teenagers & light switches

At my house we have 2 upstairs bedrooms occupied by teenage boys. The stairway light has a switch at the bottom & the top in that configuration which means
neither switch has a definitive off nor on position. The problem is the boys bound up & down the stairs and never turn off the light. I was thinking of installing a 10-minute timer switch in lieu of one of the light switches, but then it struck me that this won't work at all - if e.g. I put the timer on the lower switch, if the upper switch gets toggled then activating the timer downstairs would simply turn the lights *off* for up to 15 minutes. Ack.
Is there any way to wire a timer onto a light wired in this manner and have it work? Or any other nonpolitical solutions to the problem?
Thanks!
Grant Erwin
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> Is there any way to wire a timer onto a light wired in this manner and have it

I had the same problem w/ teenagers and lights ect. My solution was several compact fluorescents in the offending fixtures, now they use far less electric so it doesn't nag the kilowatt nazi.
YMMV
Andrew
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Grant Erwin wrote:

Add a timed relay to perform the function of the DPDT switch in a three way switching circuit.
http://www.ultimatehandyman.co.uk/three_way_lighting.htm
You will need to come up with a an "or" function of both lines to the DPDT relay to trigger the timing circuit, the design of which will depend on the contents of your junk box.
Kevin Gallimore
-
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wrote:

Please note that this reference is for UK wiring, and the colors, etc have nothing to do with your part of the world.
I'm pretty sure there is such a thing as a timer intended to directly replace a 3-way light switch, made for the North American market, if you really do want to automatically shut off a light on a stairway. (That may be considered unsafe per the code - I don't know....)
Mickey
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says...

Replace the switches with motion sensors? I have a unit similar to this that triggers the light on the stairs between my office and shop that works well. http://www.smarthome.com/2522W.html
How easy it'll be to make this work depends on the existing wiring and the location of the switches.
Ned Simmons
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wrote:

Switch to low voltage switching. The switches are momentary contact on and off. Then you can use a timer on the main feed.
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Ned Simmons wrote:

But Ned, that will interfere with sneaking down the stairs in the middle of the night!
Steve
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It's been a long time since I've gone sneaking around at night, except perhaps to go back to work. Have you found something more exciting over there in the puckerbrush than what we've got here on the coast? <g>
Ned Simmons
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perhaps
LOL. I assumed he meant the teenagers would be sneaking out. :)
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Ned Simmons wrote:

Well, I was talking about from the teenagers perspective...
Steve
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Even the teenagers have learned sneaking out is not worth the effort around here.
Ned
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X10 remote control switches. Not exactly free, but workable.
Grant Erwin wrote:

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Grant install athree way motion sensing switch with timer at the upper switch location.
http://www.smarthome.com/2523w.html
Same problem , same solution, now cleaner walls !
Pete

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Grant Erwin wrote:

Wrong group and lots a wrong and even idiotic answers. That much for the "quality" of OT-answers and the usefullness of posting OT here.
That problem has been solved a zillion of times in staircases. You need momentary switches and a timed relay that gets triggered by the switches.
Nick
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wrote:

Gee, I thought you objected to OT threads...

And you just had to get your idiotic 2-cents answer in there, too.
We already passed that point a LONG time ago - there are Passive Infrared motion sensing switches that retrofit into a standard switch box and will work in parallel. And they have the adjustable time delay built in.
--<< Bruce >>--
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On Sat, 10 Feb 2007 07:39:45 -0800, Grant Erwin

There are gizmos that screw into a light socket and then have a socket for the bulb. They look like the "touch" dimmers for table lamps, but they are timers. They shut off the light after 20 minutes or so. To turn back on you just toggle the power -- from either switch in your case. I think they're under $10. I put one in the laundry room years ago because nobody ever turned that light off.
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On Sat, 10 Feb 2007 07:39:45 -0800, Grant Erwin

They make sets of motion sense PIR switches to work in parallel (Master and Slave) on a three-way circuit - if neither one sees motion, the lights will cycle off after a few minutes.
Or you use two regular motion switches in parallel, and use the traveler to get the hot upstairs to the second switch. But read the fine print on the instructions first - they have to be rated for use like that, some electronics don't like it when power shows up on the Load terminal from another source.
Don't set the timing interval too short if there are periods of heavy travel - you'll kill the lightbulbs a lot faster when cycled a dozen times an hour for two minutes than if they were just left on for the hour. Especially with fluorescent lamps, the energy cost is miniscule compared with the effort and time to get a ladder and replace them, then go to the store for more lamps. Depending on the lamp, I'd put the sweet spot at 10 to 15 minutes.
--<< Bruce >>--
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Grant,
You are approaching the problem from the wrong side.
Have someone build you a sensor that times the length of time the light in the stairway is on for longer than 2 minutes.
Now the next time the boys try to boot up their computer, or play with the play station or listen to their music, they are denied access for as long as the light was left burning.
--
Roger Shoaf
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as
That sounds complicated. How about just making them pay the bill a few times?
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Dave Lyon wrote:

I want to see one of you guys come *make* my son do something! ROTFLMAO!! He's nearly half as bad as I used to be!! :-)
GWE
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