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Automatic Light Switch for garage

Discussion in 'Electrics UK' started by Rohsun, 29 Dec 2016.

  1. Rohsun

    Rohsun

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    Hi All,
    This is my first post here ever, so please be gentle with me!
    I have a double-garage with an automatic "up and over door" which is operated by a key fob: I reverse my car into the drive, press the button, the garage door opens, and I reverse into the garage, then close the garage door with the key-fob.
    At the moment, the garage has a single standard "up/down" light switch that turns on a 60w bulb in the middle of the garage. I am in the process of looking into replacing this bulb with e.g. a set of LED lamps that would give me a lot more light than at present.
    What I'm trying to do is replace this single light-switch with another switch that would turn the garage light on as soon as the garage door is opened. The lights would only need to stay on for a minute or so, so I can get out of my car, grab my bags etc. They would then switch off automatically when I press the key-fob to close the automatic door. Ideally the switch would have some sort of a manual over-ride, so I can turn the lights on permanently e.g. whilst I do some DIY in the garage. I understand this may well have to be a separate switch to the one that would automatically turn on the lights as I park my car there
    Is there such a switch that can turn the lights on & off in the way that I've described above?
    Many Thanks.
     
  2. flameport

    flameport

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    What you want can only be done by connecting into the door opener, whether that is possible depends on which one you have got.

    A much easier option is to fit a PIR sensor in the garage to activate the lights, similar to those used for outside lighting.
     
  3. Dork Lard

    Dork Lard

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    Please don't take this the wrong way . . . but I'm puzzled as to how anyone who can afford a property that boasts a double garage with automatic opening doors . . . has both never heard of PIR lighting & is seemingly incapable of solving such a simple problem ?

    Don't take this the wrong way, 'cos I used to sort out the home computer needs of a genuine & bona fide brain surgeon. This chap could full frontal lobotomise you yet he couldn't work out how to get his printer working?

    What do you do for a living?
     
  4. endecotp

    endecotp

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    Hi Rohsun,

    Welcome to the forum.

    One of the forum features that you'll want to learn about straight away is the "ignore" feature. If you find other members who post only rude and unhelpful messages, you can click on their name and then "ignore" in the panel that appears. You will then never again be troubled by their unpleasantness.
     
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  5. ericmark

    ericmark

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    Please remember what the P stands for with PIR. In real terms likely a PIR will work, but reversing a front engine car into the garage may not trigger the PIR. It will trigger when you open door and it sees the heat from your body.

    I have a few times been surprised at what a PIR will detect. The social services fitted one to detect if mother got out of bed, with one leg made of plastic and other with bad circulation I did not expect it to work, in fact to start with it didn't, but sighting it a little higher it did work, likely seeing her body rather than leg.

    So I think a PIR will work, however I can also understand why some one would expect it not to work. I have a PIR light above garage door, I can reverse length of drive to within a yard of the lamp and it will not light, open the door a crack and it comes on straight away.
     
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  6. Colin Brenton

    Colin Brenton

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    I suspect a PIR will probably do what you want in this type of situation. Keep the wall switch as well, so you can over-ride it (set the lights permanently on) as and when you need to.

    For the lights themselves, consider swapping the single fitting to one (or maybe two?) fluorescent strip lights. Newer ones with 'HF' control gear start up instantly and give a very good light. Maybe something like this; http://www.wickes.co.uk/Sylvania-5ft-58W-High-Frequency-Fluorescent-Fitting+Tube+Diffuser/p/118092 or this if you're worried about it getting wet; http://www.wickes.co.uk/Sylvania-5ft-58W-High-Frequency-Weatherproof-Fluorescent-Fitting/p/118097

    Good luck with the project :)
     
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  7. Rohsun

    Rohsun

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    Thanks for all your information, I really appreciate you taking the time to reply in a constructive manner.
    I should've said in my OP, that I'd like the lights to come on ONLY when the garage door is opened, & not to switched on just because e.g. when the postman has to walk past the garage to deliver mail. I realise that PIRs pick up Infra-Red radiation, so just assumed that they wouldn't pick up the car's engine heat as I reversed into the garage. I can try the PIR above the garage door on the outside as you've suggested and see what happens.
    Do you think if I put a PIR inside the garage it'd pick up any IR from the heat of the garage opener motor?
    Or, is there such a thing as a "non-PIR" detector that would turn on the lights if it detected movement of the garage door?
    Many Thanks.
     
  8. endecotp

    endecotp

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    Tell us what door opener you have. A link to the installation instructions would be ideal.
     
  9. rsgaz

    rsgaz

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    How about a "push to break" switch, mounted beside the door opening, so it doesn't stick out into the garage opening, but is pressed by a tab that you could add to the garage door itself. So the light is on whenever the door is open? You'd need to run one twin & earth cable from the current switch position to this device.

    Then you'd need a 3 position switch (you might have to resort to "grid switches" for this though), so that you can have off/auto/always-on modes.

    Gaz :)
     
  10. ericmark

    ericmark

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    A reed switch will likely work OK. As used for intruder alarms, 12 volt LED or something like that. It was the Dork I was really answering who seemed to think we all know what devices do. As well as Passive inferred you can get active types either a transmitter and receiver or using a reflector which changes the polarization of the light. However they tend to be expensive and to my mind simple is best.

    The problem is there are loads of things that will do the job, the problem is to think of a name to google in order to find it.

    My father-in-laws door has a light built in, and it seems likely most doors will have the ability to switch a lamp built in. So step one is find the circuit diagram for the door so you can see if already built in.
     
  11. DIYnot Local

    DIYnot Local

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