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AssuredElectrical, Master Electrician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 4241
Experience:  Contractor-42+ Years in the ElectricalTrade
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I replaced an outdoor, motion detected flood light with a

Customer Question

I replaced an outdoor, motion detected flood light with a LED dusk to dawn light. Prior to switching, a wall mounted light switch by our front door controlled the light. After installing the LED dusk to dawn light, however, the light switch will not turn it off. It does turn itself off when it's daylight, though. So, I thought maybe it was a bad light switch, so I was going to replace the old wall switch with a new one. Inside the box, were 2 black wires connected to the switch, 2 ground wires connected to the switch, and two white wires connected to each other with a wire nut. I used an AC tester to check the wires, and one black wire was hot (connected to bottom pole of switch), and all the others were not hot. When I flipped the light switch, both black wires tested hot, which makes me think the switch was working. So, before I zapped myself, I decided to flip the breaker off, so I did. I rechecked the wires, and none of them were hot. So, I then replaced the switch with a new one (single pole). I wired it like the old one was. I flipped the breaker back on, and waited for sparks. Everything seemed fine, but the light still stayed on, regardless the position of the light switch. Since I wanted our Christmas lights to stand out, I decided I'd just throw the breaker, and not use the light. Except when I flipped the breaker off, the light still stays on. There are 3 outdoor lights on the same breaker that I can tell, and one of them does turn off when I throw the breaker, but the other two (same brand/model of light) stays on. All of the wall outlets in the living room are also on the same breaker. I'm confused. Thanks!
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Electrical
Expert:  AssuredElectrical replied 1 year ago.

Welcome. My name is ***** ***** would be glad to assist

Need some more details on the situation.

Look in the light box where you mounted the fixture and get the exact count and colors of all wires in the box.

Then how the light is connected to those wires.

Let me know and we can continue,


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok. Things have changed. The breaker I turned off previously does control the light switch by the door. Which I've discovered controls power to a nearby outlet on the wall. That breaker does not control the light. The breaker that controls the light is labeled "bedroom 2" but it actually controls all the lights in the kitchen/dining area. I searched again and cannot find a switch that controls the outside light. I'm starting to think it's wired to be on all the time. There's only one white, one black and one green wire feeding into the box the light is on. Is it common/safe to have an outside light wired with no switch? Does that sound like what's going on here?
Expert:  AssuredElectrical replied 1 year ago.

Ok, thanks for the update.

Depending on when and who installed the outside light, it could be powered all the time and only uses the photcell to activate with no wall control.

It is not the way it should be installed though.

If it was installed with the original wiring, it would have a switch, that is required.

If only 3 wires, then I would want to back track and find the source of the power.

Since it is outside, are there any switches that you cannot identify for operating any other lights?

It could be anywhere, basement, garage, carport etc.

If one cannot be located, then it must have been installed after the fact and they used a motion sensing photcell light for that purpose.

Keep me posted


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