Countdown timer switch for 3-way lighting

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Old 02-05-10, 03:43 PM
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Countdown timer switch for 3-way lighting

I have a stairwell with about 800 watts of lights (cannot be reduced since halogen fittings).
I have a 3-way on the lower floor with 4 way switches on the higher floors.
Only traveller wires between the floors.
I want to be able to turn the lights on from any floor and have them go off automatically after a few minutes.
I cannot find any countdown switches that will work in this 3 and 4 way setting without using an additional wire.
Anyone know how I can solve this problem?
 
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Old 02-06-10, 01:42 PM
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You need a timing relay that will close it's contacts when power is applied to the relay , and then open the contacts after a "contacts-closed" time period.

You will have to connect the contacts of this relay to the switch-box where the 2-wire cable from the fixtures connects to a switch.
 
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Old 02-06-10, 02:41 PM
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thanks but you have not provided a solution. All you have done is restated the problem.
 
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Old 02-06-10, 03:25 PM
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I know of no off-the-shelf remedy for your problem. As PATTBAA stated you need a timing relay and individual momentary-contact switches to do what you desire. It is a fairly simple circuit and can be done with off-the-shelf components but it is probably not a DIY job unless you have an extensive background in electrical / electronic controls.
 
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Old 02-06-10, 09:50 PM
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try thkis one

try this switch
Wattstopper InteliSwitch TS-400

you'll need 2 of them if you want the countdown timer function at both ends of a 3 way run
 
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Old 02-07-10, 01:22 PM
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You can use single-pole "wind-type" switches at each switch location if these conditions are acceptable---

If you operate Switch 1 , you cannot switch the fixtures "Off" from Switches 2 & 3 .

Ditto Switches 2 & 3.

You cannot switch the fixures to remain continually "On"; they will be illuminated only during the selected time-period .

The switches are wired "in parallel", each switch switching the "Live" wire to the "Fixtures" wire at each switch location. For example, at each switch location the timer-switch connects to the Black "Live" wire" and the Red "Fixtures wire."

Lutron has a "hi-tech" SP Decora timer, but it's wattage-rating is only 300 watts--

WS search for --- Lutron Electronics MA-T51 Maestro Timer Control Light Switch
 
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Old 02-07-10, 03:29 PM
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Good solution

Thanks for the response. I can see how that would work if the 'wind type' would be a 4-way but how would the current be passed to the next switch if the preceding switches are off? I only have the two traveler wires between the two end 3-ways.
 
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Old 02-07-10, 06:49 PM
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Have I got it right?

I think I understand.
One of the travelers always carries the load (say the black wire) and the other traveler (red) is connected to the load or fixture wire.
The spring timer would then always make a temporary jump between the two wires.
If I have this right then in the final switch box the fixture wire would would also connect to the red traveler wire.

At the interim switches both reds go one side of the switch and both blacks to the other terminal.
 
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