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Light sensing outdoor lighting

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by saichele, Oct 13, 2008.

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  1. saichele

    saichele Minister of Fire

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    I have a couple lights on either side of the garage door, and I'm going to add a third around the side. If I add one with a photocell, can I wire that in line and have it control the whole string? I'm thnking it would need to be the sort that have a battery, because the cell must take some juice, right? Or is it some sort of really tiny relay?

    Thanks
    Steve

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  2. GVA

    GVA Minister of Fire

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    it's a relay.
    It depends on how they are wired.
    but the first in the line should be changed, not the last.... Switched neutrals are not good...
  3. saichele

    saichele Minister of Fire

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    As they're wired now, I believe they are technically in parallel - 14-3 comes from the box, through a switch on the hot, then each of two fixtures is connected to both the hot and the neutral. Based on the physical arrangement, the only real option is to bust into the box for the last fixture, and take a lead off that. If I understand what you're saying, you'd recommend rearranging the wire so that they are in series - a continuous hot out to the photocell, then each of the other fixtures in series on the neutral?

    Steve
  4. savageactor7

    savageactor7 Minister of Fire

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    Steve we have Malibu solar flood lights on the eves of the garage, there about $14 a piece and have 3 batteries for better illumination. We got tired of the 120 watt flood lights always coming on because of the wind...just couldn't tweak them enough. Man I love solar lights ...we must have over 30 around the farm and I think they keep the coyotes away too.
  5. saichele

    saichele Minister of Fire

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    That's an interesting idea. I've always shied away from solar because 1) night is almost twice as long as day, and 2) even the days are pretty dreary here int he winter. Do they last all night? Did you buy the extra batteries separately?

    Steve
  6. savageactor7

    savageactor7 Minister of Fire

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    Steve the batteries are included in any package you buy...some stores will discount house and garden stuff to make room for Christmas stuff...like Walmart for example. Ours last the night but of coarse they're not quite as bright as when they first come on.
  7. GVA

    GVA Minister of Fire

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    no
    see drawing attached (it's pretty crappy)
    hot and nuetral are from box
    1st light in the circuit if it has 3 wire photocell (or use an external photocell)
    power is switched by photocell and breaks power to all lights in parallel downstream via daisychain
    neutral is unswitched and just daisychained, back to box...
    I hope this helps....

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  8. saichele

    saichele Minister of Fire

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    Thanks to both of you - very illuminating.

    Steve
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