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Old 02-05-2008, 09:47 PM   #1
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Default Troubleshooting outside lights

Hi all,

I'm having some trouble with finding the problem on why a set of outside garage lights are failing intermittently. The home owner advised that the lights seems to fail when the weather is damp, rain or snow.

Can anyone suggest any troubleshooting suggestions I may try to locate this interment problem?

TIA

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Old 02-05-2008, 10:12 PM   #2
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What exactly is failing? Bulbs? Slices? The fixture themselves? The sockets? Are they motion sensors? Photocell-controlled?

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Old 02-05-2008, 10:17 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by 480sparky View Post
What exactly is failing? Bulbs? Slices? The fixture themselves? The sockets? Are they motion sensors? Photocell-controlled?
They are motion sensors/photocell controlled. The light fixtures sometimes do not light at night when they are suppose to. Owner advised that this seems to happen during damp weather.
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Old 02-05-2008, 10:34 PM   #4
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Buy good motion sensor.
Home depot crap will be call back city.
I've learned my lesson.
Buy a good cobra or somthing of quality.

Probably $60.00
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Old 02-05-2008, 10:41 PM   #5
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Rewire the taps. Squirt noalox inside the wirenuts. Make sure all the joints are secure. Pry the center tab of the socket out a tad. Put noalox on the screwshell of the lamps. And, replace the sensor. And while it may not be standard practice, you might seal the seams on the sensor with a thin coat of a clear silicone

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Old 02-07-2008, 09:57 AM   #6
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Thanks for the responses guys.

Does anyone think that there could be a conductor insulation problem somewhere in the circuit that could cause the said problem?
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Old 02-07-2008, 03:22 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger123 View Post
Thanks for the responses guys.

Does anyone think that there could be a conductor insulation problem somewhere in the circuit that could cause the said problem?

Lesser quality photocells often are very tempermental in cold or wet weather. Put in a quality photocell and you'll probably never have an issue again.
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Old 02-07-2008, 05:51 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Tab Faber View Post
Buy good motion sensor.
Home depot crap will be call back city.
I've learned my lesson.
Buy a good cobra or somthing of quality.

Probably $60.00
That's the truth!! Motion detectors are my biggest pet peeve...unless you buy a quality one, it's nothing but hassle, hassle, hassle.
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Old 02-07-2008, 09:24 PM   #9
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I agree motion dectors are call back problems, The customers either don't know how to use them or they buy cheap ones that don't do what they thought it would do.

I even leave the instructions with them so they know how to to use it, and they still call as to why the cheapo light is not working, or can I come back and adjust the time or direction of the light.
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Old 02-07-2008, 09:53 PM   #10
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Well, thanks for all the replies. I'll recommend to purchase a good quality photo cell light.
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Old 02-23-2009, 03:52 PM   #11
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Default wiring of motion detectors

Want to have a 2 light system of outside lights for a driveway. I would
like to know the simplest way to wire a circuit such that secondary light
is controlled by the primary motion sensing light (which is installed
and working correctly). Problem is that the second light won't ever go off. So
it never loses power. So I'm guessing I need to tie into the power from the primary
sensor and run that to the secondary light?
What is the correct wiring method from 120V input to the primary light
and eventually to the 2nd light so that when the motion
light is activated it allows the second light to activate and more importantly
turn back off.
Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

Last edited by emc2dn; 02-23-2009 at 04:23 PM.
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Old 02-23-2009, 04:09 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emc2dn View Post
Want to have a 2 light system of outside lights for a driveway. I would
like to know the simplest way to wire a circuit such that secondary light
to be controlled by the primary motion sensing light (which is installed
and working correctly). Problem is that second light won't every go off. So
it never loses power. So I'm guessing in need to tie the power from the primary
sensor and run that to the second light?
What is the correct wiring method from 120V input to the primary light
and eventually to the 2nd light so that when the motion
light is activated it allows the second light to activate and more importantly
turn back off.
Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
you can take the feed out of the first motion control light, and tie it to the load side of the motion detector.

line volatage comes in, feeds the first motion detector, and the LOAD will feed the lights. The line going to the first light, will also feed the second light, and nuetrals will just be nuetral. The motion detector will have to be rated for the load your applying to it.
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Old 02-23-2009, 04:21 PM   #13
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Could you explain a bit what you mean by LOAD.
And just be bit more specific about how I wire
and in what order this circuit. Where a solo
sensor light will be activated first, but also
set off a second light without a sensor. And doing
so that all will turn off after timer elapses. Currently
I have my primary motion light working fine. But the
secondary light is split off the main feed and lights
go on but never off. So I thought I would wire
in the second light (without sensor) off the primary
motion dectector.
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Old 02-23-2009, 08:26 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emc2dn View Post
Want to have a 2 light system of outside lights for a driveway. I would
like to know the simplest way to wire a circuit such that secondary light
is controlled by the primary motion sensing light (which is installed
and working correctly). Problem is that the second light won't ever go off. So
it never loses power. So I'm guessing I need to tie into the power from the primary
sensor and run that to the secondary light?
What is the correct wiring method from 120V input to the primary light
and eventually to the 2nd light so that when the motion
light is activated it allows the second light to activate and more importantly
turn back off.
Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
i would get a good quality time clockto run the photocell then make the photocell fire an ice cube to make a contactor. rock solid installation, nothing to go wrong.
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Old 02-24-2009, 12:01 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattsilkwood View Post
i would get a good quality time clockto run the photocell then make the photocell fire an ice cube to make a contactor. rock solid installation, nothing to go wrong.
why the relay?

I use time clocks to have an over ride on the photocell, and the photocell switch my lighting loads. But why the relay?
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Old 02-24-2009, 12:02 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emc2dn View Post
Could you explain a bit what you mean by LOAD.
And just be bit more specific about how I wire
and in what order this circuit. Where a solo
sensor light will be activated first, but also
set off a second light without a sensor. And doing
so that all will turn off after timer elapses. Currently
I have my primary motion light working fine. But the
secondary light is split off the main feed and lights
go on but never off. So I thought I would wire
in the second light (without sensor) off the primary
motion dectector.
This isnt a DIY forum. I thought you wanted professional advice, not install instructions. hire an electrician.
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Old 02-24-2009, 06:38 PM   #17
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why the relay?

I use time clocks to have an over ride on the photocell, and the photocell switch my lighting loads. But why the relay?
i was being a smart a$$, you dont need the time clock, relay or contactor if the poster couldnt figure out line and load that setup was sure to get a WTF.
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Old 02-24-2009, 07:04 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by CNC View Post
This isnt a DIY forum. I thought you wanted professional advice, not install instructions. hire an electrician.
you should have seen this from a mile away
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Old 02-25-2009, 12:32 AM   #19
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ok ok, ill work on this

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