double french doors-where to put switch for lights?

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Old 05-03-11, 04:28 PM
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double french doors-where to put switch for lights?

have upstairs room that wife wants to change into 2nd family room. you have to step down from the hallway to enter room. currently does not have a door, just a 30" wide opening. I am going to widen it to 48" and put in double french doors. then I thought about it, with two doors swinging into the room, if I put in a switch in typical location, you would have to reach past an opening door (24" and with a step down) to turn on light. didn't seem too practical. you really would have to step down and enter room, then reach for light switch. where does switch typically go in this situation? wife and I talked about putting one in hallway right outside doors, and then one inside room also. just wanted some thoughts on this.
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Old 05-03-11, 04:41 PM
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Most cases we will just put beyond the swing of the door like you mentioned. It really is not that awkward. In the hallway is an option but I would thing it would be odd and not very convenient if your were in the room and wanted to turn on the lights.
 
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Old 05-03-11, 05:17 PM
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yeh, after we thought about it, we quickly realized you needed a switch in room. that is when we thought about putting one in hallway and then one in room as well.the one in hallway could be put in double gang with a switch for the hallway lights. and since the double french doors will have lites the entire length, you would be able to see the light if you hit wrong switch and room light came on. whereas if you could not see through doors into room, if you hit the one switch, you would be wondering what it does. well, not us, but any visitors might be confused.
 
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Old 05-03-11, 05:23 PM
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I agree with Scott, but figure which door will be primary, so you can locate it properly. Hallway is an option, so keep it in mind as well. Since it is not a bedroom, and no privacy needed, a switch just in the hallway may be more convenient.
 
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Old 05-03-11, 10:29 PM
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What do you think of a motion sensor instead of an awkward switch placement?
 
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Old 05-04-11, 12:12 AM
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thought about that, but I could see sitting on couch reading or at computer and not moving much and then light going out and having to move to turn it back on. maybe I should get "the clapper" -clap on, clap off!! LOL. don't know enough about them really. is room occupancy sensor different than motion sensor?
 
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Old 05-04-11, 04:37 AM
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A true occupancy sensor, rather than motion sensor will detect body heat and will remain on. Ben may have more info on were to get those. Yeah, the motion sensors are a little persnickety when you get still.
 
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Old 05-04-11, 10:29 AM
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You're right chandler, the occupancy sensors are quite a bit better than a simple motion sensor. I'm not really sure if Home Depot, et al carries them, but any supply house you go to should have a couple different styles. The occupancy sensor looks like a smoke detector and generally mounts on the ceiling roughly in the center of the room and it has a 360° view. If you've been into a brand new building these are in every room and stairwell instead of switches.
 
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Old 05-04-11, 11:12 AM
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I'm not sure, but maybe you want to look into a 3-way switch. Only in this case instead of a switch at either end of a hallway or large room, one switch would be on the outside of room where you enter and the other would be positioned inside the room for convenience for the times when you’re in the room when the sun goes down. – Just a little tip: Put the switch for the room closest to the French doors and the other hallway switch farthest from the doors. Maybe this is something you already thought about, but is easy to forget about when actually doing the work.

Now putting a double gang box for the hallway is a good idea, just make sure you pick up a 120V rated “old construction” (meaning that the house is already finished) double gang box if you don’t want to expose more 2x4s than you have to. An “old construction” box has “ears” that when using a cross end (Phillips) screwdriver tightens the “ears” clamping the drywall to hold itself in place. Many “old construction” boxes aren’t rated for higher voltage but are to be used for coax cable or telephone/data cables. You would use this box only when you don’t want to open more wall than you already have planned for the French doors. Since you’re already opening the wall to widen the doors, maybe you’ll then have access to the wall studs and will want to buy a normal double gang electrical box you nail in place. You’ll have to find what best fits your situation.
 
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Old 05-04-11, 06:02 PM
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Many “old construction” boxes aren’t rated for higher voltage but are to be used for coax cable or telephone/data cables.
Those are Orange, while the 300V ones are blue.
 
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Old 05-05-11, 09:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Justin Smith View Post
Those are Orange, while the 300V ones are blue.
There are no boxes that are orange. Only the frames. Any old work BOX can be used because they are all rated for line. The orange ones are not actually boxes, they are just plate mounts (sometimes they have knockouts for mounting smurf tube), which is why they are only for comm/speaker/cable.
 
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Old 05-05-11, 09:59 PM
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Originally Posted by JerseyMatt View Post
There are no boxes that are orange. Only the frames. Any old work BOX can be used because they are all rated for line. The orange ones are not actually boxes, they are just plate mounts (sometimes they have knockouts for mounting smurf tube), which is why they are only for comm/speaker/cable.
What Justin is talking about:
Please use the following link to the Lowe's website for the orange box: Shop CARLON 1-Gang Plastic Low-Voltage Electrical Box at Lowes.com

Please use the following link to the Lowe's website for the blue box: Shop CARLON 1-Gang Plastic Old Work Electrical Box at Lowes.com
 
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Old 05-05-11, 10:18 PM
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Yeah I know what he's talking about. Like I said, the orange ones aren't boxes, they're just frames to mount a plate to - basically the same as screwing the plate directly into the wallboard. Those are for LV/comm only. There are no fully enclosed old work boxes that can't be used for electrical.
 
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Old 05-05-11, 10:36 PM
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Originally Posted by JerseyMatt View Post
There are no fully enclosed old work boxes that can't be used for electrical.
I wasn't disagreeing, only trying to help our fellow forum friend who asked a question. Only teaching a little I guess. But with that said could you clarify this quote I copied from your last post because I'm trying to make sure you wanted a double negative and that any enclosed box can be used for electrical.
 
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Old 05-05-11, 11:51 PM
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I appreciate input, but please lets get off the orange boxes! I know what kind of boxes to use-I just wired my entire addition to NEC2008 with help of this forum so I am not a newbie when it comes to wiring. lets get back on the topic.

I don't think like occupancy sensor-how do you sleep there if you want! this is family room but may have pull out couch for guests.

think I am going to do what I said initially-switch out in hall and one inside near door so you are covered in both places. the wiring is the easy part. I have to carefully cut out studs to install the header. working on balloon framed house is tricky.
 
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