Help on basic motion sensor wiring

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by bronzeart, May 6, 2013.

  1. bronzeart

    Thread Starter New Member

    May 6, 2013
    Hello, all.

    I read through some of the forum answers, and didn't see an answer to what I am doing, so I decided to post a new thread.

    I am attempting to install two motion sensors that will trigger an outdoor lamp (think Narnia lamp post here) to turn on, and since my wiring knowledge is very limited, I would like to make sure I am doing it right(!)

    I found two heath/zenith motion security lights on craigslist. I intend to remove the lights and use the sensors to activate my outdoor lamp. I do know that if I put a motion sensor in the circuit loop that goes to the light, it will act as a switch, and if the switch is on (motion sensor is activated), the light will come on.

    My question is this: since I am trying to use two motion sensors in two separate areas (back door and driveway) to turn on the same light, how do I wire that? If I put both motion sensors in the circuit, the circuit will not come on unless both sensors are tripped, correct?

    If you need any more information, let me know.

    Thanks for your help!!
  2. aws505


    Mar 11, 2013
    That's only if you wire the switches in series. What you want is to wire the switches in parallel. Some judicious googling on these subjects should illuminate this problem for you.

    You should really check that your motion sensors do, in fact, act as simple switches. If they do, make sure that they're rated for the voltage and current that you'll be putting through them.
    bronzeart likes this.
  3. bronzeart

    Thread Starter New Member

    May 6, 2013
    Fantastic! I will Google 'wire switches in parallel' and learn a bit about the subject.

    The lights are home-improvement-store motion-activated security lights by Heath/Zenith: they have two par cans and a motion sensor attached to a little round base that is essentially a box cover. Link:

    They are rated 300 watts maximum on incandescent bulbs. The lamp I am wiring is 100 watts, so I think I should be good on the wattage.