Can't find switch for home security lights...
June 27, 2015 6:37 PM   Subscribe

A month ago, my family moved into a new (to us) home. It is a one story ranch, with a straightforward layout. The house has three motion-activated security lights along the roofline. The lights are hardwired. I have found the indoor switch that activates light #1- no problem there. I cannot find the switches that activate the other two lights.

I have seen light #2 activate from indoors Just once, so I know it is functional. But Beside that one time, it will not activate when tested. I have never seen light #3 activate.

I have tried every switch in the house, and they all operate some other light or ceiling fan. There are no unaccounted for switches. We have asked our realtor to contact the former owner, but so far have not received a response. Is there a way to find the switches for these lights without calling an electrician?
posted by reverend cuttle to Home & Garden (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: OK, you've exhausted all the indoor switch options. What about outside? Check all your outdoor electrical sockets around the house. I've seen a light switch hidden behind what appears to be a simple unassuming outlet cover on one of those heavy duty outdoor boxes.
posted by phunniemee at 6:43 PM on June 27, 2015

Best answer: I had some motion detector lights put in a few years ago and the electrician just wired it into an existing line with no switch. So maybe there is no switch at all?
posted by oxisos at 6:44 PM on June 27, 2015 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Does the switch control all of them and the lightbulbs are just burnt out on 2 and 3?
posted by sanka at 6:45 PM on June 27, 2015

Best answer: I assume these are motion-activated lights? I suppose there's a possibility they are wired to be always-on, but there's also a good chance you missed a switch. Ours were hidden in the garage.

If they are motion-activated, one way to try and narrow down the search area is to have someone trip the lights outside while someone else flips circuit breakers inside. You may need to replace the bulbs first. If you find out which circuit the outside lights are on, it might help focus your search for switches by seeing what else is on the same circuit.
posted by Behemoth at 6:47 PM on June 27, 2015

Best answer: Most of the motion activated lights I've ever dealt with have also had a switch on the housing of the light itself that can include: off, on, 5 seconds on motion, 10 seconds, 2 minutes, etc.

They may all be on the same switch, but two of them are off or the bulbs are burned out after that one test.
posted by cmoj at 6:55 PM on June 27, 2015

Response by poster: Thanks everyone. Light 2 was on the same switch as light 1, but has a broken sensor, light 3 had a switch hidden under a shelf.
posted by reverend cuttle at 7:52 PM on June 28, 2015

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