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Discussion Starter #1
Today I tried to install a motion sensor light switch, a Leviton IPS02. It will replace a standard single pole switch, which controls four LEDs. The standard switch worked fine before. After I hooked it up, it powered on, I pressed the button and the lights powered on. Then I pressed the button to turn the lights off, and now I can't get it to turn back on.

I opened up the switch panel to investigate. It's a three gang box with 2 other standard switches. The hot line coming into the new switch is black, and the load line going out to the lights is red. With the new switch disconnected, I measure 120V from black to ground, and 120V from red to ground. Weird. When I measure from black to red, it starts at 120V, and slowly decreases, at a rate of about 1/2V per second. I watched it lower to about 90V before I stopped measuring. What could be causing this weird behavior?

All the grounds are connected, and all the neutrals are connected. But I'm not sure why there are any red wires here, since none of these switches is a three-way.
 

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what wire colors do you have in the box at the lights?

are the red and black going to the switch in the same wire?....or different wires?
 

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Sounds like a loose wire. My guess is that it's the neutral somewhere. It can also be a barely connected 120v hot.

Cheers!
 

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Red wires are just another color for a hot wire. They are not just for 3 ways. In your case it is the seitches hot.
 

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It's an occupancy sensor, not a switch. It's likely working fine but not behaving as you're expecting. The fact that it turned on the first time indicates it was wired correctly. When initially powered on, or after power is disconnected and reconnected, most occupancy sensors will either turn on automatically or lie dormant until the button is pushed. Once the lights are on the sensor begins its normal operating sequence. The button doesn't function as a switch once that happens.

The lights remain on until no motion is detected for a set period of time, then turn off until motion is sensed again. Pressing the button while the lights are on is actually a manual OFF command. The lights will remain off until no motion is sensed for a set period of time. The sensor then enters its normal cycle and waits for motion to turn the lights back on.

The steadily dropping voltage readings are expected behavior, too. Your meter is in series with the lights, completing the circuit but with a very high impedance. The LED driver circuits contain capacitors which are charging up but doing so very slowly due to the impedance across the meter. As they charge, their voltage is subtracted as part of the total circuit and thus the meter will read lower. If you replace one of the LED lamps with a standard incandescent bulb the meter will read a steady 120V-ish.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
It turns out I had the wires backward. In this case red is hot, and black goes to the fixture. I just reversed them, and now the switch is working properly.
Fishbulb, with this model switch, pressing the button briefly overrides the motion detection.
I think your explanation of the LED capacitors sounds plausible. Thank you. What would happen if I held the meter there long enough for the voltage to drop all the way to zero? At that point, the caps would be fully charged... would the LEDs turn on?
 
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