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O.K. whiz kids, figure this one out

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by bumper, Mar 23, 2007.

  1. bumper

    bumper LawnSite Member
    from So. Cal
    Messages: 187

    Existing system, I am going to retrofit and upgrade fixtures and transformer.

    6 lights, 4 FX 20 watt pathlights
    2 FX 20,10 watt uplights

    Power source, GFI with extension cord from front door patio area through the seat wall to a J box.

    Customer wants 2 pathway lights on a motion sensor, the remaining 4 lights not. She wants all the lights to come on and go off together at a specific time but after that time only wants the two pathway lights triggered. In essence, after 11 p.m. only those specific two pathway lights are triggered then run for 3 minutes and shut off again unless motion triggered

    I could replicate the current system just upgrade parts but they do not make the kind of motion sensor needed to operate the system as wired. And her current system included Malibu products, purposely vague on parts

  2. Pro-Scapes

    Pro-Scapes LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,180

    im going to take a stab at this but I might be confused as to what exactly this lady is trying to do... I had a client similar but they wanted some motion flood lights to come on AFTER my system shut down.

    We did this via x10... we installed our x10 as normal for our system to cut off at 1130pm... We had a timer installed feeding the motion lights so they were only hot after 1130pm. You could probably do something similar with a mini trans feeing thoes 2 lights she is talking about and use the x10 motion sensor set up. I am not entirly positive if you can program channel 1 to stay on the pre determined time and channel 2 in the new trans to come on and off with the motion without affecting channel 1 but im pretty sure it would work out. Only solution I see is either an x10 motion or a line voltage motion sensor feeding the mini trans powering thoes 2 addional lights.

    Hope this helps. Now i reread it again. She wants the whole system on and together then ONLY the 2 paths on a motion sensor... 2 transformers... control system on x10 on independant channels and ch 1 feeding most the system and channel 2 feeding only thoes 2 lights on a seperate trans. Motion sensor set to channel 2.
  3. bumper

    bumper LawnSite Member
    from So. Cal
    Messages: 187

    In the j box is the power suppy from the extension cord, fed into the j box for power are

    my transformer

    Separate trannie

    motion sensor on a relay switch. power in and power out

    how do we wire it for power while excluding one trannie from another after a specific time? seems power on black to black to black will fire both trannies, and engage both timers?
  4. Pro-Scapes

    Pro-Scapes LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,180

    are you an electrician ? Paul would probably have a great answer for this or at least better than mine so Im gonna let him grab this one. Sounds to me like you need an electrician out there to rid the house of the extension cord.

    Your definatly going to need to seperate the black wires if you need different controls. Your aux tranny will need to be wired after the motion control

    Sell her on the idea of making the entire system on motion. Its more secure :)
  5. bumper

    bumper LawnSite Member
    from So. Cal
    Messages: 187

    Nope,not within my scope as an LC, I did pull the face off the j box and made note of existing wiring. I don't like the J box either and hoped my electrician could jump across with a GFI but as usual, those before somehow thought it was a good idea to J box it We are stuck with it.

    Have already called in my electrician for a look see but was hoping the brilliant minds on this site would have a better solution.

    I've tried a couple different approaches with her. She is very picky and when in not so good a mood, a pain in the ass. She was up my leg again today over the size of the fx trannie...thought she forgot about that..guess not.
  6. bumper

    bumper LawnSite Member
    from So. Cal
    Messages: 187

    No more Ideas??

    here is what my electrician says, Tru light I think he called it makes a packaged motion sensor with its own 150 watt transformer with several settings designed to override the timer feature on the trannie.

    In place prior to me was a motion sensor with a photo cell, wired into the J box on a relay switch. She says the two pathway lights were programed to start with the other 4 lights then independently would come when triggered by the motion sensor thereby overriding the timer. I cannot see it working that way, my electrician couldn't either but she swears by it.
  7. Pro-Scapes

    Pro-Scapes LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,180

    as much as I strive to satisfy my clients both lighting and landscaping and lawn maint sometimes its just not worth banging your head. Whats so bad about the whole system coming on via motion.... seems it would provide more security.

    Install 2 seperate path lights for just these security lights she wants. Its not like you can feed thoes 2 lights from 2 sources without messing with the entire system. Only way would be a diode I think and your then changing your 12v ac.

    Anyways it was a great day fishing... came home with half the fish box packed with speckled trout and black drums and white trout.
  8. NightScenes

    NightScenes LawnSite Silver Member
    Male, from Kingsland, Texas
    Messages: 2,214

    Extension cord from the front door patio "through" the seat wall to a junction box? Your planning to work with this? I wouldn't even begin to touch it. This is against code and if you mess with it at all, you are liable.
  9. Landscape Illuminating

    Landscape Illuminating LawnSite Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 84

    My thoughts exactly! Check the voltage in the junction box. You most likely don't even have enough workable voltage at the end of the cord depending on the length and size of it. Your transformer will be starved for input voltage, therefore resulting in a drop in output voltage.

    This is aside from the code violations at hand.

    My two cents...

  10. bumper

    bumper LawnSite Member
    from So. Cal
    Messages: 187

    Best as I can describe it. The porch side plugs into a GFI, the yard side on the other side of the wall is the J box. The transformer is wired in the J Box. All the fixtures are at 11.2V except for the the two pathway lights, they are at 12v. The code issue is why I brought in the electrician.

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