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Old 11-12-2009, 11:08 AM   #1
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Wiring a Motion Sensor Flood Light


I am in the process of replacing an old outdoor light with a motion sensor flood light. The directions aren't very helpful in that a wiring chart was not provided, only step by step instructions which only includes how to connect the two lights.

My question is, for each light there is a white and black wire which connects to the black and white feeds from the house. For the sensor, there is a black, white, AND red wire. The red was wire nutted in with the black wire from one of the lights so I connected the red to the house black, but when I turned the power on, only the lights work and the motion sensor is not working.

How do I wire the sensor? Thanks for any help guys!

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Old 11-12-2009, 11:33 AM   #2
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Wiring a Motion Sensor Flood Light


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Originally Posted by Boompoopah View Post
I am in the process of replacing an old outdoor light with a motion sensor flood light. The directions aren't very helpful in that a wiring chart was not provided, only step by step instructions which only includes how to connect the two lights.

My question is, for each light there is a white and black wire which connects to the black and white feeds from the house. For the sensor, there is a black, white, AND red wire. The red was wire nutted in with the black wire from one of the lights so I connected the red to the house black, but when I turned the power on, only the lights work and the motion sensor is not working.

How do I wire the sensor? Thanks for any help guys!
The red doe's not hook to house power (black) Wirenut the red back to the black from lights the way it was.Conect the white to the white from the box.the black goes to the black. If there is a ground sometimes its on the fixture hook it up also

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Old 11-12-2009, 11:38 AM   #3
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Wiring a Motion Sensor Flood Light


I just installed a motion sensor light outdoors this weekend. In that light, the red wire was to "daisy-chain" another light to it, so that both fixtures would be controlled by the motion sensor on the first fixture. I did not want to do this, so I left the red wire as is and didn't connect it to anything.

If the motion sensor is built into the new fixture, that might be what the red was for.
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Old 11-12-2009, 12:23 PM   #4
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Wiring a Motion Sensor Flood Light


Ah! Thanks for the reply. So you left the red wire unconnected and the motion sensor works on yours?
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Old 11-12-2009, 12:32 PM   #5
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Wiring a Motion Sensor Flood Light


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Ah! Thanks for the reply. So you left the red wire unconnected and the motion sensor works on yours?
If you want the lights to come on with motion DO NOT FOLLOW THEM DIRECTIONS. Look at my other post been doing this for 16 years the way he did it was the way he wanted it to work without motin detecion Here is a video maybe this will help http://video.bobvila.com/m/21291639/...nsor-light.htm
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Old 11-12-2009, 12:55 PM   #6
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Wiring a Motion Sensor Flood Light


Gotcha! Thanks again!!
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Old 11-12-2009, 01:04 PM   #7
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Wiring a Motion Sensor Flood Light


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Gotcha! Thanks again!!
If you have an other problems let us know and we will try to help you.
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Old 11-12-2009, 01:18 PM   #8
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Wiring a Motion Sensor Flood Light


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Ah! Thanks for the reply. So you left the red wire unconnected and the motion sensor works on yours?
Yep, and the directions specified that if it is the only fixture you want controlled by the sensor then you should leave the red unconnected.

No idea if that's how your light is wired though. Could be different.
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Old 11-12-2009, 01:28 PM   #9
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Wiring a Motion Sensor Flood Light


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Yep, and the directions specified that if it is the only fixture you want controlled by the sensor then you should leave the red unconnected.

No idea if that's how your light is wired though. Could be different.
Do you have the modle number or brand name or instructions you can post the red wire is what controls the lights when motion is detected then its hot and turns on lights. Unless they left you a red spare so if you wanted to conect another non motion light to come on with the motion light.Without the reds somehow conected to the Black from the bulbs you have no light
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Old 11-12-2009, 01:44 PM   #10
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Wiring a Motion Sensor Flood Light


I think the black wire that connects to the house power is routed internally through the motion sensor then to the bulb socket, so there is no need to hook up the red wire in a single-light configuration. The red must be a pigtail off the motion sensor to optionally control a second light.

The light was from Lowes, but I am having trouble finding it on their website.
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Old 11-12-2009, 01:49 PM   #11
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Wiring a Motion Sensor Flood Light


I have to agree with 300zx, every motion sensor I've ever dealt with, the black and white wires get connected to constant power as they power the sensor itself 24/7. When motion is detected, the sensor sends power down the red wire to power the lights and... after so many minutes stops sending power down the red wire.

If you disconnect the red wire what you end up with is a motion sensor that detects motion and sends a signal down the red wire which isn't connected to anything = no lights. I haven't seen one that has an open red wire (unless you kept the original lights and chose to just buy a replacement sensor). If this was a kit with sensor + light combo the red is already wired to the lights you don't do anything with it, just wire up the white & black.

Last edited by Piedmont; 11-12-2009 at 01:59 PM.
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Old 11-12-2009, 01:53 PM   #12
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Wiring a Motion Sensor Flood Light


Here is another video on how to do it right from Lowes
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Old 11-12-2009, 01:56 PM   #13
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Wiring a Motion Sensor Flood Light


I have wired two motion sensor lights in the past couple years, and I've never dealt with a red wire...if the motion sensor was a separate unit from the bulb socket, then obviously you'd need a hot (when motion is detected) to run from the sensor to the light. But since the sensor is "built-in" to the housing of the bulb socket, couldn't there simply be a lead from the sensor to the bulb that is not visible without taking the fixture apart?
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Old 11-12-2009, 02:00 PM   #14
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Wiring a Motion Sensor Flood Light


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I have wired two motion sensor lights in the past couple years, and I've never dealt with a red wire...if the motion sensor was a separate unit from the bulb socket, then obviously you'd need a hot (when motion is detected) to run from the sensor to the light. But since the sensor is "built-in" to the housing of the bulb socket, couldn't there simply be a lead from the sensor to the bulb that is not visible without taking the fixture apart?
Sorry i just have never seen one like you are talking about!

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