Also tell me what kind of switches I will need.



Last edited by aced19; 03-28-2009 at 10:37 PM. Reason: added
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Old 03-28-2009, 10:54 PM   #2
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You need to parallel the switches. Either run another set of hot/neutral wires from the breaker (may not be allowed) or from the box of the first switch extend the hot wire and neutral wire to the second box. Put a short pigtail on the first switch that has the incoming hot power and connect that to the power input and another black wire to the second switch. Tie another neutral to the white wire in the first box and route it to the second set of lights through the second box.

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Old 03-28-2009, 11:03 PM   #3
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Can't you use two three way switches? Thanks.
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Old 03-28-2009, 11:08 PM   #4
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Mike you mean like this?

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Old 03-29-2009, 12:08 AM   #5
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Old 03-29-2009, 01:25 AM   #6
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Yes, equivalent to what surrogate posted.
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Old 03-29-2009, 09:27 AM   #7
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Thank you for the help.
I take it the green line is the ground?
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Old 03-29-2009, 09:54 AM   #8
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Yes, green is ground.
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Old 03-29-2009, 01:04 PM   #9
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The diagrams are great, but the op doesn't have the ability to override the motion with the wiring setup this way. Both switches would need to be on in order for the motion detector to work even. I would recommend 12/3 (for the 20 amp breaker) between the switches and each of the lights, connecting the black to the motion sensor power in, and the red to the output/black wires of the lights.

Put in a 3way switch, connecting power in to the common screw and the red and black from the lights to the other two screws. I'd mount the 3way switch in the box so that when the switch is providing power to the motion sensor the switch is in the down position and then to bypass the motion sensor you flip the switch up.

Also, there really is no reason to use a 20 amp breaker and 12 gauge wire if its only controlling these 4 lights (unless these are all 500 watt halogens then by all means carry on). Most outdoor lights are at most using 200 watts each (figuring 2x 100 watt bulbs) and putting 4 of these on one circuit you'd only need a 15 amp circuit with 14 gauge wire.
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Old 03-29-2009, 01:29 PM   #10
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Run the 12/2 cable just as you pictured it but install a cable between the two switch boxes.

At the panel, black to the breaker, white and bare to the neutral/ground bus.

At the first sw box, all whites together, all grounds together (with pigtails if the boxes are plastic), hot blacks (in and out) together with a short pigtail to the single pole switch.

Second sw box, whites together, grounds together and the remaing two blacks to the single pole switch.

At the light j boxes, color to color.
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Old 03-29-2009, 01:46 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aced19 View Post
I want one switch to control the front yard and one switch to control the back yard. I want them on switches so I can override the motion if needed.
Am I the only one who noticed this?

What is being proposed in the diagrams and description how to hook this up requires the switches to always be on in order for the motion sensors to work, and still doesn't give the op the ability to over-ride the motion sensor.
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Old 03-29-2009, 01:50 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 220/221 View Post
Run the 12/2 cable just as you pictured it but install a cable between the two switch boxes.

At the panel, black to the breaker, white and bare to the neutral/ground bus.

At the first sw box, all whites together, all grounds together (with pigtails if the boxes are plastic), hot blacks (in and out) together with a short pigtail to the single pole switch.

Second sw box, whites together, grounds together and the remaing two blacks to the single pole switch.

At the light j boxes, color to color.
See how easy that was. Why confuse the OP when his first drawing was only missing a cable to the other switch.
OP. Just wire it like your first drawing and make sure you have power in both switch boxes.
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Old 03-29-2009, 02:01 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theatretch85 View Post
Am I the only one who noticed this?

What is being proposed in the diagrams and description how to hook this up requires the switches to always be on in order for the motion sensors to work, and still doesn't give the op the ability to over-ride the motion sensor.
To over ride a motion light, you would have to turn the switch off and then on .
The drawings are correct in the operation of the flood lights.
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Old 03-29-2009, 02:05 PM   #14
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To over ride a motion light, you would have to turn the switch off and then on .














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Old 03-29-2009, 03:42 PM   #15
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It's been a while since i've installed a motion detector security light, but I don't recall the ability to bypass the motion detector by just flipping the switch on and off. When you supply power to the light it turns on briefly and then goes off until it detects motion. Though I have never had a reason to bypass a motion detector on a light, I just need it to detect motion and turn the light on.

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