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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Nearly every job I have done recently calls for door switches in the closets. These are always an issue with my electrician. The switch he normally uses (Lee Electric 210DF) has a 1 1/4" wide box and faceplate and I need to install them in a 1 3/8" door. This takes up most of the jamb and it takes my men hours to install the electrical boxes.

On the last project I had him use low voltage. This was a much better system but since most of my work is fixed price I don't care to have to pay for the extra equipment and labor my electrician charges to install them.

This current project has a dozen closets with door switches and to make things worse they are all vertical grain fir. This is a tough material to mortise switches into so I would love to find a line voltage switch alternative.

Any suggestions??

Dave
 

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I hate door jamb switches. As far as line voltage, since splices must be in a junction box, you get an impressive piece of metal to mortise in, I know of no other alternative. As you know, low voltage allows for smaller parts but has added costs for transformers, boxes and relays.

I know of no other methods that are economical, I always try to talk customers out of door jamb switches.
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Two words: Motion sensors.
 

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I don't think I have ever seen motion sensors used in closets unless they are large walk-in closets. I am not sure where or what I would mount in a small closet.

Dave

Right over the door.
 

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Sell them on a home automation system, use alarm contacts and bind them to the lighting control system.:thumbup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·

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Motion Sensors

I agree with 480. I've been doing motion sensors alot as well. Mostly on old work and mostly laundry and a couple closets. It's the typical $15 Motion at L's or H.D. If I had feed at light just cut in a new box a few inches over and backfeed light. Set to 1 or 5 min , and walla, when they walk in room with a handful of clothes it kicks on. That would be quick, easy, cheap in a new construction app. I'd obviously keep it in ceiling parallel to door (the most degree sensing) and slightly away from shelves (future work) so the sensor catches the door opening.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
The idea of using a motion is sounding better the more I think about it.
I am going to ask the architect if we can try it.

Thanks for the idea.

Dave
 

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Are we talk'n one of these babies? Do you take the motion sensor off and mount it to a single gang blank plate?


I'm talking about these:
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I'm talking about these:
I would be concerned that a sensor mounted to the ceiling would not work well in a shallow closet. I would like something mounted on the head jamb so now I would be back to mortising a box into the door jamb. I don't supose they make a remote type sensor that surface mounts rather than mounting in a box?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Yes.



What would be gained by bringing it out of the wall/ceiling 1½" or 2?
I would be concerned that if it was mounted to the closet ceiling it could be blocked by crap piled on the shlef or the angle would not allow it to pick up movement in front of the closet doors. This would not be an issue in a large closet but in a 24" deep closet it could be. So I would want it mounted to the door head jamb. I don't want to have to cut boxes in the jamb so a surface mounted unit would work better. It would be aimed right at the door and could not be blocked by clutter in the closet.
 

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I don't want to have to cut boxes in the jamb so a surface mounted unit would work better.
Yes, they make them. But then you'd have a big ugly wart on your door jamb.

I believe you're overthinking this. If you want just about totally foolproof, stick with cutting in mechanical switches and charging what it takes to do so.

If cost is an issue, make it clear to the client that he needs to compromise and keep his junk out of the way. His choice.
 

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I would be concerned that if it was mounted to the closet ceiling it could be blocked by crap piled on the shlef or the angle would not allow it to pick up movement in front of the closet doors. This would not be an issue in a large closet but in a 24" deep closet it could be. So I would want it mounted to the door head jamb. I don't want to have to cut boxes in the jamb so a surface mounted unit would work better. It would be aimed right at the door and could not be blocked by clutter in the closet.
If that's a concern, then what good is a light that will only illuminate the top of all the crap on the top shelf?
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
To avoid using the 1.25" wide line voltage door switches my electricain came up with these.


This relay is so small it will fit in the light fixture and we only need to run a small wire to any alarm type door switch.

This means I don't have to spend time mortising door jambs and the end result will look much better.

How come none of you recomended this to me?? I am disapointed in you guys. :whistling
 
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