Motion Sensor Controlled Landscape Lighting
Matt in Mound, Minnesota asks: How can I use a motion sensor to control my outdoor landscape lights? How to Use a Motion Sensor to Control Landscape Lighting, A Solution to Motion Controlled Landscape Lighting.
Landscape Lighting Motion Control Switch
Electrical Question: How can I use a motion sensor to control my outdoor landscape lights?
- I’m trying to figure out the electrical wiring for a motion sensor that would control a 12 volt landscape lighting system.
- I believe red wire will go to one of the wires to the light fixture.
- The white wire will go to the other wire from the light fixture.
- Then where does the black wire go?
- Somewhere on the transformer?
This electrical question came from: Matt, a Homeowner from Mound, Minnesota.
See more about Home Wiring for Minnesota
Thanks for your electrical question Matt.
Using a Motion Sensor to Control Landscape Lighting
Application: Landscape Lighting Control.
Skill Level: Intermediate to Advanced – Best installed by a Licensed Electrician.
Tools Required: Basic Electricians Pouch Hand Tools and Voltage Tester.
Estimated Time: Depends on personal level experience and ability to work with tools.
Precaution: Identify the landscape lighting circuit, turn it OFF and Tag it with a Note before working with the wiring.
Notice: Installing additional electrical wiring should be done according to local and national electrical codes with a permit and be inspected.
Wiring a Motion Sensor for Landscape Lights
- Designing the Circuit
- A 12 volt landscape lighting system cannot be directly connected to a 120 volt system without using a relay because the required watts of the landscape light power supply exceeds that of the motion sensor limitations.
- Why a Control Circuit is Needed
- As mentioned in this question, if you try to wire this as you are describing by wiring the circuit through the motion sensor you will risk damaging the motion sensor.
- Using a relay will make this work if it is designed properly.
- The key for this application is to design the circuit properly for the lights that will be controlled.
- The Solution to Motion Controlled Landscape Lighting
- Wiring methods and configurations are developed for each specific project, taking into consideration where the power source is located, the layout of the light fixtures, and the placement for the motion detectors.
More about Outdoor Lighting
- Motion detector heads can be purchased and added to existing fixtures that have the appropriate fixture adapter cover.
- If you wish, you can build your own fixture just by selecting the compatible parts from your hardware store.
- Make sure all the parts are rated for exterior use.
Electric Control Relays
- This section will cover how relays are constructed and operate due to the current flowing through the control coil
- The mechanical reaction that takes place.
Be Careful and Be Safe - Never Work on Energized Circuits!
Consult your Local Building Department about Permits and Inspections for all Electric Wiring Projects.
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