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Motion Detector with Dusk to Dawn Barn Light

Discussion in 'Misc Electronics' started by W. Watson, Mar 31, 2007.

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  1. W. Watson

    W. Watson Guest

    I have a neighbor with one of those large 500W+ barn lights. I do a fair
    amount of astronomy from my property and it can loom quite large at night.
    He seems interested in helping but yet has not taken any steps about
    reducing the light. I would happily pay for a motion detector. I looked in
    the local h/w store and about the only thing I could find is one of those
    three socket ones that takes two flood lamps. One socket has a motion
    detector and the other is used for the sensor. It seems like it might be
    adequate but is it? Are there better choices? I think all we need do is put
    in the line that goes up his tree some 20'.
  2. 500W might be a problem. You could buy a solid-state relay rated at 1kW and
    use the motion detector to control the relay which would control the
    lighting ... but that is probably too much hassle.

    I'd search for a motion controlled lighting system which handles that power
  3. Yukio YANO

    Yukio YANO Guest

    I think @10 cents/ KWH it costs him about $15.00/ month to run 500
    Watts of lighting !

    I don't think most motion sensors can handle even 250 watts !
    You might find it cheaper to run 2 Sensor/lamps rather than one sensor
    and a switched relay via the motion Sensor to increase the Power
    handling capability.

    You might be able to rig a small (10/20) watt light next to the light
    sensor to over-ride the NIGHT sensor during observation times.

    I think however telling him its costing him a couple hundred dollars a
    year to run the lights without the motion sensor will probably get his
    attention more than anything else !!!

    Yukio YANO
  4. W. Watson

    W. Watson Guest

    Your $ estimate is about right, and there are many people in our rural area
    that do have barn lights and run them all night. In fact, a local church has
    about 20 in their lot and they are on all year, and often well before dusk
    in the summer. Many people really don't care. Exactly how this light is
    helping my neighbor is questionable. The sad story is that when he moved in
    3 years ago, he tore down the skycap I had placed on it as agreed upon with
    the former owner. It was my misfortune that the bulb burned out after he
    moved in. He climbed up the ladder to change it and had trouble adjusting
    it, so took it down. I'm a member of the IDA.
  5. W. Watson

    W. Watson Guest

    See my most recent post before this one. I think the only way this might fly
    is to get a timer, which really isn't going to help me. If I get too
    complicated, he won't go for it. I think I'll contact a buddy with the IDA
    and see if they've handled this issue before. People around here think of
    these lights as security. Any burglar would probably love to have all that
    light to work in.
  6. W. Watson

    W. Watson Guest

    Thanks. That might work, especially since on direction he has is blocked by
    a tree. That is, he's less likely to argue that it doesn't illuminate 360
    degrees in the sense that it's hanging 10' away from the tree.
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