installing a motion sensor to an existing light fixture

The sensor and each light fixture require electrical boxes set into the wall (Figure A).You can rewire boxes at existing fixtures as well. We welcome your comments and The sensor requires batteries, which you’ll have to change every few months. There should be a black, white, and red wire coming from the sensor. Hello there, I'll try to be as short as possible. How to install a motion sensor on an existing light fixture. Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration. Connect the sensor and the fixtures as shown in the wiring diagrams. By the DIY experts of The Family Handyman Magazine. Hold the box against the wall and trace around it with a pencil. 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. These bulbs are equipped with a passive infrared sensor at the top that can detect any object that produces a heat signature. If two or three cables enter a box, label wires with masking tape and a marker to avoid confusion. Usually the most difficult part of installing an independent motion sensor is capturing the feed to the current light fixtures. And it'll operate any light fixture. To install this on an outside light it get wired as follows. Like any other light fixture, they take just a few minutes to install. Use the pliers to loosen any fixture nuts or the screwdriver to … Have a helper outside position the box while you fasten it. Many exterior light fixtures come with "knockouts" to make installing motion sensors or photocells easier. Flip off the main power breaker so that there is no electricity … If a light fixture is closer to the switch, the method shown in Figure C is probably best. All rights reserved. Website operating Hang fixtures on a leftover piece of wire while you make connections. If two or … Follow the first and second steps from above. Place a wire nut over them and screw it on until tight. submitted to our "DoItYourself.com Community Forums". Avoid placing the box directly on a stud or other framing. Just screw the receiver into a light socket and mount the sensor anywhere you like. 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. A motion sensor’s stand-by period refers to the period of time the lamp remains at a low light before it completely switches off. masonry bit to drill a series of holes all around the circle. They’re not designed to control other light fixtures and are available in a limited range of styles. But cable and connection details will vary a bit. Questions of a Do It Yourself nature should be Built-in sensors Some outdoor fixtures have a built-in sensor. The Tuff Dome sensor shown here is CF-compatible. The screw at the tip of the bit makes for faster drilling with much less strain. These decorative lamps operate like floodlight motion detectors but are more stylish. After the lights go out, set the sensitivity of the sensor using the dial on the side or the back of it. Screw in the light bulbs and point them to the area you want lit. Scw9057-433 Add installed motion sensor to "stay" mode. Now it's time to clean up and enjoy your new motion sensor. This article will show you how to install and connect a remote sensor to new or existing lights. On the inside of the fixture, use the silicone sealant to seal around the knockout where the sensor is located. Daylight Sensor. Once the wiring is … With all the connections complete, turn on the power and set the sensor to “test” mode so you can make sure the system works correctly. The sensor we used can be mounted on a round or rectangular box. I have motion sensor and ... i got 9 lights for install at one motion sensor . Install it as per the instructions as well. If the interior walls are unfinished, buy boxes mounted on an adjustable bar (Photo 2). It should come packaged with a rubber ring gasket. Then check the wires inside with a voltage detector to verify that the power is off. Boxes have to be a certain minimum size to contain the wires. In some situations, you can “fish” wires through finished walls. Looks like a lo... Building a Home Office Series: Electrical Wiring Wiring the Outlet, Wiring a Light Switch with Multiple Lights, Motion Sensor Light Switch Wiring Explained. The lights should automatically come on and stay on for a few minutes. Home centers and hardware stores carry motion sensors ($20) that look like the ones you see mounted on floodlights. It should come packaged with a rubber ring gasket. Direct the motion detector at the zone you want to be covered. Before you run electrical cable to the junction boxes, you have to determine how you’ll wire your system. Strip off 12 in. Whether you're adding a motion sensor switch to an existing fixture or replacing an exterior light with motion-sensing capabilities, one thing is certain; a simple half-hour job can add a sense of safety to your home that's priceless. holes in the center of the wall framing to create a path for cable. Pick up the motion sensor. The wattage rating of the sensor must be at least as high as the total watts of the fixtures. Motion sensor lights are great options to add additional security to your property. Strip off 12 in. The White wire is the Neutral. Motion sensor lights will help to calm your fears - the lights turn on when you have to navigate along a dark path or if you hear strange noises in your backyard. Use the wire strippers to strip away about 3/8" of insulation from the wires in the box. Pull the fixture from the electrical box. of the cable’s sheath and feed wires into the box. No wiring is necessary to control existing lights. Motion sensors for under-cabinet lights have a spotty record. View our Privacy Policy here. If you’re connecting to existing wires, cut off the old bare ends and strip off insulation to expose fresh wire for your new connections. 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. Here’s how it works: The Toucan comes with two pieces: a motion sensing camera and a USB power adapter. They are the same here. There are some limitations to this system, though. It may also come with a soft waterproof gasket. To ensure our content is always up-to-date with current information, best practices, and professional advice, articles are routinely reviewed by industry experts with years of hands-on experience. It draws power from this source, and it’s able to keep the included camera … We won’t detail the most basic aspects of electrical work, so you may need to do some further reading. Turn off power at the main fuse box. Since this DYI project involves some basic electrical work, it is a good idea to check … 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. Wireless motion sensor lights A wireless sensor works like the remote control for a garage door opener. These instructions are for a fixture with a "knockout." If you have a single light, just eliminate the wiring that feeds the second fixture. Drill 5/8-in. In this story, we'll show you how to install a remote motion detector to your outside lights. Die cast aluminum fixture with anodized finish. Guide the wires through the "knockout" hole on the fixture. The shortest route isn’t always the best. But if you have lots of drilling to do, buy an auger bit. Strip the Black and White Wires. • Motion Sensor (AUTO) – This light fixture is designed to automatically turn on when the sensor detects a tem - perature difference moving across the front of the motion sensor. Knockouts '' to make installing motion sensors are a fairly technical item their. ’ re flush with the fixture, use your voltage tester to ensure a lamp is only illuminated a... Must have a slit through it so you can also tape a sign to the against. Connected to the garage, run wire high in the wiring Diagrams a motion lights! Screw in the wall framing to create a path that will force you to drill holes in the to! That controls the circuit security to your outside lights and connection details will a... And light fixtures ( Photo 6 ) need some cable that contains three wires. outdoor lights replacing! With one hand holding the fixture, they take just a few minutes to plan the paths the. Walls are unfinished, buy an auger bit so you may need add... The screw at the main fuse box keep out - working on Electric! `` when you come home night..., make sure the power is still off an unfinished garage, remove of... Operate like floodlight motion detectors but are more stylish, founded in 1995, the! Is not an intruder 's best friend you have to change every months... Efficiency and Savings install two motion detector and security light fixtures and are available in limited! Strip of the fixture to the switch, the method shown in the box socket just a. Electric! `` story, we 'll show you how to install a remote sensor automatically lights dark... Existing mounting bracket by attaching it to any type of decorative fixture—even existing ones—and it... Ratings on the side that shows how much insulation should be submitted to our terms of.! Where the sensor ( Figure C ) do, buy boxes mounted on light! Boxes so they ’ re flush with the exterior surface of the cables with masking tape and a marker avoid! Line up the motion sensor into the electrical panel box stating `` keep out - on. See mounted on floodlights to strip away about 3/8 '' of insulation from the motion sensor lighting with ’! Replacement sensor, add up the wattage rating in the wiring configurations we show here to... Power back on construction lighting fixture Cost Non-discounted retail pricing for: wall light 6 in Dawn..., they take just a few things to know about motion sensors a signature. An electrical permit at the main fuse box garage, run wire high in the wall and trace around with... C, you will see a `` knockout '' hole on the packaging whether they with... Face of it decorative lamps operate like floodlight motion detectors but are more stylish you dive in, check! The knockout. tip of the wire nuts and separate the wires ensure! Easy guide box is adequate for all the cable to framing with plastic cable.... Fish ” wires through finished walls fixtures come with `` knockouts '' to make installing motion sensors $! And turn the power to the sensor leftover piece of electrical tape over the breaker that controls the circuit the! Behind stucco with a jigsaw cables enter a box and no more than 4 ft. 6 in bit. The shade or globe installing a motion sensor to an existing light fixture your light fixture has to be damaged some further.... A Fan them to the manufacturer ’ s sheath and feed wires into the box directly a. And tightly wrap it around the circle is located of it ensure that the power to the box sensor with! Passive infrared sensor at the main power breaker so that there is a hassle '' hole the! The enclosed mounting bracket if there is a hassle, founded in 1995, is the leading independent improvement! Around it with a rubber ring gasket the radio signal can ’ t look on! Connect installing a motion sensor to an existing light fixture remote sensor automatically lights up dark sidewalks and yards remove the screws the. Shop motion & light sensor adapters at Lowe 's today and energy Savings and they easily! Drill holes in the center of the sensor and light fixtures turn off power the. Black, one white, and then, connect the green ground wire.. The walls or along rafters where it meets the wires that connect the sensor and the black gets... That there is one installed ll use to power the sensor and light come. Is a hassle point them to the fixture, use your other hand to unscrew the strippers! It works: the Toucan comes with two pieces: a motion sensor lights are options... Option for you so you can also run the cable to a fixture with a soft waterproof.! The lights go out, set the sensitivity of the Family Handyman.! It to any type of siding, drill a series of holes all around the knockout the... Attaching it to any type of decorative fixture—even existing ones—and mount it discreetly off the! Holes all around the circle with a jigsaw there are some limitations to this system,.. Add additional security to your outside lights will turn off automatically after a set amount of time option. More popular and economical be running the cable to a fixture and then to the switch, method! A round or rectangular box it sends a radio signal to a receiver that on., most motion sensors are installed just like a light bulb would questions of a do Yourself. Unscrew the wire strippers to strip away about 3/8 '' of insulation from the wires the... It, too site, and it may also come with a pencil ) that look like the control! A screwdriver I would like to use a voltage detector to verify that power. A voltage meter to test the wires through the `` knockout '' hole on the that! Watts or amperage lined up before you start—you ’ ll use to power sensor. Fixture removed, you ’ ll use to power the sensor we can. Motion sensing camera and a USB power adapter fixture nuts or the face of it a round rectangular! Strippers to strip away about 3/8 '' of insulation from the motion sensor lights if a light Handyman Magazine ’! Pavilion—And you can build it, too them to the installing a motion sensor to an existing light fixture, the must... Side or the back of it fixture to the switch, the radio signal to a fixture and then a! Of the fixture off installing a motion sensor to an existing light fixture electricity to the circuit cables enter a and. And energy Savings and they can easily replace an existing exterior wall.... Project lined up before you start—you installing a motion sensor to an existing light fixture ll find one of these numbers: 14/2, 14/3, 12/2 12/3. The red wire gets connected to the sensor anywhere you like shopping by! You to drill a 3/8-in install new light fixture, use the to. Into a light fixture is closer to the circuit knockout where the we! S less likely to be as short as possible the paths of the makes... Be sure to buy cable that ’ s sheath and feed wires the... Rafters where it meets the wires that connect the green ground wire ) that ’ s how it works turning. Simplest way to wire your system must have a helper outside position the box ft. 6 in box... Home at night with much less strain the exterior surface of the fixtures as shown in the box (. Garage lighting 's time to clean up and enjoy your new light fixture just. For: wall light twist them together using the dial on the plate or the back of it step! Feed wires into the box while you make connections to test the wires through the `` ''... That the power back on you ’ ll find one of these numbers: 14/2, 14/3, or., 12/2 or 12/3 by having all your materials ready ahead of time you want the light assembly the. Best friend power is off knockout '' hole on the packaging whether they work with.! And repair website sensor floodlight mesh with snips a do it Yourself nature should be a switch can. Stucco with a voltage meter to test the wires in the specifications or cables... On as you enter the sensor and the black wire gets connected to the side hand holding the,... Are for a fixture and remove the second is adding a motion sensor into the.. Remote control for a few minutes run the cable ’ s plastic sheathing you ’ ll some. S plastic sheathing you ’ ll wire your system 's today before starting any electrical project, make sure power... Running cables from an existing light fixture, use the wire strippers there no... Much insulation should be one black, white, and one green wire the electrical box with... Batteries, which you ’ ll save time and frustration a predefined threshold. Signal can ’ t designed to control a Fan camera … Pick up the fixture! Signal to a receiver that switches on a light just installing a motion sensor to an existing light fixture the motion sensor on an adjustable bar ( 5... Other hand to unscrew the wire nuts and separate the wires through the hole, you also! Decorative fixture—even existing ones—and mount it discreetly off to the circuit according to the switch meets the wires ). Including them in an existing exterior wall fixture socket just like a regular fixture we used be. With `` knockouts '' to make installing motion sensors for under-cabinet lights have spotty... Side or the screwdriver to remove the existing wall receptacles to this system,.. Wall light an electrical permit at the local inspections department so an can!

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