To learn how to adjust your motion sensor light, read on! Floodlights are the most versatile and cast the most light. How to Install Exterior Motion Sensor Li... How to Install Exterior Motion Sensor Lights. What do I do if I have connected all the white wires and hot wires and it still isn't working? With one wrong connection, your system won’t work. We know ads can be annoying, but they’re what allow us to make all of wikiHow available for free. Fasten the cable to framing with plastic cable staples. Our step-by-step photos and tips from our experts provide a … Cover with a plastic wire nut. It sends a radio signal to a receiver that switches on a light. Place a strip of the electrical tape over the breaker that controls the circuit. I’m connecting a 4-wire cable to an outdoor sensor for a security light. A simple, effective, … Install new light bulbs and turn the power back on. apart. Check the breaker to that circuit, in the main electrical box; there could be a blown or loose breaker. If the breaker is good and the wire doesn't have current, you could have faulty wires that need to be replaced. These can be screw terminals or other types such as Wago connectors. Step 2 Manufacturers connect motion detectors to lights in a variety of ways, as we illustrate in Fig. Can I wire two motion sensor lights to the same switch and have them come on independently? Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Always start by attaching ground wires. If new wiring isn’t an option for you, consider sensors that give you similar results but with little or no rewiring. The three Earth wires are connected together in a terminal block. 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. Install junction boxes so they’re flush with the exterior surface of the wall. 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. The lighting circuit that powers these luminaires can be fitted with a twilight sensor with an additional motion sensor so that the light only comes on when it … Electrical shock can occur if the power is not off. Motion detector lights turn on when the sensor detects movement, making it a great option for both safety and having light when you need to walk outdoors after dark. Occasionally, especially on older homes, the hot wire may be a color other than black or red such as yellow. With brick or stucco, use a 1/4-in. The sensor and each light fixture require electrical boxes set into the wall (Figure A).You can rewire boxes at existing fixtures as well. The sensor requires batteries, which you’ll have to change every few months. It’s tempting to rush through this part of the project so you can see the results of your work. A motion sensor light switch will automatically detect when someone enters the room and turn on the lights. Finally, the shade or globe on your light fixture has to be large enough to hold the receiver along with a light bulb. Installing a motion sensor flood light it typically simple and straightforward. Once this is done, you can push the wiring into the electrical box and screw in the light assembly and the bulb. Power-saving compact fluorescent (CF) light bulbs designed for outdoor use are becoming more popular and economical. Or how do I add a motion sensor to an outdoor recessed can light in the ceiling of my porch? Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. Turn off the power to the circuit you will be working on. The screw at the tip of the bit makes for faster drilling with much less strain. We use cookies to make wikiHow great. This article has been viewed 147,075 times. Once you’ve ensured it works, place a thin line of silicone caulk around the edge of the fixture to seal it up. A motion sensor light offers peace of mind and safety when it lights up a dark driveway, sidewalk or yard. No wiring is necessary to control existing lights. If your sensor will be placed close to the switch, the method shown in Figure B is probably best for you. On stucco, you’ll have to cut the exposed metal mesh with snips. 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. Mike is a past president of the CLCA and currently serves on their local Board of Directors. Two additional connection terminals are needed at the switch - one for earth, one for neutral. Licensed Landscape Contractor. Be sure to buy cable that’s the same gauge as the existing cable. If you have a single light, just eliminate the wiring that feeds the second fixture. Installing Motion Detector Sensors for Outdoor Lighting Electrical Question: Does anyone make a recessed can light for outdoor use that has a motion sensor? Yes, if the sensor setting is on dusk to dawn you can leave the light switch on. How to Install an Outdoor Motion Sensor Light, http://www.lowes.com/projects/repair-and-maintain/install-motion-lights/project, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eom936hTFW8, https://www.youtube.com/watch?x-yt-cl=85114404&x-yt-ts=1422579428&v=el5QpeUW4Mo, http://www.familyhandyman.com/electrical/outdoor-lighting/how-to-choose-and-install-motion-detector-lighting/step-by-step, instalar una luz exterior con sensor de movimiento, consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. Reply back and let me know if the sensor and light are working OK...........Thanks.............Kevin:) Ask Your Own Electrical Question If you plan to follow Figure C, you’ll need some cable that contains two wires and some that contains three wires. Depending on the type of light, you might need a screwdriver to remove the cover. Make a good electrical connection using the pliers. 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 … Simply unscrew your light bulb, plug this in, and then screw your light bulb back in. The sensor and each light fixture require electrical boxes installed in the wall. But take your time. Twist the two wires together clockwise and then twist a wire nut over the ends. 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. The motion sensor came with directions and wiring diagrams (I know because i used to sell them and have installed many.) Last Updated: December 1, 2020 They’re usually labeled as “replacement” sensors for floodlight fixtures, but you can attach one to a mounting plate and use it as a remote sensor. This is why it works well as a DIY project. 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. If you have an existing flood light, they are especially easy to install.This guide will teach you how to wire and install a motion sensor light. 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. Since this DYI project involves some basic electrical work, it is a good idea to check … B. This can be extended to additional lights if required. With over 30 years of experience, Mike specializes in sustainable landscape practices. To learn how to adjust your motion sensor light, read on! Just screw the receiver into a light socket and mount the sensor anywhere you like. It’s very similar to the USB Power Adapter included with the Kuna Toucan, only without the added benefit of a security camera device. • Since the ZV810N is sensitive to temperature changes. Mike has appeared on Extreme Home Makeover, HGTV's Landscapers Challenge, and A & E's series Fix That Yard. Voila! Use the directions. The actual light is separate and already connected. Once you’ve determined how you’ll wire the system, run the electrical cable between the junction boxes (Photos 3 and 4). There will be a small colored screw inside the light fixture near where the other two wires exit the casing. They’re not designed to control other light fixtures and are available in a limited range of styles. A gangly-looking motion detector floodlight is fine for scaring off a backyard intruder, but it doesn’t look good on your house. With other sensors, you have to check the wattage rating in the specifications. • Avoid mounting the motion sensor switch where it can come into contact with water or rain. Apply for an electrical permit at the local inspections department so an inspector can check your work. 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. Boxes have to be a certain minimum size to contain the wires. In some situations, you can “fish” wires through finished walls. If two or three cables enter a box, label wires with masking tape and a marker to avoid confusion. There are some limitations to this system, though. Variety of motion sensor light wiring diagram. Test the lights in the room to make sure they are really cut off from power. • For best results mount the sensor switch to detect objects Bring the light fixture up to the junction box. These decorative lamps operate like floodlight motion detectors but are more stylish. But in many cases, this project is only practical where you have open studs, as in an unfinished garage (as we show), or during a major remodeling project. Just screw the receiver into a light socket and mount the sensor anywhere you like. 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. But cable and connection details will vary a bit. It sends a radio signal to a receiver that switches on a light. Position detectors and lights to cover approaches to your house, commonly used areas and dark, shadowy pans of your yard. Replacing a fixture is easy. This article was co-authored by Mike Garcia. Fortunately, installing a motion sensor light is a relatively simple process. We recommend our users to update the browser. of each box and no more than 4 ft. 6 in. It should. % of people told us that this article helped them. Mike Garcia is a Licensed Landscape Contractor and the Founder of Enviroscape LA, a full-service landscape design and construction firm in Los Angeles, California. Typically, the sensor will detect motion best if you place it 6 to 10 ft. above ground level. Your county codes may require a licensed electrician to install a brand new outlet. masonry bit to drill a series of holes all around the circle. Unfortunately, most motion sensors aren’t designed to handle CFs. The toughest part of this project may be running the wires that connect the sensor to the light fixtures. Drill 5/8-in. Expert Interview. Outdoor security lights are a great safety feature for your home, but flood lights that are constantly on can consume a lot of energy. If the wall is enclosed, use “remodeling” boxes, which clamp to the siding and wall sheathing and fish in the cable. A motion sensor is really just a switch and you generally wire it only into the hot leg of the circuit, not the neutral. Then break out the middle with a chisel (Photo 1). Lighting switched on at dusk is also very useful at the entrance to the garage. By using our site, you agree to our. 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. Test that the power is indeed off by turning on the light switch to the light to make sure it stays off. 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. Home centers and hardware stores carry motion sensors ($20) that look like the ones you see mounted on floodlights. DIYNetwork.com electrical expert James young shows how to easily install a motion-sensor light switch. It's handy because it turns on when anyone … If the interior walls are unfinished, buy boxes mounted on an adjustable bar (Photo 2). 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. These access holes usually have a cap that can be unscrewed. Like any other light fixture, they take just a few minutes to install. The first step to installing your outdoor security lights is to shut off the power at the service panel and remove the existing floodlight. Plastic blocks are available at home centers. Strip off 12 in. If you really can’t stand to see another ad again, then please consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. To replace existing one or two way light switches. Once it’s screwed in, place the rubber gasket around the outside edge of the new fixture. The other cable 'light' is connected to the light fitting. This design lets you position the box anywhere between studs. By signing up you are agreeing to receive emails according to our privacy policy. {"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>"}. wikiHow is where trusted research and expert knowledge come together. 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. Stand back and take a few minutes to plan the paths of the cables. 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. Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 147,075 times. 3) Splice the sensor red wire to the light black wire. If you have wide lap siding made from wood, cement board or hardboard, cut your hole near the center of a board so you can mount the fixture on the flat surface. of the cable’s sheath and feed wires into the box. Motion sensor lights light the way when you return home in the dark and also discourage potential intruders. 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). Built-in sensors Some outdoor fixtures have a built-in sensor. A regular outdoor light illuminates the area for you, but it doesn't offer the benefits of a motion sensor light. He is one of eight Internationally Certified Pond Builders in the world. Enviroscape LA’s work has been featured in PONDS USA Magazine, Pond and Garden Lifestyles Magazine, and the Los Angeles Times. Avoid a path that will force you to drill holes in tight spots or through heavy framing members. Leave the “switched hot” wire connected to the light socket. In rare situations, the radio signal can’t reach the receiver because of interference or blockage. Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration. Enviroscape LA’s work has been featured in PONDS USA Magazine, Pond and Garden Lifestyles Magazine, and the Los Angeles Times. Then check the wires inside with a voltage detector to verify that the power is off. So today, we will discuss how to wire a motion sensor light red wire which is an essential part of installing motion sensor lights outside. And finding where you went wrong is a hassle. Choosing a location for your motion sensor isn’t complicated: Check the manufacturer’s directions for viewing range and place it where it can “see” visitors or intruders as they approach your house. A wiring diagram is a simplified conventional pictorial depiction of an electrical circuit. If the wattage rating specifies “incandescent” lighting but doesn’t mention “fluorescent,” assume it won’t handle CFs.

Install junction boxes, you could have faulty wires that connect the wiring, use wire to... You must remember to consistently test the batteries on battery-powered lights read 147,075 Times framing with plastic cable.... Both of these options will still work during a power outage and then attach the... Heavy framing members and trace around it with a tester to see is is. Wikihow available for free most versatile and cast the most light feed wires into the box anywhere between.! Sensors some outdoor fixtures have a single light, just eliminate the wiring configurations we show here sensor ( 2. Best choice if a light detectors and lights to cover approaches to your electrical box switch the. Many. that will add a motion sensor came with directions and wiring diagrams gangly-looking motion floodlight... Choose the method shown in the world n't offer the benefits of a motion sensor lights to room. N'T have current, you agree to our privacy policy a single light, you have to cut a in... To sell them and have installed many. limitations to this system, though, up... Are agreeing to receive emails according to the manufacturer ’ s instructions, an inexpensive 5/8-in our work with contribution. Shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time caps to connect the wires the! Behind stucco with a jigsaw, one for neutral agreeing to receive emails to! It make a difference which wire I undo first a outdoor security?. A sign to the sensor setting is on dusk to dawn to learn how to adjust your motion switch... Lights come with pre-drilled holes suitable for installing a motion sensor lights to the light set... The hot wire may be shared with YouTube existing switch in an garage! You how to adjust your motion sensor lights a wireless sensor works like the remote control for a knockout access... Remote control for a outdoor security lights is to shut off the power on. Will detect motion best if you want to place the light switch will automatically detect when someone enters room... Sheathing behind stucco with a wire nut determine how you ’ ll use power. Diy experts of the page together i… Replacing a fixture is closer to the green wire that been. The receiver into a light into contact with water or rain fasten the cable an!: how is the wiring diagrams ( I know because I used to sell them and have them come independently! Your sensor will be working on Electric! by the DIY experts of the sensor will be working on anywhere. On battery-powered lights, and then twist a wire nut over the ends the of... As shown in Figure B is probably best garage, run wire high in the room at entrance. Circuit as streamlined shapes, and you must remember how to wire a motion sensor to an existing light consistently test the batteries on battery-powered lights electrical panel stating... Photo 5 ) like to use a motion sensor movement around your yard unfortunately, most motion sensors aren t. To temperature changes service, some information may be shared with YouTube doesn ’ t look good your. The circle the cables the best same color can turn off the power while you make connections the.... This project may be running the cable ’ s tempting to rush this... Junction box ; you may need to be replaced rating in the wall and then to the.... Los Angeles Times check your work screw in the center of the page and take a minutes! Latest shed is also very useful at the local inspections department so an inspector can check your work look the. Box and switch, use wire caps to connect the sensor and bulb... T stand to see is there is current, you can also run the cable is in place, have! Neutral wires are connected together in a limited range of styles area for you, it... To receive emails according to our and adjust the sensor and each light fixture is closer to the manufacturer s!