Outdoor Lighting Wiring Question (two fixtures, one switch)

This is a tricky wiring situation.

Currently outside my front door there is a lantern, and on the side of the house a double flood light. They are both controlled by the same switch (has only one set of wires going to it). I have a smart bulb in the lantern so I can turn it on at night, etc. I also have smart bulbs in the flood light to have them turn on at night with motion sensor.

We are adding 4 new lanterns in the front to replace the one currently. They are candelabra. If I put a smart switch where the old switch was, I can turn them on and dim them at night. However, a smart switch will not allow the smart bulbs in the flood light to be powered at all times and thus the smart bulbs there come on with motion. Rewiring a second switch is not possible.

Any advice?

I have many switches but bought one 29.00 smart bulb. Then I realized that I need a hue hub to connect to it. It seems that the advantage to hue is colors but I just don’t think I will randomly decide I want the kitchen green or blue. I am going to stay with switches. You can use some mini zwave modules in the individual junction boxes or go always on hue bulb route. I thought the bulbs were a bit expensive.

It took me a little while to realize what the issue is, but you’re saying you have an “A” fixture which has smart bulbs in it, and a “B” fixture which does not have smart bulbs in it, and they both run from the same light switch. Right?

And you want to be able to turn off the B fixture while still leaving power to the A fixture.

There are a couple of options.

One would be to use a smart switch cover over the switch indoors so that you never actually cut the power while adding some kind of smart relay or micro right before the B fixture so that you could cut the power just to the B fixture. But that’s going to depend on your exact wiring. @Navat604 or one of the other wiring experts might have some thoughts on that.

Another option would be to use smart bulbs in both the A fixture and the B fixture.

I know you have candelabra bulbs for the B fixture, so that gives you two choices. You either use a socket adapter if that fits, is aesthetically acceptable and meets the load specs for the lanterns. Or, you settle for a solution which doesn’t work with SmartThings right now, and use the FEIT Bluetooth candelabra bulbs, and hope Osram or somebody else brings out a zigbee candelabra bulb eventually.

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Thanks for the help as always JD, unfortunately my wife would kill me if I tried to put regular bulbs with adaptors in there.

Also, there only appears to be one set of wires to the switch for the two fixtures, so no way the split them at the switch level.

I may be stuck :frowning:

You wouldn’t be trying to split them at the switch, rather you’d be putting a smart cutoff at the B fixture where the wires connect at that end.

I agree with this. Find out the connections to all your fixtures. If you are lucky and find the terminations at the same place. You can use an in wall dual relay module and be able to control 2 set of lights + the third with smart bulbs.

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Is there a specific reason that the exterior flood lights need to be Smart Bulbs? If the flood light fixture turns on with motion sensors built into the fixture, then why use smart bulbs?

The more cost effective solution is probably to replace the flood light fixtures with newer fixtures that are motion sensitive and only work at night. Then the Smart bulbs can be reused elsewhere and the Smart switch can turn on all of the exterior light power around sunset and off at sunrise.

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I think because he wanted the ability to control all the branches separately with smartthings.

But if the flood lights are motion activated, then SmartThings isn’t really controlling them (unless it is an outdoor motion sensor connected to SmartThings).

Is the problem that you want to turn off the front lanterns while the flood lights are powered so that they can come on with motion, but the front lights aren’t on?

Correct, I like the idea of being able to control everything!!

I have a few other floor lights that don’t have motion sensors and I use a z-wave motion sensor to activate them.

This one is currently on a motion sensor with regular bulbs, but would like to do the same thing so that I can activate them whenever my heart desires!

Ah, I see. You may discover that you have to do some rewiring, or hire an electrician to do some rewiring, so that you can have that level of granular control.

What Z-wave motion sensor are you using outdoors? I haven’t seen many that are weather proofed for large temperature variations and moisture. For a while I used the GE Link Connected flood lights, but they frequently fell off of my Zigbee network and would stop responding until they were reset and reconnected. After the 3rd or 4th reset within 2 weeks I just gave up on them.

I am using the GE link bulbs and the basic GoControl motion sensor.

I have the motion sensor under the eaves so it doesn’t get soaked, but it is exposed to the elements. It has been about 4-5 months and no issues yet.

As far as the GE bulbs, as long as the power stays on 100% of the time I don’t have issues. I put stops in the switches so noone turns them of by mistake. If the power is flipped off and on, they sometimes will drop off and need to be re-added to ST.

Here is an option with full control but cost more. If your wiring is single pole with power going into the switch first then you can actually have in wall relay module at all the fixture box for individual control since neutral is already there and as long as you don’t touch the switch. Your line hot is there as well. Also you can remove the switch and change it with a Homeseer w100 with no load. You will have control of all your lights as well.

If all of the bulbs in all of the fixtures were smart bulbs, I could think of a way to do it with the HomeSeer switches. Just using the multiple clicks as different functions. Double click turns A on, Triple click turns B on.

Yeah, the problem is that the bulbs in one fixture are candelabra bulbs, and there aren’t any of those that integrate with SmartThings. :disappointed_relieved: We already discussed that in post three above.

Correct. I just got a nice Homeseer dimmer, I’m going to put them all on that.

Probably just going to put the flood lights on an old fashioned motion activated system.

The question now is, at night I will likely dim the switch, how will that affect the flood lights?

Side note, do the dimmers give energy usage stats?