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Old 01-04-2018, 09:18 AM   #1
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Install Astronomical Timer and Remote Control Light Switch


I have a set of lights on my driveway that use an electric eye to turn on when dark. The problem is that the eye is in a very shady location, so the lights often turn on in the middle of the afternoon and stay on until the middle of the next morning. The only way to secure power to the circuit is from the breaker box, which turns off all power to the entire garage (garage doors, lights, and outlets).

There is a junction box in the garage that sends power to the light. I am thinking of removing the electric eye and installing an astronomical timer a the junction box in the garage (similar to https://www.amazon.com/dp/B003AIKQZ8...a-313258526326).

I'd also like the ability to independently control the lights, so I'd like to also add a remote control in parallel to the astro timer so that I can turn the lights on when the timer is otherwise off, and turn them off when the timer is otherwise one (similar to https://www.homedepot.com/p/Lutron-M...W-WH/100399015).

My questions are:
1. Is wiring an astro timer and a remote in parallel even possible? Are there any special considerations that I should look out for, or be aware of?
2. I will be placing these inside my garage - generally weather resistant, but it will be low to the ground next to the door for the car, and likely to be splashed and bumped occasionally. Any best practices for this?
3. Can anyone recommend specific products? I'd like the remote to work at least 30 feet away, through cinder block walls, and I'd like the timer to have separate options for turning on and off (such as turn on 30 minutes before sunset, turn off at midnight).

Thank you!
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Old 01-04-2018, 11:02 AM   #2
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Re: Install Astronomical Timer and Remote Control Light Switch


The items you posted won't work together. The "remote" is a dimmer and works line- of-sight, not through walls. When 2 switches are wired in parallel, one being on, the other is incapable of turning it off.
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Old 01-04-2018, 01:32 PM   #3
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Re: Install Astronomical Timer and Remote Control Light Switch


Wire the circuit to another junction box higher on the wall and away from the garage door.

Here is a remote control switch that would work:

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Leviton-...-300261797-_-N
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Old 01-04-2018, 06:28 PM   #4
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Re: Install Astronomical Timer and Remote Control Light Switch


RJNiles has it right. You need a radio controlled switch, not an infrared one, so it will work through walls. The astro timer will be fine. One key point is that both devices (timer and remote switch) must use a neutral wire (both of the linked ones do) or else it will not work right. Older style devices have only two wires and they draw the power to operate their internal electronics from the power flowing through the device. That only works as long as there is a slight voltage difference across the device. By putting two switches in parallel, whenever one turns on, the other device would lose power to its internal electronics (thus resetting your astro timer or disabling the remote). As long as you use the new kind with a separate neutral connection it will work fine.
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Old 01-04-2018, 08:03 PM   #5
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Re: Install Astronomical Timer and Remote Control Light Switch


You could move the photocel to a less shady location.
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