: Electricity and Electrical
: How to Install a Motion Detector
How to Install a Motion Detector
Written by; Thomas O'Connor / TCCN Staff Writer
Added on: Tue Oct 06 2009
How many times have you come home at night and your house is darkened and you felt a little scared? You are worried that you may be at risk for a robbery. A motion detector is a convenient and easy way to add more security to your home. It also adds undeniable value as well as a real deterrent to robbers. If a burglar would come to your home and the light shone on him, he would run.
A motion detector works by sensing movement and triggering an alarm. Most motion detectors can sense movement in an area ranging from 35'x35'. There are many types of motion detectors from which to choose: infrared, heat, ultrasonic, microwave and video.
As with all home improvement projects, check with your community officials to see if a specific license is required.
A motion detector can be added to an existing light or installed as a new light.
Of course, replacing an existing light with a motion detector light is a much easier project. The appropriate safety gear of eye goggles and a dust mask should be worn during this project.
As with all electrical projects, the first step is to turn off the power
. Test the wires to make sure that the power is off. Take the extra precaution of locking the panel box; this will prevent anyone else from accidentally turning the power back on while you are working on this project.
Remove the old fixture. Match the screw holes on the fixture cover plate with the junction box screw holes and knock-out screw holes. The knock-out holes can be enlarged slightly by tapping the holes with a hammer and a screwdriver. Seal any extra screw holes with caulk so that water doesn't enter the device. Pull the fixture wire through the cover plate and join the house supply wires.
Connect corresponding wires with the wire nuts provided. For example, connect the black wire to the black wire; the white wire is connected to the white wire. Any ground wire coming from the house should be attached to the junction box. Using screws, attach the device to the junction box. Insert the appropriate light bulbs as directed by the manufacturer.
After the installation of the motion detector, test and adjust the settings as necessary. There is a slide switch and sensory adjustment dial on the bottom of the sensor. Move the slide to the "Test" position and the sensory adjustment to medium. After turning the main power on, turn on the circuit wall switch. For 30 seconds the fixture light will come on and then go off if there is no motion detected. The lights will remain on longer if motion is detected.
Try the detector in the area that you want to monitor. By this testing, you will know how much you need to adjust sensitivity. For example, if a puppy jumps in your yard, you probably don't want your motion detector to come on. Lights typically turn off after four seconds. After testing is completed, slide the switch to the position desired.
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