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Author Topic: Can I have multiple light controls on a single light?  (Read 7043 times)

whitenack

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Can I have multiple light controls on a single light?
« on: July 28, 2011, 08:45:10 AM »

Sorry if this is a terribly elementary question...

Is it possible to control a light with different kinds of light switches?  For example, is it possible to set up a light on a motion sensor but also on a manual override?  I'd like to have my garage interior and exterior lights set up on motion sensors, but would also like to have a remote switch from the house where I could turn them on and off whenever I need.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2011, 10:08:48 AM by whitenack »
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Brian H

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Re: Can I have multiple light controls on a single light?
« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2011, 08:51:06 AM »

The present motion sensors. Are they an X10 type?
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Noam

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Re: Can I have multiple light controls on a single light?
« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2011, 08:54:08 AM »

In short, yes. That's exactly what X10 does.
If you have the garage lights on an X10 switch, you can control them with motion sensors.
The motion sensors send the correct signal to turn the lights on, and then turn them off with whatever delay you set after motion stops.
You can get fancier, and use conditional macros to add all kinds of logic in there if you want.

With that, you don't NEED to use the motion sensors to turn the lights on and off, you can use other X10 transceivers to send the same signals, to turn the lights on or off.
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whitenack

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Re: Can I have multiple light controls on a single light?
« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2011, 10:19:42 AM »

The present motion sensors. Are they an X10 type?

I haven't started setting anything up, so I don't have anything at the moment.

Quote
In short, yes. That's exactly what X10 does.
If you have the garage lights on an X10 switch, you can control them with motion sensors.
The motion sensors send the correct signal to turn the lights on, and then turn them off with whatever delay you set after motion stops.
You can get fancier, and use conditional macros to add all kinds of logic in there if you want.

With that, you don't NEED to use the motion sensors to turn the lights on and off, you can use other X10 transceivers to send the same signals, to turn the lights on or off.


Excellent.  I guess I am still trapped in the mindset of plain electrical currents and things not working when the switch is flipped.
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Brian H

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Re: Can I have multiple light controls on a single light?
« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2011, 10:42:13 AM »

Well it is kind of like the switch gets flipped electronically.
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Noam

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Re: Can I have multiple light controls on a single light?
« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2011, 11:12:36 AM »

I guess I am still trapped in the mindset of plain electrical currents and things not working when the switch is flipped.

Like Brian said. Think of the X10 X10 switches in two parts: The controller, and the switch.
The controller is always on, listening for commands to turn the switch part on and off.
If you plan on switching Florescent or CFL bulbs, you'll need to make sure to get a "relay" type switch, and make sure you have a neutral wire in the box where you plan on installing the switch.
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whitenack

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Re: Can I have multiple light controls on a single light?
« Reply #6 on: July 28, 2011, 11:19:57 AM »

Thanks.  Yeah, I have been thinking of the traditional switch that, once flipped off, would kill any current to the light no matter what other switches or remotes were flipped on further down the line.  I need to quit thinking in those terms.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2011, 11:22:09 AM by whitenack »
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whitenack

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Re: Can I have multiple light controls on a single light?
« Reply #7 on: July 28, 2011, 11:24:56 AM »

I guess I am still trapped in the mindset of plain electrical currents and things not working when the switch is flipped.

If you plan on switching Florescent or CFL bulbs, you'll need to make sure to get a "relay" type switch, and make sure you have a neutral wire in the box where you plan on installing the switch.

This is good info.  I had hoped I could use florescents and CFL bulbs, and had been seeing the warnings to only use incadescents.  I don't know much about electric terms so I need to research relay vs. non relay switches.

Thanks!
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Brian H

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Re: Can I have multiple light controls on a single light?
« Reply #8 on: July 28, 2011, 11:35:46 AM »

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whitenack

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Re: Can I have multiple light controls on a single light?
« Reply #9 on: July 28, 2011, 01:35:55 PM »

Let me ask another question (but may be better suited in the ActiveHome section..):

Can you set a light up to be controlled by one switch during certain times of the day and a different switch at other times during the day.  In other words, can you disable and enable switches on set schedules?  For example, if I wanted something to be motion sensored during certain parts of the day but not others, could I automatically disable that sensor during those times?
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Noam

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Re: Can I have multiple light controls on a single light?
« Reply #10 on: July 28, 2011, 01:47:32 PM »

Let me ask another question (but may be better suited in the ActiveHome section..):

Can you set a light up to be controlled by one switch during certain times of the day and a different switch at other times during the day.  In other words, can you disable and enable switches on set schedules?  For example, if I wanted something to be motion sensored during certain parts of the day but not others, could I automatically disable that sensor during those times?
Yes, sort of.
Using the SmartMacros plugin for AHP (if you only get one plugin, that's the one I recommend), you can create conditional macros. Instead of setting the motion sensor to the same code as the light (which would give it direct control), you would instead create a conditional macro (use the time as the condition), and have the motion sensor call that macro. If the condition is met, the light goes on (or off, depending on what you want it to do). If not, then the command is ignored. If you have a controller (be it a Smarthome two-way switch, or a hand-held remote, tabletop controller, etc), that you want to ALWAYS control the light, you would set that to the same code as the light.

I think that's what you are trying to do, and I hope my explanation made sense.
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whitenack

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Re: Can I have multiple light controls on a single light?
« Reply #11 on: July 28, 2011, 01:52:04 PM »

Let me ask another question (but may be better suited in the ActiveHome section..):

Can you set a light up to be controlled by one switch during certain times of the day and a different switch at other times during the day.  In other words, can you disable and enable switches on set schedules?  For example, if I wanted something to be motion sensored during certain parts of the day but not others, could I automatically disable that sensor during those times?
Yes, sort of.
Using the SmartMacros plugin for AHP (if you only get one plugin, that's the one I recommend), you can create conditional macros. Instead of setting the motion sensor to the same code as the light (which would give it direct control), you would instead create a conditional macro (use the time as the condition), and have the motion sensor call that macro. If the condition is met, the light goes on (or off, depending on what you want it to do). If not, then the command is ignored. If you have a controller (be it a Smarthome two-way switch, or a hand-held remote, tabletop controller, etc), that you want to ALWAYS control the light, you would set that to the same code as the light.

I think that's what you are trying to do, and I hope my explanation made sense.

Yes, I think so.  In other words, put the computer software between the sensor and the light as a way to kill (or allow) the signal to pass to the light.  My mind is currently racing with all the different ways I can go with this.  I assume that is normal. haha
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Brian H

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Re: Can I have multiple light controls on a single light?
« Reply #12 on: July 28, 2011, 01:58:36 PM »

Instead of having the X10 light switch on the same X10 adddress as the motion sensor. So it controls the switch directly.
You use a different address for the motion sensors transmission. That command is evaluated by the smart macro. It then sends an X10 power line command to the X10 wall switch. If the conditions are correct for motion sensor control.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2011, 02:02:44 PM by Brian H »
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dave w

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Re: Can I have multiple light controls on a single light?
« Reply #13 on: July 28, 2011, 02:04:07 PM »

Let me ask another question (but may be better suited in the ActiveHome section..):

Can you set a light up to be controlled by one switch during certain times of the day and a different switch at other times during the day.  In other words, can you disable and enable switches on set schedules?  For example, if I wanted something to be motion sensored during certain parts of the day but not others, could I automatically disable that sensor during those times?

Brian H beat me to the answer on this, but I include a couple of drawbacks so will post anyway. Sorry Brian, don't mean to repeat your answer.

Yes you can do all this. Since you don't have X10 I'm not going to be real detailed. In order to disable / enable wall switch function, the wall switches can not actually control the lights directly. One way to do this is use "wire in" lamp modules which are (typically) mounted at the fixture. Then each switch is a transmitter only, it can not directly control the fixture.  Each of these units have a unique "House Code", "Unit Code" address and finally you would use AHP conditional macros to actually control the lights the way you want. Example: you "turn on" wall switch "A1". AHP receives the "A1 ON" command and your macro says "IF 'A1 ON' between 9:00 AM and 3:00 PM THEN send 'B3 ON' command" The module controlling the fixture would be addressed as "B3". So all switches get sent to AHP which then, based on macros, sends commands to actually turn on and off the proper lights.

There are a couple of drawbacks:
1. it will take about 2 seconds from the instant you hit the wall switch until the light actually turns on (or off).
2. you lose the power to dim and brighten the fixture from the wall switch. You could dim and brighten with a separate controller.
« Last Edit: July 29, 2011, 08:35:00 AM by dave w »
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Brian H

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Re: Can I have multiple light controls on a single light?
« Reply #14 on: July 28, 2011, 02:11:17 PM »

I like you extra details dave w.

One added point. The WS13 and XPS3 I referenced to are not transmitters. So they would not trigger a smart macro and would locally turn the lights connected to them On and Off.

An X10Pro XPT is a power line transmitter.

http://www.x10pro.com/pro/pdf/xpt.pdf
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