Adding a motion sensor to an extension cord

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  #1  
Old 08-24-13, 09:41 PM
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Adding a motion sensor to an extension cord

Separated from Connecting Motion-Sensor to Extension Cord

Can I add a motion sensor to an extension cord for some garage lighting i want to turn on only when i am in the garage.

i am trying to follow the diagram in an earlier thread however you have used a grey / white wire on the sensor.

my sensor has red blue and brown.
in Australia
brown = Active
blue = Neutral
red = Load

so to follow your diagram, which colours go where?
is my diagram correct?Name:  plugnplay 2.jpg
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  #2  
Old 08-25-13, 03:29 AM
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Welcome to the forums! Being a primarily North American forum, we don't get much on the other wiring methods of Europe and Australia. First, why do you want to install a motion detector on an extension cord, rather than on the lights? Why is the extension cord used for the lighting. We need to know more about what you are doing in order to give good advice. We'll try to work through the wiring for you.
 
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Old 08-25-13, 04:05 AM
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hi
well i have a set of lights that i have set up in my garage workshop, they are already in place and powered by a power cord to the house. the sensors cost about $25-35 If i were to put sensors on every light (4 of them) that's 4 X 25-35$ which is over $100.

why do that when i can have the motion sensor switch the powerboard on and off, thereby turning all four lights on /off at the same time.

the previous thread (which the mods separated from this one) has a similar drawing to mine in which the original poster had brown, grey / white and blue cables coming from the sensor. he was from Germany.

i will be doing the exact same thing, the only difference is my sensor wires are blue red and brown.
 
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Old 08-25-13, 05:09 AM
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You can install a motion sensor on the first light in line and it will control all the other lights if wired correctly. Installing something like a motion detector in a cord is not a good idea, nor is the running of the cord from the house for that matter, but you didn't bring that up as a problem.
 
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Old 08-25-13, 08:25 AM
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I'll reiterate Chandler's statement about probably not wanting to install a motion detector on a cord. At a minimum, I would put the junction inside an electrical box with the motion detector mounted in one of the knockouts and wires clamped safely.

That said, I think you have your red/brown wires swapped in your drawing. The Active/Brown (called Line in the US) should go to the power side - the male plug. The load (red) should go to the light. That should solve your wiring problem!
 
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Old 08-26-13, 01:41 AM
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thanks guys

yes i already know about how running a power cable from the house, isn't the best option, i am renting the house, so that is the best option i have at the moment. i will be putting it in orange conduit and running it as saftely as possible to the garage.

thanks all, seeing as the original poster had his answer 3 years ago, and i was doing the exact same thing, just had different wire colours, it seems there was a lot of questioning my reasons for doing this project.

but i guess the more information people give you, the more people can point out their own opinions and keep the site ticking over.
i mean, how fun would it be if you just gave a simple answer and left it at that.

but to keep everyone busy giving opinions, i will follow up with a few more questions.

Installing something like a motion detector in a cord is not a good idea
why not?

I am a professional inventor and mechanical engineer, when i hear someone say its not a good idea, i like to know why.
i also have had quite a few patents and you know what you usually hear from people when you have a good idea? "its not a good idea"

just to clarify, am i supposed to get the owner of the house to instal hard wiring to the garage, 4 motion sensors, (for my four lights). when i could just ...


plug in my sensor power board, plug in the lights and wallah, done...

but that would be too easy wouldn't it.
 
  #7  
Old 08-26-13, 02:55 AM
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Exclamation Excuse me ?

We are here to provide our members with the correct and proper way to do something.


but to keep everyone busy giving opinions, i will follow up with a few more questions.
We don't need to be kept busy giving opinions.


i already know about how running a power cable from the house, isn't the best option,
It's not only not the best option it's not the safest option either.


I'm also a little confused.....you want to add one motion sensor to your "cord" for your lights but after it was mentioned you could control all your shop lights with one motion detector you are still talking about having to install four.
 
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Old 08-26-13, 01:34 PM
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As you know, there are different levels of 'safe'. On one end, bare wires, shoved into a receptacle, with a sign saying 'do not touch' can be safe, but most would consider quite unsafe. On the other hand, we could run everything in rigid steel conduit, a few wire gauge sizes larger than necessary, with GFI/AFCI/etc. to protect it from almost anything. While much safer, it's a lot more work/cost.

Most of our recommendations here are based on the National Electrical Code (NEC) which is written by a group of smart people looking back at 100 or so years of electrical history and experience to determine what is appropriately safe (my terminology, not theirs). The NEC states that extension cords should be used only in temporary situations. They should be UL (or other agency) listed to prove they are manufactured to spec, and any modification to them invalidates UL listing.

So, all this considered... it means cutting an extension cord and adding a motion detector to it is not "appropriately safe" according to the NEC and UL. Certainly a lot of the safety will be determined on how you wire it. Bubblegum and masking tape? Or an electrical box, strain reliefs, approved connectors, etc?

Hope this helps explain where we are coming from. Those of us who have been around these forums and have done remodeling and such have seen some nightmarish setups, as I'm sure as an engineer you have too.
 
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