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Our electrician inexplicably wired outdoor floodlights attached to side of house over driveway as "always hot", no switch. We don't want them always on, nor timed and also not with motion sensors. We want to turn them on and off from a regular wall-mounted switch like normal lights. All the walls are now closed so can't really change the wiring at this point. Electrician suggests getting remote control bulbs or sockets for those fixtures. We found remote control sockets (Dewenwils) that come with switches that can be wall-mounted inside -- but the sockets themselves are not wet-rated and apparently present fire risk in high temperatures. Any recommendations for other products that will do what we want without having to rip up the new walls? Appreciated!

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    I would have that so called electrician fix it or report them. You should not pay more money for someones mistake.
    – crip659
    Commented Jun 8, 2023 at 22:35
  • Are the lights on a circuit shared with other stuff or is it a circuit only for the new lights? Commented Jun 9, 2023 at 0:04
  • inexplicably? Did you ask for it to be switched? If you didn't, then it gets power. Nobody wants them always on and generally nobody wants to have to turn them off. So that's a timer or almost always a duck till dawn (+/- motion). ... You needed to say, "We don't want them always on, nor timed and also not with motion sensors. We want to turn them on and off from a regular wall-mounted switch like normal lights." and then they say, OK, that'll be an extra $200. ("like normal lights" - these aren't normal lights, they're for the driveway, not parties on a deck w/ a projector screen)
    – Mazura
    Commented Jun 9, 2023 at 1:44
  • I hate to sound harsh, but if the electrician never discussed the switch location, that should have been a tell that there was miscommunication. Commented Jun 9, 2023 at 3:52
  • I have to agree with @Mazura on this. I've installed countless flood lights on sides of houses and never have put in switches. This was discussed with the customers though. I'd run a dedicated circuit and the switch would be the breaker with the fixtures being motion sensors. These were for security so the people didn't want to be able to shut them off and forget to turn them back on.
    – JACK
    Commented Jun 9, 2023 at 12:41

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Look for a line of Smart bulbs that includes outdoor-rated bulbs and battery-operated wall switches. For example, Cync by GE includes both. The are others You could also wing it with almost any outdoor-rated smart bulbs and a smart indoor switch eg Flic that controls the bulbs via a smart hub, IFTTT, etc.

Or .. Adding a normal switch somewhere in the house or garage should be easy for the electrician who installed it all. Insist.

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This makes no sense at all! Generally speaking, even with motion or light activated (dusk to dawn) lights, you have a switch somewhere. That's because there are often exceptions:

  • dusk/dawn - you may want them only on when people are around and turn them off when you go to sleep (I do that myself except Friday night when I leave them on)
  • motion - you may want to turn them on in advance of someone showing up so that they can see what they are doing instead of waving frantically to get the lights to turn on

Assuming they are all on one circuit, I would try to find a place prior to the "first" light where hot and neutral are available and splice in a switch there. If that is not a convenient place then put a smart switch there with a remote in a convenient location. Certain types of smart switches, such as Lutron Caseta with Pico remote, use a wireless (not WiFi, other wireless, no internet connection needed) connection so you can have the main switch wherever it has to be (i.e., at or after where the wires for the lights split off from the rest of the circuit) and a remote someplace else.

The only catch with this plan is that if the main switch location is outside then the switch may not have a very long life. Inside, protected from extreme temperatures and from rain, is much better for a switch than outside.

If the lights are on a circuit by themselves, it should be relatively easy to pull the circuit off of the breaker, add a box with a switch next to the panel and connect the circuit to that switch and then connect the switch to the original breaker.

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  • you have a switch somewhere yeah, the breaker labeled ext. light - Generally speaking, ext lights do not get switched unless they're above a door or for a patio or deck. I'd make the same assumption as them; you want lights in the driveway? Ok, so that's a motion light. Would you also like it to be dusk till dawn, because why not? Unless you want it to come on to scare burglars, not just be on all night.
    – Mazura
    Commented Jun 9, 2023 at 1:52
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    @Mazura "Generally speaking, ext lights do not get switched." Maybe this is a regional thing, I've never had a house with an unswitched outside light unless it was owned by the utility company on a pole.
    – Tiger Guy
    Commented Jun 9, 2023 at 13:48

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