SPDT wall switches? Porch light thoughts


Have an idea...
porch light, was thinking it'd be nice to hook it up through a motion sensor and light sensor so it'd only be on when a) it's dark and b) I actually need the light. That way if I know I'm coming home after dark it's not lit for four hours or whatever when I don't need it, or I forget to turn it on and I have to fumble around and find the keyhole in the dark. But there's times when you may want it on (friends coming over that don't know which house is yours) or off (maintenance) so... was thinking pull to the light with 14/3, is there a SPDT center-off toggle switch that I can buy that would match my existing switches? I don't think I've ever seen one in my local Big Box, but if I went to the real electrical supply, would they have them?
Also, am wondering how I would mount said motion/light sensors. Porch light is on the underside of porch roof. Maybe another box at the end of the porch (it is a regular roof, not a flat roof) but I wouldn't want a surface mount box there, what's the drill for mounting a flush mount box in old work siding and making it right? this is the old shingle-type siding, very thin, probably asbestos
nate
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Center off type switches are expensive . A typical motion detector has a photocell built into it, so there really shouldn't be a need to over complicate the wiring. If your light is in the porch ceiling, just cut in a switch box near the light, in the ceiling, and run a three wire cable from the light box to the switch box. Use a box cover with a half inch threaded hole, and install the motion detector in it. Just wire it so the hot from the wall switch goes to the black of the motion detector, the red from the detector goes back to the fixture, and the neutrals get tied together.
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RBM wrote:

figures. I suppose I could just use a 3-way, would do the same thing but without the center off
> A typical motion detector has a

OK, I'll have to pay attention next time I am at the store

I see what you're saying, but then wouldn't the MD be pointing down at the porch rather than out at the walkway leading up to it, and then also wouldn't it be always shaded so the light sensor would be useless? or can they be adjusted so that normal daytime ambient light would still hold it off?
nate
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Many motion detectors have adjustments for daylight sensitivity. Many "see" beyond 180 degrees, so you should be able to position it to "see" whatever area you want
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Some (maybe most) simple motion sensor lights are made so that if you want them to come on and stay on you can. Forgot how it is done, but something like turning the switch on and off and back on within a second or so.
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Ralph Mowery wrote:

Yes! Exactly! I forgot about that. Good thinking.
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Nate Nagel wrote:

You can get a photocell - by itself - that you can mount anywhere and it can intercept the hot line to the light. Then you can put a CFL in the socket and forget about it.
A 12-watt CFL will use 0.14KWH of power per night, 4.3KWH per month, or, at 15/KWH about 60.
You can add a switch to the circuit and leave the light off when not expecting guests, saving, oh, 60 per month.
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HeyBub wrote:

It's not just the energy I object to, it's the light itself being on. So many people have outdoor lights on all night that I haven't seen stars since the last time I visited my parents.
My neighbors are good people, but they have a pair of floodlights mounted just under the roof of their house that shine on our shared driveway. I am quite tempted to offer to fit a motion detector to that one for them because the light from them also does a splendid job of lighting up my bedroom unless I close the blinds all the way (which I don't like to do; sunlight helps me wake up in the morning.) The only reason I haven't is because to do so I'd need to borrow a 24' or 28' ladder, and then actually get on the damned thing, something of which I'm not a big fan.
nate
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Nate Nagel wrote:

I'm with you on the subject of light pollution. What gets me is people who move out to the country, then they put up a f*cking street lamp! Move to the F*cking city if you want street lights! Or at least use the ones with shades so the light only shines down on their lot, not out for everyone to see.
I'm on a little mountain and it's not too bad yet with a few acres of trees around most of my house, much better in the summer! I can see the stars very well. However I almost died when my mom mentioned how the lights on a distant mountain looked so pretty. All the new lights I put up have shades so the light only faces down and outward only about 45 degrees. You can only see the ground and the sides of the house and garage lit up, you can't see the light directly from the fixture.
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wrote:
[snip]

Just before Christmas I visited some people in central Texas (about 100 miles west of Waco). They're way out in the country and it was unbelievable how many stars I could see from their back porch.
[snip]
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On Sun 10 Jan 2010 08:56:16p, Mark Lloyd told us...

When we first moved to Arizona, we lived in a small desert community far from the city. Street lights weren't permitted and few residents kept outdoor lights on through the night. The nearest ocmmercial area was 20 miles away, so no store lights either. The night sky was incredible.
Ten yeas later we no longer live there, but the area now has 12-15 thousand new homes. There are still no street lights, but more people keep their outdoor lights on and there are numerous shops and stores with their commercial lighting. The night sky is no longer incredible. :-(
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There is a way to get a SPDT switch with "off" --sorta. They make the double switches that fit in a single box and use the same cover as a receptacle, though I forget the exact name of them. You can get them with one switch being a 3 way or both. If you use one with one regular and one 3 way (SPDT) you can use the regular switch for off-on and the 3 way for what you are wanting to do. Larry
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Wayne Boatwright wrote:

http://www.darksky.org /
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Mark Lloyd wrote:

http://www.darksky.org /
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The simplest way is a x10 RF battery operated motion sensor you mount anywhere and a x10 wall switch to replace the light switch.
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I think most motion detector lights have the feature you want built into them already. I know mine does but I dont use it much. Its either off or on sensor. If I turn it off then back on within a second or so it will disable the sensor and just stay on all the time.
Jimmie
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If you turn off the detector for at least 20 aseconds and then turn it back on, it will be in the normal mode. If you turn it off and then back on within a couple of seconds, the light will be 100% on. Most detectors have some sort of flexible mount for the detector. Compact fluorescent lamps may or may not work. IF the detector operates a relay, which you can hear click, then a CFL will work. If the lamp is lit directly by a transistor circuit, the CFL will burn out frequently.
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hr(bob) snipped-for-privacy@att.net wrote:

Hmm... I didn't even think of that.
I am limited to using a light sensor mounted remotely from my light because of the way my porch and front door are arranged - my screen door barely clears the light as it is, and I believe I mentioned a while back about "restoring" the original light fixture because I couldn't find a new one that was low profile enough to clear the screen door.
So... any recommendations that will work nice with a CFL? I do currently have a CFL in there and have not noticed any ill effects, even in the current weather (19 degrees as I type this.)
nate
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hr(bob) snipped-for-privacy@att.net wrote:

It's actually a "triac" not a "transistor" used for switching the power. The only lighting I've seen used a transistor was an emergency light at an electrical supplier that I worked for 36 years ago. It was used to switch 6volts DC.
TDD
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