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Old 02-03-2017, 08:43 PM   #1
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How To Separate 2 Lights On One Switch


I have flood lights on the 2 back corners of my home that are operated by 1 switch. There is one more switch, right beside that switch, that powers a different light. I would like to have the 2 flood lights on separate switches, maybe it's called a stacked switch, but not sure. The reason I want to do this is that motion sensors are attached to both flood lights so they never operate correctly. On works sometimes, then the other and sometimes neither. I'm thinking they are getting out of sync and i need to get the on independent switches. So, how does one go about separating 2 lights on one switch?

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Old 02-03-2017, 11:28 PM   #2
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Re: How To Separate 2 Lights On One Switch


Can't answer that since there is different ways they could have been wired. But good chance would have to run new wire.

I hate motion lights for the same reason. Some can work for years. Others a constant headache.

Putting them on separate switches will not make these work any different. Sounds like the motion sensors are going out.

Consider just changing the motion senors to photocells. They will stay on all night. But with the new Led bulbs it is not costing much.

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Old 02-04-2017, 07:43 AM   #3
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Re: How To Separate 2 Lights On One Switch


Funny that good idea didn't cross my mind. Sometimes you get thinking about things one way and forget there might be other options. Thank you for the help.
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Old 02-05-2017, 06:00 PM   #4
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Re: How To Separate 2 Lights On One Switch


can you have a motion sensor on one light and a photocell on the other, when they are on the same switch. here is why. the floods illuminate my bedroom too much to stay on all night. i would like to keep that one on a motion sensor. around the other end of the house there are floods on the same switch. I would like to convert those to photocell. is that doable or will there be problems having different sensors on different sides of one switch.
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Old 02-06-2017, 07:52 AM   #5
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Re: How To Separate 2 Lights On One Switch


Quote:
Originally Posted by ashtonallen View Post
I have flood lights on the 2 back corners of my home that are operated by 1 switch. There is one more switch, right beside that switch, that powers a different light. I would like to have the 2 flood lights on separate switches, maybe it's called a stacked switch, but not sure. The reason I want to do this is that motion sensors are attached to both flood lights so they never operate correctly. On works sometimes, then the other and sometimes neither. I'm thinking they are getting out of sync and i need to get the on independent switches. So, how does one go about separating 2 lights on one switch?
Without answering your question of separating the switching of the two lights, I first must comment that your description of the operation of these lamps is not quite clear.
However, it seems that the one switch controls both lights BUT each of these lights is controlled by a separate PIR Motion Detector (Like this, perhaps https://www.walmart.com/ip/AC110V-24...hite/118479947)
If these devices ARE controlling each light separately, there is no way in which they could get "out of sync".

These cheap devices seem to have a limited life-span and you may not get more than ten years of operation before they need to be replaced!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ashtonallen View Post
can you have a motion sensor on one light and a photocell on the other, when they are on the same switch. here is why. the floods illuminate my bedroom too much to stay on all night. i would like to keep that one on a motion sensor. around the other end of the house there are floods on the same switch. I would like to convert those to photocell. is that doable or will there be problems having different sensors on different sides of one switch.
If the devices now control each lamp separately, there is no reason why one could not be replaced with a photo sensor (Sunset Switch).
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Old 02-06-2017, 09:52 AM   #6
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Re: How To Separate 2 Lights On One Switch


If your floodlight holders are the typical cheap short socket type with the entire lamp exposed, you can get floodlight holders that incorporate a shroud to prevent light from going anywhere the fixture isn't pointed.

It's possible to have a motion set in one location, and a dusk to dawn set in the other. For at least the dusk to dawn set I recommend you get LED bulbs, your electric bill will thank you.
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Old 02-06-2017, 02:14 PM   #7
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Re: How To Separate 2 Lights On One Switch


put in a timer in place of the switch, and lose the photo cells all together. Ive done this on my outdoor lights - you can control when they turn on and off...
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Old 02-06-2017, 06:59 PM   #8
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Re: How To Separate 2 Lights On One Switch


Maybe you can help me then. I have tested each of the two motion fixtures as a single light on a single switch and confirmed both operated correctly under those conditions. However, when I install both motion fixtures on the single switch, wired to two fixtures, I get strange operation. Sometimes, one will function properly but the other will remain on constantly or one will work correctly and the other will not work at all. I have double checked the wiring each time to ensure they were installed correctly. I have noticed that the instructions advise against installing 2 of the fixtures on one switch. So, I don't know if they are out of sync, but what I do know is that I have two known good fixtures, that are wired correctly to one switch, and do not then function correctly.
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Old 02-07-2017, 10:39 AM   #9
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Re: How To Separate 2 Lights On One Switch


This link may be some help with your problem.

http://www.renovation-headquarters.c...n-sensors.html
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Old 02-07-2017, 11:20 AM   #10
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Re: How To Separate 2 Lights On One Switch


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Originally Posted by ashtonallen View Post
I have noticed that the instructions advise against installing 2 of the fixtures on one switch. So, I don't know if they are out of sync, but what I do know is that I have two known good fixtures, that are wired correctly to one switch, and do not then function correctly.
The instructions state not to connect 2 fixtures to one switch. That is exactly what you did. Now you're asking how to get them operating correctly?

I have no idea why a motion sensor wouldn't work if it were on a circuit and switch with another one, but apparently the manufacturer is aware it causes problems and therefore recommends against it. Find a different brand that doesn't mind multiples installed on the same switch is the only advice I have to give.
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Old 02-07-2017, 07:51 PM   #11
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Re: How To Separate 2 Lights On One Switch


Rander101: I have a feeling it would work if they were in parallel. My switch is basically in the center of the house and the floods are on opposite ends. I suspect the solution is probably running an additional wire and setting up a stacked switch, but it's beyond my ability to understand right now. Even if I did understand it, I wouldn't know how to carry it out. I'll revisit this one at some point when I learn a little more about basic electricity principles and electric wiring.
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Old 02-08-2017, 05:44 AM   #12
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Re: How To Separate 2 Lights On One Switch


Quote:
Originally Posted by rander101 View Post
This link may be some help with your problem.

http://www.renovation-headquarters.c...n-sensors.html
I would recommend an amendment to the wiring shown in the above.

The Motion Sensors used in the above example are designed to be placed in series with the "Load". I would NOT recommend that this type of sensor be used. Such an arrangement may be contributing to your problem.

The type of Motion Sensor I would recommend to be used is one which connects to the (Switched) Line and Neutral with a third terminal for a switched output, to drive the Lamp(s). It should include relay contacts to switch the load, since Electronic (Thyristor/Triac) switching could be problematic if the Lights to be controlled also include "electronics".

In addition, if one is using two or more Motion Sensors (to "cover" different areas) I recommend that each be provided with an "Isolation/Connection Switch", located in some "out of the way" place but relatively easily accessible - such as inside a cupboard.
The reason for this is that it can be difficult to adjust ONE of these Motion Detectors for Sensitivty and Time of operation if the other sensor "detects" during this procedure. Setting the Isolation/Connection switches appropriately can make this procedure much easier.


I have two of these dual "set-ups" installed with two lights and two "Motion Sensors" at both the front and back of my premises. The Connection/Isolation Switches are installed in cupboards in the Garage.


Now, to add a little bit extra, here is a diagram of an installation whereby you can arrange for a light (such as a "Porch" Light) to be turned on independently as a "welcome light" and yet (when turned "off") still be turned "on" when the Sensor Lights are triggered. ("Wall Switch 2" is a Single Pole Double Throw (SPDT) switch.)



Yes, I do have this installed.

Last edited by FrodoOne; 02-08-2017 at 05:58 AM.
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Old 02-10-2017, 08:18 PM   #13
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Re: How To Separate 2 Lights On One Switch


Thank you very much for laying this out!!!

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