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light switches

Discussion in 'Electronic Basics' started by bro, Dec 7, 2004.

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  1. bro

    bro Guest

    I've been attempting to cut into my power bill at work...

    I bought a motion sensitive light switch and it says that it shouldn't
    be hooked up to compact flourescents, why, it doesn't say, it's OK for
    "fast start" tubes. I hooked it up to about 300 or 400 watts of
    incandescent and it seems to be working fine of course. I did some
    research on the web and I can't find out why? It was Zenith's model.

    I plan on buying five or so more, I would like to hook them to compact
    flourescents if possible. Is the warning to be ignored or is there a
    better model?
  2. Terry

    Terry Guest

    It may be because fluorescent and other circuits contain ballasts and
    transformers that have inductive reactance and the motion sensitive switch
    that you have is suitable for switching only non inductive i.e. resistive
    circuits such as incandescent lamps.
  3. CFoley1064

    CFoley1064 Guest

    Subject: Re: light switches
    Absolutely. Use the output to drive a relay. The relay will be better able to
    handle the inductive load.

    Good luck
  4. bro

    bro Guest

    You guys are awsome thanks.
  5. Terry

    Terry Guest

    Agree; use the switch to operate a 115 volt relay; most (conventional)
    relays because they have a coil winding, will be very slightly inductive)
    but operating only the relay the current will be so low that it won't cause
    a problem. The contacts of the relay which will switch on/off the lights
    should be rated for the amount of current for the lights and for an
    inductive load.
    I'm no expert on what type of light switching relays are available; someone
    knowledgeable of electrical supplies can probably advise? Depending on your
    motion sensitive switches circuitry it might be possible to have several of
    them operate the one same relay; to operate exterior lights around a
    building, say. But that's getting more complicated.
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