Motion light manual override

I have installed a couple of motion lights recently under the impression that the manual override works the way it used to in these units: Toggle the switch off and on quickly and you can toggle between "manual" constant-on mode and "auto" mode timed motion/heat sensor. Well, it seems these units do not always function this way anymore, as the company (Heath-Zenith/Desa) has told me that the unit is only designed to come on manually for the timed interval that it is set to, then turn off again. Seems pretty useless to me.
A common need is for the homeowner to have a light that serves as a motion detector at night, but also could be switched to constant on for working outside at night, etc., and also can be completely switched off, perhaps when having some people over in the backyard at night.
I know there are probably some wiring tricks I could do (route feeder to light for constant power, then run switchleg for sensor bypass) but in more than one case, getting the access to run additional wires is going to cost more. I would prefer to buy a sensor that works like the old units I remember. Does anyone know which ones do this? Looking in catalogs/online all I can find is "manual override" and that apparently doesn't mean what it used to.
Thanks!
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message

the impression

units: Toggle the

"manual" constant-on

seems these units

(Heath-Zenith/Desa)
manually for the timed

pretty useless to

serves as a motion

on for working

switched off, perhaps

(route feeder to

bypass) but in more

is going to cost

old units I

in catalogs/online

doesn't mean what it

Dunno what models you can do this with, but you don't necessarily have to run another wire a long distance to accomplish what you want. You simply add a switch near the lights, inside of course, so that power to the sensor which turns the lights on goes to the switch, and then continues to the normal place it's supposed to go. Then the output wire of the switch goes to the junction of the two hot leads for the bulbs. Turn on the switch, the bulbs are powered on. Open that switch and the standard motion lights work. To state it another way, you take the hot that goes from the wall to the sensor, and let it also go thru a switch so that the switch can bypass the sensor system and turn on the lights.
------ HOT----------->------------|-0=sensor=-|-light=---->---Neutr al X------>-------| X = added switch. ------- As far as I'm aware, and I don't know everything by any long shot, there is no way to do any damage to the internal mechanisms this way. I have three sets wired that way and except for the one with the bird nest in process, they all work and have worked perfectly. The newest one is almost two years old. It's not my own idea: the instructions to do this came with one of the light sets I bought years ago with instructions to install that way. In my case I put two switches on the driveway lights: One turns on the sensor system, the other turns the lights on continuous. Dunno why I put two switches: Never have used one of them. Oh yes I have! I used it to turn off the power so I could replace the whole lighting assembly. But not since <g>.
I have, on occasion, noticed that some lights do have instructions for wiring on the box outside, and now and then I have seen this scheme indicated. So, if you're not sure you like my idea, keep an eye on the printed instructions for the installations.
Pop
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If what you are describing is wiring the single switch in parallel to the sensor, I think that is against NEC, because as I understand it, there is then no way to cut power to the fixture. The only other way I could see it working with what you describe is using 2 switches? In this case, it still seems to me you'd need another wire to run to the fixture.
Did I understand correctly?
Ideally I'd just like to find the motion detectors that work the "correct" way that I'm used to.
----- Original Message -----
Newsgroups: alt.home.repair Sent: Friday, May 07, 2004 2:19 PM Subject: Re: Motion light manual override

X------>-------|
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On Fri, 7 May 2004 12:36:54 -0400, "mi part time"

I know exactly what you mean. I put in 2 motion flood fixtures last fall. If I try to switch it to manual override, the light blinks on for a fraction of a second then goes out. Only other way for them to come on is for motion to set them off.
This week I put in a new motion coach light in another location and it works the way you described. Toggle the switch and it will stay on until you toggle the switch again (or presumably until daylight comes and the light sensor shuts it off)
What I would like for the front is one that will come on for an hour or two in the evening when it gets dark, then be triggered by motion after that.
Mike
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I've got an old motion detector that I've tried every possible combination of clicking the switch and I can't get it to stay on. But every once in a while it turns itself on and stays on. I have to turn it off for 15 sec. or so to get it off. It usually happens after a power interruption, which usually happens during a thunderstorm. I don't know if it's the power glitch or the lightning. Maybe I need to build a Tesla coil and generate some minature lightning bolts when I want to keep it on.
Roger Grady snipped-for-privacy@comteck.qlfit.com To reply by email, remove "qlfit." from address
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snipped-for-privacy@comteck.qlfit.com (Roger Grady) wrote in message

Nothing wrong with the light. That is standard operation to revert to full on after a power failure (even an almost unoticeable 'blip' will do it).
Harry K
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (Harry K) wrote:

We have occasional brief interruptions that don't cause the light to lock on. And I've done a lot of switch flipping and have never been able to cause it. I'm thinking a particular pattern of interruptions which happens during lightning-caused outages is the culprit
Roger Grady snipped-for-privacy@comteck.qlfit.com To reply by email, remove "qlfit." from address
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