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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    8

    Default Sensors On Outside Lighting

    Good Morning to All and
    Happy Thanksgiving

    I am having a lot of problems with the sensors on my outside lighting. I was just wondering if any one had any suggestions I have recently put up several 300 watt lights outside on my home and I can not seem to be able to stop them from coming on over & over all night.I have turned the sensors completely back to the ( - )setting and they still keep coming of & on all night. I am to the point that I and going to put an out side switch on them until I can figure out what to do. I know that the least little thing can set them off but this is ridicules. I was just wondering if you were to make the plastic lenses cover a little darker lets say with some finger nail polish would that make any difference I know that I can not be the only person who has had this problem.
    Thanks
    Russ

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    Posts
    162

    Default Re: Sensors On Outside Lighting

    Before trying anything semi-permanent such as fingernail polish, try covering 1/2 to 3/4 of the sensor with black electrical tape.
    HTH

    Dave

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    The Great White North
    Posts
    4,045

    Default Re: Sensors On Outside Lighting

    Quote Originally Posted by Russ View Post
    Good Morning to All and
    Happy Thanksgiving

    I am having a lot of problems with the sensors on my outside lighting. I was just wondering if any one had any suggestions I have recently put up several 300 watt lights outside on my home and I can not seem to be able to stop them from coming on over & over all night.I have turned the sensors completely back to the ( - )setting and they still keep coming of & on all night. I am to the point that I and going to put an out side switch on them until I can figure out what to do. I know that the least little thing can set them off but this is ridicules. I was just wondering if you were to make the plastic lenses cover a little darker lets say with some finger nail polish would that make any difference I know that I can not be the only person who has had this problem.
    Thanks
    Russ
    Russ ... lets see if I've got this correct.
    You have outdoor motion activated lights that likely have a dusk to dawn photocell.
    The problem you seem to be having is when they should normally be off at night ( nothing tripping the motion detector ) they keep coming on and going off frequently throughout the night. You indicated the range control setting has been turned down to the minimum with out any desirable result.

    Common causes of false triggering comes from things like :
    1. objects that change temperature rapidly like heating vents or A/C condensors in the line of sight of sensor
    2. pets or traffic
    3. nearby objects reflecting light may trigger the shut-off feature
    4. electrical noise in the circuit
    The thing that stands out that might be contributing is you mentioned there are other lights installed these may be shinning on each other. If something did cause them to activate they could be affecting each other to toggle on and off.
    I'm curious if you were to disable all but one light to see if it continues.

    It's possible the angle of the motion detectors may have to be adjusted up or down to avoid something false triggering.

    Just a thought.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    1,131

    Default Re: Sensors On Outside Lighting

    Also, foliage that flutters in the wind can/will cause much false triggering. (Trees, bushes, vines, etc. The closer they are to the sensor, the greater the odds of triggering)

    I almost always end up placing the motion sensor some distance from the light fixtures as this gives more latitude in both covering the intended target area while still avoiding those pesky false triggering objects.

    Don't know what your current situation and sensor placement is, but if you have a unit in which the sensor is integral to the light unit.....you may also benefit from placing the sensor elsewhere. (I use a length of 14-3 stranded-copper cable. Solid conductors would also work.)

    I also try to place the sensor so that it is protected from rainfall on the lens which also eliminates ice build-up on the lens. This is usually easy to accomplish by placing the sensor under the soffit of the house.....or similar.

    The best units I've ever used were the old Heath-Zenith units in which the switching mechanism and the motion sensor were separate parts. Work like a dream even in very difficult circumstances. Installed a couple dozen of those over the years. We have two of these units here and they haven't missed a beat in 17 years. I also have one brand new identical unit as a replacement.......and no, it's not for sale.

    Since the unit worked so well.....that manufacturer naturally decided to abandon it ( 10 years back or so?) and replaced it with the "new & improved" models which are highly prone to false triggering with very little provocation. They work okay in simple situations though.

    As suggested, narrowing the field of view with some tape over the lens may help, as well as re-aiming a bit, although I kinda think you've already tried the latter.

    After a few aggravating fights with some of these newer units......I can empathize.
    Last edited by goldhiller; 11-22-2007 at 10:05 PM.

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