security: motion sensor or continuous light better?

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Old 12-01-10, 07:23 PM
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security: motion sensor or continuous light better?

I'm starting my journey towards a permanent outdoor lighting setup for my house. We've had an incident in the neighborhood and while it's probably isolated, better lighting is something i've always wanted, now i have the nudge to do it. i just have the dinky malibu lights you stick in the ground currently and this is not what i want anymore. Plus PITA to mow around too

but before i even start thinking about the setup, i need to decide on motion detectors or 'always on' lights. electric cost is top priority but i believe they have LEDs that wont eat up too much juice if i go for an always on solution

i have many blind spots/angles etc and other places where it's easy to hide and while i dont want a prison like brightness setup, i wouldnt mind lighting up the entire perimeter and this would involved at least 6-7 lights, if not more. it's a 60x50 house plus 24x24 garage with breezeway

general thoughts and ideas? i'm totally open as i just have begun my research
 
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Old 12-02-10, 12:42 PM
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Two advantages to motion controlled lights are less electricity used and their coming on if you can see the area may alert you to a possible incursion. A negative for motion controlled lights is in some cases they can be problematic., coming on when they shouldn't or not coming on when they should so don't go lowest price when buying.

Continuous lighting uses more electricity and may annoy neighbors. While the sudden on of a motion sensor might scare away an intruder the always on lights may give them confidence because they can see to check out the area before entering.

I was for a bit when I was having a problem considering motion sensor lights and thinking outside the box was actually considering adding a chime transformer and putting a chime in my house so I'd know if the lights came on while I was sleeping. I know way outside the box.
 
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Old 12-02-10, 03:05 PM
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dual- bright option

I just installed 2 of what would seem to be the best (or worst depending on your viewpoint) of both situations.
They are a light that has a "dual bright" feature (I believe the manufacturer is Heath Zenith). They come on at dusk, but at half brightness-easier on the neighbors-, but if motion is detected, they light up to full power, for a preset length of time (1, 5, 20 minutes, IIRC).

More power is used than the "off/on" motion detector type lights, but less than the full-on types (non motion activated).

I've had one in use since April,with no problems, and I just installed 2 others.
 
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Old 12-02-10, 05:08 PM
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O/T Mikedel have you read http://forum.doityourself.com/lighti...lb-advice.html ? It sounds like you have a similar fixture. Can you give the OP of that thread any help? What kind of bulb do you have in yours?
 
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Old 12-02-10, 07:20 PM
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Ray2047,
In the 2 newer fixtures, I have ordinary halogen "par 38 floodlights" (not sure exactly what that means), which was the bulb indicated on the box containing the fixture.Of course, they were right next to the fixture.
In the older one (installed in April) I think that the bulbs are regular incandescent floodlights.
When they burn out, I think I'll go with the halogens.

(btw, I'll post the same info on the linked thread.)
 
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Old 12-02-10, 07:56 PM
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I personally like dusk to dawn lighting because motion lighting tends to give false trips in windy nights and critters of the fuzzy kind.
Depending what your budget is I have seen some high quality LED exterior lights made by RAB at the supply house. (Google RAB led lights)

Otherwise I suggest going with some florescent wall lights. Not high on the electric bill, and last a fairly long time.
 
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Old 12-02-10, 07:59 PM
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Update: to my post #3 * I just found part of the box (actually, my wife did- as I was slowly typing on the thread mentioned by Ray 2047 !!) it is Dual Brite
(note the spelling), and the manufacturer is Heath Zenith- they have a website, which may be helpful.
(I'd post a link, but I'm not sure if that is allowed)
 
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Old 12-03-10, 12:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Mikedel View Post
Update: to my post #3 * I just found part of the box (actually, my wife did- as I was slowly typing on the thread mentioned by Ray 2047 !!) it is Dual Brite
(note the spelling), and the manufacturer is Heath Zenith- they have a website, which may be helpful.
(I'd post a link, but I'm not sure if that is allowed)
As long it is related to this topic I don't mind it at all that you can post the link.

And it do help a bit with other readers in here.

Merci.
Marc
 
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Old 12-03-10, 12:38 AM
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As long we are on the same topic the Dual Brite motion senseor I do know you can use either indentscent bulb or Halogen bulb they will work just fine but as long you Don't use CFL or LED they can act funky on low power mode.

{ I have see it happend before }

Merci.
Marc
 
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Old 12-03-10, 08:58 AM
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interesting new info, love reading it
one thing i never mentioned is i have blocked soffits so i have wood under there that i really want to use to hang the lights. I prefer surface mount so i dont have to cut big holes. Also i want to wire them in 2 or 3 'areas' with switches so i can kick off the 'brights' and use my spa in peace at night

budget is always low, i have so many other projects going on i never would have thought of lighting but now my low voltage ones in the rear are on the fritz so i'm actually seriously looking for a single 'test light' to buy and hook up temporarily so i can see if i want to buy more for the entire house.

regarding 'scoping out the house': they can do that regardless, people around me are dark and so my belief is they wouldnt want to be seen at my house in the light vs all the other dark houses in the neighborhood. much easier targets. plus back yard is a jungle and theoretically they should not be interested in the house but you never know. We all have about 1/2 acre here with houses roughly centered on the lots. I'm very heavily inclined to have 'always on' lights of some kind.

dual brites sound very interesting, i must look up their site and power usage

regarding concern about bleeding onto other properties, not a concern here, A. i dont really care lol but B. i'd never shine at someone's house anyway, i want downward facing that is shielded so it doesnt bleed over, i'm not giving them free security I want my place more lit up, not theirs

i've never heard of outdoor flourescents, are they the same long bulbs like i would have in my bathroom?

LED definitely interests me but i'm betting $$$ per bulb. Still, i can do a calculation for a breakeven point with the electricity and am more than willing to spend the extra if it's a short payback time of say 5 years or less.
 
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Old 12-04-10, 12:55 AM
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Luckydriver.,

As far for CFL with motion sensor I have see few but they can come on pretty fast but the brightness will depending on the outdoor tempture if very cold days it may come on dim in couple minutes warm up but to use them like dusk to dawn or stay on for few hours then it will justify the cost and belive or not pretty good percentage of the flourscent luminaires can use the same CFL as you have some in the house { most will have 4 pin socket but smaller one may use two pin socket }

For my dusk to dawn luminaires I have in both Wisconsin and Paris France I used the 50 or 70 or 150 w HPS in most case but Oui I do have big 1000 watt MH to light up the yard as I need to { that dish out pretty serious light better than 4 X 500 Quatzs can crank out }

But unforetally in my house I do not have any motion sensors at all but I may end up get one soon anyway.

Merci,
Marc
 
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Old 12-06-10, 09:10 AM
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Originally Posted by french277V View Post
As long it is related to this topic I don't mind it at all that you can post the link.

And it do help a bit with other readers in here.

Merci.
Marc
Thank you Marc
Here's the link:
HeathCo

Note: if you type in "heath zenith", you may get to a website that has (according to my computer's security program) a reputation for malware.
If you type in heath-zenith (with the dash), you'll get to the correct lighting site.

Mike
 
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Old 12-06-10, 02:02 PM
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i've looked at that site and got tons of ideas . i really like the controller aspect too.

but now i have additional questions after just walking around lowes today looking at things. I've never purchased electrical wire so unsure what to get but i saw one roll of 50 ft outdoor for about 30 bucks. does that sound about right? Depending how i do things, wire alone may be one heck of an expense lol

Then i got to thinking how the wire would actually be run and to where. I just finished blowing a very thick layer of green fiber in my attic so i really want to minimize moving that around wherever possible. So i was thinking, is it possible to just run the wire between my aluminum and the wood on my soffit? the soffit isnt vented so stuff can easily be mounted just screwing thru the metal. Or some kind of surface mounting of it with a 'pretty' cap over it?

here's a pic from another project to give you an idea of what i'm working with, just ignore the note

http://i371.photobucket.com/albums/o...s/IMG_8848.jpg

then i'd have to figure out how to control all this with switches etc.I definitely want the ability to turn all the lights on or off. i'll be honest and say i really cant see myself dropping wires and installing new switches in walls. years ago i tried dropping just an single rg6 down my living room wall and i couldnt do it, there was something in the way. i dont know if it has to do with plaster walls and some kind of board or what. The attic does have relatively EZ access though so if i can work everything out to be wired into it, then i can maybe figure out some kind of wireless solution

now i see why people just use the in the ground cheapo malibus..much easier to install lol
 
 

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