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Wiring a Motion Sensing Light Switch - In Series?

 
 
CDobyns
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Jun, 2013 06:56 pm
@dalehileman,
Okay, I should have anticipated that we still weren't "through" with this installation - just yet.

An expected opportunity to start the weekend early occurred today - so I thought I would put together the 10 minutes necessary to complete the installation of this motion sensing switch. The switch went in just fine, and the preliminary tests all looked good (the lights actually came on) when the circuit was energized.

So, while the motion sensor is clearly working fine (the red light comes on), the lights don't cycle off, even with the timer set at the minimum setting. The user manual (the "crappy" one . . .), indicates that if the lights don't go off the switch is wired incorrectly. I doubt if that's the case since I switched the black (hot) wire off the existing switch, and specifically noted which pole (and wire) was the circuit downstream to the lighting (load), when the switch was placed in the on position. I guess I can try reversing the wiring, but once again - I'm open to other suggestions from the Electric Light Orchestra . . .

Thanks!
dalehileman
 
  1  
Reply Sat 15 Jun, 2013 10:48 am
@CDobyns,
Quote:
that if the lights don't go off the switch is wired incorrectly.
I can't follow exactly what wires you switched and how or why. But off the top of my head: Very unlikley but you might first try reversing the two input wires. If that doesn't help You could try reversing the two output wires but that might risk damage

There might be an electrostatic factor of some sort. If the hot or red output to the lamp is a very long wire, with the switch supposedly off it might be picking up some kind of signal capacitively or inductively that confuses the switch's electronics. If it is, then before the timer energizes it you should find a small residual voltage

Maybe you should write the mfr
dalehileman
 
  1  
Reply Sat 15 Jun, 2013 11:14 am
@dalehileman,
As an afterthought, even more bizarre and remote: What if the two black "cold," or return wires are reversed. Supposedly they should be wired together internally (which you could confirm using an ohmmeter) but maybe not
dalehileman
 
  1  
Reply Sat 15 Jun, 2013 11:35 am
@dalehileman,
CD my apologies but please ignore my last two postings as I'm not entirely sure which switch you're using

There's one other remote possibility however: Maybe the box, presumably metal, isn't properly grounded and the very sophisticated electronics somehow senses the condition, tries to warn you by not turning off when it should

Connect multimeter between this box and one you're sure of; s/b no appreciable voltage; maybe a few millivolts (ac). Then switch to resistance: Reading should be very low, probably just a few ohms at most
CDobyns
 
  1  
Reply Sun 16 Jun, 2013 10:31 am
@dalehileman,
All right, exclusive of inductivity or capacitivity, this may just be the Occam's Razor solution to the problem (and I'm not talking about "operator error" thankfully).

I'm always happy when I'm a step (okay, a half-step) ahead of the suggested guidance. I can't refute the grounding issue (back to the main breaker panel), but when we recently had a licensed electrician come in to energize the subpanel I installed, he pronounced my work to have been "just fine", and all the existing electrical was all in compliance with local codes. So, I doubt this is a grounding issue, reaffirmed even further below.

I also re-checked to actual live (hot) black wiring, and confirmed that with my voltmeter - so the wiring to the switch, black-to-black and red-to-black is exactly as the manufacturer specifies.

New news. To better test the timer, even though it is currently set on the minimum duration (15 seconds), I ran an experiment, to see if the switch would ever actually cycle the lighting circuit off automatically. And it did. At some point, in about a 7 hour time span, the switch did cycle the lights off, and when my wife entered the room last night, the lights did come on (although that startled her - since I forgot to tell her I had installed the switch).

Note to self: Inform wife of all future electrical upgrades to avoid domestic unpleasantness.

So, the switch is working correctly, although we have no clue about when the lights actually cycled off (I suspect it was much longer than simply a little while beyond 15 seconds . . . .). I wondered whether adjusting the Lighting sensitivity switch might do something (prevents lights from coming on when the room is lit - naturally or artificially). I can't imagine that's the problem, since it set at the absolute minimum setting). Is the solution here that we have faulty timer electronics, and that this is a merchandise return back to Amazon?

dalehileman
 
  1  
Reply Sun 16 Jun, 2013 10:39 am
@CDobyns,
I'm continually impressed CD by your determination

Quote:
So, the switch is working correctly, although we have no clue about when the lights actually cycled off (I suspect it was much longer than simply a little while beyond 15 seconds . . . .).
Then it isn't working correctly

Quote:
I wondered whether adjusting the Lighting sensitivity switch might do something…..
It does sound suspicious. However I suppose you've tried different settings

Quote:
Is the solution here that we have faulty timer electronics, and that this is merchandise return back to Amazon?
So far, for what it's worth (not much to be sure) that's the way it sounds to me
CDobyns
 
  1  
Reply Sun 16 Jun, 2013 11:51 am
@dalehileman,
Yep, I'm pretty sure this is a merchandise return.

I did think of one other system contradiction, that the switch electronics must account for somehow. This goes to the issue of the Light sensitivity sensor. In the full light setting, the lights come on when motion is detected, regardless of the ambient light in the room. In the minimum setting, the lights come on only with the room is in near total darkness. Since this switch is in the basement and there is no ambient natural or artificial light, logically, any setting should be okay. But then I started to out guess myself, because then I started wondering that when the lighting setting is set on total darkness, does the motion detector and timer supersede the Lighting sensor - and if there's no motion and the timer is exceeded, that the ambient lighting (now from the lights which have cycled "On") don't somehow prevent the lights from cycling "Off"?

That's good logic (I think), but pretty obtuse to think that the manufacturer didn't contemplate that, and in reality, the Lighting sensor only acts to inhibit the motion sensor from opening the lighting circuit. Yes, that sounds right (I think).
dalehileman
 
  1  
Reply Sun 16 Jun, 2013 12:42 pm
@CDobyns,
Quote:
pretty obtuse to think that the manufacturer didn't contemplate that
It's been my observation over some 7 or 8 decades CD that the typical mfr doesn't market test his device. Not even sending out a few pre-prod units with employees for a weekend tryout but instead, the moment the proto seems to work, make 3 million units and ship 'em out to the retailer before getting any sort of feedback

Anyhoo you probly oughta return it
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