help me figure out how this mystery light works

modelageApril 13, 2012

There is a motion sensitive light in our driveway that is motion sensitive only part of the time. It's controlled by a switch inside the house that is on a panel with two other switches, one for an inside hallway light and one for the garage light.

If the light is off and you hit the switch, the light will turn on and stay on just like a regular light. In those cases the motion-sensor doesn't work.

On occasion, however, we must hit the switch in such a way that the motion sensor gets activated. In that case the light will turn on only if there is motion right in front of it and then immediately turn off when the motion ceases.

We've never been able to figure out what toggles between those two settings, and although I'd like the light to be in motion-sensing mode all the time, we occasionally hit the switch by mistake when turning on one of the other lights, which puts it back in default regular mode, and we can't figure out how to put it back in motion-sensing mode.

Any ideas? Is it possible that you have to hit one or more of the other two switches in a given sequence to get this one to toggle to the right setting, even though they control different lights?


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The house we bought has the exact same set-up with the lights over our garage door. Like you, we want it to remain in motion-sensor mode but occasionally turn the switch off accidentally. Getting it back the way we want isn't always easy, but we have found that if you wait briefly, maybe 10 secs or so, before turning the light back on it will return to motion-sensing. If you flip it right back on it won't. For us it seems to need that small delay to toggle between the modes. I know I still cringe when I'm the one to flip that switch...

    Bookmark   April 14, 2012 at 9:00AM
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Mine has an instruction label. With luck, maybe yours is the same, and someone just took the label off. Actually there's a good chance that there's an industry standard for the toggle programming, and this will work even if you have a different brand:

"Light Alert!
To keep lights on:
Switch off-on-off-on within 2 seconds. Resets to Automatic at dawn.
To resume automatic sensing:
Switch off-on within 2 seconds."


    Bookmark   April 15, 2012 at 10:56AM
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