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I have a light switch in my garage that controls lights in front of my home. The switch is located in a corner of the garage where a large shelf has been stored. It is very difficult to the switch.

I'm looking for some sort of wireless receiver/transmitter that I can install to emulate the switch being turned on from inside of the house.

Does anything like this exist?

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Look under the home-automation tag for some questions with information that might help; what's available will depend a lot on where you actually are. –  Niall C. May 18 '11 at 4:28

4 Answers 4

There are plenty of remote switches on the market, especially if your light is (or can be) plugged into a wall socket.

  • X10 is probably the best-known standard for home automation
  • INSTEON is a backward-compatible extension of X10, introduced in 2005
  • Z-Wave is a pure-play RF control system
  • There are lots of cheap'n'cheerful generic switches available.
  • The Zigbee wireless protocol is also starting to get some traction in home automation, after many years as a hobbyist's curiosity, but commercial devices are still rare and expensive.

One thing you should seriously consider, however: security. X10 devices - and the cheap'n'cheerful stuff - DO NOT encrypt their control signals, so it's scarily possible that criminals might remotely turn off the lights in front of your house for their own purposes. Unencrypted wireless signals should ONLY be used for stuff where interference or disruption won't cause any damage.

INSTEON, Z-Wave, and Zigbee were all built with security/encryption in mind; I'm sure none of them will make Fort Knox feel insecure, but they should be at least as hard to crack as your garage door opener, anyway.

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Insteon isn't really an extension of X10, it's a completely different protocol. Most Insteon devices do support the X10 protocol in addition to Insteon for compatibility. –  TomG Jul 10 '11 at 2:02

this is easy, just replace the current old fashioned switch that you need to flip up and down with somethign like this that has a manual control as well as a simple remote you can use to tun on/ off the light as well as dim

i got mine at home depot. here is a link to one similar. mine is in my daughters room. she loves it and i am getting one for my master bedroom now.

home depot link

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I know this doesn't answer the remote control question, but would wiring a second switch be an option? If your garage walls or ceiling are not finished, it might not be too difficult to move the switch to a more convenient location, or convert it to a three way switching circuit with a second switch by the door that goes into the house. That would only require a run of 14/3 and 14/2, two 3-way switches etc.

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I used another alternative - replaced the lights with PIR activated units and lend the switch on permanently. This way the lights always turn on as I drive the car up towards the garage.

An added benefit is that we get some extra warning if guests pull in to the drive (or burglars, I guess)

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