'Switched' security lights

Discussion in 'Electricians' Talk' started by sir hc, Jan 15, 2004.

  1. sir hc

    sir hc New Member

    My house is currently being re-wired but the electrician has told me that he needs to wire my outside security lights in a way that I don't want: They will operate on the sensor but it will also be possible to switch them on from switches inside the backdoor. So, they will come on automatically when they detect motion at night, or they can be switched on via the switch in the house - but it will not be possible to disable the lights since the two methods of operation are separate.
    I imagined that the switch in the house would switch the electricity to the light on and off and that this would be the master control for the light. That way, they can be running in automatic mode, they can be switched off competely or they can be switched off and on within 1 second and left on all night. It also means less cable, I think.
    Is there a reason for the way he wants to cable this or is it just that he is sticking to what he is familiar with?
  2. Sam Dingle

    Sam Dingle New Member

    The way he's wiring it is that he has a permanent supply to the PIR and the switch inside overides the output of the PIR to make the light come on regardless of motion.

    What he could do is put in a switched fused spur in the supply to the PIR.
    This would mean you'd have two switches, the SFS would add or remove all power to the outside bits and would have to be on inorder to alow you to use the overide switch.

    Or you could use the switch inside to remove the power to the outside bits and have no overide switch.

    I see no reason why he can't do what you want.
    It does involve a bit of extra work.
    Is he working to a fixed quote?
  3. sir hc

    sir hc New Member

    Thanks for the information.

    Yeah, he's working to a fixed quote. When he first went over the details of the job he did mention how I was to get switched lights but I didn't understand why (though they are anyway) or think it was relevant.
    I didn't realise that there would be additional wiring for the way I wanted it, so perhaps this is why he doesn't want to do it.

    Should he have these on a separate spur anyway? There are 3 x 500W, although I'll probably be knocking them down to 300W each once installed. I thought I saw in an earlier posting that outside lights should be separate from the inside lighting circuits.

    Thanks again!
  4. unphased

    unphased Screwfix Select


    Having read your post several times I think he is wiring them how you want, although not described fully. My understanding is that he is wiring them so that the PIR operation can be overidden (ie switch off and then on within 2 seconds) which is standard for this type of light OR you can turn them off completely by the switch. He is correct to wire a switch in to the circuit anyway so that you can switch the PIR and light off for maintenance, also, if the sparky is doing a rewire he should consider putting the outside lighting on a separate circuit on its own fused way in the consumer unit.

  5. sparkydude

    sparkydude New Member

    Hi, if i was wiring outside security lights i would always fit a 2 gang switch for them, one of them cuts the power to the unit totally and the other switch either has permanent override or security mode which is dependant upon the switch being in the on or off position.
    this system relies on the principal of feeding the switch or can be done via a junction box in an accessible place depending upon the number of cores you have going to the switch position needed. But if your electrician is wiring it now, then i would feeed the switch and run a 3 core and earth to every security light or loop them together , as long as you remeber the loading as the 500w halogens are quite a current drain if ruin offf the normal lighting circuit
    hope this helps

  6. gerrin2owd

    gerrin2owd New Member

    I don't know why he has wired 2 cables (1 sw wire + 1 feed)to the outside fitting when all you need is 1 cable from the switch to the light with a feed and neutral at the switch (guess he has his reasons). The other lights can be looped off the 1st one. With this method i reckon all options are covered for putting the lights on or off.

    He can still cover all the options you want by connecting the 1st fitting - red to red in connector, switch wire and neutral connected to fitting, other fittings looped off.
    Charlie the build likes this.
  7. sir hc

    sir hc New Member

    Ok, many thanks for your replies. I'll check it all over with him again and get it sorted out.
  8. fusefinder

    fusefinder New Member

    Agree with unphased, the security light I just fitted is electronically set - it can be switched into 'always on' mode by switching the power to the light off and on twice within 2 seconds. The light will then be permanantly on at night. To switch it back into 'PIR' mode you switch it off and on within 2 secs. So all you need is 1 x Twin & Earth to the light via double pole switch or an switched FCU if spurring off a socket.
  9. andyboy

    andyboy New Member

    pulse switching ?

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