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Wireless Motion Lights

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

Wireless Motion Lights

Nite Guard: Solar Animal Repeller

April 12, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 


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One of the problems with conventional outdoor motion lighting or sprinklers for controlling nocturnal animals, is that the light and noise can disturb you, your neighbors, and your livestock at night. Guard against these nocturnal predators with the Nite Guard. It is a very targeted and cleverly designed system specifically designed to keep nocturnal pests out of your yard. It is a tiny 3″ solar powered unit with a tiny flashing dusk to dawn red LED, which is interpreted by animals as the reflective eye of a predator staring straight at them.

The manufacturer recommends that you put up several of them facing different directions so animals won’t just circle around from behind. It works well as a deer repeller, but you may need to move them around once in a while to keep them from getting used to them. A local feed store recommended these to keep raccoons and weasels away from my chickens, and they also recommend it for rabbit keepers. It works against skunks too, but keep in mind they can only see about ten feet. Some other things the manufacturer claims the Nite Guard will repel: owls, coyotes, herons, possums, foxes, bobcats, muskrats, bears, skunks, cougar, wild boar, mink and weasels, but apparently is useless against beavers. I’m a little surprised to hear them claim it repels bears. I may send some to my parents to test this out on their many bears.

They seem a bit pricey if you want to buy a bunch of them, but if you have ever been woken up in the middle of the night by raccoons in the henhouse, you know it is a small price to pay, and they are self contained and solar powered. You may only need one for a lot of applications, like keeping coons out of your bird feeder. It may actually even be effective against people. Something about seeing a red light when you approach just screams fancy silent security system. In general, post them around the eye level of whatever you are intending to repel, and about a hundred feet apart for big animals like bear and deer, and 25 feet apart for small animals like raccoons.

You can find them at amazon

Or on Northern Tool.

 

Wireless Motion Lights

Sylvania Wireless Motion Sensor Anywhere LED Lights

March 4, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

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These Wireless motion sensor lights by Sylvania are easy to stick anywhere. They have a strong magnet on the back, come with  a piece of sticky foam, and have screw holes for more permanent attachments (the mount has a nicely designed detachment if you want to remove the light). The lights are about the size of a racquetball, and have a small switch on the side with three settings: on, off, and auto (motion sensitive). They take three AAA batteries, and after being triggered many times every night by me and my pets, the batteries last about four months, six if you don’t mind it being dim.

The motion detector is quite sensitive and only triggers in the dark. The smooth light output is about that of a bright flashlight. They have rubber seals on the major seams, and I’ve had one outside for most of a year now getting hit by rain and hail, and it is no worse for wear. The way the motion sensor sticks out one side makes it easy to boost its sensitivity in a single direction, and the head swivels about 80°. I’ve found them useful as closet lights and cupboard lights, and I’ve stuck some to my forced air heating vents on my ceiling as motion activated night lights so that I can walk around at night without squinting, waking up the family, or tripping over the cat. Using the magnet means they are easy to just grab and take with me if need be. Looking inside them, the actual circuitry takes up very little space and seems like it would be easily converted to other use for robotics or other motion sensitive applications.

I’ve seen these at Costco, or you can save yourself the trip and have it conveniently delivered from amazon.

Wireless Motion Lights

36 LED Solar Powered Security Light (motion sensitive)

February 24, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

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These motion lights don’t need any wiring into your electrical system, so you can just put it wherever you like and put the little solar panel wherever it will get at least a little light.

The unit consists of a swiveling 36 LED light, a swiveling motion sensor, and  a solar panel with a cord that connects into the main unit. There is an on/off button (well sealed) and a duration adjustment. The place where the cord attaches doesn’t seem terribly water tight, but I’ve had it out in the rain for most of a year with no ill effects. A little sealant would allay any worries. Once the panel has charged the unit, the cord can be removed and the unit will still function as long as it has battery power. I just leave it plugged in, but I imagine it would be a breeze to switch this to a different DC power source. Maybe convert it to wind power for those winters in Alaska? It uses a 1.2 volt, 600mAh/6 volt NiCd rechargeable battery pack (included). The LED lighting is very efficient and puts out a moderately focused beam bright enough to get your attention and light up anything  in front of it with a brightness equivalent to several flashlights (rated to 16 feet). The sensor is sensitive to 120°.  Both the light and the sensor swivel, there are quick release screw mounts on the back, and the cord on the solar panel is several feet long in case you want to mount it elsewhere. This is  good light to stick in a hard to wire part of your yard to  alert you to people or discourage nocturnal animals. I’ve been using it to keep raccoons out of my pond.

I found mine at Harbor Freight. Amazon also has this light last time I checked here: 36 LED Solar Security Light on amazon.

They often have it quite a bit cheaper at the Harbor Freight website.


They also have a similar selection of lights here.