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Default Two questions about security light above the garage door

My wife bought a "security light" at Costco, to be installed above the
garage door, below the eve of the roof. It's a basic model, with two
bulbs, probably no more than $50. The unit looks identical to what is
shown at the following URL (no ads or popups, or dancing monkeys, so
feel free to click.)

http://www.cornerhardware.com/howto/ht015.html

We did not previously have an exterior light above the garage door, so
there was no electrical outlet. Inside the garage, there was an
available outlet, about 5 feet away from the door. So, I bought a cheap
extension cord, plugged the pronged end in the outlet. I put the
extension cord through the hole, cut and threw away the end of the
cord, and attached the the hot and neutral wires to the corresponding
wires on the security light. It works, but I have two questions /
concerns:

Q1. I was able to run only 2 wires from the outlet, so there is no
grounding wire running from outlet to the "circular plate covering the
hole in the wall", as shown in the picture at the URL listed above.

Is this a complete no-no? As I asking for trouble? Or is it OK? I have
some small appliances (desk fan, table lamp, etc.) that use cords with
only two wire -- no grounding wire.

Also, the extension cord from outlet to the security light is only 5
feet, well insulated, and the security light is mounted well above the
ground. There are no metal parts near it (garage door is an ancient, 30
year old, single panel, wood door).

Q2. When security light is activated, it suffers from flickering IF the
garage door is fully open. If the garage door is closed at least 20% or
so, i.e., the door panel is angled at least 20 to 30 degrees, the
flickering stops (0 degree means fully open; 90 degrees mans fully
closed)

This is again due to reflection from the garage door (painted white). I
treat this flickering as a feature (reminding us to close the garage
door), but my father thinks of this as a bug. Any suggestions to avoid
flickering? (Sort of upgrading garage door to a new, sectional kind).

Thanks a lot.

Bhoot Nath

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Roger Taylor
 
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wrote in message
oups.com...
My wife bought a "security light" at Costco, to be installed above the
garage door, below the eve of the roof. It's a basic model, with two
bulbs, probably no more than $50. We did not previously have an exterior
light above the garage door, so
there was no electrical outlet. Inside the garage, there was an
available outlet, about 5 feet away from the door. So, I bought a cheap
extension cord, plugged the pronged end in the outlet.


This is no way to hook up an exterior light, period. Not safe, with rain and
no ground, not in code, and not weatherproof. You need to run a proper
behind-the-wall Romex or conduit to the site, install a junction box, and do
it right, with groundwire weatherproof gasket, and all. Cheap light units
may flicker when the sun sensor cannot decide what light level is outside,
or the level adjustment needs twiddling.. Home Depot sells a 50-70 buck
motion sensor light by Heath or Stanley called the JourneyMan, with lifetime
unconditional guarantee. Thier sun sensor seems pretty robust, as I have had
three units for six years, and seem to work flawlessly, in spite of being
imports. Inexpensive security lights tend to have early failures in my
experience, but both your door reflectivity and the way it is hooked up
without a ground may be inducing flickering.


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Jeff Wisnia
 
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wrote:

My wife bought a "security light" at Costco, to be installed above the
garage door, below the eve of the roof. It's a basic model, with two
bulbs, probably no more than $50. The unit looks identical to what is
shown at the following URL (no ads or popups, or dancing monkeys, so
feel free to click.)

http://www.cornerhardware.com/howto/ht015.html

We did not previously have an exterior light above the garage door, so
there was no electrical outlet. Inside the garage, there was an
available outlet, about 5 feet away from the door. So, I bought a cheap
extension cord, plugged the pronged end in the outlet. I put the
extension cord through the hole, cut and threw away the end of the
cord, and attached the the hot and neutral wires to the corresponding
wires on the security light. It works, but I have two questions /
concerns:

Q1. I was able to run only 2 wires from the outlet, so there is no
grounding wire running from outlet to the "circular plate covering the
hole in the wall", as shown in the picture at the URL listed above.

Is this a complete no-no? As I asking for trouble?



You won't have to look for it, it will find you my friend..


Or is it OK? I have
some small appliances (desk fan, table lamp, etc.) that use cords with
only two wire -- no grounding wire.

Also, the extension cord from outlet to the security light is only 5
feet, well insulated, and the security light is mounted well above the
ground. There are no metal parts near it (garage door is an ancient, 30
year old, single panel, wood door).



You have done something which would not pass code inspection and which
might just let an accident happen which will incrementally raise the
cost of homeowners' insurance for all the rest of us. G

If you have an outlet 5 feet from the light location, and it has a
ground running to it, it shouldn't take much work to remove the outlet
and mount a metal surface mount box on top of the existing outlet box
and then run metal conduit with black, white and green wires in it over
to where your security light is. You could remount the outlet in the
surface mounted box.

And, install a metal box behind the light too if there isn't one there
already.


Q2. When security light is activated, it suffers from flickering IF the
garage door is fully open. If the garage door is closed at least 20% or
so, i.e., the door panel is angled at least 20 to 30 degrees, the
flickering stops (0 degree means fully open; 90 degrees mans fully
closed)

This is again due to reflection from the garage door (painted white). I
treat this flickering as a feature (reminding us to close the garage
door), but my father thinks of this as a bug. Any suggestions to avoid
flickering? (Sort of upgrading garage door to a new, sectional kind).


The URL you gave shows a MOTION detector light, yet you seem to be
talking about a daylight sensing light. Are you sure you know what your
wife bought?

If it IS a daylight sensing light, you might be able to eliminate the
flickering by repositioning the direction the sensor is looking, or by
fabricating and tacking on a little shade to keep it from "seeing" the
garage door as much.

HTH,

Jeff

--
Jeffry Wisnia

(W1BSV + Brass Rat '57 EE)

"Truth exists; only falsehood has to be invented."
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Jeff Wisnia wrote:
wrote:

My wife bought a "security light" at Costco, to be installed above the
garage door, below the eve of the roof. It's a basic model, with two
bulbs, probably no more than $50. The unit looks identical to what is
shown at the following URL (no ads or popups, or dancing monkeys, so
feel free to click.)

http://www.cornerhardware.com/howto/ht015.html

The URL you gave shows a MOTION detector light, yet you seem to be
talking about a daylight sensing light. Are you sure you know what your
wife bought?


It is a "motion sensor / infrared heat sensor" security light that also
has 2 other switches. So, it can function as motion sensor light, or
dusk to dawn light.

The setting that I have selected means it will turn ON, only if

-- motion sensor sense motion; AND
-- Light sensor does NOT sense light;

Furthermore, if I walk by it in dark and it turns on, there's a built
in timer which will turn it off within X (1 to 10 minutes), if there is
no new motion.


If it IS a daylight sensing light, you might be able to eliminate the
flickering by repositioning the direction the sensor is looking, or by
fabricating and tacking on a little shade to keep it from "seeing" the
garage door as much.

HTH,

Jeff

--
Jeffry Wisnia


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John Grabowski
 
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After a year or two when the extension cord insulation dries out from
outdoor exposure and moisture gets in there, a lack of a grounding conductor
will be the least of your worries. Water is a conductor and will cause a
high resistive short that will not trip your circuit breaker, but will burn
everything in contact with the wires. Since the wires are high above the
driveway and are in the wall, they will continue to burn for a long time.
By the time you notice you may have some serious fire damage.

As an example, last year I got an emergency call on a Saturday night from
the maintenance man at a condo development that I service. Some of the
street lights were not working and the circuit breaker would not reset.
Sunday morning I went over and started checking all of the poles. One
"Pole" was brand new and was nothing more than a 16' 6"x6" pressure treated
log that their maintenance company put in to replace a pole that someone
knocked over with a car. The work was not done by an electrician, but by a
bunch of laborers. They routed out a groove in the side of the pole and
installed 2 pieces of indoor romex spliced together without a box in the
groove and covered it with molding.

When I disconnected that new pole from the circuit I was able to reset the
circuit breaker and get the other street lights working. I then pulled off
that molding covering the spliced romex and there was a big black burn mark
in the center of the pole surrounding the open spliced romex. Water had
gotten into the splices and made a continuous short until the heat caused
the insulation to melt away and shorted the copper wires together which
caused the circuit breaker to trip. The pole had only been in the ground a
few weeks.

The same thing could happen to your house. Call an electrician and have
that security light installed properly. That extension cord is not rated to
be permanently installed and should NOT be run through walls.


John Grabowski
http://www.mrelectrician.tv



wrote in message
oups.com...
My wife bought a "security light" at Costco, to be installed above the
garage door, below the eve of the roof. It's a basic model, with two
bulbs, probably no more than $50. The unit looks identical to what is
shown at the following URL (no ads or popups, or dancing monkeys, so
feel free to click.)

http://www.cornerhardware.com/howto/ht015.html

We did not previously have an exterior light above the garage door, so
there was no electrical outlet. Inside the garage, there was an
available outlet, about 5 feet away from the door. So, I bought a cheap
extension cord, plugged the pronged end in the outlet. I put the
extension cord through the hole, cut and threw away the end of the
cord, and attached the the hot and neutral wires to the corresponding
wires on the security light. It works, but I have two questions /
concerns:

Q1. I was able to run only 2 wires from the outlet, so there is no
grounding wire running from outlet to the "circular plate covering the
hole in the wall", as shown in the picture at the URL listed above.

Is this a complete no-no? As I asking for trouble? Or is it OK? I have
some small appliances (desk fan, table lamp, etc.) that use cords with
only two wire -- no grounding wire.

Also, the extension cord from outlet to the security light is only 5
feet, well insulated, and the security light is mounted well above the
ground. There are no metal parts near it (garage door is an ancient, 30
year old, single panel, wood door).

Q2. When security light is activated, it suffers from flickering IF the
garage door is fully open. If the garage door is closed at least 20% or
so, i.e., the door panel is angled at least 20 to 30 degrees, the
flickering stops (0 degree means fully open; 90 degrees mans fully
closed)

This is again due to reflection from the garage door (painted white). I
treat this flickering as a feature (reminding us to close the garage
door), but my father thinks of this as a bug. Any suggestions to avoid
flickering? (Sort of upgrading garage door to a new, sectional kind).

Thanks a lot.

Bhoot Nath


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