Vacancy sensor for lighting controlled by switch

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  #1  
Old 03-16-15, 03:03 PM
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Vacancy sensor for lighting controlled by switch

Hello,
I am new to this forum but have done a few searches looking for a solution to a minor annoyance in a home I just purchased and have come up short as my situation seems a bit unique.

I have a small garage with one fluorescent shop light fixture (2 bulbs) along with an old 60w porch light fixture (also inside the garage), both controlled by only one switch in the kitchen which is adjacent to the garage. Those lights get left on quite frequently as we are in and out of the garage getting dog food or putting away recycling throughout the day. I like the idea of a vacancy sensor turning off the light for us when we forget to do it ourselves but haven't come across any good solutions.

I've considered adding a switch with a sensor in the garage but I believe that would also mean I would have to change the switch in the kitchen to a three way. Not a huge deal but I'm wondering if I am overlooking an easier way. Thoughts? Ideas?

Thanks in advance!
 
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Old 03-16-15, 05:01 PM
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Welcome to the forums!

You can do it without adding a 3 way. The sensor would be slaved off the existing switch in the garage. Just install it to interrupt the switch leg going to the lights when the switch is on. You could either remove the existing switch and splice it through, or just leave it on and let the occupancy switch do its thing.
 
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Old 03-16-15, 05:16 PM
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Joint the two wires on the switch together to remove the switch altogether.
Install this little guy right on to your fixture. Lithonia Lighting 360 Degree Mounted White Motion Sensor Fixture-MSX12 - The Home Depot
Easy peasy!
 
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Old 03-16-15, 05:19 PM
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What if there's two fixtures...... like in this case.
 
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Old 03-16-15, 05:23 PM
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The only problem with that is if you get still in the garage, and the sensor doesn't "see" you it will extinguish the light, and you will need to wait for a possible restart. Wonder if it is switch controlled like normal sensors. Turn it off and back on in one second and the lights will stay on until they are recycled or light hits the sensor?
 
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Old 03-16-15, 05:28 PM
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Most of the occupancy sensors use infra red sensing for control. Any hot body will activate the switch and the time-to-shutoff resets it as long as it detects heat activity. Most of the time when I get called for an occupancy sensor IN a garage I'll install two.... one at each end of the room.
 
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Old 03-16-15, 07:37 PM
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This is a question on the subject rather than an answer. I'll try to explain, it might help.

I believe there are occupancy sensors that are not used to switch on and off the lights, that is accomplished by a regular switch.

The sensor will shut off the lights if left unattended for a period of time.

Anyone seen these? Might be good in this case.
 
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Old 03-16-15, 09:44 PM
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Thank you all for the warm welcome and great responses. I definitely like the 360* occupancy sensor idea and have considered the same but didn't like the idea of killing the switch that resides in a 3 gang box in our kitchen. My wife believes that if there is a switch there, it should control something...go figure. I guess I could pull the switch out and change the faceplate.

Regarding the non fluorescent fixture that's in there...I'm willing to remove it since the bulb has been burnt out half the time I've been here and the light output isn't missed. I think that would leave a great place for a sensor too.

This is the vacancy switch I've had my eye on. You have to switch the light on manually and the sensor itself will cut power if you leave and don't turn it off. Just like the last commenter described. I'm wondering now if I change the inside switch to a 3 way, does a similar sensor exist by itself in 360* ceiling mount form like the other occupancy sensor? I believe that would be my ideal solution.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B005WM...=AC_SY200_QL40
 
  #9  
Old 03-17-15, 06:23 AM
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There are three possible conditions:
1. The light if forced to be off.
2. The light is under control of the occupancy sensor.
3. The light is forced to be on.

Using one sensor and one switch, you can have any two of the above conditions. Which two do you want?
 
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Old 03-17-15, 11:35 AM
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What if there's two fixtures...... like in this case.
He said the switch controls both fixtures, I am however assuming the fluorescent is first in line and the second fixture is fed off it.

OP, if you're willing to run wire to your garage to put a motion switch inside, I think that would be your best option.
As far as the old switch goes, leave the switch in for appearance sake with nothing attached and just tell your wife its the switch to toggle "the awesome kickassness of her day" on and off.
 
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