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Outdoor Accent Lighting

Outdoor Post Lighting Motion Sensor Kit

August 18, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

SL-4100-BK-A_Motion Sensing Post Light

Outdoor post lighting can be a beautiful and functional path lighting solution, but leaving them on all night creates a lot of light pollution that can irritate the neighbors and uses a lot of electricity. This Heath/Zenith post light motion sensor fits on standard 3″ light posts and converts them into motion lights. This lamp post light sensor is built of solid brass, and like most of their products, is built to last. The motion sensor is inset and unobtrusive.

I like the Heath/Zenith feature set. Most of their lights have these features, and they tend to be one of the best values in the industry. You can set the light to provide accent lighting during the evening. It will immediately brighten to full when it detects motion. the accent lighting turns on at dusk and stays on (if you want it to) 3 hours, 6 hours, or dusk till dawn. Once the light is triggered it can be set to stay on for 1, 5, or 10 minutes. The switches for controlling these settings are on the bottom of the unit.

Installation post light sensors is easy enough. Just add the unit as an extension between post and light. The lamp post light sensor has three wires to twist to the existing wires in the post and the light, and three clamp screws to tighten it down.

A few quirks that may confuse you in the settings: Dawn, power outage, or leaving the switch off for a  minute and turning it back on will return the light to AUTO mode if you have it set on manual. Switching between AUTO and Manual modes is done by turning off the light switch for one second and then turning it back on.

You can sometimes find this unit at Home Depot, of if you would like to save yourself the trip, you can have it delivered to your door by amazon:
Heath Zenith SL-4100-BK-A 150 Degree Motion Sensing Post Light Sensor, Black
or Plumber Surplus:
Heath Zenith SL-4100-BK Solid Brass Motion Activated Lantern, Black

Outdoor Accent Lighting

Motion Detector Light Socket | American Tack OMLC3BC

July 26, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

(Hemco) OMLC3BCmotion light socket

One of the difficulties of motion lights is that they generally don’t play nicely with CFL bulbs. This socket by American Tack is an exception, which makes it an excellent choice for those who put energy efficiency as a priority.

With a compact fluorescent bulb in addition to the motion sensor, this socket becomes an excellent choice for those off the grid. It can be used indoor or outdoor, and would be an excellent way to make sure those pantry/garage lights get turned off.

It accepts CFL, incandescent floodlights, and halogen, up to 150 watts, which gives you a lot of flexibility. The sensor is effective to 30 feet with a 180° detection radius, and the orientation is fully adjustable. The light will stay on for 10 minutes after the last motion is detected.

This is a relatively new unit on the market. Some thought seems to have gone into its manufacture, but if you are looking for something cheaper, or more proven, you may prefer this First Alert motion sensor socket.

Amazon sells the   American Tack (Hemco) OMLC3BC Outdoor Motion Activated Light Control for around $20.

Outdoor Accent Lighting

Make any Light Into a Motion light | Heath Zenith SL-6053 Wireless

April 19, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

heath-zenith-sl-6053-wh-motion-detector-kit

Sometimes you already have the perfect lighting for your home and you just want to add motion sensing functionality. With this DIY motion detector Kit you can make any light motion sensitive. There are a few other such kits out there, but this one has some nice features.

It is designed so you replace your existing wall switch with the one provided (anyone moderately handy ought to be able to handle this). The motion sensor itself is battery powered (two AAA batteries which should last quite a while), and you can just attach it wherever it is you want to detect motion, as long as it is within a hundred feet of the outdoor lighting. Motion sensor doesn’t need any wiring.

There are some big advantages to being able to set up the motion sensor away from the light. For one, it allows you to hide the sensor where it won’t be visible to vandals at nitght when the light comes on. It is also a great way to keep June bugs, may beetles, moths, and other insects from circling the light and continuously triggering it.

The unit works with lights up to 300 watts, and has a dimmer switch with five levels of brightness (won’t work for fluorescent bulbs, but you shouldn’t put them in motion lighting anyway). The energy saving nature of outdoor motion lighting combined with the dimmer switch reduces the need for energy efficient outdoor light bulbs. It has a dusk mode option which can turn the lights on at a low level for a few hours after dusk. They will brighten to full if motion is detected. Due to all the features, this product isn’t really cheaper than a normal outdoor motion detector light, but wireless motion detectors give you the flexibility to use the lighting of your choice and place the motion sensor out of sight. It is sensitive to a 240° angle and does have a sensitivity adjustment. When you turn the main switch on, the light stays on. When you turn it off, it is in motion sensor mode. The individual product numbers on these two components are : SL-6017 for the switch, and SL-6032 for the motion sensor. Heath/Zenith Motion Sensor tends to have prompt customer service. This switch is intended for single pole switches, which means that it is the only switch that controls the light. If there are multiple switches for the light, you need the 3 way version of the switch (SL-6023) instead of the 6017. You can get the whole single pole switch and motion sensor kit on amazon. Or a bit cheaper through Plumber Surplus. They tend to have good promotions as well.
I’ll make an effort below to post and keep up to date any of their weekly promotional codes I come across:

Heath Zenith SL-6053-WH Motion light Set with Dual Brite, Transmitter and Receiver, White

Outdoor Accent Lighting

Designers Edge Beveled Glass Wall Sconce

April 2, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

designers-edge-l-2552pw-wall-sconce

If you want the convenience of a motion light welcoming you home and keeping you from fumbling your keys, without the industrial intimidation factor of a dedicated security light, this patio light by Designer’s Edge is a pleasant choice. It is available in pewter (pictured), black, and a nice oiled bronze, as well as white or a particularly tacky polished brass.

This motion light is designed for use with a 100 watt incandescent bulb. This gives you some options on the brightness, tone, and type of bulb you wish to use. I wouldn’t recommend a compact fluorescent, as the on off cycles will likely cost you more in burned out bulbs than you will save in energy. There are some nice LED bulbs on the market now. They cost a bit more up front, but have extremely long life spans and use a very small amount of energy. Motion sensor outdoor lighting is already quite efficient, but this would be a very energy efficient porch light with such a bulb, but wouldn’t put out the kind of light you might want for things like doing tasks out in the yard at night.

For features, this light has a switch for motion sensing or dusk till dawn mode (or turn it on via light switch in either mode), a sensitivity dial, and a duration setting.  It detects motion to 220° arc with dual sensors.

You may see some confusion in reviews on other sites about the appearance of this lamp, so I’ll set it straight:  The long section on the base of this light is removable.

You can peruse the various models via amazon. It is eligible for prime shipping.