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motion sensor vs door jamb switch- confused, please help.

Posted by illinigirl (My Page) on
Sun, Feb 16, 14 at 16:35

I went into my electrical walkthrough asking for motion sensor lights for my pantry and master closet. But the electrician is trying to talk me into door jamb activated lights instead. Why is he doing this?

One thing he said that confused me is that the sensors only work 180 degrees so that I would have to walk pretty deep into my closet before the light came on. What is he talking about?

What knowledge can I arm myself with before seeing him again on Monday (tomorrow). Thanks for helping!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: motion sensor vs door jamb switch- confused, please help.

With a door jamb switch, the light will come on when you open the door and go off when you close it.
With a motion sensor switch, it must be positioned where it can 'see' you for it to turn on the light. That position can be tricky if it is possible to put something between it and you. If it's a walk-in closet or pantry, it would have to see you everywhere you might be while in there so the light wouldn't turn off when the switch loses sight of you.
I'd go with the jamb switch. JMHO


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RE: motion sensor vs door jamb switch- confused, please help.

ok I guess that makes some sense.....what if they are motion sensors on a timer? then it would turn on when it "sees" me and stay on for say 5 minutes or whatever the timer is set for? what about override? dont the motion sensors have an override button?


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RE: motion sensor vs door jamb switch- confused, please help.

The motion sensors can be added afterwards and I like them better than jamb sensors. However, just note that motion sensors often require a neutral at the switch location. Make sure you have one.


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RE: motion sensor vs door jamb switch- confused, please help.

"However, just note that motion sensors often require a neutral at the switch location. Make sure you have one."

Hopefully they are on the 11 code where this is required.
404.2(C) with certain exceptions

This post was edited by joefixit2 on Mon, Feb 17, 14 at 20:07


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RE: motion sensor vs door jamb switch- confused, please help.

I have these both in my pantry and laundry room. I added them myself. They are not the wall switch type, but actually screw into the light socket with the sensor mounted separately.

The one I linked here is a wireless version. Mine are wired. The cord from the sensor to the socket is maybe 18" long.

Here is a link that might be useful: wireless motion sensor


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