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I currently have a motion sensor floodlight in the backyard but it only gets power when I flip the switch which is indoor. I am swapping out the floodlight for a camera + floodlight combo and I don't want the switch control anymore. So I want to rewire it so that that connection gets constant power. Any tips on how to approach that would be appreciated.

EDIT: That switch controls more than just that floodlight in my backyard. So I just want to remove that floodlight from the switch and onto a constant power but still keep the switch to control the other things.

Switch Light Box Switch

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  • you can just connect the hot and switched hot behind the switch with a wago or wire nut. I'm not sure if that's up to code, but it will work.
    – dandavis
    Nov 27 '21 at 3:38
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    Can you post photos of the inside of the switch box please? Nov 27 '21 at 5:58
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    DO you mean that same switch controls other things? Or do you mean the other switch in the pair controls other things? Nov 27 '21 at 19:32
  • @Harper-ReinstateMonica The same exact switch that controls the current floodlight also powers the lighting in our patio cover. I want to keep the patio lighting controlled by the switch. Nov 28 '21 at 22:47
  • @ThreePhaseEel i added the pictures Nov 28 '21 at 22:50
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This is not an easy beginner DIY project but here's an outline. You need to bypass this light on the circuit that provides switched power to other lights, and to run a new cable to this device with unswitched power from an appropriate, and hopefully nearby, source.

  1. Find the nearest source of unswitched power that is part of a lighting circuit. That might be an interior receptacle or a switch or maybe a light fixture on a switch loop.
  2. Plan how to run a new cable from that place to this flood light. You may need to break walls open, or you may be able to fish wires through them, or you may want to run surface conduit.
  3. Run new cable from the source of constant power to this location. Also rewire the existing cables at this location to pass through the switched power, so the other switched devices will keep working. You may need to install a bigger or an additional junction box to achieve this, and it will have to be suitable for outdoors.
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Connecting the hot and switched hot with a wirenut will work but code might be an issue. Why not just place a switchguard over the switch as shown below. The other advantage is that if you have a power outage or other break in service most motion sensors will revert to manual operation until resetting it by flipping the switch. To do that without a switch you'd have to trip the breaker.
enter image description here

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    I realize this was probably important information, but that switch controls more than just that floodlight in my backyard. So I just want to remove that floodlight from the switch but still keep the switch to control the other things. It sounds like I might have to have that whole installation rewired to get power from another source that is constant. Nov 27 '21 at 4:45
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    It's going to depend on where in the circuit that light is connected. You're going to have to figure that out, and see if there is constant power available in that box.
    – DaveM
    Nov 27 '21 at 5:52
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Restating the problem: You have a switched circuit, and want to have an additional circuit in a similar place, but controlled by a different switch?

I think running another separate cable from the switch, and installing a third switch will be the safest answer.

You may be able to convert this into a MWBC starting at the switch, but you'll still require an additional switched-hot wire, and of course this may not be up-to-code in your location.


A separate solution may be to run a "Power Over Ethernet" (aka POE) cable for the camera, if such an option is supported, and to swap the floodlight for a solar-powered LED one that recharges in the day and uses a battery overnight. This way, no changes to your mains wiring are needed.

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