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Motion Detector Light (Plug in outlet only)

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by MarkHastings, Sep 10, 2006.

  1. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    I've been to all the home improvement stores and can't seem to find anything that will fit my situation the way I'd like it to. I want a motion light in my garage because there are no windows and it is PITCH black in there. I need the light to work when I enter the garage from the house and enter the garage from the laundry room (on the opposite end).

    Here are the major problems I am running into:

    1) I tried to install one of those motion detector light switches, but the garage light is on a 3-way switch and these motion switches HAVE to be installed on the main switch (which is in the laundry room), so that doesn't work.

    2) I looked at one of those motion lights that can replace the current ceiling mounted light; something like this - they actually has ceiling mounted lights (with 360 degree range) at Home Depot, but I couldn't find it online...I even saw one of those light bulb socket things that screw into the socket, then you screw the light bulb into that. This would work when entering from the house, but when you enter from the laundry room, there is an area about 8x5 feet that drops down a good 2 feet (I believe this is where all of the central air ducts are), so you'd have to walk a good 3 feet into the garage before hitting the sensor beam.

    3) I looked into one of those wireless sensors that transmits to either a light socket or a plug in switch, but the sensor requires batteries. While this may be my only solution...I would prefer to avoid having something that requires batteries.


    I have an A/C outlet in the back corner (near my workbench) and I could easily clip a light to the workbench. This would be perfect and in a great spot, but I don't think they make something like this - I want some kind of extension cord or power strip that has a motion sensor on it.

    The guys at Home Depot didn't think anything like that existed...Anyone know of something like this or something similar???

    Thanks
     
  2. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Producer

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  3. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    Thanks Andrew, I think this is exactly what I'm looking for. [​IMG]


    EDIT: Hmmm, $20 for the sensor is great! but UGH! $10 for shipping!!! Damn! I hate when that happens like that. I wnoder if I can find this thing in stores????
     
  4. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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  5. DanielKellmii

    DanielKellmii Supporting Actor

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    I had a similar problem. I plugged in a night light. It gives enough light form me to find the switch and walk around safely. It was about $3. I have to change the light about once a year. It works great.
     
  6. Jay H

    Jay H Producer

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    I have a $6 LED light sensor device runs on AA batteries, I use it for my basement foyer which, like your garage is pitch dark all the time. So I use the LED device for me to see the inside door which is locked.

    In high School electronics class, I made a 9v AC/DC converter so I could run my portable electronic games (wayyyyyy before the gameboy) using AC power. I'm sure something could be rigged up so you could use your AC to power a DC device. (just in case you don't ever find what you want).

    Jay
     
  7. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Producer

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    Yeah Smarthome isn't usually the cheapest place to shop but they have just about everything for home automation so you can at least find out if its possible to do what you want.
     
  8. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    Yeah, I'll definitely keep them in mind when trying to figure out the best solutuon here.
     
  9. Justin Lane

    Justin Lane Cinematographer

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    Mark,

    If you have the most modest of electrical skills (stripping wire, soldering, and taping), there is no reason why you couldn't turn a hard wired light into a plug in type. Just buy a 3 Prong Plug and some wire (THHN, BX, Romex, etc.) from the depot and make your own cord.

    J
     
  10. Justin Lane

    Justin Lane Cinematographer

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    Double Post
     
  11. DougR

    DougR Second Unit

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    X
     
  12. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Producer

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  13. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    Andrew, that's what I was looking at, but again, the light socket is hidden by the part of the garage that drops down. I guess I could try it, but I doubt that it will pick motion up when I leave the laundry room.

    The other thing that concerns me is that that is the only light source in the garage, so I couldn't really have it constantly on. I had this issue in my parents garage. You'd be working and the light would go off, then you'd have to wave your hands around to get the light to go back on. Kind of annoying.

    But! I did notice that electrical plug (where the garage door opener is plugged in) and that is far enough out so that it would pick up motion from the laundry room door. This would be great because it would leave the regular garage light alone (in case I needed a constant light source).

    The only thing is, what do I do about a light? I was thinking; I could use that motion socket (like in Andrews post), but instead of screwing the motion socket into a fixture, I could screw it into one of those light socket plugs...you know, those fixtures that have a light bulb socket on one end and a 2 prong thing on the other...

    My only concern would be how well it holds in the outlet (from the weight), but I guess those things hold fairly well. If I could find a 3 prong version, that would be best since those seem to hold better than the 2 prong (i.e. without the ground).

    I know I saw those things at Home Depot when I was there....
     
  14. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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    If you are talking about a three prong socket adapter, that isn't possible, there are only two connections in the light socket.
     
  15. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    Ah. Ok, I wonder how well those would hold a motion adapter (when plugged into the ceiling)? I guess I could bend the plugs out slightly so that it holds well. Any thoughts? It would obviously be right next to the garge door opener device, so there will probably be some vibrations in that area of the ceiling. I'd hate to have the thing come crashing down on my car.
     
  16. BrianW

    BrianW Cinematographer

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    Mark, you haven't mentioned whether you're willing to do some simple electrical work, but installing a light socket in the ceiling next to the garage door outlet would be a snap. Personally, I wouldn't depend on plug friction to keep a detector/light bulb assembly on the ceiling.

    And if there is a more optimal location for the light socket, you can probably mount it pretty much anywhere on the ceiling with just a bit of Romex, depending on how the garage ceiling joists are constructed.
     
  17. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    The project isn't a priority, so I'm willing to seek out something that doesn't involve electrical work...if nothing really fits my situation, then I may think about it, but I prefer to avoid it.

    I mean, I'd actually rather do the battery powered motion sensor (on the far wall) that sends a wireless signal to a reciever socket that I can screw into one of those clip on spotlight things. I can clip it to the workbench with no problems.
     
  18. Michael Warner

    Michael Warner Supporting Actor

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    I have the same problem Mark but I've been too lazy to do anything about it. When I go out to the Beer Fridge there's enough light flowing from the house to reach the fridge before the door shuts behind me. Then once I open the fridge the light in there is enough to let me select a tasty beverage. The problem comes when I try to dash back to the house before the fridge door swings shut and plunges me into darkness. I could just turn on the light switch but I always end up hitting the wrong one and turn off the light in the house. A motion-activated LED sounds like just the thing.
     

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