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Author Topic: Motion sensor outside lighting with hot outlets?  (Read 3221 times)


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Motion sensor outside lighting with hot outlets?
« on: April 27, 2011, 09:30:42 PM »

Preface:  my post was in composition status across six days, so it kind of morphed into an I-think-I've-got-this-figured-out-please-verify type post opposed to an outright inquiry.

I've had an itch to venture into x10 land for a long while and am now serious enough to start scratching.  The only purchase I've made so far is an IconRemote (IR32A) which is on the way.

I want to start with the outside lighting for my stairs.  The thing is, there's also two outlets on the circuit.  Current circuit is as follows: switch___light___outlet___light___outlet___light.  Anytime I want to use those particular outlets I, of course, have to flip the switch on; since I intend to "modify" the circuit with x10, I want to make the outlets always be hot while I'm at it.  The wiring is inside metal piping which also doubles as the handrail.  The wiring also travels through one of the metal supports for the small roof above the entryway and then inside the roof and into the wall toward the switch just inside the door.  Even before incorporating x10 into the equation I suppose I could add to the current wiring to make the outlets hot while still maintaining switched lighting, but that would introduce required time and effort I'd prefer to avoid.

My endgame is this:  add x10 motion control to my outside lighting while having always hot outlets on the same circuit.  Can I accomplish this without adding additional wiring which is what would be necessary pre-x10 implementation?  I realize x10 can't create power, only start/stop it if it is there.
My "nice touch" thought was to have the three lights turn on/off sequentially, but having all three turn on/off together would be fine as well, just not as cool. 8)  No matter what, I'd have to have a motion sensor at each end in order to give an ON command from either direction. If I wanted to pursue sequential lighting, so far I've thought of a couple different ways to accomplish it.  One way would be having a motion sensor on the middle light as well while the other method would be to use a macro to time the middle light off of the end motion sensors, right?

Now, if I took the switch out of the circuit the whole circuit would be hot.  Add in three LM15A socket rockets and I'm essentially integrating a switch for each light, correct?...and what would control those switches would be motion sensors on dusk/dawn mode (for the record I'll likely be using MS16A's, but that's probably not too relevant for the gist of this post).  So I'm thinking this would give me what I generically asked for, but what if I also wanted to reinstate a wall switch to control the lights locally (from wall switch) whenever I wanted?  Since outlets are on the circuit I would need to use the XPS3 wall switch (I checked and I do have white neutrals waiting for me ;D), but does the wall switch have abilities beyond just supplying power to the circuit past the switch?

Okay, so with more research I determined that wall switches only receive and do not send x10 codes.  Ooh wait, perhaps my answer is the XPT wall keypad transmitter base!?  From what I've read it appears this doesn't ever switch power but only sends PLC's whenever any of the buttons are pressed; is this correct?  If so, then I believe this is my answer!  I could then go a step further and swap in two x10 outlet receptacles and control those receptacles with a transceiver AND/OR locally at the wall switch, right?  My general intent for the outlets would be to have them always be hot except during the Christmas season when I would like to control them as I please.

So, Iím looking at 3 socket rockets (LM15A), 2-3 motion sensors (MS16A), an XPT wall keypad transmitter with either an XP4A or XP4 keypad, a couple XPR outlet receptacles, and Iíll likely go all out and acquire a CM15A USB computer interface with ActivehomePro as well.  Will what I envision be able to come to fruition?


Brian H

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Re: Motion sensor outside lighting with hot outlets?
« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2011, 08:29:00 AM »

I would think you could accomplish what you want to do. AHP with plug ins and the CM15A would be needed to do the the more complex switching and motion sensor triggering. I would stay away from any AHP deal that has the CM19A/TM751 and not the CM15A with plug ins.

The IR32A Icon Remote would need an X10 transceiver to put X10 commands on the power lines. RR501, TM751, CM15A are a few that can. TM751 is not polite and not recommended.

The XPT as you found out is a X10 Controller and has no switched outputs. The exact features are from the keytop you picked. If it has more than one Address the first one is set on the House Code and Unit Code dials and the rest advance one Unit Code with the same House Code.

The XPR Outlets also have a load wire on them. So technically you could control standard outlets from a XPR. Though each on its own address maybe a plus.
The XPR also has a Local Control Sensor. If the load on the XPR. Has an On Off switch. If you go from On to Off and back to On. The outlet will turn On if it was Off.
It also has a 40 watt minimum load requirement. That may or may not be a problem with a LM15A Socket Rocket in a lamp connected to it when Off.

You may want to look at the X10 Troubleshooting Tips as X10 sometimes can have problems you didn't know about. Like signal suckers, power line noise makers and phase coupling issues.
« Last Edit: April 28, 2011, 11:47:04 AM by Brian H »


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Re: Motion sensor outside lighting with hot outlets?
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2011, 04:59:28 PM »

Depending on what your lighting needs are, you could also consider changing your lamps to motion sensor X10 lamps.  These will be of the flood light variety, so they may not look aesthetically pleasing enough for your application.  The advantage of these is that they don't require a battery change/setting reset every 6 months or so (from what I hear), primarily.  Again, if you don't have flood lights, these probably won't fit your need.

If flood lights work, there are other brands that you can use that actually talk to each other and all turn on if one motion sensor is tripped. | About X10 | X10 Security Systems | Cameras| Package Deals
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