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Modify kitchen lights to be motion sensitive?

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New Member
I am not an electrician.

I have a set of LED lights I fitted in my kitchen and would like to retro fit them to be motion sensitive, so when I approach my kitchen area they would just switch on automatically.

The following set I purchased is not available any more, but it's similar to this: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/VASCO-Kit...hash=item3ae329a48e:m:mHxwEC6-QqVw7m8hK8DPokQ

Here are some pictures of the lights set up:

adaptor 1: https://i.imgur.com/DPaP3A3.jpg
adaptor 2: https://i.imgur.com/f5HH1bj.jpg
plug: https://i.imgur.com/n72xsve.jpg

What I was thinking of doing was to add in a motion detector in-between the mains and the lights, but I don't know if these following is compatible: https://www.amazon.co.uk/d/5hp/KKIW...qid=1497807695&sr=8-14&keywords=motion+sensor

I don't know if it might just better to go with flexible LED strip instead, but I have the lights set up now and would prefer to modify them. The sensor's detail an operating voltage of DC 5V-25V and a load current of 3A, my lights are DC 12V and a maximum of 0.42A 5W.

I really don't know what to do, is it safer to start again, or can this system be easily modified?


Well-Known Member
The sensor you linked to should be able to be connected between the 12V power supply and the LEDs (not to the mains). This means that the transformer will always be connected to the mains, but the LEDs will only be powered when motion is detected.


New Member
There doesn't seem to be an easy (nor clean) way to fit it together. It looks as though this motion sensor adaptor is for LED strip lights.

It would probably be better to go that route?


Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
If the original mains switch is still existing I would just replace it with something like these. Before I retired we replaced all of the office light switches with the motion sensor types which had manual override and they worked great. Just get one designed for your 220 volt mains.



Well-Known Member


Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
I would never use cheap Chinese no-name-brand junk in my home. It might cause a fire. I would buy name-brand items made by a Western manufacturer and sold in a local store.

My electrical utility company gave away compact fluorescent light bulbs for free to show people that they use very low power but are bright and last a long time. But they caused fires because they dripped flaming plastic and were all recalled and replaced. The dishonest Chinese manufacturer stole the certification label from an honest and safe competing manufacturer so these light bulbs were never tested and certified to be safe. Do Amazon and ebay also sell cheap Chinese fakes?


New Member
Thanks for all the replies guys, I have enough info to be able to modify my present installation now. However, as it's in a kitchen area, I would be cautious to have too many exposed connection points and would likely be better just replacing it with LED strip lights.


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Most Helpful Member
I'm going to give you another idea. I'll use this http://www.webmtn.com/webUniversity/docs/Motion Detector_UPB_LR.pdf as a basis.

The DX transmitters are made by linear and a used n the alarm industry, They are very reliable. I've been using the DX series in a medical alarm scenareo for like 10 years, UPB is an RF/power line based control system for home automation. The transmitters have low battery monitoring.

Linear has been purchased by Nortek. https://www.nortekcontrol.com/pdf/manuals/DXR-702.pdf The 7 channel version which I have is a lot more complex and doesn;t have relay outputs.

The motion detectors are wireless and pretty cute.

So, in the referenced example you can make the contacts control a UPB device that converts to RF/power line control. Where you need the ON/OFF functionality you can use a UPB device. A lot, if not all require access to Neutral in the box which is a problem for switches. There are fixture modules.

So, you put the wireless receiver in the basement somewhere.


New Member
Thanks KISS, but that's a little too complicated for me, I just don't have the time to devote to it, but I'm sure you're right.

I think that I am going to have to reinstall with LED strip lights and use the off-the-shelf motion sensor, so long as it matches the criteria that I need it for, which I am still trying to find out.

Thanks for all your help however!


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Most Helpful Member
Your in the .uk which makes things harder. At one time I bought a wireless motion detector that was SUPPOSED to be used outside. The idea was to detect moton and blink a lamp or chime inside. So, simpe: a 120 VAC outlet on the receiver and some things to set options.

The light needs to say on for a length of time after it triggers.

The option, I can't set )or can't set low enough) is to marry the light and sensitivity and motion.
My mom's disabled and now in a wheelchair. She also grew up in the US depression. So, a 7W lightbulb coming on in the daylight wastes electricity. I can't re-program mom's brain to make it safer for her. I really need to set a level and or Astronomic time that the light won;t come on.

There is one light on astronomic time that comes on 1/2 hour after dusk and is off at 11:30, but occasionaly you get caught in the living room with no lights.

One option for me, but not her is to turn on the TV with the remote (usually it's on anyway) and turn the TV off with the rear joystick. The joystick isn't really wheelchair accessible.

As for the kitchen, there is usually a 7W incandescent nite light burning most of the evening. Your right, it sometimes takes a while to get the exit strategy right.

Lighting could be provided by a stair light (switch on opposite bedtime exit). There is a local "dishwashing" ligt that mom can't easily reach anymore.

There is a counter tube florescent and a counter nite light, a table lamp and a lamp over the table (cord switch).

The ceiling light/ceiling fan has strings as well and can be turned off/on at either kitchen exit.

So, it's desirable to have the ceiling fixture light on when you exit.

It's not so bad to enter the kitchen (night light is usually on), turning the ceiling light as you enter. Turn off the night light and exit while turning off the ceiling light.


New Member
Perhaps you'd be better investing in Apple's HomeKit, that has voice activated abilities and is quite smart with rules set up for all manner of conditions. Just recently at WWDC they opened up their system to existing devices that would only require software encryption for communication, rather than Apple's favoured hardware factory's, so there should be more compatible devices.


New Member
What do you think about this combination:


I found the following power information, but am unsure if the two are compatible?

Motion Sensor:
Load current <3A
Input: 5V-25VDC, Output=Input

LED strip:
In 230V~, 50Hz,
max 0,2A
Out 12V DC
4W, 90mA

I like this PIR because it uses both movement and light to sense its surroundings, which I will need as some PIRs won't work in ambient lighting. I'm just unsure if the two will play nice with each other?


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Most Helpful Member
Your questions is why i don;t buy from Amazon UNLESS I have to. There is never enough information to make an intellegent decision.

You need to switch the 12 V side.

The barrel size and polarity are unknown. The LED wants 5.5/2.1 mm. I think 12 VDC is a good guess for the output.
You can always ask it as a question to Amazon or the OEM. AC adapter outputs what voltage? What is the DC barrel connector size? What is the polarity? e.g. Center +.

5.5/2.1 and 5.5/2.5mm are common sizes, but the 2.5 fits in the 2.1 slot, but it's an unreliable connection.

LED Strip
I think I saw a reference to size (5.5/2.1) and polarity in the questions.

In the US, www.powerstream.com , adapters are available as well as polarity changers.

I keep known 5.5/2.1 and 5.5/2.5 labeled plugs and sockets so I can tell. I also have a digital caliper and a full set of drill bits and a meter to determine polarity. I label all of my new stuff, e.g. The ends with 5 V, 1A C+ (5.5/2.1) and where it goes, The adapter also gets labeled. e.g. ASUS model x router.

It looks as if it can be made to work, but there are unknowns namely polarity and connector sizes.


New Member
You're right about the details, but I am not an electrician and I am not sure where to go to get a setup like this as I need.

I did think about the barrel size, but I assumed that it could be made to fit (with an adapter, even if it didn't).. I'll try to find an electronics shop to see..


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Most Helpful Member
These https://www.powerstream.com/universal-laptop.htm are available on ebay. You might get a 2.5 mm or something close drill bit to check the size.
Metric drills in the US are not a local thing, So, a 2.5 mm drill bit: https://www.mscdirect.com/industrialtools/2-sp-46-sp-5-mm-drill-bits.html can differentiate a 2.1 from a 2.5

You can measure small stuff by taking an object with known dimensions and placing it in your photo on the same plane. A small 6" metal ruler would work just fine.

Quadrile ruled index cards work too. No idea what's available in the uk. The blocks are 1/4" on these cards. The point is, it's a known dimension. and you photograph it in the same plane.

These https://www.powerstream.com/dc-tips2.htm adapt 5.5/2.1 to lots of choices.

Here https://www.powerstream.com/ac-3360.htm is a polarity reversing adapter.

The stuff is cheap enough to buy and see what you get, The polarity is usually marked on the AC adapter. Generally people don't tell you what the barrel connector is.
We can get voltmeters for about $6.00 USD. https://www.harborfreight.com/7-function-digital-multimeter-69096.html One of their stores is local to me.

Although not strictly required, wire ferrules http://uk.farnell.com/c/connectors/...lace-ferrules?DM_PersistentCookieCreated=true (uk source) are used to make more solid connections to fine wire to screw terminals.

I think there is a high probability that luck will be on your side.


New Member
It's been quite a slog, but I now have the system up and running.

I had already sent several emails to the LongLifeLamp company and received no replies, telephoned in and gotten separate emails from their ones stated on their website, with promises to return existing emails and even telephone callbacks, but nothing.

I can categorically say that the LongLifeLamp company is rubbish in both pre and post sales, just utterly useless, don't bother with them. However, they are only a reseller, the company who manufacture the lights are in China (surprise, surprise!) and the product is good, for the price.

I decided to get both the PIR and the LED lights, with a Multimeter (https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00TM0W8ZY/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1) to test for myself. I have an electrician friend and paid him in home made beef jerky for his time, where he showed me how to do something called a "Continuity Test" that would confirm if the polarity at one of the PIR was the same at the other end, meaning that it didn't matter about the polarity for the PIR because it would simply keep it the same the other end - it passed the test and so there's no issue.

The barrel sizes fit perfectly, but because I don't have any digital callipers I cannot be sure, but by eye I can be 99% sure they're the same barrel size!

The lights came and guess what... the one thing I purchased them for (the plug) was not as described on their website - I was severely disappointed because I could have gone with anybody else, anybody, but needed this plug. The plug was white, with the exiting cable from the top, not the bottom (as it shows now). These style plugs can be had easily enough in black, but not white! So I rung them up to find out what was going on and did manage to get through (after a couple of attempts) to somebody who knew a bit about what they were talking about to tell me that because of UK safety rule changes a couple of years back the plugs that they used to sell (the ones pictured on both their own website and on the Amazon webpage) were now illegal and had to be junked! They still had them but couldn't sell one to me, unless I made a trip to the factory in China! The plugs worked, no issues, but they were not sufficiently waterproof and the standard had become more demanding so they moved the exiting cable to the bottom of the plug.

I was really annoyed and disappointed that this knuckle-dragging company hadn't updated their imagery in the preceding years (they have since my purchase last month, after pointing this out) and couldn't help me!

I needed a top exiting plug to keep the kitchen surface clutter free, it also had to be white, like the rest of my kitchen.. where was I to find a plug like that.. nowhere, not online, nor in the high-street!

However, I got lucky and found an old Foscam (IP CCTV) off-white plug that fit the bill, if a little blocky (https://www.amazon.co.uk/d/Computer...=1502654355&sr=8-9&keywords=foscam+plug+white) but it would be my only option, for now. Sure enough it was a little off in colour, but it worked. I wish I could have gotten the original and sleeker one though, I just can't fathom why the industry says away from white?!

Anyway, the whole system is up and running! Yea, it was a bit of a hassle to set the PIR, but now it works and it feels like the Star Ship Enterprise, I am still getting used to it, it's as good as I thought it would be.
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