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Author Topic: Floodlight turns on by itself randomly  (Read 18192 times)

joshz

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Floodlight turns on by itself randomly
« on: August 10, 2009, 02:03:59 AM »

I've been wrestling with this weird problem for a few weeks and searched on the web for an answer to no avail. My X10 floodlight mounted above the garage door is turning itself on at random times at night with no motion. Sometimes it will stay on forever, but can be turned off by sending it an X10 off signal from a remote. Sometimes it will stay on for some random length of time and shut itself down afterwards, only to come back on after a short period of time for no apparent reason. I've gone through resetting the light multiple times by following the instructions from the manual and this forum, but that doesn't help. I even put two plastic cards on both sides of the sensor to shield it from any stray light, but that doesn't seem to make any difference either. I'm at my wit's end, and hope someone might have an idea or suggestion. I really like to use X10, and have a wireless security system and other X10 switches at my home, so would like to use an X10 floodlight if possible. But this mysterious problem is dampening my enthusiasm for X10 devices. Wish some advanced users out there can help a newbie. Thanks in advance!
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JeffVolp

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Re: Floodlight turns on by itself randomly
« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2009, 09:29:03 AM »

My X10 floodlight mounted above the garage door is turning itself on at random times at night with no motion. Sometimes it will stay on forever, but can be turned off by sending it an X10 off signal from a remote. Sometimes it will stay on for some random length of time and shut itself down afterwards, only to come back on after a short period of time for no apparent reason.

Two possibilities:

1)  There may be a spider or other bug living inside whose movement is being picked up by the motion detector.

2)  Something may have indeed failed.

Jeff

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Dan Lawrence

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Re: Floodlight turns on by itself randomly
« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2009, 09:38:05 AM »

I had the same problem with mine when I first got it.  I solved the control problem by getting a X10 Pro Wall Switch to control it. Now it only turns on when I want it to.  The floodlight has no timers attached to it, the timers reside in the Pro Wall Switch.  The floodlight only operates between dusk and a half hour after midnight.
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HA Dave

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Re: Floodlight turns on by itself randomly
« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2009, 10:08:33 AM »

I've been wrestling with this weird problem for a few weeks ......... I really like to use X10, and have a wireless security system and other X10 at my home, so would like to use an X10 floodlight if possible. But this mysterious problem is dampening my enthusiasm for X10 devices.

I use the X10 floodlights (PR511) myself... and I am a big fan of the device. I take it from your post... that the floodlights maybe somewhat new?

JeffVolp is dead-on with his assessment.... but also take a 2nd look a where the sensor is pointed. Heat, and mechanical motion will also trigger these [type of] sensors. Look for [even a neighbors] AC unit, kitchen or bathroom vent, or pool equipment. In close quarters it maybe required to tape off an area of the sensor to shield it from an area.

I would assume (and since I know better than to assume I won't) you've checked/compared the code the floodlight is using.. is NOT using the security light setting on your X10 alarm system. The security light setting (on the DS7000) will turn that House/Unit code on... every time the home is entered while on the away setting.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2009, 10:10:07 AM by Dave_x10_L »
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joshz

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Re: Floodlight turns on by itself randomly
« Reply #4 on: August 10, 2009, 05:20:38 PM »

Thank you all for the tips! Yes, it's a new installation and I bought the floodlight new on eBay. I have the DS7000 unit code set to that of a porch light, controlled by an X10 switch. The floodlight is on a different unit code.

I did find the motion sensor to be quite sensitive, as it does trigger on slight motion properly when it's not always on. I have two trees in my front yard about 20-30 feet away and visible on two edges of the sensor lense, and a streetlight about 80 feet away casting some light on part of my driveway. The sensor is pretty far away from everything else. No bugs were found around it :-) I've tried to point the sensor down to stay out of the light from a setting sun, with its sides flanked by the two plastic cards to block off any stray light from its own light. So, it's now having a quite narrow view at the moment.

I'm even thinking about taping the sensor all out, and then I'll control the floodlight from an X10 eagle-eye sensor. Assuming the floodlight will stay off by itself after disabling the sensor altogether. If the weird behavior I'm seeing is known to be caused by an environment such to mine, I'd be willing to go down this route. But I'd like to see if there is something else I can try before using the floodlight as a really dumb one  :(
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HA Dave

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Re: Floodlight turns on by itself randomly
« Reply #5 on: August 10, 2009, 08:49:17 PM »

....But I'd like to see if there is something else I can try before using the floodlight as a really dumb one.

I have heard of floodcams acting up when overpowered lamps were in them... I would also guess you turned the sensitivity level down at the sensor (it is adjustable).
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raster69273

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Re: Floodlight turns on by itself randomly
« Reply #6 on: August 11, 2009, 11:49:46 AM »

Mine did not like halogen bulbs. Did similar things until I replaced the bulbs with non-halogen bulbs. Could be the excessive heat thing.
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joshz

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Re: Floodlight turns on by itself randomly
« Reply #7 on: August 12, 2009, 01:56:52 AM »

What raster69273 brought up rings a bell. I was indeed using halogen bulbs. Interesting! I have got two plastic cards creating a separation between the senor and bulbs, therefore thought it should not be a problem. I'll get them replaced and try it out before calling it quits.
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joshz

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Re: Floodlight turns on by itself randomly
« Reply #8 on: August 17, 2009, 12:50:57 AM »

I'm reporting back after some further experiment. This is the weirdest thing I've ever seen! I'm now completely blocking off any light to the sensor with plastic cards. The floodlight is still turning itself on. I can turn it off with a remote, but it will turn itself back on after a short while. What's even more strange is that it does occasionally turn itself off after a seemingly random delay, only to turn itself back on again shortly. That's all while I set the sensitivity to lowest and the darkness setting to highest. Unless I have a unit that is defective in a weird way, I'm completely baffled ???
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HA Dave

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Re: Floodlight turns on by itself randomly
« Reply #9 on: August 17, 2009, 08:45:33 AM »

........ Unless I have a unit that is defective in a weird way, I'm completely baffled ???

I've been a big fan of the floodlight (PR511) for years. I've found mine to be simple and reliable. I've even installed one on my stepdaughters home. Your unit certainly sounds defective to me.
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dave w

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Re: Floodlight turns on by itself randomly
« Reply #10 on: August 17, 2009, 11:49:19 AM »

Curious, what do you have  HCUC set at?
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joshz

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Re: Floodlight turns on by itself randomly
« Reply #11 on: August 18, 2009, 01:03:36 AM »

I have house code set to K, and unit code currently at 1. But I've tried unit code at 3 and 4 too. Is any code combination prone to certain problems?

BTW, I forgot to confirm earlier that replacing the halogen bulbs do not seem to make any difference.

I do not quite understand the logic governing the operation of this floodlight :-( My first bad experience with X10. I had liked X10 a lot, and was planning on adding more to my home. Oh, well...
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SLLIMBRI

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Re: Floodlight turns on by itself randomly
« Reply #12 on: August 18, 2009, 09:08:48 AM »

I had three x10 floods and all did the same as your is doing. I like the x10 concept but I think the quality of parts is crap. I have several non x10 lights that work perfect all the time. No random on/off at all. What I did was install an off the shelf detector in place of the x10 detector to control the lights. Now I still have the x10 signal sent throughout my house and the lights work off a reliable detector. So I have two sensors on one x10 chassis.
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dave w

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Re: Floodlight turns on by itself randomly
« Reply #13 on: August 18, 2009, 11:55:57 AM »

I have house code set to K, and unit code currently at 1. But I've tried unit code at 3 and 4 too. Is any code combination prone to certain problems?
I was simply second guessing. The randomness of it all made me wonder if you had the PR511 light set to A1 and a "XXXXEYE" motion detector might have defaulted to the A1 code so the light was turned ON everytime the motion detector was triggered (the default to A1 is common when their batteries get low, or they get bumped hard enough to momentarily jog a battery out of place). But your use of M1 should eliminate that scenario.
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joshz

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Re: Floodlight turns on by itself randomly
« Reply #14 on: August 20, 2009, 02:04:48 PM »

Dave, I do have EagleEye, but they are set to different unit codes. It's a new installation, so it should eliminate the battery running low issue. But that's a nice thought.

Sllimbri, I'm interested in learning how you did it. I could have used EagleEye to control this light. However, the fact that it's turning itself on randomly makes it a moot point. So, unless your solution can prevent the light from turning on by itself, I don't see any way I can still use this unit.

I bought it on eBay. And, the seller went into hiding without responding to my inquiries for exchange/return :-(
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