Two plugs to one outlet?

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  #1  
Old 10-11-12, 01:14 PM
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Two plugs to one outlet?

Hi, I am interested in doing something that I think sounds simple, but I haven't been able to find any evidence that it has been done before.

In short, I have a garage light that is currently controlled by a motion detector - it turns the light on when motion is detected, and turns it off again after a minute. I am happy with this solution most of the time as it means that I don't need to put switches on both entry points to the garage.

However, there are certain times when I would like to be able to manually turn the garage light on and off - so it doesn't automatically go off when I am working in the garage. I was thinking of using an insteon appliancelinc plug-in module. I already have some insteon home automation gear in the house.

The question is whether it would be possible to have these two lighting control methods co-exist. I was thinking of simply making an adapter that has two plugs on it, and these both wire to a single outlet. You then plug the garage light into the single outlet, and the two plugs go into the motion detector socket and the insteon appliancelinc respectively. Hence, if either of these are activated, the light will get power. If they are both activated, the light will still be activated without any issue.

Can anyone see any problem with this wiring? Or how else could what I describe be accomplished? Thanks.
 
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Old 10-11-12, 02:10 PM
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In most instances the motion detection lights can also be used either fully on or fully off. If you put a switch close to where you want to control this activity, turn the light off and on within 1 second, the light will stay on until you turn the light off for about 5 seconds, at which time it will revert to a motion detection unit. "Off", of course would be off. It would save a bunch of time and energy if you just installed the switch.
 
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Old 10-11-12, 03:11 PM
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Thanks for the suggestion, and I agree that your method would be a better approach in most circumstances. However, there are 3 reasons that I have wanted to avoid this in my particular circumstance:

* the light fitting is in the ceiling, and also powers the garage door opener. To install a switch, I would need to run another cable down. I like a finished look, so putting the cable outside of the wall isn't satisfactory. I don't really have the tools to get the cable behind the wall - and it would be more work than my suggestion.

* an advantage of the home automation route is that I am planning on having a panel in the house that will tell me if the light in the garage is on - eliminating the possibility of leaving it on inadvertently. This isn't possible without the home automation. I could use a home automation motion detector, but this would be more expensive - whereas I already have the hardwired motion detector setup.

* I have a motion detector light on the porch that has the on/off functionality. I've found it confusing to know when the light is turned permanently on vs the timer. Having a separate circuit would avoid this problem.

It still seems to me that the Y cable would be a quick and easy solution. I just want to make sure that it is viable.
 
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Old 10-11-12, 03:21 PM
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the light fitting is in the ceiling, and also powers the garage door opener.
If power comes in at the light you may be able to wire an always hot receptacle next to the light.
 
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Old 10-11-12, 03:27 PM
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the light fitting is in the ceiling
What is a light fitting? In what ceiling? Is it in the soffit, outside?? Or is it inside the garage? Is it the garage door opener light? Just trying to figure out what you have. Do you have access to above the ceiling in the garage?

You are talking about running extension cords all over the place, so I can't figure how your solution would make it neater.
 
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Old 10-12-12, 09:32 AM
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Okay, the exact setup is that there is an always-on outlet in the rafters of the garage. Plugged into the outlet is the garage door opener, and a motion detector. Plugged into the motion detector is a fluorescent light.

The idea of the Y cable is that it wouldn't involve extension cables. It would just be a short adaptor that allows the fluorescent light to plug into both the motion detector and the home automation module - both of which would be up in the rafters with the fluorescent light and the always-on outlet.
 
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