Electricians - looking for advice - Ford Bronco Forum
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-31-2018, 11:09 PM Thread Starter
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Electricians - looking for advice

Hopefully someone can help me here.

I'm not a licensed electrician but have done more electrical work than most non-electricians. I have wired in 3 way switches, 240 to my garage, changed out my fuse panel for circuit breakers.

Here's where I'm looking for some advice. My buddy who is like a dad to me, has a house with a detached garage in the woods. Their outside pole light, and lights on the garage are control from a flip switch in the garage. There is no switch on the house. It requires walking out in the dark, opening the garage, flipping the switch to provide leaving guests lights to see the driveway.

Without running 3 wire from the house to the garage to be able to control the lights from both the house and garage, is their a remote type system that can be installed to turn the lights on from the house? I just bought a remote control switch to try but would require turning the Romex cables into a outlet plug control to work. Looking for an actual switch that can be remotely operated from the house. Is there such a thing?

Thanks
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-01-2019, 01:03 AM
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I'm not an electrician, but we've used some of the wireless switches with good success. You replace the switch in the garage with a switch that is also the receiver for a transmitter switch that is mounted someplace convenient.

The transmitter switch can be surface mounted, kept in a drawer, or set in a box in the wall like a regular switch. You can turn the light on or off from either switch. The older ones used a AA or AAA battery in the transmitter, but I think the new ones might not. I don't know the max range.

Edit -This is the one we've used: https://www.leviton.com/en/products/6696-I It looks like it has a 50 foot range.

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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-01-2019, 08:49 AM
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Another thought...install a motion light?
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-01-2019, 09:12 AM
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Yeah, swap in a wireless controlled switch. Lowe's and Home Depot have them. One I put in for a guy had a setup similar to yours, but someone had made it a three-way setup using the ground for the neutral, and the travelers out of the white and black. I put it back to correct, and now his phone can turn on and off the garage lights.

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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-01-2019, 10:24 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by locopny View Post
Another thought...install a motion light?
But he would still have to walk to the garage to get them to turn on which would basically be the same as it is now. Going out in the dark for 50 feet then get light.

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Originally Posted by adrianspeeder View Post
Yeah, swap in a wireless controlled switch. Lowe's and Home Depot have them. One I put in for a guy had a setup similar to yours, but someone had made it a three-way setup using the ground for the neutral, and the travelers out of the white and black. I put it back to correct, and now his phone can turn on and off the garage lights.

Adrianspeeder
It would have to have a separate remote as he doesn't have a smart phone and refuses to advance out of the 90's. Loves his flip phone....
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-01-2019, 02:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sackman9975 View Post
But he would still have to walk to the garage to get them to turn on which would basically be the same as it is now. Going out in the dark for 50 feet then get light.
Not if you leave the on. Get one that senses daylight...it will only turn on in dark hours. Have done many times before in similar situations. Can even bypass the switch to that light location to make it always powered. (wouldnt recommend that however if you need to 'reset' the light)

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2 spares?? Are you sure thats gonna be enough????
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-02-2019, 04:02 AM
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I have six x-10 switches in my house, been using them for years. The Insteon stuff is newer technology, so I can't comment on that. To get a remote switch, you'll need an x-10 transmitter, an x-10 receiver, and an x-10 wall switch.
Look at this site, I believe they have solutions for your needs. (and you don't need a smart phone)

https://home-automation.smarthome.com/search?w=x-10
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-04-2019, 10:50 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikey350 View Post
I have six x-10 switches in my house, been using them for years. The Insteon stuff is newer technology, so I can't comment on that. To get a remote switch, you'll need an x-10 transmitter, an x-10 receiver, and an x-10 wall switch.
Look at this site, I believe they have solutions for your needs. (and you don't need a smart phone)

https://home-automation.smarthome.com/search?w=x-10
Definitely going to look into this. Thanks Mike!
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-04-2019, 10:00 PM
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Mikey350 is on the right track. Just head into Lowe's or Homeless Despot and find their electrical "expert". Explain the situation to him and he'll probably lead you right to what you need to buy! Don't trust those guys with code level wiring problems, but with this kind of thing they're hard to beat.

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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-07-2019, 04:20 PM
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does the power run from the house to the garage? if so he could put a inline switch in the line and leave the switches flipped on in the garage. or even run wire and do a 3 way switch. pretty simple prob as cheap as a remote set up.

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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-07-2019, 09:29 PM
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So here's my .02. Just go buy a solar motion LED flood light. I have two of them up on my camp. I paid like $29. After three years I did end up having to put in a new battery pack in one. That set me back another $20, but it also is a much better battery in terms of Ah vs what the light came with. Mine are floods and easily light up an area that's 25 yards wide and at least that deep. All it takes is three screws to mount the panel and two for the light. No power wires at all. Just set the dial to how long you want it to stay on each time it's triggered. The cable that connects the panel to light is quite long so it makes it easy to get the panel up where it can get good sun.
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-01-2019, 12:54 PM Thread Starter
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@Mikey350

Finally got this taken care of! X10 switch and a controller and works like A CHARM! Thanks Mikey!

Now my buddy wants to do more with it lol.
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-01-2019, 11:22 PM
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@sackman9975 - The only thing I ran into, if you have multiple switches, is that they work much better if all the switches are on the same side of your incoming power line (you have 220 single phase coming into your house), it is split to two 120v circuits. As the x-10 signal runs on the powerline, if you have a transmitter on one phase and a receiver (switch) on the other phase, sometimes the signal can't get from one phase to another. (The signal would have to go up to the transformer on the pole to couple to the other phase). I got around my problem by just moving some breakers around in the breaker panel, if you don't want to or can't move the breakers to get all the pieces on the same phase, you can buy a phase coupler, that should fix any problem. If you run into a switch that doesn't work reliably, and you have a 220v electric range (or dryer), turn on the oven or the dryer, if the switch then works, you need a phase coupler or need to move the circuit to the other phase. (The dryer or range "couple" the phases because they are connected to both phases.)

It's pure decadence to remotely turn on (or off) the lights in your house!

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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-05-2019, 03:13 PM Thread Starter
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@Mikey350

Do you have, or is there a switch to operate the garage door opener from the x10 lineup? That's his next request. I'm looking and not really seeing anything. Of course he could just buy another opener and program it, but he wants to be able to use his control box even more...lol
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-05-2019, 05:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sackman9975 View Post
@Mikey350

Do you have, or is there a switch to operate the garage door opener from the x10 lineup? That's his next request. I'm looking and not really seeing anything. Of course he could just buy another opener and program it, but he wants to be able to use his control box even more...lol
@sackman9975 - I think this is what you are looking for:

https://www.smarthome.com/x10-um506-...al-module.html

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