2018 - Volume #42, Issue #4, Page #02[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Recycled Garage Opener Controls Yard Light
“I have a pole barn located in trees about 125 ft. from the house and needed a way to turn on the lights on the outside of the barn for walking to and from the barn at night,” explains Kozlowski. “I also wanted the lights timed so I didn’t have to worry about shutting them off.”
When his garage door opener had to be replaced, he realized he could use the old parts for a remote control. If he could splice his path lights into the timed opener lights, he would have the light he needed for the short walk. The lights would shut off automatically later. At the barn, he could activate the same timed function with the wall switches previously used to open the garage door.
His first step was to disconnect the opener motor and remove it, its mount and other extraneous parts. Kozlowski warns that the capacitor can hold a charge. He advises treating it like a charged car battery and taking care handling it and when disconnecting the 3 wires connecting it to the circuit board.
“I posted instructions at the Instructables website where I go into detail on what can be removed, including wiring, and what needs to be left in place,” says Kozlowski.
When stripped and with minimal rewiring, the opener unit was ready to be used as is with its existing lights or to be wired into another circuit. Kozlowski bypassed the lights, connected the opener to an outlet and then plugged his path lights into it.
He has since reworked 3 other garage door openers, using their light fixtures inside his barn and under a porch of the barn. All respond to his remote.
“With the openers in place, I can walk my dog at night, and when I get back to the house, I don’t have to go, ‘Heck, I didn’t shut off the barn lights,’” says Kozlowski.
A catch with most openers is the safety sensors that stop a garage door from closing if the path isn’t clear. Simply disconnecting them results in lights blinking initially before coming on steady. Kozlowski’s solution is to connect them to the unit and then mount them pointed directly at each other for an “all-clear” signal. Older sensors may even be duct taped together.
For complete details, photos and a full how-to, see Kozlowski’s plans on Instructables.com. Go to http://www.instructables.com/id/Remote-Control-Timed-light-Re-purposed-From-a-Gara/.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Andy Kozlowski, Califon, N.J.; (firstname.lastname@example.org).
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