Home>Discussions>ELECTRICAL & LIGHTING>Interesting 'lectrickyity Question
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A. Spruce
Interesting 'lectrickyity Question

I recently had to replace a malfunctioning motion sensor on a driveway floodlight fixture. The new sensor stated that it required there to be a switch in the circuit. My question is why would there be any need for this? The light doesn't work automatically without power, so a switch seems pretty silly. I can't see where the sensor can tell whether there's a switch in the circuit or not, and technically, wouldn't the GFCI that powers it and the breaker in the service panel protecting it count as switches?

Now, a wall switch has been added to this circuit because there is relatively frequent occasion that the user needs to keep the floodlight from coming on. I'm just curious why the manufacturer would spec a switch.

Thoughts and opinions?

canuk
Re: Interesting 'lectrickyity Question

Is the sensor using 120 volt line current ?
Where do they state the switch should be ?

A. Spruce
Re: Interesting 'lectrickyity Question

Yes, 120v. No specified location, only that a switch be in the circuit.

canuk
Re: Interesting 'lectrickyity Question

I would have to suspect this is only for a safety disconnect other than a breaker.

Blake
Re: Interesting 'lectrickyity Question

I had a motion sensor light that you could switch the light from motion activation or on all of the time by turning the switch off for 3 seconds and then back on again. This may be the reason for the switch.

kentvw
Re: Interesting 'lectrickyity Question
Blake wrote:

I had a motion sensor light that you could switch the light from motion activation or on all of the time by turning the switch off for 3 seconds and then back on again. This may be the reason for the switch.

Ah! good post Blake........... Well Sprucy did ya read that far in the directions? (Gives Sprucy a poke in the ribs.) lol.:D

canuk
Re: Interesting 'lectrickyity Question

Usually that feature is found on the all-in-one motion lights .... haven't seen it on a remote sensor myself .... but you never know.

A. Spruce
Re: Interesting 'lectrickyity Question

No, the sensor has a dial for sensitivity, time on duration and one for motion sensing or light sensing.

I did happen to save the instructions, I'll pull them out and have a gander for details.

A. Spruce
Re: Interesting 'lectrickyity Question
kentvw wrote:

Ah! good post Blake........... Well Sprucy did ya read that far in the directions? (Gives Sprucy a poke in the ribs.) lol.:D

Se habla Español? :D

Blake may have had the answer. Apparently, with the fixture switches in the proper settings, the flipping of the light switch (wall control ) does toggle from one setting to another. I was just skimming and this tidbit caught my eye. I will read the instructions a little more closely when I'm not beat from a long day. If I can find an online set of the instructions I'll post them as well. If anyone wants to do a little homework this is an Ace brand (Zenith ) "DualBrite replacement sensor head", models 3009701 / 3209996 and it is operating this fixture:
http://www.acehardwareoutlet.com/(iiwniuz5rdzitzz4kanbza55)/ProductDetails.aspx?SKU=3196391

jdevlin
Re: Interesting 'lectrickyity Question

Some motion sensors have an option where if switch the switch off/on quickly the light stays on. Then you switch it off for 3 seconds and back on to put back into motion sensor mode. If you get a power blink during a storm it could fake the light into being on always. You need to be able to switch it off for 3 seconds to reset it.

canuk
Re: Interesting 'lectrickyity Question
A. Spruce wrote:

I recently had to replace a malfunctioning motion sensor on a driveway floodlight fixture. The new sensor stated that it required there to be a switch in the circuit. My question is why would there be any need for this? The light doesn't work automatically without power, so a switch seems pretty silly. I can't see where the sensor can tell whether there's a switch in the circuit or not, and technically, wouldn't the GFCI that powers it and the breaker in the service panel protecting it count as switches?

Now, a wall switch has been added to this circuit because there is relatively frequent occasion that the user needs to keep the floodlight from coming on. I'm just curious why the manufacturer would spec a switch.

Thoughts and opinions?

As luck would have it ..... today I had to pick up a replacement sensor.:rolleyes:

Quote from the instructions......... Zenith SL- 5407.

" Requirements ........

- If you want to use Manual Mode, the control must be wired through a switch "

So .... it doesn't need to go through a switch to work in Auto Mode only if want want it to switch on in Manual Mode.

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