Motion sensor light installed with no wall switch

sarahlee123December 22, 2012

We recently had an enclosed porch addition built, with a deck in back. I discovered that the electrian installed the outside motion light with no wall switch. The only way to have a lights turned on in back is to walk outside and trip the light. When we were planning the electrical work with the electrican, I took it for granted that there would be a switch we could control from inside. Can a switch be added at this point?

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Since that electrician is more likely to know the routing of the cable to the light fixture, talk with him/her first. Tell him you are not pleased and wait for his reaction. He might offer to correct the problem.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2012 at 5:16PM
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Thanks for your reply, bus_driver. I ran into the contractor, and he said exactly what you did. He's going to contact the electrician, mention the issue, and have him call me.

In your experience, is the no switch installation standard?

    Bookmark   December 22, 2012 at 8:10PM
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Most motion sensor lights are installed without switching as they are activated by motion, wanted or not. It would seem to me that what you may want is a seperate switched light for your patio. I can trip my motion lights but unless I stand there, they will go out.

    Bookmark   December 25, 2012 at 11:10AM
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I always include switch control. Some of the lights have limited programming accomplished by switching on and off in particular sequences.

    Bookmark   December 25, 2012 at 11:44AM
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Texasredhead, thanks for the tip! That never even dawned on me. I'll ask for a regular light in addition to getting a swittch on the motion sensor.

Busdriver, I appreciate your reply. When I do get the motion switch, I'll have to find the instructions for the light, since the electrician didn't leave them for me.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2012 at 1:37PM
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Go easy on him. The electrician most likely wasn't trying to cheat you out of a switch. He probably had to bid the job only to meet minimum code in order to get it. Anything extra would have to be paid for as an extra to his base price. Everything is cut-throat right now. If he had included extras such as switches and additional receptacles his price would have been too high and the next guy would have gotten the job. Everybody just sees the final price, instead of looking at what they are getting for that seemingly higher price.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2012 at 9:10PM
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Btharmy, there was no cheating involved. It's simply a miscommunication and an oversight on both our parts. BTW, the contractor handled the subs, and the elecric was part of the total price of the addition. I was never part of any bidding.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2012 at 4:17PM
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