I'd like my 2 sets of outdoor security lights to be dimmable (in all settings) from a single switch.

The electrician said he ran one (always on) power line for the motion detectors and another line for the 2 sets of floods to a dimmer switch. We have tried both standard and LED dimmable floods, but it is not working (the lights don't dim and sometimes won't turn on at all).

With a standard switch in place, everything works as expected without dimming of course.

Is it possible to do this? Does anyone have a known-good wiring/switch scheme for this scenario?

Thank you

  • 1
    Do you mean that you want a dimmer to control the max brightness of the bulbs when triggered by motion? There's a way to wire this up with one dimmer-per-light, and if wired so any motion detector turns on all lights, but having a single dimmer control brightness of independent motion-controlled lights really isn't possible (without quite a bit of complex and custom electronics, anyway). Can you describe exactly what you're trying to achieve, and since it's already wired, maybe draw a diagram (including telling us if it's 2- or 3- or 4-conductor wire, in each case)? – gregmac Sep 30 '15 at 17:28
  • I should add: to work with a dimmer, the dimmer has to be between the motion detection and bulb (which requires very specific wiring in place): if the dimmer is prior to the motion detector itself (which is how you'd normally wire up a regular switch to motion detectors) it will not properly power the motion detector and nothing will work (which sounds maybe like what you're experiencing). Even doing things this way, especially with LED bulbs (and CL dimmers), if the motion detector uses a solid-state relay (SSR) you may have strange problems or it might not work at all. – gregmac Sep 30 '15 at 17:32
  • @gregmac - thanks for your comments. Yes, I want the dimmer to control the max brightness when triggered. That's the main requirement of what I want to achieve, but for completeness, I also want to control the brightness when the lights are in "soft" mode (on after dusk, but not full brightness). Additionally, I'd like to control the brightness when I use the switch to keep the light on for an extended period. I'll need to get back to your on diagram and conductors. – Mike Strand Sep 30 '15 at 22:50

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