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Author Topic: Light Senor with Timer Possible for Controlling Landscape Lights?  (Read 11138 times)

shorty73

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Hello, were having our yard landscaped right now and the contractor was going to put in a dial timer to control the low voltage lighting.  What I would really like to have is the lights come on at dusk, then shutoff around 10:30 pm every night.  I did some looking at X10 products and did not see a product or an easy combination that would allow me to to that?  Any suggestions?  Thanks in advance.
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Brian H

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Re: Light Senor with Timer Possible for Controlling Landscape Lights?
« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2011, 06:37:42 AM »

You maybe able to use a appliance module or XPFM fixture module to control the transformers.
Along with AHP running on a  CM15A interface. With the timers downloaded to it.

That said.
The CM15A seems to be out of stock and the substitute CM19A/TM751 is not a good combination.
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Noam

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Re: Light Senor with Timer Possible for Controlling Landscape Lights?
« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2011, 09:27:35 AM »

There are a few ways you could do this.

The low-voltage lighting system I installed at my house came with a dawn/dusk sensor on the front of the power pack. That's the only method of control the manufacturer included with that model.

When I installed it, I covered over the sensor (so the system always thinks it is night, and will turn the lights on any time the power pack has power.

I then cut the plug off the power pack, ran it into a wall box, and ran that wire inside. I wired on a new plug, and plugged it into an appliance module. I use AHP (with my CM15A) to turn it on and off at the appropriate times.

Every few years, the tape over the light sensor dries out and falls off. I suppose I could open up the power pack, and just short across the sensor, but that is more work than just putting a new piece of tape over it.

The other way to do it would be to have the power pack be on all the time, and wire a Universal Module in-line with the low-voltage wiring. That would probably mean having the power pack and the Universal Module mounted indoors, which may or may not work in your situation.
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dave w

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Re: Light Senor with Timer Possible for Controlling Landscape Lights?
« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2011, 10:13:42 AM »

For such a limited application, and you do not indicate you have aspirations to go in to further automation, I would consider one of these "On at Dusk, off in X hours" timers.

http://www.lampsplus.com/products/black-light-sensing-dusk-to-dawn-two-outlet-timer__n0157.html

http://www.lbclighting.com/sa200.html?utm_medium=shoppingengine&utm_source=nextag&_vsrefdom=Shopping
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rjniles

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Re: Light Senor with Timer Possible for Controlling Landscape Lights?
« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2011, 10:05:16 AM »

Here is a write up on a system I use to control 5 low voltage lighting transformers:

Lighting Control with X-10 System

T   X-10 mini timer         Enclosure in utility room

SS   X-10 Super Socket         Duplex Electrical box

PF   X-10 Power Flash            ď

TX   120 VAC to 9VDC transformer      ď
      
AM   X-10 Appliance Module      5 units @ each lighting transformer

PC   Photo Cell            Right side of house next to electric meter

Starting with all units and lights off

At 5PM Timer T sends ON code to Super Socket SS set to unit code 5, no action other than power applied to Power Flash PF module.

Photo Cell PC senses darkness and closes power circuit to Tansformer TX, TX sends 9VDC to indicator lamp & PF. PF sends ON code to (5) Appliance Modules AMís set to unit code 1. All 5 AMís turn on and apply power to lighting transformers. All lights on.

At 9 PM, Timer T sends ON code  for unit(s) 1. If photo cell has not turned on lights by this time, this will turn on all AM units and turn on all lights.

AT 10 PM, Timer T will send OFF code to unit 5, the SS unit. This will remove power from the PF unit and prevent it (and the photo cell) from controlling the lights for the rest of the night.

At 11;30 PM, Timer T will send the OFF code to unit 1 (the 5 AM units). This will turn off all lights. The circuit is now reset and ready for the next evening.

At any time the lights can be turned off or on with the mini controller in the master bedroom. Control Button #1.
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dhouston

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Dan Lawrence

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Re: Light Senor with Timer Possible for Controlling Landscape Lights?
« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2011, 12:46:40 PM »

Guess what?  I checked your link.  This popped up: Item is Not Available.
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Brian H

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shorty73

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Re: Light Senor with Timer Possible for Controlling Landscape Lights?
« Reply #8 on: November 06, 2011, 11:20:29 PM »

Wow, great information.  I didn't even think I was going to get any responses.  I have been busy the last few days and didn't have time to check back in.  Thank you to all who responded!  I ought to be able to make one of these options work for me!
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luke03

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Re: Light Senor with Timer Possible for Controlling Landscape Lights?
« Reply #9 on: November 10, 2011, 05:14:32 PM »

I know a person who use photoresistors to measure the light, feed that into WebControl A/D input, then sending X10 RF to control the outdoor light.  That seems working really well for him.  Before he was trying to get sun rise and sunset time from local newspaper web site to turn the outdoor light one and off. Using photoresistor taking care of cloudy or rainy day problem.
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Backward Engineering

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Re: Light Senor with Timer Possible for Controlling Landscape Lights?
« Reply #10 on: November 10, 2011, 09:17:49 PM »

Take a look at this device on eBay.  You could also locate this device after an X10 appliance module and turn the X10 module on prior to dusk and off at any time you like.  The lights would come on at dusk and go off at a preset time via the X10 control.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Woods-Dusk-To-Dawn-Photoelectric-Outdoor-Timer-Comes-automatically-night-/130598635879?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item1e68490967

Don
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shorty73

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Re: Light Senor with Timer Possible for Controlling Landscape Lights?
« Reply #11 on: November 11, 2011, 11:10:55 AM »

Well, what I decided to do was use a hardwired photosensor in the 110v line coming to the outlet the low voltage transformer will be plugged into.  That will let it turn on at dusk.  The outlet will be the PA011 X10, so using the Minitimer, I can have it turn off at 10:30 or whenever, and also be able to manually turn it on at any other time I want (as long as its dark).  Pretty simple and should do what I want.  Thanks.
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Backward Engineering

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Re: Light Senor with Timer Possible for Controlling Landscape Lights?
« Reply #12 on: November 11, 2011, 12:25:25 PM »

Correct me if I'm wrong, but it sounds like you are wiring the light sensor ahead of the PA011.  Doing so will require sending the on command sometime after the light sensor has switched the power to the PA011.  That would be sometime after dusk and defeats the intent of the light sensor.

I think you want to place the light sensor in the circuit after the PA011 so that the control cycle works as follows:

  1) At any time during the daylight hours, send the PA011 an on command.

  2) At dusk, the light sensor turns the lights on.

  3) At a pre-programmed time, the X10 control turns the PA011 off.

At any time during the night, you have the option of turning the lights on or off.
Wiring the PA011 after the light sensor might attenuate or filter the X10 signal.

Good Luck
Don
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shorty73

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Re: Light Senor with Timer Possible for Controlling Landscape Lights?
« Reply #13 on: November 11, 2011, 01:58:07 PM »

Yah, that's not good.  I didn't see any low voltage sensors that could be wired in the LV side.

Does anyone know what state the PA011 is in when power is restored to it?  Off, on or it remembers the previous state?  I guess I can go wire it up and test it out.  That would be perfect if it went on.  Otherwise if it remembers, I guess I could turn it back on before dawn and then it would be on when the photosensor restored power at dusk.

I haven't had time to play with the timer yet, but maybe I could have it send out on signals every 15 minutes over a few hour period.  That way once the photosensor restores power, it will come on sometime around dusk.

Have I managed any more logic blunders...?

---I guess the transformer power cord could be cut and the photosensor put there, too...
« Last Edit: November 11, 2011, 02:50:25 PM by shorty73 »
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Brian H

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Re: Light Senor with Timer Possible for Controlling Landscape Lights?
« Reply #14 on: November 11, 2011, 03:46:00 PM »

I believe the PAO11 is state it was in at power removal.
http://www.x10pro.com/pro/pdf/pao11.pdf

Does this Light sensor you want to use. Have a relay in it? If it has a triac made for incandescent bulbs only. It could be flaky driving a PAO11.
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