Wiring Motion Sensor Switch to Incandescent Light

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Old 04-26-09, 05:46 PM
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Wiring Motion Sensor Switch to Incandescent Light

Hi all,

I am trying to wire a Motion Sensor Switch to an Incandescent Light and can't seem to figure it out for some reason. I have the following light switch: Cooper Wiring Devices at Lowe's: Decorator 3-Way Motion Switch with Adjustable Photocell and Adjustable Time Delay but in single pole not 3-way. And I have this light: UtiliTech at Lowe's: 15-Light 30" White Undercabinet/Rope Light The light is meant to be plugged directly into an outlet but I cut the end off and wired the hots from the light, switch and plug end together and the neutrals but whenever I connect it, it stay on all the time. Does anyone have any suggestions? How is the correct way to wire this??

Thanks!
 
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Old 04-26-09, 06:16 PM
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Welcome to the forums! First you can't use rope lighting as a hardwire medium. You said you sired the hots from the light, switch and plug together. Give us the colors on the switch wiring and where you put them. How many "hots" did you have from the light? What "plug" did you wire it to?
 
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Old 04-26-09, 06:24 PM
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Question

Originally Posted by chandler View Post
Welcome to the forums! First you can't use rope lighting as a hardwire medium. You said you sired the hots from the light, switch and plug together. Give us the colors on the switch wiring and where you put them. How many "hots" did you have from the light? What "plug" did you wire it to?
Here is what I have... the light (which I cut the plug off of), the switch (which has 2 black wires and a green, the directions says 1 black is neutral and 1 is hot), and the "plug" which I cut off the light. So I have 3 pieces to put together really. I put the 3 "hots" together from the plug, switch and light and the 3 neutrals for the same. Does that make more sense now??
 
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Old 04-26-09, 06:40 PM
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Like Larry siad you should not have cut the end off the rope light.

It sounds like the instructions are not correct. First the neutrals are not black. Secondly you do not switch a neutral.

Of course the light stays on, you have wired it to a constant hot. The switch is not breaking the power.
 
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Old 04-26-09, 07:44 PM
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Thanks for the responses. Just to make sure we are straight here.... the light itself doesn't have the black wires, the light switch does. The light doesn't have a grounded plug on it. Below is a scan of the instructions of the switch I have. I know someone else who was able to do this same thing and has it working fine for the last 2 year. Can't figure out why this wouldn't work...
 
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Old 04-27-09, 04:01 AM
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Look at your schematic. The black wires only break the hot wire coming in the bottom and going to the load on top. The load is also attached to a neutral. You do not switch a neutral, as Jim said. How do you have the wires from the rope light run to the switch? You must protect all connections.
 
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Old 04-27-09, 05:18 AM
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There are only 2 wires coming from the light since it's not grounded so from what I understand the wire that runs to the side with the wide spade connector is the neutral and the side with the narrow spade connector is the hot. Is this correct? Wouldn't that mean that I would connect these wire to the corresponding neutrals and hots on the switch? But you guys have said that you don't switch a neutral so where should this neutral be connected?
 
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Old 04-27-09, 05:53 PM
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Wiring Motion Sensor Switch to Incandescent Light

Hello mtehonica

If you had an old switch and are just replacing it ---Make sure you have a
Neutral White Wire and it is NOT a “Switch Loop” White Wire..

Hope this helps ---Let us know how you made out…

<a href="http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v107/Linesman/Electrical/?action=view&current=MotionDetectorSwitch.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v107/Linesman/Electrical/MotionDetectorSwitch.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

Have A Nice Day
Linesman
 
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Old 04-27-09, 06:20 PM
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Thanks for the response. I'm still struggle with this. In the response you have drawn out Linesman, is the top black wire the narrow prong that went to the plug and the blue is the wide prong the went to the plug, right? If this is true, I think my problem is that the light should never have been connected to the "hot" wire which is what I had and would be why it was always on and never being "switched".

Now when I add the "plug" into this mix, would I connect the wide prong of the plug to the neutral (blue) and the narrow prong to the "hot" (bottom black).

This might be starting to make sense.... I hope....
 
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Old 04-27-09, 07:31 PM
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Where does the plug come into play with this set up? It gets more confusing as we go. You are correct, the wide spade on a plug is neutral and the narrow one is hot. If you have wires coming from a plug somewhere, the neutral will go directly to your light neutral. The black wire (hot) will go to the switch first, then come out of the switch and attach to the light's hot wire.
 
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Old 04-27-09, 07:52 PM
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OK, let me layout the entire situation for you. This light setup will be going inside my new gun safe which is 60"x30"x24". It has a grounded outlet inside the safe. My plan was to have a plug run from the outlet to the motion sensing switch (providing the circuit with power when the switch senses motion and turns on, i.e. the door is opened).

So I think I'm correct in my thinking where if I just take the plug and reconnect the wide spade end to the neutral on the light and the narrow spade on the plug to the hot from the switch then it should be good to go....
 
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Old 04-27-09, 10:01 PM
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Wiring Motion Sensor Switch to Incandescent Light

Hello mtehonica

I think this is what your trying to do..

<a href="http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v107/Linesman/Electrical/?action=view&current=MotionDetectorSwitch-1.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v107/Linesman/Electrical/MotionDetectorSwitch-1.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

Have A Nice Day
Linesman
 
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Old 04-28-09, 03:58 AM
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Good graphics, Linesman. Hope this helps. Now, back to the code compliance matter. How is all this to be connected? You can't cut the wires on the rope lighting; you must protect the wiring in some way, and all connections must be secured in a covered junction box.
 
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Old 04-28-09, 09:53 AM
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Thanks for the graphics Linesmans! Now what would it look like if I was to add another light to the picture? Would I connect the blue to the next light instead of the plug? Could you edit the picture by any chance? I would really appreciate it.

As for protecting the wires and cleaning it all up, I was planning on using closed end connectors for the connections and heat shrink tubing around those and then the switch in a junction box.
 
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Old 04-28-09, 12:15 PM
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Hello mtehonica

Here is a new drawing of how I think you now want to set up your
Rope lights

Just follow what chandler said “You must protect the wiring in
some way, and all connections must be secured in a covered junction box”.

<a href="http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v107/Linesman/Electrical/?action=view&current=MotionDetectorSwitch3.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v107/Linesman/Electrical/MotionDetectorSwitch3.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

Hope this helps -- Let us know how you made out.

Have A Nice Day
Linesman
 
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Old 04-28-09, 12:52 PM
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Thanks so much for all the help guys! Makes so much sense now!

Now about protecting the connections, if the wires from the lights don't reach the junction box, what is the acceptable way to extend the wire so they do? Could I splice a longer piece of wire to them using a butt connector and heat shrink tubing around it??
 
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Old 04-28-09, 02:27 PM
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Line voltage cannot be left exposed, even if you were to heat shrink the butt connector. All connections must be in a covered junction box. It would have been better to control the receptacle with the motion sensor switch and just plug in the factory plug from the rope lights.
 
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