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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'll try to make sense in what I say.

I want to have more lights turned on when I open the garage. Right now the only light that I get is from a small 40w bulb built into the garage door opener. That bulb is pretty dim.

I want to know if there is a way to hook up more lights to the unit so it will turn on when the garage opens and shuts off after a certain period of time just like the stock bulb on the opener.
 

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I want to have more lights turned on when I open the garage. Right now the only light that I get is from a small 40w bulb built into the garage door opener. That bulb is pretty dim.

I want to know if there is a way to hook up more lights to the unit so it will turn on when the garage opens and shuts off after a certain period of time just like the stock bulb on the opener.
You could the manu how much extra current the relay that turns on the bulb can handle.

If you can read the numbers off the relay case inside the unit [cut the power first] the relay contact specs can probably be found on the Internet and that will tell how many more lamps you can use.

You can use the bulb socket to drive the 120v coil of another [$4 or so] relay and get very high current handling capacity.

How many more bulbs, flourescent or incandescent or LED, do you want to use?
 

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I would say the external relay route would probably be best. I know I've seen 120volt coil relays at the local Ax-Man that have a contact rating of 15amps (which would be more than enough for a few fluorescent lights). I would wire up the relay in a junction box in the ceiling above the garage door opener and then run a cord down to the garage door opener and plug it into the lamp socket. Though I am sure if you had an inspector look at he'd red flag it, even if everything was wired up correctly. Its do-able and for pretty cheap too, the relay being the only additional part you'd have to find and purchase.
 

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Even less intrusive would be to use a "Adaptor, lamp holder to outlet", Servistar AR125 that goes from a lamp socket to a two prong outlet, then you plug the flourescent fixture into the socket.
You'd also need a grounding adaptor and short ground wire to pick up a ground for the flourescent fixture.
http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.mcmelectronics.com/content/productimages/s4/3928631.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.mcmelectronics.com/product/27-310&h=426&w=450&sz=20&hl=en&start=5&tbnid=4uYPkVJxP9OB1M:&tbnh=120&tbnw=127&prev=/images%3Fq%3D%2522grounding%2Badaptor%2522%26gbv%3D2%26hl%3Den

I'm not sure at what point an installation of this type becomes no more than a lamp plugged into a socket, and when it becomes something that's regulated by the NEC.

And, is a garage a "damp location" or a "dry indoor location"?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I would say dry location.

theatretch85, what kind of rely are you talking about? Can you give me a link? I never really seen a rely for a house(not that I looked before). I work a lot on car audio and security, so I understand the need for a rely. I just never saw one used for a house.
 

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The particular relay I have here has the 120volt coil (so no ac adaptor needed) and the relay contacts are rated for 15 amps. I don't know who makes it but I bought it at Ax-Man in minneapolis, mn. If you are looking for relays, take a look at www.newark.com thats where I buy most of my electronic parts (led's, resistors, PCB mounted relays, etc).

I actually have a relay wired to the back of my light switch in my room, its a 3 way dimmer switch and I wired the relay to the "other" terminal and the common. So when the light is "off" its actually on the relay contacts waiting for the relay to actuate. On this particular relay it requires a 12VDC input so I wired it to an adaptor and plugged it into a timer. So now my lights turn on in the morning to wake me up (in addition to my computer playing music).
 

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Most small contactors (relays) are quite capable. They can handle for sure a 36 W fluorescent without an additional downstream contactor

The problem is the inrush current of a fluorescent fixture. There is a power factor correction capacitor inside which makes an arc when the circuit closes. To avoid this remove the capacitor. You may connect it somewhere else permanently (it will not harm) if it is required for some reason

In some fixtures the capacitor is reuired for the fixture to work. Dont use them here (in other places do - Some of them are better than the standard fixture)

If you use an external relay you may use whatever lights you want
 

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I'll try to make sense in what I say.

I want to have more lights turned on when I open the garage. Right now the only light that I get is from a small 40w bulb built into the garage door opener. That bulb is pretty dim.

I want to know if there is a way to hook up more lights to the unit so it will turn on when the garage opens and shuts off after a certain period of time just like the stock bulb on the opener.

Lets try the easy way... Buy yourself an occupancy sensor wall switch and be done with it...
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
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