Problem: lights left on in the train room, solution:

As the title says: I am owned by this good sized ranch home.  The raw basement is all for RR use with an somewhat extensive around the wall layout with track work nearing completion.  At this late stage of life I am more concerned with getting the rails done instead of finishing the basement.  Just making it practical. There are five lighting circuits.  Four of which the ADD owner occasionally leaves on.  (Guilt, guilt, guilt.)

Two of the areas are well defined where a motion activated switch can be wall positioned.   However there is another large area with two circuits where there is no favorable wall position to  mount either of the motion activated switches.  

While leaning against the concrete filled pole trying to mentally envision a switch location this cold hard force on my back begged a look-see.  The location was  fabulous, the mounting was "Like how??".  No thought to boxing the pole, just mount the stupid switches.   After turning around, measuring the pole's diameter, checking my hole saw assortment and pulling out some 3/4" plywood scrap I fashioned the below example. 

I bored a hole in the top plate, cut it in half allowing for the flex conduit to enter the top, fashioned the sides with holes to mount the Eastern facing and the Western facing motion activated switches, glued and clamped the top plate in place with wood glue for the slice and premium poly urethane construction adhesive for the contact with the pole then splashed some poly coat on the wood--wallaa, my motion activated switches had a perfect location.  The pole was sanded to bare metal for gluing on the conduit drop and box.  It has seen several months of use so I know that this was a practical endeavor.

Go and copy it yourself and make yours "purty":

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Please do one better than mine, add a duplex outlet.

 

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No one method is best for all.  I use the individual motion detector switches because I have multiple areas spread out around the basement with absolute view blocks.  Each circuit is in a particular area with an array of 2X4 fixtures.  Working 100% by myself there is no need to illuminate 72 tubes when just a handful will do. 

I had thought of placing five switches at the head of the stairs but did not want to climb the staircase to flip  switches when I moved about the work spaces, or  I did not want to run additional 4-way lighting circuits for control which would include the direct outside entrance.

All is good.   

I read an article years ago, I believe in OGR, about what seemed like a very good idea - having a master power switch by the main entrance to the train room connected to a red light - sort of like an "On Air" light for a radio station - which would control power to the whole train room, to avoid any risk of leaving on the odd transformer, soldering gun, accessory, etc.  May have worked through a relay to control multiple circuits.  Seems like a good idea for safety and convenience.  Would work for lights, too.

I have a motion detector light switch in one area of my basement, but I find it a little annoying. For example, if I’m working away from where the sensor can detect my presence, it will turn off the lights in an area that I need to traverse to reach other illuminated areas. Kind of ‘trapping’ me and forcing me to stumble through the dark until the sensor ‘sees’ me and turns the lights back on. It was a retrofit for an existing light circuit, so not surprising or unexpected - just annoying. 

On a related note, I am using wireless handheld remotes often sold at Christmas for controlling holiday lights to control virtually all of my train room power circuits. I have separate circuits (and remotes) for transformer power, street scenes, night scenes and even under layout (think under counter) lights. They work great and provide a very easy method to control all the power from a single location in the Train Room using multiple remotes (each labeled for what it controls). 

The control units plug into outlets in the room and I attach power strips to each control unit. Anything attached to a particular power strip turns on at the touch of a button on the appropriate remote. And the newer remotes (available in the past 3 years) can control 3 separate circuits from one remote. Simple and very effective. 

David98 posted:

I read an article years ago, I believe in OGR, about what seemed like a very good idea - having a master power switch by the main entrance to the train room connected to a red light - sort of like an "On Air" light for a radio station - which would control power to the whole train room, to avoid any risk of leaving on the odd transformer, soldering gun, accessory, etc.  May have worked through a relay to control multiple circuits.  Seems like a good idea for safety and convenience.  Would work for lights, too.

Like this...????

PICT4167

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I am using Amazon Alexa with insteon light switches and outlets......as I leave my train room, I ask Alexa to turn off the train room......works for me!

-Pete

"My greatest fear is that one day I will die and my wife will sell my trains at the price that I told her I paid For them!"

 

 

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