Motion dector light


Old 12-18-05, 03:28 PM
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Motion dector light

I have installed a new outdoor flood light with a motion detector attached. This is the 5th one I have installed over the years, never had a problem before.

Wiring for this one was simple enough, power comes in to the switch box, incoming hot to the bottom screw, black to the light, on the top, all whites twisted together and grounds connected. This was a lighted switch. As soon as bulbs went in, I powered the circuit and tested it in the daylight. Switch illuminated, and the light went on and off.

That evening I went outside, the light responded to motion and went on and stayed on for the time set, but when i went to overide the motion dector to turn the lights on at the switch, the lights would only go on for second then trun off. I went outside again and again the lights reponded to motion and stayed on for the set time. I though there might be a problem with the light or the wiring at the light so I killed the circuit for the evening. The next morning, I turned the circuit on again to test, it worked as in prior test, only this time the switch itself was not illuminated.

I replaced the light (fixture) and this evening I had the same problem , the lights work in every way except when you try to turn them on from the switch they come on, and then quickly shut off (and teh switch still wasnt illuminated)

I thought the switch might be at fault, I replaced that, still the same problem (the new switch is illuminated). The bulbs themselves are not aimed much differently that are any of the other fixtures which all work properly, any ideas?.
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Old 12-18-05, 03:55 PM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: CA
Posts: 2,041
Electronic devices such as your motion detector do not like to be connected to devices like simple 2 wire photocells, or an illuminated switch. The illuminated switch is a neon bulb which activates on the open circuit voltage across the switch, and then stays lit on a very small amount of current flowing in the load ( the light bulb). It is not enough curent to make a bulb glow, but it is trying to force current through your motion detector, which does not like it and will react strangely.

Note that some flourescent bulbs can be destroyed by such devices as your illuminated switch or simple photocells.
Old 12-18-05, 04:28 PM
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Thanks for the the suggestion. I swapped out he illuminated switch for a standard switch and still the same problem. When I turn on try to override the detector, the light go on then off very quickly. Any other suggestions?
Old 12-18-05, 07:49 PM
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Problem Solved.

It seems that too much light was reaching the lights sensor (the light/motion detector turns off in the daylight) and shutting the unit off. I put tape over the sensor, it works fine. Ugh. Now I either have to reposition the unit to limit the amount of light the sensor receives (if possible) or permanently cover the sensor (sonds like a winner).

Interesting info 594tough about the illuminated switches and these units (none of the others that I have are operated by illuminated switches). I do have a few flouresent units controlled by them and I have noticed the bulbs go bad far too quickly.

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