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Thread: Adding a motion detector to 2 garage carriage lights

  1. #1
    DIY Senior Member rockycmt's Avatar
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    Default Adding a motion detector to 2 garage carriage lights

    I am familiar with basic lighting wiring. This setup is not for security but is for convenience. I just never installed an addon motion detector. Only installed those all in one units. Here is what I have currently. Garage is unfinished inside. 2 carriage lights on either side of garage door operated by a single switch (Did not buy the lights yet). I want to insert a motion detector between the switch and the lights. This is what I have read to do...

    all whites together
    power black --> motion black
    motion red --> Fixture black
    All grounds together

    Please validate this wiring setup.

    Also are there different types of addon detectors that i need to choose from?
    (Given standard outdoor carriage lights)
    Will the switch act as a motion override if thrown off then on within 3 seconds? Is this a feature of the motion detector i need to look for or is standard?

  2. #2
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    From a general viewpoint, that wiring is fairly common BUT, you'd have to read the specific installation instruction for the one you buy to get it right. The constant on override function is also a function of the brand and model you buy.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  3. #3
    I&C Engineer (mostly WWTP) Lakee911's Avatar
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    Your wiring seems correct. Basically the motion detector is like a second switch in series w/ the addition of a neutral going to it. Check the instructions first though.

    I've seen a three position toggle switch before. You could use one of those such that the lights are either ON, OFF, MOTION. For this, you'd connect that third position wire to the fixtures after the motion detector.

    I have a light that is wired as you describe above, but the turn on for 2 seconds and off for one and on again to stay on constantly is annoying. Every now and again it stays on when its not supposed to or it goes off when I think it is on.

  4. #4
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    Keep in mind that the motion detector you have probably will NOT work with fluorescent lights.

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