4 way motion sensor (outdoor)

I am installing landscape lighting for a client and i have run into a slight challenge.
The lighting will be controlled by a switch and the switch will be left on
always. After the switch I am trying to include 3 outdoor motion sensors
that will turn the lights on. Scenario: property has three driveways and
lights will turn on (hopefully) as you enter any three driveways.
Do they make a 4 way outdoor motion sensor?
Sensors will of course be at the beginning of each driveway entrance.
Any input is appreciated.
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
I am installing landscape lighting for a client and i have run into a slight challenge.
The lighting will be controlled by a switch and the switch will be left on
always. After the switch I am trying to include 3 outdoor motion sensors
that will turn the lights on. Scenario: property has three driveways and
lights will turn on (hopefully) as you enter any three driveways.
Do they make a 4 way outdoor motion sensor?
Sensors will of course be at the beginning of each driveway entrance.
Any input is appreciated.
Parallel the sensors, doesn't matter if you have two sensors or two hundred, any one sensor calling for illumination will turn on lights, all sensors must be calling for darkness before lights go off.
 

mgookin

Senior Member
Location
Fort Myers, FL
I am installing landscape lighting for a client and i have run into a slight challenge.
The lighting will be controlled by a switch and the switch will be left on
always. After the switch I am trying to include 3 outdoor motion sensors
that will turn the lights on. Scenario: property has three driveways and
lights will turn on (hopefully) as you enter any three driveways.
Do they make a 4 way outdoor motion sensor?
Sensors will of course be at the beginning of each driveway entrance.
Any input is appreciated.
Are the lights going to come on during the daytime if someone drives in during daylight hours? Or are you going to have a photocontrol or timer before the switch?
 
4 way outdoor motion sensors

4 way outdoor motion sensors

Yes, there will be a photocell as the power leaves the house panel.
The switch is just for the home owner to turn off in case he wants them
completely off at night (amazing star gazing in this part of town).
Im assuming the sensors will have an option for the timing..5 min, 10 min, etc.
I am aware that after the switch(always on) and photo cell, power enters the first
motion sensor(black/white), then travelers continue to the second motion sensor and then
onto the third. The lighting circuit is then connected to third(last sensor).....similar to a
4 way in a hallway.....for example. The travels are what have me stumped and I am
not even sure if they make a 4 way outdoor motion sensor. My question is really about
the wires leaving the first motion sensor....going to the second and then the third. And
have no idea what the back of a 4 way sensor wire configuration looks like.
Thanks everyone and I am open to advice on brands of outdoor 4 way motion sensors also.
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
Yes, there will be a photocell as the power leaves the house panel.
The switch is just for the home owner to turn off in case he wants them
completely off at night (amazing star gazing in this part of town).
Im assuming the sensors will have an option for the timing..5 min, 10 min, etc.
I am aware that after the switch(always on) and photo cell, power enters the first
motion sensor(black/white), then travelers continue to the second motion sensor and then
onto the third. The lighting circuit is then connected to third(last sensor).....similar to a
4 way in a hallway.....for example. The travels are what have me stumped and I am
not even sure if they make a 4 way outdoor motion sensor. My question is really about
the wires leaving the first motion sensor....going to the second and then the third. And
have no idea what the back of a 4 way sensor wire configuration looks like.
Thanks everyone and I am open to advice on brands of outdoor 4 way motion sensors also.
No such thing as a three way or four way that I am aware of, and you wouldn't want such devices either. If sensor 1 detected activity and turned the lights on, then comes activity at sensor 2, the operation of the second sensor would turn the lights off, you want to parallel single pole units like I described in post 2. Any activity on any sensor turns lights on. All sensors must see no activity and finish timing out before lights will turn off.
 

PetrosA

Senior Member
Think of it as an interconnected smoke detector system - all the reds get tied together, so when any sensor detects movement, they red wire feeds power to the lights (and backfeeds to the other sensors as well). So you need a hot and neutral to first sensor, then three-wire from there to the load. If the customer wants the lights dimmed, the dimmer would go between the last sensor and the load.
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
Think of it as an interconnected smoke detector system - all the reds get tied together, so when any sensor detects movement, they red wire feeds power to the lights (and backfeeds to the other sensors as well). So you need a hot and neutral to first sensor, then three-wire from there to the load. If the customer wants the lights dimmed, the dimmer would go between the last sensor and the load.
Three wire would run between all sensors and then two wire between last sensor and the load. Additional loads can be attached anywhere along the three wire portion of the circuit though.
 
4 way outdoor motion sensor

4 way outdoor motion sensor

Parallel the sensors, doesn't matter if you have two sensors or two hundred, any one sensor calling for illumination will turn on lights, all sensors must be calling for darkness before lights go off.
This post covers a few responses. I guess it should not be called a 4 way because once one sensor activates it should lock the other sensors into the same position internally, and it cannot be altered from any sensor until timed out. I would assume that by driving by a second sensor that it would not do anything since it is already activated......right?
For PetroA.....your answer sounds like it will work. The back feeding part is the part I am figuring out but is making a little more sense now. As mentioned above, yes, once one sensor is activated then all sensors need to be activated for the duration of the sensors time selector.

I need to get a motion sensor( that will coincide with 2 other sensors) and check the wires on it.
Or can I use a typical motion sensor?

I've included a photo of the layout.
Scenerio 1: car enters property.....lights turn on.
Scenerio 2: car leaves property from house area....lights turn on.
Scenerio 3: car is parked in parking area and leaves property.....lights turn on.

Sorry....photo could not be attached at this time.
 
Motion Sensors

Motion Sensors

This post covers a few responses. I guess it should not be called a 4 way because once one sensor activates it should lock the other sensors into the same position internally, and it cannot be altered from any sensor until timed out. I would assume that by driving by a second sensor that it would not do anything since it is already activated......right?
For PetroA.....your answer sounds like it will work. The back feeding part is the part I am figuring out but is making a little more sense now. As mentioned above, yes, once one sensor is activated then all sensors need to be activated for the duration of the sensors time selector.

I need to get a motion sensor( that will coincide with 2 other sensors) and check the wires on it.
Or can I use a typical motion sensor?

I've included a photo of the layout.
Scenerio 1: car enters property.....lights turn on.
Scenerio 2: car leaves property from house area....lights turn on.
Scenerio 3: car is parked in parking area and leaves property.....lights turn on.

Sorry....photo could not be attached at this time.
If anyone is up for drawing a quick schematic that would be helpful.
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
This post covers a few responses. I guess it should not be called a 4 way because once one sensor activates it should lock the other sensors into the same position internally, and it cannot be altered from any sensor until timed out. I would assume that by driving by a second sensor that it would not do anything since it is already activated......right?
For PetroA.....your answer sounds like it will work. The back feeding part is the part I am figuring out but is making a little more sense now. As mentioned above, yes, once one sensor is activated then all sensors need to be activated for the duration of the sensors time selector.

I need to get a motion sensor( that will coincide with 2 other sensors) and check the wires on it.
Or can I use a typical motion sensor?

I've included a photo of the layout.
Scenerio 1: car enters property.....lights turn on.
Scenerio 2: car leaves property from house area....lights turn on.
Scenerio 3: car is parked in parking area and leaves property.....lights turn on.

Sorry....photo could not be attached at this time.
Thanks everyone!!! I found a schematic on www.renovation-homeowners.com
Its under the "wiring more than three sensor section".
You will be paralleling all the sensors. Just because one is activated doesn't mean the others need activation, they are activated by motion not by signal from other sensors.

I couldn't get your link to work, here is my drawing of what you need to do:


If sensor one senses activity its contact will close sending power to the load. Sensors two and three could care less if the load is on or not. They will close their contacts if they should detect activity, keeping the load on even if detector one stops sensing activity and opens it's contact. When there is no activity on any of the sensors all contacts open and load is deenergized.
 
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TNBaer

Senior Member
Location
Oregon
So there's a couple things you could do.

You have three driveways. Do you want to turn on ALL the lights to every driveway no matter which one they enter or leave from? Or, just one driveway where the sensor is located?

The easiest way to do it is with low voltage relays. You could also use a wireless system, like Hubbell's WiHubb or NLight by Sensor Switch. Wireless is easy to install but can be pricey, especially for such a small system.
 

sparkycoog

Member
Location
Texas
Since there is only one switch leg, paralleling the sensors is the only way I can see to hard wire this. Seems like a lot of work though.

If this was a covered area, Lutron makes some great battery powered occupancy sensors (they last for at least 5 years) which can be paired up with a single Maestro RF switch (within 30 feet). We swear by these things and even though they're for indoor use, we've had one in a covered driveway for 3 years now and it hasn't missed a beat. That's the cheapest no fuss way I can think of getting this done if you can protect the sensors from the elements. If the house already had a lighting automation system from Lutron or Vantage Controls, the low voltage solutions would be very easy.
 

iwire

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Massachusetts
In my opinion putting the switches in parallel for that application is a violation of the NEC parallel conductor rules.
 

Volta

Senior Member
Location
Columbus, Ohio
In my opinion putting the switches in parallel for that application is a violation of the NEC parallel conductor rules.
That has been my belief for a long time also. I think that one argument for its compliance is that the routing of conductors is so different from compliant paralleled conductors, and the intent of the design is not to share the load as much as allow the control through the common (wire) bus, that they simply would not be considered to be in parallel. But not a good argument perhaps, as the load(s) are in fact running on wires that have both ends electrically connected.

Another way to try to justify it may come from 310.10(H), which allows wires to be run in parallel for control power to control devices. That certainly should allow the outputs of the motions to be connected (all 110.3(B) thoughts aside :roll:), but may not allow the lamps to be energized through such. Unless of course the light bulb can be considered an "indicating instrument".

But I would be sure to at least comply with the backfeed warning shown in the exception of 404.6(C).
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
Will motion sensors have built-in photocels?

When system works fine for a year, and suddenly lites stay on all nite, will homeowner believe you when you tell him its not your fault? Just wondering.:)
If lights are staying on all night, it is likely that motion is being detected or at least one motion sensor is defective, not a photocell issue.
 
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