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How to make a light turn on when door opened, turn off when closed?

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  • Jan 22nd, 2007 1:33 pm
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Deal Guru
Aug 2, 2001
12804 posts
3678 upvotes

How to make a light turn on when door opened, turn off when closed?

I've been wondering about this for a bit, and have basic ideas in my head. But I'm sure other people have thought of it, and I'm sure that means there are kits out there already. Hopefully someone can help me?

What I'd like is when I open my closet door to have my light come on inside. Then, when I close the door I'd like the light to go off.


If I can get picky, I'd also like this switch to be as hidden as possible. It'd be nice if you couldn't see it.
16 replies
Jr. Member
Jan 8, 2006
180 posts
1 upvote
How about using a motion sensor instead?
Deal Guru
User avatar
Dec 26, 2005
13977 posts
931 upvotes
Thornhill
There are tons of funny light control switches at Home Depot - I haven't seen it myself, but there may be something that does this there...

bjl
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[OP]
Deal Guru
Aug 2, 2001
12804 posts
3678 upvotes
zoogle wrote:
Dec 30th, 2006 2:19 am
How about using a motion sensor instead?
I've thought of that, and I think it's a good idea that's guarenteed to work.

But I would assume there would be some sort of switch that would be easier to work (as in it's off or on), and is much cheaper to buy the parts.
[OP]
Deal Guru
Aug 2, 2001
12804 posts
3678 upvotes
t3359 wrote:
Dec 30th, 2006 3:00 am
There are tons of funny light control switches at Home Depot - I haven't seen it myself, but there may be something that does this there...

bjl

I'll have to take another look - I know the guy at HD looked at me funny when I asked him.
Sr. Member
Jul 21, 2006
653 posts
5 upvotes
You need a door activated switch.

This switch goes into the door jam and has a little button on it that the door presses on.

I don't know how easy it is to do after a door is installed though. I have seen these at home depot.

We have one on our pantry door and it is really good. Wish we had put one on our linen closet. Let me know how you make out.

Jay.
Deal Addict
Sep 19, 2005
2834 posts
38 upvotes
my dad had this on two of his homes,,, back in the 80s. Was a very simple switch he bought it at RONA. Worked great for the cold cellar door.
Sr. Member
Jan 3, 2005
630 posts
16 upvotes
I just saw a TV commercial about a product like this. It uses what looks like a magnetic type switch to turn on/off an LED light that you stick on. It looked pretty decent actually, but I can't comment on the build quality. 2 for $19.99 is what they were advertising I think.

I can't remember the name of the product since I've only seen the commercial once, but keep your eye out for it.
Sr. Member
Aug 4, 2003
513 posts
Aurora
I will assume that you want to integrate this into an existing light switch and existing door.

Basically what you need is a contact from the door and a relay to turn the light on and off.

I am not sure if there is any off the shelf product that will do this but if you want to DIY, this is how I will approch it.

Install a magnatic door contact into the existing door and run the wire through the door frame. It will be the best if you can get the wire through the frame and up between the dry wall to where the light switch is.

Get a relay that is rated for 120V, since it is just a light bulb, any 120V relay should do, but check the Amp rating just to be safe. And wire the door contact into the coil side of the relay and run the hot side of the 120V coming out from the existing light switch through the relay just like how you will wire up a normal light switch.

So now, if you switch the light switch ON, it will light up when the door is open and close when the door is close. but when u have the light switch off, the light will stay off.

hope it helps.... :)
[OP]
Deal Guru
Aug 2, 2001
12804 posts
3678 upvotes
baboo wrote:
Jan 2nd, 2007 11:00 am
I will assume that you want to integrate this into an existing light switch and existing door.

Basically what you need is a contact from the door and a relay to turn the light on and off.

I am not sure if there is any off the shelf product that will do this but if you want to DIY, this is how I will approch it.

Install a magnatic door contact into the existing door and run the wire through the door frame. It will be the best if you can get the wire through the frame and up between the dry wall to where the light switch is.

Get a relay that is rated for 120V, since it is just a light bulb, any 120V relay should do, but check the Amp rating just to be safe. And wire the door contact into the coil side of the relay and run the hot side of the 120V coming out from the existing light switch through the relay just like how you will wire up a normal light switch.

So now, if you switch the light switch ON, it will light up when the door is open and close when the door is close. but when u have the light switch off, the light will stay off.

hope it helps.... :)
This is what I'm looking for - the door switches I've seen are too bulky.

Thanks - I'll look into building this!
Sr. Member
Aug 4, 2003
513 posts
Aurora
TrevorK wrote:
Jan 2nd, 2007 9:42 pm
This is what I'm looking for - the door switches I've seen are too bulky.

Thanks - I'll look into building this!
No problem, keep us updated on how the project turns out!!... :)
Deal Addict
Dec 1, 2003
1268 posts
7 upvotes
For that above to work you will also need a small power supply to deliver power to the door contact and to activate the relay.

Plus you will have to put it in an electrical box to make it up to electrical code etc.

It might be more hassle than its worth.
[OP]
Deal Guru
Aug 2, 2001
12804 posts
3678 upvotes
loudsubz wrote:
Jan 2nd, 2007 11:44 pm
For that above to work you will also need a small power supply to deliver power to the door contact and to activate the relay.

Plus you will have to put it in an electrical box to make it up to electrical code etc.

It might be more hassle than its worth.
I have two electricians in the family - if I can tell them what exactly I want done, and source the parts, then I won't have a problem getting it put in :)
Sr. Member
Jan 3, 2005
630 posts
16 upvotes
baboo wrote:
Jan 2nd, 2007 11:00 am
I will assume that you want to integrate this into an existing light switch and existing door.

Basically what you need is a contact from the door and a relay to turn the light on and off.

I am not sure if there is any off the shelf product that will do this but if you want to DIY, this is how I will approch it.

Install a magnatic door contact into the existing door and run the wire through the door frame. It will be the best if you can get the wire through the frame and up between the dry wall to where the light switch is.

Get a relay that is rated for 120V, since it is just a light bulb, any 120V relay should do, but check the Amp rating just to be safe. And wire the door contact into the coil side of the relay and run the hot side of the 120V coming out from the existing light switch through the relay just like how you will wire up a normal light switch.

So now, if you switch the light switch ON, it will light up when the door is open and close when the door is close. but when u have the light switch off, the light will stay off.

hope it helps.... :)

This is a good concept, however if you're using a relay, you will need a secondary voltage source for the relay coil. Where is it coming from??
Why not just simplify things with getting ONE limitswitch rated at 120v and cut out the middle man? They're not very bulky and since they'd be behind closed doors, it doesn't really matter.

I fix industrial machinery and have seen many styles/varieties of these switches. Electrosonic carries them, but since the OP has electricians in the family, they can source them easily, I'm sure.
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