Stair lighting automated - Dutchmen Owners

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Old 05-06-2014, 08:27 PM   #1
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Stair lighting automated

Some of us have two stair cases in our rigs. Each three step stair has a switched light above them that is pretty much useless unless the lights are only used for mood lighting.

If I want to use the stair lights to see the stairs (at night,.... I know some of you guys), I have to flip the switch then climb the stairs. I'm the only one in this thing so I don't have anyone to flip the switch again once I'm up the stairs. So, essentially the lights aren't used until now.

Always wanting to make my life easier I've decided I will automate the lights with PIR sensors tied into the existing wiring. The first photo is of the complete PIR component. I've disassembled the PIR enclosure, photo #2, down to the PIR sensor itself, photo #3. The sensor itself will extend through the ceiling only and the control circuit board and enclosure will reside inside the ceiling.

Now all I'll have to do is come within proximity of the sensor and the light will come on illuminating the stairs in case Jack Daniel's got the best of me and then will extinguish automatically. The same modification will be done for both sets of stairs.
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Old 05-07-2014, 12:51 PM   #2
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Sundancer that is some truly forward thinking! Being not smart enough to come up with one of these ideas, and the fact that my switch for both steps is in the control panel under the big screen, I just leave mine on from evening until the next morning. Partly as security also since I don't want to leave the "porch" light on to bother people. What is your opinion on these being enough light to be a nuisance? Should I not leave these on all the time and steel your idea from you? I haven't been camping long enough to know how "sensitive" the neighbors are to such things.
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Old 05-07-2014, 04:37 PM   #3
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Great idea Sundancer, Where can I pick up a couple of these switchs?
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Old 05-07-2014, 06:07 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by useless2resist View Post
Sundancer that is some truly forward thinking! Being not smart enough to come up with one of these ideas, and the fact that my switch for both steps is in the control panel under the big screen, I just leave mine on from evening until the next morning. Partly as security also since I don't want to leave the "porch" light on to bother people. What is your opinion on these being enough light to be a nuisance? Should I not leave these on all the time and steel your idea from you? I haven't been camping long enough to know how "sensitive" the neighbors are to such things.
The factory stair lights sure don't put out very much light. I sure don't see leaving them on would be a problem. I'm looking to upgrade mine with LEDs.
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Old 05-07-2014, 08:32 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by useless2resist View Post
Sundancer that is some truly forward thinking! Being not smart enough to come up with one of these ideas, and the fact that my switch for both steps is in the control panel under the big screen, I just leave mine on from evening until the next morning. Partly as security also since I don't want to leave the "porch" light on to bother people. What is your opinion on these being enough light to be a nuisance? Should I not leave these on all the time and steel your idea from you? I haven't been camping long enough to know how "sensitive" the neighbors are to such things.
Having lived in a solar house for 20 years I've learned to convert what I can to 12volts DC, LEDs and conserve water at every step. That being said, a light burning all night long just bugs me just like leaving the water running when it could be turned off for the moment.
If you plan on dry camping you'll soon appreciate energy savings of all kinds. I've only lived in the land of the 'all night generator' for a short time so saving energy and water is still with me.
Besides, it's the challenge of doing something different, sort of like a better mouse trap.
Don't have much experience with sensitive camping neighbors so can't help you there.
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Old 05-07-2014, 08:36 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by BnTinNV View Post
Great idea Sundancer, Where can I pick up a couple of these switchs?
DC 12V 24V 8A Auto Lighting Detector Automatic Infrared PIR Motion Sensor Switch | eBay

Comes in the mail in a little over a week.
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Old 05-07-2014, 09:54 PM   #7
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Just ordered one for front & another for rear step. Still going to convert over to LEDs for both.
Thanks for the link.
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Old 05-08-2014, 12:35 AM   #8
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I thought you were talking about the inside of the rig, not the outside.
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Old 05-08-2014, 01:01 AM   #9
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I just found one on Amazon 19cents cheaper
Amazon.com: MECO(TM) 12v Human Motion IR Sensor Automatic Light Switch Infrared: Home Improvement
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Old 05-08-2014, 01:34 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by fsu93and99 View Post
I thought you were talking about the inside of the rig, not the outside.

I'll be using the PIRs for the inside steps, already have a battery operated, removable PIR for the outside steps. No wiring needed of course for the weatherproof battery operated ones.
The exterior PIRs cost about 20 bucks each and have a light sensor that controls the circuit based on darkness.
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Old 02-08-2015, 06:06 PM   #11
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ID:	1771I did this mod to my stairs
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Old 02-09-2015, 02:54 PM   #12
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How about sharing how you did it, where you got the components.

I really want to add this to our Voltage 3800, but just simply haven't had the time to look into it very far.

Thanks,

Pirate
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