Motion Controlled Outlet - From a Motion Sensing Light




  Imagine that you are a trick-or-treater going to the most scary house on the block. After going past all the ghouls, ghosts and graveyards you finally get to the last path. You can see the candy in a bowl ahead of you! But then suddenly a ghost pops out in front of you!
   In this instructable I will show how to build a motion sensing outlet that can do just that: make a ghost pop up out of nowhere.
  There most likely will not be a video of this as I am on a dial up internet connection.
  Disclaimer: If you don't think that you can complete the simple wiring, or anything in this instructable without hurting yourself and/or others please don't attempt this!

Step 1: Materials and Tools Required

For this project a few tools and materials are required. Some tools and materials may be improvised


1 motion sensing light
Circular light mounting box
Various wire nuts
3 prong electric cord (length to preference)
Outlet mounting box
Outlet face plate (optional)
Wiring  (remember that all of the current that goes to the outlet comes through this)

Wire cutters
Wire strippers
Something to twist the wires (pliers, fingers)

Step 2: Strip the Wires

  First you must strip the 2 wires, the one attached to the plug and both ends of the outlet feed line. You should strip each so that the inside wires are exposed about 7 cm (2in), and the copper is exposed to about 1 cm (1/4in). It should look close to this:

Step 3: Basic Assembly

Insert the end of the cord, and one end of the wiring into the circular light mounting box so that there is about 3 cm (1 in) of insulation exposed. Do the same for the other end of the wiring, but in a hole in the outlet box.

Step 4: Wiring the Light

  First you must twist all of the white (neutral) wire together. You should do this in a clockwise direction so that the wirenut will screw on. Now screw the wirenut on. Twist the black (power) line from the plug with the black wire going to the sensor. Add a wirenut. Now twist the red wire from the sensor with the black wires to the lights, and the black wire that goes to the outlet. Twist the two ground wires together, they will be uninsulated copper, or green insulated.

Step 5: Wire the Outlet

To wire the outlet you must first put the wires through a hole in the outlet mounting box. Then bend right-hand hooks on the exposed copper. this will be where the screw tightens around. The black wire goes on the black colored screw or on the side where the outlet says hot wire. The ground wire goes on the green screw, or on the metal mounting plate. The white wire goes on the uncolored screw or on the side that says neutral, or white wire. I covered the hot side of the outlet with electrical tape because I am not adding a face plate. Finally screw the outlet into the box.

Step 6: Test It!

Now look for obvious shorts that would pop your circuit breaker. Also look for exposed wires that could short during handling. Screw in a light, and/or plug something into the outlet and plug the unit in. If you did everything right, and the settings are right you succeeded! If it works, screw the motion light onto the mounting box. If it does not work check all wiring.



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    2 Discussions


    9 years ago on Introduction

    great instructable. i just made one of these last month for my electric chair prop i'm making for halloween :P

    1 reply