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
Reply to
Grant Erwin
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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
Reply to
AndrewV
Add a timed relay to perform the function of the DPDT switch in a three way switching circuit.
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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
Reply to
axolotl
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.
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How easy it'll be to make this work depends on the existing wiring and the location of the switches.
Ned Simmons
Reply to
Ned Simmons
X10 remote control switches. Not exactly free, but workable.
Grant Erw> At my house we have 2 upstairs bedrooms occupied by teenage boys. The
Reply to
Mark F
Grant install athree way motion sensing switch with timer at the upper switch location.
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Same problem , same solution, now cleaner walls !
Pete
Reply to
Pete T
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
Reply to
Nick Mueller
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.
Reply to
Don Foreman
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.
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Reply to
Bruce L. Bergman
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.
Reply to
Roger Shoaf
Switch to low voltage switching. The switches are momentary contact on and off. Then you can use a timer on the main feed.
Reply to
clare at snyder.on.ca
I see they make 3 way motion sensing switches. Maybe it would work for you.
Wes S
Reply to
clutch
I'd be leery of anything that shuts off lights unexpectedly in a staircase. I know teenages are invincable but maybe the wife might be carrying a load of clothes or dirty dishes when the lights go out.
How about replacing the bulb with a compact florescent bulb? I did that on one floor lamp that NEVER seemed to get turned off, made a noticeable difference in the electric bill.
Grant Erw> At my house we have 2 upstairs bedrooms occupied by teenage boys. The
Reply to
RoyJ
That sounds complicated. How about just making them pay the bill a few times?
Reply to
Dave Lyon
That's a political solution. One of these boys is my son and the other is Karen's. We have mixed family teenager issues, with complexities about crossing parental responsibities. It's in short, a quagmire, which is why I want a simple NONPOLITICAL solution.
Thanks!
GWE
Reply to
Grant Erwin
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
Reply to
Grant Erwin
A wise move! BTDT. Girls are considerably worse in that regard.
Reply to
Don Foreman
There are rotary time switches available for this purpose. Bought mine from Grainger.com. I installed them in closets because my wife never would turn off the light when she left. Been thinking about installing one on the TV as well. Perhaps in the other side of the house so she has to get up and leave the room every 5 minutes when the TV shuts off............
Reply to
Gerry
That's too bad.
When I was young, we had a horse that liked to bite people. This horse was much larger and stronger than my dad. One day, the horse bit dad. He got off the horse, picked up a 2X4, and dropped the horse to his knees with a shot across the forehead. Never again did the horse bite. Dad MADE him stop.
I suspect the problem isn't with the teenager as much as it is with the wife. Teenagers are like little people, and animals. They have to know who's boss. If that fact isn't clear, they'll assume they get to make their own rules. If you and the wife can't agree on how to handle BOTH kids, you're in big trouble.
Keep in mind, this observation is coming from a guy that does not have experience with mixed families, and has his wife's total support in raising children. And, I'm just getting into the teenage years (ages 16,15,10, and 7). I could be as wrong as I am judgmental. We just won't know till they're grown. :)
Reply to
Dave Lyon
That's where a PIR motion detector switch would be good. The light won't turn off with someone on the stairs unless they sit on them completely motionless.
Mark Rand RTFM
Reply to
Mark Rand

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