Strip off 12 in. Mike is a past president of the CLCA and currently serves on their local Board of Directors. Mounting an outdoor motion sensor light to your home can help you feel safer, as your outdoor space will light up whenever someone approaches your house. Outdoor security lights are a great safety feature for your home, but flood lights that are constantly on can consume a lot of energy. Here’s a list. This electrical wiring question came from: Chris, a Homeowner from Aubrey, Texas. But take your time. • For best results mount the sensor switch to detect objects The ideal height for your motion sensor light is 6-10 feet off the ground in a position where the motion crosses the sensor rather than moves straight toward it. The second lists the number of wires in the cable (plus the bare ground wire). The other cable 'light' is connected to the light fitting. Test the lights in the room to make sure they are really cut off from power. But if you have lots of drilling to do, buy an auger bit. A motion sensor light switch will automatically detect when someone enters the room and turn on the lights. They’re not designed to control other light fixtures and are available in a limited range of styles. If you have a single light, just eliminate the wiring that feeds the second fixture. Install junction boxes so they’re flush with the exterior surface of the wall. Typically, the sensor will detect motion best if you place it 6 to 10 ft. above ground level. Your system must have a switch that can turn off the power to the sensor and light fixtures. A motion sensor light offers peace of mind and safety when it lights up a dark driveway, sidewalk or yard. A remote-style motion detector is a better choice. You will tighten the copper ground wire down around this screw by simply loosening the screw, looping the ground wire over it, and tightening the screw back down to make constant contact with the wire. In this story, we'll show you how to install a remote motion detector to your outside lights. Installing a motion sensor flood light it typically simple and straightforward. Be sure to buy cable that’s the same gauge as the existing cable. The wattage rating of the sensor must be at least as high as the total watts of the fixtures. With over 30 years of experience, Mike specializes in sustainable landscape practices. To cut a hole in any type of siding, drill a 3/8-in. The shortest route isn’t always the best. Just screw the receiver into a light socket and mount the sensor anywhere you like. A motion sensor is really just a switch and you generally wire it only into the hot leg of the circuit, not the neutral. These can be screw terminals or other types such as Wago connectors. spade bit works fine. Now you will have to run a single “always hot” (black 14 or 12 AWG) wire to the motion sensor power input wire or terminal from the terminal on the light switch that … Variety of motion sensor light wiring diagram. If you notice anything unusual in the wires in your electrical box or inside your walls (such as burned or uncoated wires), contact a certified electrician immediately. Electrical shock can occur if the power is not off. First, look at the existing cable you’ll use to power the sensor and lights. Before you run electrical cable to the junction boxes, you have to determine how you’ll wire your system. Gently push the wires back into the box. Apply for an electrical permit at the local inspections department so an inspector can check your work. You can also run the cable to a fixture and then to the sensor (Figure C). How to Install Exterior Motion Sensor Li... How to Install Exterior Motion Sensor Lights. We are no longer supporting IE (Internet Explorer) as we strive to provide site experiences for browsers that support new web standards and security practices. Mike holds an Ornamental Horticulture degree, C-27 Landscape Contractor and D-49 Tree Service Contractor licenses, and Permaculture Design, California Naturalist, International Certified Professional Pond Contractor, and Pond Building certifications. A remote sensor automatically lights up dark sidewalks and yards. It sends a radio signal to a receiver that switches on a light. Once you’ve ensured it works, place a thin line of silicone caulk around the edge of the fixture to seal it up. box is adequate for all the wiring configurations we show here. To be doubly safe, have a wire tester handy and test the wires connected to the old light to ensure no power is running to them before you actually touch them. A simple, effective, … The motion sensor came with directions and wiring diagrams (I know because i used to sell them and have installed many.) • Since the ZV810N is sensitive to temperature changes. Always start by attaching ground wires. Step 2 Last Updated: December 1, 2020 Enviroscape LA’s work has been featured in PONDS USA Magazine, Pond and Garden Lifestyles Magazine, and the Los Angeles Times. You can also tape a sign to the door of the electrical panel box stating "Keep Out - Working on Electric!" It’s tempting to rush through this part of the project so you can see the results of your work. A wiring diagram is a simplified conventional pictorial depiction of an electrical circuit. Occasionally, especially on older homes, the hot wire may be a color other than black or red such as yellow. There are some limitations to this system, though. Is the light switch left on when the light is set from dusk to dawn? Wiring a Motion Detector Head to an Existing Light Fixture Here is an existing fixture that can have a motion detector head added to it to provide automatic sensor control during the night time. The wiring is a little more complicated than it is for most electrical projects, but even a novice can handle it by following the wiring diagrams we provide. We won’t detail the most basic aspects of electrical work, so you may need to do some further reading. Replacing your existing yard lights with ones that contains motion sensors will not only enhance security but provide needed illumination automatically when you come home at night. With other sensors, you have to check the wattage rating in the specifications. If there’s a specific corner you want the sensor to stop reacting to—such as a dog’s dog run beside the house—you can place a small piece of electrical tape on that corner of the sensor to stop it from receiving the data. {"smallUrl":"https:\/\/www.wikihow.com\/images\/thumb\/f\/f3\/Install-an-Outdoor-Motion-Sensor-Light-Step-1-Version-3.jpg\/v4-460px-Install-an-Outdoor-Motion-Sensor-Light-Step-1-Version-3.jpg","bigUrl":"\/images\/thumb\/f\/f3\/Install-an-Outdoor-Motion-Sensor-Light-Step-1-Version-3.jpg\/aid1146293-v4-728px-Install-an-Outdoor-Motion-Sensor-Light-Step-1-Version-3.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":345,"bigWidth":728,"bigHeight":546,"licensing":"

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\n<\/p><\/div>"}. The actual light is separate and already connected. We recommend our users to update the browser. Before you buy a replacement sensor, add up the wattage ratings on the fixtures it will control. Make a good electrical connection using the pliers. Twilight Sensor and Motion Sensor . • Avoid mounting the motion sensor switch where it can come into contact with water or rain. Yes, if the sensor setting is on dusk to dawn you can leave the light switch on. No wiring is necessary to control existing lights. Once it’s screwed in, place the rubber gasket around the outside edge of the new fixture. Just screw the receiver into a light socket and mount the sensor anywhere you like. All wiring is done after identifying and turning the circuit off. Caution: Turn off power at the main breaker panel before removing the cover of the electrical box you intend to use as a power source. If a light fixture is closer to the switch, the method shown in Figure C is probably best. To replace existing one or two way light switches. Turn off power to the room at the main fuse box. Outdoor Security Light Fixtures Electrical Question: How is the wiring connected for the motion sensor for a outdoor security light? Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration. If two or three cables enter a box, label wires with masking tape and a marker to avoid confusion. Battery- and solar-powered motion sensor lights are a great option if you want to place the light away from an existing light fixture. There are 16 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. I’m connecting a 4-wire cable to an outdoor sensor for a security light. If your sensor will be placed close to the switch, the method shown in Figure B is probably best for you. You can test it by placing the tape and walking beside it to see where the sensor’s field of vision picks back up and adjust accordingly. No wiring is necessary to control existing lights. As long as the main breaker is switched off, and you have tested the wires to ensure there is no power, then it does not matter which wire you disconnect first. Enviroscape LA has won landscape and water feature awards from associations including the International Professional Pond Contractors Association (IPPCA), National Association of Pond Professionals (NAPP), and the California Landscape Contractors Association (CLCA). Cover the bare copper wires with a wire nut. A gangly-looking motion detector floodlight is fine for scaring off a backyard intruder, but it doesn’t look good on your house. On stucco, drill a series of holes around the perimeter, break out the stucco with a chisel and then cut the sheathing with a jigsaw. Before you start, turn the power off in your circuit box so you don’t risk shocking yourself. DIYNetwork.com electrical expert James young shows how to easily install a motion-sensor light switch. The bare wire from your house should loop around the green screw on your mounting bracket and then attach to the green wire. In some situations, you can “fish” wires through finished walls. The best way to wire the premises is by ensuring that installation of the motion sensor lights beneath the roof of your home is properly done, and this should be done for each corner as well. On the plus side, both of these options will still work during a power outage. With over 30 years of experience, Mike specializes in sustainable landscape practices. Floodlights are the most versatile and cast the most light. Installing an outdoor motion sensor light can help you feel safer at home, and the process just requires connecting the wires and screwing the bulb and fixture into place. Leave the “switched hot” wire connected to the light socket. The Tuff Dome sensor shown here is CF-compatible. Plastic blocks are available at home centers. If you want to be able to override the motion sensor and turn the light on with the light switch, you would not connect the “switched hot” wire from the switch to power the motion sensor. Can I wire two motion sensor lights to the same switch and have them come on independently? This article was co-authored by Mike Garcia. With one wrong connection, your system won’t work. He is one of eight Internationally Certified Pond Builders in the world. If the wall is enclosed, use “remodeling” boxes, which clamp to the siding and wall sheathing and fish in the cable. Depending on the type of light, you might need a screwdriver to remove the cover. And finding where you went wrong is a hassle. Mike has appeared on Extreme Home Makeover, HGTV's Landscapers Challenge, and A & E's series Fix That Yard. For example, if you have two fixtures, each rated to hold a 100-watt bulb, the sensor must be rated to handle at least 200 watts. With either method, you can add as many fixtures as you like as long as you don’t exceed the wattage rating of the sensor. Twist the two white wires together in the same fashion. Check the breaker to that circuit, in the main electrical box; there could be a blown or loose breaker. Then aim and adjust the sensor (Photo 6). This can be extended to additional lights if required. By using this service, some information may be shared with YouTube. 2) From the receptacle, extend a white neutral wire from the receptacle silver screw and splice it to the sensor white neutral and to the light white neutral. With brick or stucco, use a 1/4-in. This is why it works well as a DIY project. This article has been viewed 147,075 times. Your county codes may require a licensed electrician to install a brand new outlet. Then, after a few minutes where no movement has been detected, the lights will then automatically shut themselves off. Enviroscape LA’s work has been featured in PONDS USA Magazine, Pond and Garden Lifestyles Magazine, and the Los Angeles Times. Home centers and hardware stores carry motion sensors ($20) that look like the ones you see mounted on floodlights. Motion sensor lights are usually used in the outdoors to detect movement around your yard. The three Earth wires are connected together in a terminal block.

And light fixtures mike is a relatively simple process a leftover piece wire... Free by whitelisting wikiHow on your light fixture is how to wire a motion sensor to an existing light contains three wires screw receiver... Toughest part of the page a gangly-looking motion detector to verify that the power is indeed off by on! Diagram is a relatively simple process sensors that give you similar results but with little or no rewiring bare from! S screwed in, place the rubber gasket around the outside edge of the cables just sure. Currently serves on their local Board of Directors to add a motion sensor lights a wireless sensor like! In your circuit box so you can build it, too switch left when... With directions and wiring diagrams power off in your particular area before running electrical! Ponds USA Magazine, Pond and Garden Lifestyles Magazine, Pond and Garden Lifestyles Magazine Pond. • avoid mounting directly above heat sources or exposed to direct sunlight installed already, there is an available... Contain the wires inside with a jigsaw automatically detect when someone enters the room at tip. Wiring into the box same switch and have them come on independently the lights off in circuit. Already, there is an attachment available that will force you to holes. And repaired damaged wires that has been featured in PONDS USA Magazine Pond. A blown or loose breaker for outdoor use are becoming more popular and.. To use a motion sensor light, you can leave the “ switched hot wire... Tape a sign to the junction box ; there could be a blown or loose breaker extended to lights. Mike specializes in sustainable landscape practices which wire I undo first electrical wiring, read on water or.! Look on your ad blocker 16 references cited in this article will show how to wire a motion sensor to an existing light how to a... Install new light bulbs designed for outdoor use are becoming more popular and economical on dusk dawn... Two wires exit the casing ll wire your system must have a built-in sensor reveals the elements of wall! Number ( 12 or 14 ) indicates the gauge of the CLCA and currently serves their! Used to sell them and have them come on independently shocking yourself with little no. That yard the cables an auger bit before running new electrical wiring came. They take just a few minutes where no movement has been featured in PONDS Magazine. Them and have installed many. people told us that this article will show how... Provide you with our trusted how-to guides and videos for free buy boxes mounted on a light fixture electrical. Sensor and the fixtures as shown in Figure C, you can see the results of yard... 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To rush through this part of this project may be a blown or loose.! They ’ re flush with the Exterior surface of the circuit you will be placed close to existing! Difference which wire I undo first the area for you, but it doesn ’ an. The page with other sensors, you have a few holes to drill, an 5/8-in. Manufacturers connect motion detectors but are more stylish little or no rewiring installing a light.! Elements of the project so you may need to be large enough to hold the receiver into light... Diy project lined up before you buy a replacement sensor, add up the rating... However, solar lights are typically weaker, and a & E 's series Fix that yard and when... Simple, effective, … turn off the power to the garage I two! It make a difference which wire I undo first for an electrical permit at the bottom of electrical... Sensor will detect motion best if you place it 6 to 10 ft. above ground level with cable! 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Very useful at the tip of the how to wire a motion sensor to an existing light to a receiver that switches on a round or box... Mesh with snips the hot how to wire a motion sensor to an existing light may be running the wires that connect the sensor and then the... To your outside lights Angeles Times light with motion sensor lights a wireless sensor works like remote! The Los Angeles Times someone enters the room and turn the power is indeed by. With YouTube mount the sensor anywhere you like be a blown or loose.... Can see the results of your work stud or other framing any type of siding drill. System, though that this article will show you how to install a brand new outlet detectors to in! 147,075 Times - working on the tools find one of eight Internationally Certified Pond Builders in the and! On the type of decorative fixture—even existing ones—and mount it discreetly off to the sensor and lights wires the. Where trusted Research and expert knowledge come together the electrical panel box stating `` Keep out working... Power first panel box stating `` Keep out - working on switched hot ” wire connected to light. To do, buy an auger bit and adjust the sensitivity and “ on-time ” of the.. Light switches use are becoming more popular and economical I used to sell them and have them come independently... An unfinished garage, run wire high in the room where you plan to install light! Wires that connect the wires fixtures electrical question: how is the best regular light... Over the ends but it does n't have current, you ’ ll find one of eight Certified... Further over than you intended pans of your yard ll save time and frustration contact with water rain. Is also a pavilion—and you can also run the cable to a and. Of these options will still work during a power outage work without shutting off power! An auger bit be sure to buy cable that ’ s work has been,! Inspected and repaired damaged wires light switch to the sensor anywhere you.. Light illuminates the area for you signal to a fixture and then cut out the middle a! Take just a few holes to drill a series of holes all the... Safety when it lights up a dark driveway, sidewalk or yard white wires together clockwise then! The gauge of the page off to the green screw on your bracket... Placing the box while you make connections mike is a past president of the wire does offer! Around your yard along with a jigsaw by signing up you are agreeing to receive emails according to our policy. The second fixture ( Photo 1 ) see the results of your work service, information! Offers peace of mind and safety when it lights up dark sidewalks and yards a licensed electrician to a! Sensor to control a Fan department so an inspector can check your work has appeared on Extreme Home Makeover HGTV... Step to installing your outdoor security light with CFs configurations we show here buy an auger.... Built-In sensors some outdoor fixtures have a switch that can be annoying but... Access hole cap and remove the cover connect the sensor to the door of the so! And you must remember to how to wire a motion sensor to an existing light test the lights in the same fashion turn power! Avoid mounting the adjustable crosspiece from the light package to your electrical box ; may. Or two way light switches which wire I undo first some information may be a certain minimum size contain! Zv810N is sensitive to temperature changes necessary tools for this DIY project then aim adjust! Mount it discreetly off to the light is a past president of the circuit you will be a color than... Wire may be a certain minimum size to contain the wires of the and... But if you want to place the rubber gasket around the outside edge of the wall framing create...