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outdoor motion sensors/flood light recommendations?


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#1 JimS

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Posted 02 April 2010 - 03:18 PM

This has probably been discussed before but I searched around a bit and still have the basic question....

I have a couple flood lights on the driveway with motion sensors. One just went out (now turns on during the day rather than at night ;) and we haven't been that happy with the controls so figured this was a good chance to upgrade and/or automate. The old ones were hard to get to stay on (supposedly you turn them off briefly and back on) and less bothersome issue with wind, etc.

One thought was to separate the motion from the light by running another wire to the attic and having some sort of logic there. Something like if any one was triggered they all come on, or maybe if both are triggered then all come on, etc. But that means fishing another wire - not impossible but some work. I only have X-10 stuff now but not a lot so I might go to something else that is more reliable. Is there a UPB motion sensor light or just the sensor that fits a standard conduit thread?

Would like to have the ability to get the motion signal into my HA system (Misterhouse) and have the HA be able to control the lights.

Other ideas?

#2 Michael McSharry

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Posted 02 April 2010 - 06:07 PM

I had used X10/Leviton motion/flood lights in the past on a driveway. Every once in awhile the light would starting flooding X10 and typically the light would remain on. I installed an UPB IO module wired to 12V motion sensor and UPB appliance module to plain floodlights. This worked but techanically to both control the light and have HA awareness. The UPB modules were not rated for outdoor use and I started to have some problems in the winter so I removed the setup. I have gone back to the X10 solution and deal with the flooding when it happens. The fix to flooding is remove power for a short while to the floodlights. Since the road is on a separate circuit is is simply a matter of using the power panel breaker.

#3 Dan (electron)

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Posted 02 April 2010 - 08:19 PM

I did what was discussed in this thread:

http://www.cocoontec...p...57&hl=flood

It allows me to control the unit using a UPB light switch, while the motion detector can be used to report motion to my M1. Next time, I'd probably just invest in a good outdoor motion detector and just buy floodlight fixtures.

#4 pete_c

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Posted 03 April 2010 - 08:21 AM

You guys are lucky. We are not allowed to utilize flood lights outside. I do use outdoor motions which trigger conventional lighting outside. Works well at night.

#5 jazzman

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Posted 04 April 2010 - 07:01 PM

I am surprised that no one has mentioned the new exotic 5800 series outdoor wireless motion detector. I have one but have just fondled it so far.

I guess I can't post links yet, but google 5800pir-od

It too is expensive but for those of us using 5800 series it sure saves a lot of steps.

#6 JimS

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Posted 04 April 2010 - 07:53 PM

Dan,

What you did seems like a good plan. I have fairly good access and could get the extra wires in. If I wanted motion sensing during the day I suppose I could cover the light sensor and use a rule in the HA system to only light the lights at night. I like the fact that it can be easily put back to "normal" for future home sale.

You said if you were to do it again you might invest in a good outdoor motion sensor... I know there will be lots of opinions out there but what do you consider a good sensor?

Jim

#7 Dave X10

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Posted 05 April 2010 - 09:16 AM

If I wanted motion sensing during the day I suppose I could cover the light sensor and use a rule in the HA system to only light the lights at night.

I use a "Voice warning (announcement)" along with video recording based on outside motion... day and night. But the daytime use is regulated my Occupancy. So it isn't just lights that you may want separate control over. In warm weather we use our outside space just like we do the inside (cooking, dining, lounging).

#8 jharrell

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Posted 06 April 2010 - 08:32 PM

My right arm for a UPB equivalent to the Leviton/X10 floods...

Anyone at HAI or Simply Automated listening???

Oh yeah a inline UPB 3 speed fan and light dimmer module with remote switch, is that too much to ask?

#9 JimS

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Posted 07 April 2010 - 07:37 AM

In checking out the current Heath/Zenith products I found a couple troubling things. The current products I checked at HD still say 10 yr warranty on the box (Keep your reciept because it is unlikely they will last that long). I thought I had seen much shorter on their web site. Their better units are "dual brite" - they can be on dim until motion when they go brite. And they ramp up the voltage at turn on to increase bulb life. So no non-dimmable CFLs. That makes sense. Their replacement sensors are also dual brite. Their cheaper stuff is just on and off but still they state on the outside of the box incandescent or halogen only, no CFL. I didn't find that in the manual anywhere. Maybe it is a UL issue? The sensor is marked someting like "4.2 A, tungsten". I returned my old one for warranty replacement so I don't have it to check if it is a relay. Guess I could listen for a click on the others I have. Would really like to use CFLs and if I switch around the wiring to run a wall wart I wonder how it would behave. I may be being overly cautious here but I would feel better if it didn't say no CFLs.

#10 kdub

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Posted 07 April 2010 - 07:35 PM

The Heath "DualBrite" motion detectors do not use a relay. The DualBrite feature performs a 50% dim on the lights and this cannot really be achieved via a relay, so some sort of triac device is used instead. Which is probably why they recommend no CFL's.

I'm currently playing with these, which do have relays: RAB STL200H (Can't post a direct link yet, sorry)

The motion sensor seems to be higher quality than these Heath units, so I expect them to last a lot longer as well as perform better.

The only downside, is if you're not switching a load (like driving another relay or using the Insteon In-Line Linc with Sense) you will have to put a capacitor across the sensor output and neutral to get the proper behavior from the relay (it's mentioned in the manual). I also found out that capacitors act like a filter and can screw up your powerline signals (like Insteon), so I had to also use one of those X10 powerline filters to counter the effects of the capacitor. One of those projects that ended up requiring more than initially planned...

#11 drozwood90

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Posted 01 June 2010 - 08:21 AM

I did what was discussed in this thread:

http://www.cocoontec...p...57&hl=flood

It allows me to control the unit using a UPB light switch, while the motion detector can be used to report motion to my M1. Next time, I'd probably just invest in a good outdoor motion detector and just buy floodlight fixtures.


Dan

404 on the images.

I've been toying with the idea of putting in my X10's (I have 3 left)...but after reading about the flooding, maybe I'll use UPB instead.

I also thought the Heath units killed UPB? I still use some cheapy X10 cameras...I'd still want to control them. Anyone have any thoughts on that?

--Dan

#12 Dan (electron)

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Posted 01 June 2010 - 11:28 AM

I'll have to dig up those images. I'd avoid the X10 floodlights tho, they are one of the worst X10 products ever released (IMO). The lights do not affect my UPB signal.

#13 MacACK

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Posted 07 September 2014 - 10:15 AM

Hi Kdub - did you have any luck utilizing the relay on the RAB unit?  I am interested in tapping into the motion to trigger other lights / systems no in the chain of floods.  Thanks.

 

 



I'm currently playing with these, which do have relays: RAB STL200H (Can't post a direct link yet, sorry)

The motion sensor seems to be higher quality than these Heath units, so I expect them to last a lot longer as well as perform better.
 



#14 Desert_AIP

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Posted 08 September 2014 - 11:56 AM

I posted my solution with the Heath/Zenith units in this thread using a wallwart and the UPB IO module.

 

http://cocoontech.co...ns/#entry205035






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