Retrofit existing fixture for motion detecting

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by Hunter01, Nov 15, 2013.

  1. Hunter01

    Hunter01 New Member

    Messages:
    16
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Does someone make a retrofit kit for existing outdoor light fixtures? I'm looking to make two of my six outdoor lights (matching design) into motion detecting mode (dusk to dawn). Tried a search on this site and a search for products without much success (Did find one for $65 - could easily buy a new fixture for that, but it wouldn't match the others).
  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,262
    Location:
    New England
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 25, 2013
  3. Hunter01

    Hunter01 New Member

    Messages:
    16
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Thanks for the quick response. I looked the the site and wondered if the wire between the sensor and box has to be enclosed somehow - conduit or similar?
  4. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,262
    Location:
    New England
    Depends, but on many of them, the lead to the actual sensor is low-voltage, and can be exposed. You may be able to read the instructions on the manufacturer's website to see exactly what's required.
  5. Hunter01

    Hunter01 New Member

    Messages:
    16
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    OK, nothing is ever easy - Did a little checking on the Heath/Zenith unit and the control box requires a 4" electrical box in the wall for mounting (size requirements). Mine, of course, has a shallow round box - no room. Any other specific recommendations? May have to go with new fixtures. Also, the existing fixtures are fully enclosed, bulb upright, not open bottom.
  6. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,032
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Depending on how your existing lights are mounted, just buy a cheap motion sensing fixture and mount the sensor on your existing box, even if you have to use an extension, then connect it to the wiring as per the directions. However, if one switch controls all the lights, including the "dark" ones, it will not work, because a dusk to dawn light needs continual power.
  7. ankhseeker

    ankhseeker Member

    Messages:
    80
    Location:
    California
    I just drilled a hole underneath the light in the lower section of the light fixture and mounted the sensor there. Only 3 wires to deal with. I bought mine at Home Depot for $24 2 years ago.
    ;-)
    You can always tape the switch on so it won't get bumped. It is nice to be able to turn the switch off and on to have the lights be constant on.
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