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Outdoor motion sensor lights

7 replies [Last post]
Joined: May 28 2003

Technically, this is not an Eichler question - though many Eichlers
have outdoor motion sensor lights.

Our Eichler has several outdoor motion sensor lights, and one of them
needs to be replaced (the light comes on and stay on indefinitely).

However, I'd like to replace this light with a motion sensor light
that can double as a "plain" outdoor light. That is, once in a while
I'd like to be able to simply turn on the light and have it stay on
until we turn it off.

We have a motion sensor light near our front door. This is great for
coming home at night when it's dark; however, the light won't stay on
for more than 10 minutes at a time - so on Halloween night (when we
wanted the light to stay on for several hours), we had to go outside
and "wave our hands" in front of the light every 10 minutes.

So are there any motion sensor lights that do what I'm looking for? I
searched on Google, but I could not find any (at least, it wasn't
obvious from the descriptions that I found).


Joined: Dec 14 2003

I had one like that once (my dad put it up at one of my houses in my single days). To make it stay on indefinitely you flipped the switch on-off-on quickly. I have motion-sensor-light-phobia because the neighbors at my last house had one that pointed into our bedroom. Between that and the giant blow up decorations sitting and whirring on their driveway, I had trouble sleeping, but I was too shy to do anything but fantasize about buying a beebee gun.

Joined: Mar 16 2005

I think jx is right; the ones I've come across can come on as a normal light by quickly flipping the switch on-off per the instructions.

Joined: Oct 10 2003

as a follow up question, anyone have recommendations on a style of light to use? the lights i've seen equipped with motion sensors are usually quite industrial looking. I'd love to replace my outdoor lights with motion sensor lights, but the look of them is keeping me from doing so (and that i'm just very lazy).

Joined: Mar 20 2003

I looked everywhere a year and a half ago when I had my electrician here for our remodel. I couldn't find anything that fit the Eichler style. They would be great in an warehouse parking lot.

The only thing I was willing to do was buy the motion sensor and wire it to a regular light. You can mount the motion sensor remotely so it's less visable. Make sure you ask about aim and distance since you want it to go on when someone walks to your door (as opposed to someone walking by on the sidewalk).

I wish they would make something decent since so many owners want outdoor front light that illuminate the driveway. They end up with some pretty funky floodlights attached from the roof, eaves, and all over that detract from the appearance of the house.

Joined: Mar 2 2004

I have used some brass and glass sensor fixtures for eight years. There are now many styles available...unlike the 'Original Eichleresque' floodlights. Worst case, you could use the sensor that comes with the industrial floodlight type with any outdoor fixture. The sensor could be located in the best location for a sensor, and the light, lights in the ideal location for a light.

Joined: May 28 2003

Possibly stupid follow-up question...

I will try the on-off-on method for my motion sensor lights (the lights were there when we bought the house, there are no manuals, and I haven't had any luck finding one online), but it's possible that they follow this protocol. Assuming they do, how do you get the light back into "normal motion sensor mode". I'm assuming you simply turn the light off then back on - but is the process more complicated?

2 of the 3 lights are hardwired (i.e. there is no on/off switch, the previous owner harwired them directly into the wall), but I can try the on-off-on method on the one with a switch - and if it works, invest the effort to get switches added to the other 2.


Joined: Aug 12 2004

All of the ones I've ever installed, used, or read anything about have
a common usage to turn them on for automatic, full on all the time, etc.

There are two switches on the head itself. Dial is for sensitivity to
whatever it's to sense (IR, heat, motion, etc). Other is a slide switch
that sets the mode and length of time it's on when it turns itself on.
"Test" will have it sense and turn on, then turn off quickly so that you
can wave a hand in front if it to test. The other "three" parts of the
slider switch is for the length of time it will stay on once it turns itself

Turn on the wall switch and it will be in automatic mode.

Turn the wall switch off and on in less than a second and it will stay on till
you turn it off.

To go back to automatic mode, turn it off for 15 seconds, then turn it
back on.

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