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Author Topic: Updating outdoor lighting  (Read 382 times)

bkenobi

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Updating outdoor lighting
« on: February 06, 2018, 07:06:00 AM »

I have some lights that are in desperate need of an update.  I have them on X10 but am trying to decide what to do going forward with them.  I am not looking at this time to add WiFi or other systems, this is more a question of whether I use X10 or strictly motion detection.

So, the configuration is for 2 basic locations:
1) Shop light: I have a detached shop that is around 100ft from the house.  It's too dark out there much of the year to see my keys so the light over the door has been on X10 for years.  It's currently a double flood light bulb in a cheap builders grade fixture (like the PR511 without the motion sensor) controlled by a WS467.
https://www.homedepot.com/p/Lithonia-Lighting-2-Lamp-Outdoor-Black-Bronze-Flood-Light-OFTH-300PR-120-BZ-M12/100652887

It works fine, but I have to push a button to turn it on from the house prior to going out there and sometimes I don't think of it till I'm half way there.  I wanted to add motion sensing, but the MS16A only last 6 months outside even when protected and won't have the range in this location.  I want the light switch to work and I'd still like to be able to turn it on remotely from some kind of X10 transmitter ideally.  I was thinking of using a PR511 (I have 1) and a guarded switch cover inside the shop.
https://www.amazon.com/Option-Switch-Guard-Clear-Toggle/dp/B00DTXKOTM

2) South house lighting:  This one is more complicated as I have 3 lights controlled by 2 switches.  I have a garage man door with a light outside it and a pair of lights on either side of it controlled by a switch at a different door.  2 of the lights are next to the doors and are currently single bulb exposed lights which are very ugly.  The other is a single bulb flood light mounted 12ft high at the end of the garage.  For some reason, the flood light is controlled by the light at the far door (no idea why).  I currently have both sets of lights controlled by WS467 switches and MS16A motion sensors in 3 locations.
I was thinking of changing all of these out and using some kind of motion controlled spot light up high and motion controlled wall fixture by the doors.  The problem is, that means the switches would not be usable and I would have no local control over the lights.  I do not really need X10 on these, I just haven't decided how these should be controlled.  If I use standard wall fixtures by the doors, the spot light can't be motion controlled because it would be turned off whenever the switch for the wall fixture was off.  Oh, and right outside the garage man door is a heat pump.  When it goes into defrost mode, it creates a cloud of warm steam which seems to trigger the MS16A.

I've been thinking about this for months and my wife is getting anxious for me to make it better (whatever that means).  Thoughts?
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HA Dave

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Re: Updating outdoor lighting
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2018, 08:19:19 AM »

...... I've been thinking about this for months and my wife is getting anxious for me to make it better (whatever that means).  Thoughts?

Why are wife's like that? You'd think when we tell them we'll take care of something.... they would understand we will.... no matter how many months of thinking and planning it takes.  rofl

Very nice lay out you've made there!

I like motion sensors myself. But high winds and moving vegetation, heat pumps, AC units, etc. can all play havoc with them. Sensors must be well placed. My motion sensor are on manual switches. Another consideration would be an alerting motion sensor. This might be the cheapest. fastest, easiest fix.

As far as your shop.... the new WM100 should fix that problem. If you've got your phone... you've got a remote.

Outdoor fixtures wear and show age. It makes good sense to re-evaluate the landscaping and outdoor lighting from time-to-time. New fixtures with LED bulbs can both look nice and function efficiently. The little solar charged motion sensing floodlights look interesting for remote areas. They provide enough reliable light  for the occasional foot-traffic.... even if the feet are more often those of rabbits or squirrel. 

I have security perimeter security cameras around my home. They add a lot of security and ability to 'see". I've been considering an upgrade to enable phone notification of camera-seen motion. Even a "ring" brand/style/type of security camera/light would be nice.
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bkenobi

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Re: Updating outdoor lighting
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2018, 12:04:09 PM »

Since I use HG, I can use any type of motion or other alert system I want.  I actually considered using cameras with BlueIris at one point to detect motion as well as generate recordings and email alerts.  I got wrapped up in the type of camera (DIY system vs Lorax vs etc) and didn't go beyond USB camera testing.  It worked ok in tests, but outside it was spotty at best at that time and it was too demanding for my RPi1.

I suppose there may be another type of motion sensor that would be better now.  The Dakota you linked to is one I considered years ago.  At that time, the price was ridiculous compared to X10.  X10 has gone up and others down so it's more comparable now.
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BackAgain

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Re: Updating outdoor lighting
« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2018, 03:38:32 PM »

For an overdoor light to be able to see keys, why not go with a motion activated solar LED unit?

I got a two pack for about $30 or so they put out a lot more light than their size makes you think.  They come on at dusk in a less bright mode, then kick up to full on motion.


Also, the cheap IP bullet cameras I have will send an alert on motion and/or record.

« Last Edit: February 06, 2018, 03:41:10 PM by BackAgain »
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bkenobi

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Re: Updating outdoor lighting
« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2018, 04:05:17 PM »

The LED solar lights seem to be available in the 500 Lumen range.  The lights I want for flood lamps need to replace dual halogens so closer to 2000 Lumen.  The issue for the floods is that they are higher up and I want them to light a bigger area.  I think I have access to a circuit for the south flood light (since its exposed rafters in the garage) so I've considered hard wiring something or installing a switch by the man door.
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Knightrider

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Re: Updating outdoor lighting
« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2018, 04:13:38 PM »

I have never been happy with x10's PIR detectors. If you want the best of both worlds, buy motion lights in the $30 range and throw away the floodlight portion. Hook the detector up to a 120VAC coil relay and use the contacts to activate a powerflash. Then hook the lights up to an x10 switch.
I have my powerflashes on HC M and use them to trigger conditional macros on my light switches (HC O). If I turn on a light outside, it creates a flag, which keeps the powerflash from turning it off.
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bkenobi

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Re: Updating outdoor lighting
« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2018, 04:24:46 PM »

That's basically how my entry lights are.  I used a PF module initially, but, after a nasty wind storm, the PF burned out.  I repaired it and have a couple backups but I now use the GPIO inputs on my RPi.  It's worked flawlessly ever since.  The down side is I have to run a contact wire pair to the RPi which would not be ideal for other locations here.
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Knightrider

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Re: Updating outdoor lighting
« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2018, 05:03:34 PM »

As far as what style of lights, my belief is that LED is the only choice. The longevity, power consumption and color range can't be beat.
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HA Dave

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Re: Updating outdoor lighting
« Reply #8 on: February 07, 2018, 05:28:34 PM »

......... I actually considered using cameras with BlueIris at one point to detect motion as well as generate recordings and email alerts.  I got wrapped up in the type of camera (DIY system vs Lorax vs etc) and didn't go beyond USB camera testing......

I use a Zosi (camera/HD recorder) setup. Very inexpensive (through Amazon), easy to setup, viewed from anywhere on a phone tablet or PC.

BTW.... Great thread bkenobi these are the kind of discussions that help us ALL... by causing us to reconsidered the state of our setups and look for ways and means to modernize and improve.
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Jason B

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Re: Updating outdoor lighting
« Reply #9 on: February 09, 2018, 11:08:56 PM »

What do you recommend for a good LED floodlight to mount to a building
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bkenobi

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Re: Updating outdoor lighting
« Reply #10 on: February 10, 2018, 01:51:55 AM »

I haven't done anything with it, but I bought a couple lights from Costco. They are plenty bright and my XTBR shows no issues.
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