Has anyone installed motion detectors to control their shop lighting?
I'm thinking it would be handy if I could find one that would blink the
lights or warn me in some other manner that I am about to be plunged
into darkness. I find that all too often I leave with may hands full,
don't get back to turn off the lights, and find them on later that day
or the next.
Funny, I was thinking of just the opposite. I'd like to put one light on a
motion sensor so when I'm carrying stuff INTO the shop with my hands full a
light would come on. I'm a little confused about your question though.
What do you mean you want to be warned that you are about to be plunged into
darkness? You lights are going off without you wanting them to?
Larry C in Auburn, WA
"RB" < email@example.com> wrote in message
I have over a dozen motion sensors around my house so there is light wherever
you go. There are 2 basic types. "Motion" sensors trip once and run for the
specified time. "occupancy" sensors retrigger every time the eye sees motion so
if it "sees" you at least once in the time period it will stay lit.
I consciously made the lights controlled on the occupancy sensor in my shop not
suitable as work lights, ( a couple 60w bulbs) they just get me around. That
way I am not tempted to start a machine with out turning on the "real" lights.
Fluorescent lighting is cheap. I don't think I'd want the main lighting to be
controlled by a motion sensor. Can you imagine being in the middle of a cut
when the lights went out, just because you didn't move quick enough to excite
You could remember to shut the lights off before you leave.
I know it's hard but I'm sure you could learn.
My garage is 24 feet deep, then the shop starts and goes
another 32 feet. I get to the man door in the garage and
notice I left a light on and golly, I have to walk all the
way back and shut it off.
I had considered putting in motion detecting lights but
figured I wouldn't want them shutting off mid operation.
Plus, I figured I wasn't that much of a lazy twit.
Get the drift?
I've got a motion detector over my small entry door. Inside, just switches.
They're set inside the entry door (cannot enter from the 8' wide doors, nor can
you lock the shop from those doors). If I go out and leave them on, I've got a
memory problem. It happens. I used to look out and see them on at 4 a.m. as I
was making my coffee. But it's not a frequent thing, so isn't a problem.
Easiest recourse is to set the shop up so it can only be locked from a single
door, place switches at that door, and forget it. I can leave all my lights on
(16 4' dual fluorescents, 9 150 watt incandescents, some task lights) and I
doubt it costs half a buck for the night.
"Work like you don't need the money. Love like you've never been hurt. Dance
like nobody's watching." Satchel Paige
You might be surprised. 32 fluorescent bulbs is 1360-1600 watts (assuming
80% efficient ballasts and either 'energy saver' 34 watt lamps or regular 40
watt ones) plus 1350 watts for the incandescent. plus the task-lights.
3kw/hr looks like a reasonable estimate. Thats 24 kw-hr for an 8 hour 'nite'.
To get out for under 'half a buck', you'd have to be paying about 2 cents
per kw-hr. TEN cents a kw-hr is a typical number for rough cost estimating.
In Greater Chicago, my cost runs around 9.5 cents, _before_taxes_, last time
I checked. (There are substantial rate discounts available, if you have
'big use' items, like electric heat, or electric water-heater.)
A possible solution -- at least to the 'lights on all night' part of the
problem -- it to put the lights on a 'multiple trip' clock-timer. One that
has the *removable* pins for turning things on/off. put in _only_ some
'off' pins. Use a pair of timers, with the 2nd one running a little 'fast',
and having an 'on' tripper at in the same slot that the first has 'off' ones,
and the 'warning light' will come on "a little bit" before the lights will
If you're *always* out of the shop at 'predictable' hours -- like lunch and/or
dinner, you can kick things 'off' at those times, as well as 'end of the
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