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  1. #1
    Don Stanley's Avatar
    Don Stanley Guest

    Default Looking for CFL Wireless Switch Solution.

    Hello Everyone. Not sure if this is the right forum for my question, but hoping to find some comments and suggestions.

    We recently purchase a new home. The problem is the single-pole light switch for the kitchen is not in a good location - at the end of the entrance hallway to the family room.

    I obtained an electrical permit to do upgrades for my garage & miscellaneous changes, thinking it would be an easy task to add a dead-end 3-way switch. However, now that I've had a closer look, this little task would mean a lot of drywall repair. I come to this conclusion after looking at an identical house under construction, with rough wiring installed without drywall. Going up and over appears to be very difficult due to thick headers, and attic insulation! A more direct route would be to pass through 3-4 wall studs into wall under kitchen cabinets.

    An easier solution might be to add a wireless remote switch! I tried this approach about 10 years ago, and was not satisfied with the function and quality of the product! Checking the local big-box stores and Amazon, I have not been able to find anything that looks much different.

    The kitchen lights consist of four recessed fixtures with 65W CFL's (compact fluorescent fixtures). There does not appear to be any Green economical wireless switches available (rated for CFL's). The only cost effective solution I see at this time is to use incandescent bulbs and a Leviton 602-6696 W Switch Kit.

    Amazon.com: Leviton 602-6696-W Switch Kit: Home Improvement

    Any thoughts and comments will be appreciated.

    -Don

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  2. #2
    Stacey Van Houtan's Avatar
    Stacey Van Houtan Guest

    Default Re: Looking for CFL Wireless Switch Solution.

    You can by a 6' drill bit that is desiged for what you are doing. It may be a two person job becuase the dill bit has a guide and it should be ran by a helper


  3. #3
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    Default Re: Looking for CFL Wireless Switch Solution.

    I have no idea if the wireless switch is a good product or not, but it may be best for you - just add 4 AAA's.
    If I bought your house, I would prefer that to an unskilled attempt to fish in a new circuit where it could end up pinched under molding or poked with a nail or some other damage.

    Four batteries equals 6 volts DC. Maybe a 6 Volt wall wart could be hooked up there somehow.


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Looking for CFL Wireless Switch Solution.

    Quote Originally Posted by Don Stanley View Post
    Hello Everyone. Not sure if this is the right forum for my question, but hoping to find some comments and suggestions.

    We recently purchase a new home. The problem is the single-pole light switch for the kitchen is not in a good location - at the end of the entrance hallway to the family room.

    I obtained an electrical permit to do upgrades for my garage & miscellaneous changes, thinking it would be an easy task to add a dead-end 3-way switch. However, now that I've had a closer look, this little task would mean a lot of drywall repair. I come to this conclusion after looking at an identical house under construction, with rough wiring installed without drywall. Going up and over appears to be very difficult due to thick headers, and attic insulation! A more direct route would be to pass through 3-4 wall studs into wall under kitchen cabinets.

    An easier solution might be to add a wireless remote switch! I tried this approach about 10 years ago, and was not satisfied with the function and quality of the product! Checking the local big-box stores and Amazon, I have not been able to find anything that looks much different.

    The kitchen lights consist of four recessed fixtures with 65W CFL's (compact fluorescent fixtures). There does not appear to be any Green economical wireless switches available (rated for CFL's). The only cost effective solution I see at this time is to use incandescent bulbs and a Leviton 602-6696 W Switch Kit.

    Amazon.com: Leviton 602-6696-W Switch Kit: Home Improvement

    Any thoughts and comments will be appreciated.

    -Don
    Barring over or under, I think most electricians would pull the baseboard in the hall, cut away a gap in the drywall, just enough to allow drill access to the studs but leave enough to reset the baseboard. It would not be necessary to replace the drywall if done properly.

    The above statements are expressed solely as my opinion and in all probability will conflict with someone else's.
    Stu, Fredericksburg VA

  5. #5
    Mitchell Toelle's Avatar
    Mitchell Toelle Guest

    Default Re: Looking for CFL Wireless Switch Solution.

    Qoute from SB: Barring over or under, I think most electricians would pull the baseboard in the hall, cut away a gap in the drywall, just enough to allow drill access to the studs but leave enough to reset the baseboard. It would not be necessary to replace the drywall if done properly.

    SB,

    I can't believe you even suggested this. I hope it was suggested with tongue-in-cheek. Don,DON'T DO IT!!! There have to be safer, better methods. If you put wiring, however well hidden, behind base board, it will be subject to damage by potential nailing. Even if YOU know exactly where the wiring is, and YOU don't hit the wiring, others in the future may hit it. Examples would be, remodelers, replacement of floor coverings, replacement of base board.


  6. #6
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    N. Syracuse, NY
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    Default Re: Looking for CFL Wireless Switch Solution.

    Mitchell: RE removing baseboard- standard operating procedure, my friend. NEC article 300.4 tells you how.


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Looking for CFL Wireless Switch Solution.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mitchell Toelle View Post
    Qoute from SB: Barring over or under, I think most electricians would pull the baseboard in the hall, cut away a gap in the drywall, just enough to allow drill access to the studs but leave enough to reset the baseboard. It would not be necessary to replace the drywall if done properly.

    SB,

    I can't believe you even suggested this. I hope it was suggested with tongue-in-cheek. Don,DON'T DO IT!!! There have to be safer, better methods. If you put wiring, however well hidden, behind base board, it will be subject to damage by potential nailing. Even if YOU know exactly where the wiring is, and YOU don't hit the wiring, others in the future may hit it. Examples would be, remodelers, replacement of floor coverings, replacement of base board.
    Running wire behind the baseboard is fairly standard and has been used for some time especially in older homes with plaster walls. I would prefer to drill passage holes in the studs. I believe I have seen methods described that used either notched studs or routing a slot in the baseboard. One could use BX if really concerned about future damage.

    The above statements are expressed solely as my opinion and in all probability will conflict with someone else's.
    Stu, Fredericksburg VA

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Looking for CFL Wireless Switch Solution.

    running the cable behind a baseboard as described though not a good idea ,is legal as long as you also install metal nailplates as described in 300.4.
    The same for MC or AC cables.

    There used to be wireless switches on the market that were sold as " X10"

    The best way would be up and over. If there is accessible attic space above the switch locations it should be a relatively easy install. Should be an easy job for a professional electrician.


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Looking for CFL Wireless Switch Solution.

    Have you tried X ten stuff. A friend of mine swears by it. He also says to get systems with INSTEON because it bounces signals back letting the device know if it's activated.I haven't any experinace with it. Here is a link Buy at Smarthome - Dimmers, Lighting & Appliance Control

    Mike Schulz License 393
    Affordable Home Inspections
    www.houseinspections.com

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Looking for CFL Wireless Switch Solution.

    Quote Originally Posted by Don Stanley View Post
    The kitchen lights consist of four recessed fixtures with 65W CFL's (compact fluorescent fixtures). There does not appear to be any Green economical wireless switches available (rated for CFL's).
    Can you be more specific about these fixtures/CFLs please?


  11. #11
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    Default Re: Looking for CFL Wireless Switch Solution.

    You guys drilling the studs need to make sure that the holes are small enough, and centered enough, to not require nail plates ... i.e., at least 1-1/4" back from the surface of the stud ... let's see, a stud is 3-1/2" wide, less 2-1/2" (1-1/4" x 2 = 2-1/2") = a maximum 1" hole CENTERED, which is a bit danged hard to do.

    Of course, you could drill the hole so the edge of the hole was 5/8" minimum back from the edge of the studs and then nail plate only that one side, but then if the cable is not run high enough above where the base will get nailed (i.e., above the top of the base, try and do that) and they the cable is within 1-1/4" of the base and is likely to be damaged by nailing.

    Things ARE DONE ALL THE TIME, but that does not mean they are a good idea to do them, nor does it mean they are done correctly.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  12. #12
    Don Stanley's Avatar
    Don Stanley Guest

    Default Re: Looking for CFL Wireless Switch Solution.

    First off, thank you everyone for your input. The first reply from Stacy gave me a chuckle, because the thought of a real long drill bit crossed my mind at one point; my first thought being how much damage I would do . I would consider this an option if you could drill 1/2" holes and use a snake inspection camera to see what you would be drilling into.

    Ken Horak commented that it was generally easier to go up and over. Actually, this was my first thought. In my case, going up brings you to the top of the wall, which is the bottom of a plant shelf supported by a large header. Once on top of the plant shelf you would need to use conduit for the 6' run to the kitchen wall. I like to think I know how to do something like this, but I am old enough to know there may be an easier way, i.e. call a professional!

    H.G. Watson ask about the CFL fixtures. The house was completed in November 2009. We have a lot of recessed can lights with a mixture of incandescent and CFL flood lamps. The incandescent lights are 65W, and the CFL's are about 23W if I remember correctly. I inspected one of the fixtures to determine the maximum wattage, but was unable to find the label.

    I'm still interested in the wireless approach, but the better-half called me for dinner. I will comment further later.

    Thanks again.

    -Don


  13. #13
    Don Stanley's Avatar
    Don Stanley Guest

    Default Re: Looking for CFL Wireless Switch Solution.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Schulz View Post
    Have you tried X ten stuff. A friend of mine swears by it. He also says to get systems with INSTEON because it bounces signals back letting the device know if it's activated.I haven't any experinace with it. Here is a link Buy at Smarthome - Dimmers, Lighting & Appliance Control
    X10 looks like it may offer a solution. The system consists of 3 modules: 1) a wall switch to control the lights, 2) a remote switch for the 3-way function, and 3) a Wireless Transceiver that plugs into the wall. All for less than $60 including shipping! This solution also supports lamp dimming, so you would need to replace the CFL with the type that work on a dimmer. Not sure how much set-up is required; I suspect these systems are designed for more complicated applications; multiple switch locations, occupancy sensors, etc.

    -Don


  14. #14
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    Default Re: Looking for CFL Wireless Switch Solution.

    Quote Originally Posted by Don Stanley View Post
    X10 looks like it may offer a solution. The system consists of 3 modules: 1) a wall switch to control the lights, 2) a remote switch for the 3-way function, and 3) a Wireless Transceiver that plugs into the wall. All for less than $60 including shipping!
    They say that with WIFI, you can control your lighting from half way round the world!
    But what about when you're on the other half?

    Anyway, sounds like that will work for the other end of the hall.


  15. #15
    Don Stanley's Avatar
    Don Stanley Guest

    Default Re: Looking for CFL Wireless Switch Solution.

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kogel View Post
    They say that with WIFI, you can control your lighting from half way round the world!
    But what about when you're on the other half?

    Anyway, sounds like that will work for the other end of the hall.
    This WIFI stuff creates a new set of problems, kind of like the old philosophical riddle "If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?" How would you know the light works when you turn it on?

    All we want is a simple 3-way, on/off switch; no batteries, no 2 year free replacement service plans, no programming,,,


  16. #16
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    Default Re: Looking for CFL Wireless Switch Solution.

    Don,

    Long drill bits are a good choice, I've used them often. You can get them at your local electrical wholesaler or at Home Depot etc. they're generally a 5/8" drill bit on the end of a 4 or 5' flexible 5/16" shank, usually cost between $40 or $50.

    Once you cut the new switch box opening at your desired location, you shove this long drill bit up (or down) the wall stud-space cavity and drill your new hole. Once through the upper plate, the drill bit has a small hole in the end where you can attach the end of your new 14/3 cable to pull back. Plan 'B' would be, if you have easy access or room above, just take a regular drill and drill down through the upper plate and just fish in a new cable.

    From the existing switch location, you may be able to locate the existing cable running down through the upper plate from the attic side. If this is also a 14/3 cable, you can either drill (very carefully) a new hole within that same stud-space to fish your new cable down to the existing switch -or- you may be able to run your new cable directly to the ceiling light box.

    If you're unsure about doing any of this, call a licensed electrician, it's a piece of cake provided you have easy access above or below the the wall space.

    Joe Klampfer RHI
    www.myinspection.ca
    Pacific Home Inspections

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Looking for CFL Wireless Switch Solution.

    How would you know the light works when you turn it on?
    That's what the Insteon is for, it keeps sending the signal until the switch takes it. You could also set up a camera to see if it is turned on from across the world..........

    Mike Schulz License 393
    Affordable Home Inspections
    www.houseinspections.com

  18. #18
    msb113's Avatar
    msb113 Guest

    Default Re: Looking for CFL Wireless Switch Solution.

    Hello... sorry so late for the post but this may help you and others down the road.. the wireless switch that you are using can indeed work with CFL's... Are you ready for the 5 second fix... well here it is... these switches use what is called leaked current to work thus the CFL's strobe effect... all you need to do is install one incandescent lamp in the circuit which will stop the current flow and your strobe effect is gone. you can install a very low wattage incandescent, even a screw in night light will do it.

    Hope you find this useful

    Mark


  19. #19
    Don Stanley's Avatar
    Don Stanley Guest

    Default Re: Looking for CFL Wireless Switch Solution.

    Quote Originally Posted by msb113 View Post
    Hello... sorry so late for the post but this may help you and others down the road.. the wireless switch that you are using can indeed work with CFL's... Are you ready for the 5 second fix... well here it is... these switches use what is called leaked current to work thus the CFL's strobe effect... all you need to do is install one incandescent lamp in the circuit which will stop the current flow and your strobe effect is gone. you can install a very low wattage incandescent, even a screw in night light will do it.

    Hope you find this useful

    Mark

    Thanks Mark. I wondered if that might work! Especially considering that I have already replaced one of the four CFL's with an incandescent; to offset the slow CFL turn-on.

    -Don


  20. #20
    Don Stanley's Avatar
    Don Stanley Guest

    Default Re: Looking for CFL Wireless Switch Solution.

    Quote Originally Posted by Don Stanley View Post
    Hello Everyone. Not sure if this is the right forum for my question, but hoping to find some comments and suggestions.

    We recently purchase a new home. The problem is the single-pole light switch for the kitchen is not in a good location - at the end of the entrance hallway to the family room.

    I obtained an electrical permit to do upgrades for my garage & miscellaneous changes, thinking it would be an easy task to add a dead-end 3-way switch. However, now that I've had a closer look, this little task would mean a lot of drywall repair. I come to this conclusion after looking at an identical house under construction, with rough wiring installed without drywall. Going up and over appears to be very difficult due to thick headers, and attic insulation! A more direct route would be to pass through 3-4 wall studs into wall under kitchen cabinets.

    An easier solution might be to add a wireless remote switch! I tried this approach about 10 years ago, and was not satisfied with the function and quality of the product! Checking the local big-box stores and Amazon, I have not been able to find anything that looks much different.

    The kitchen lights consist of four recessed fixtures with 65W CFL's (compact fluorescent fixtures). There does not appear to be any Green economical wireless switches available (rated for CFL's). The only cost effective solution I see at this time is to use incandescent bulbs and a Leviton 602-6696 W Switch Kit.

    Amazon.com: Leviton 602-6696-W Switch Kit: Home Improvement

    Any thoughts and comments will be appreciated.

    -Don

    It's been about 8 months since my original post (above) and I thought it would be appropriate to let everyone know about my progress. The challenge was to great! I decided the best solution was to wire in a 3-way switch.

    I removed the original single-pole switch and box. Using a small light and mirror, I was able to look inside the wall; the first obstacle was a fire-block halfway up the wall, but luck was with me - the electrician bore two holes and only used one! Although I had to cut out a piece of drywall, it was not necessary to bore a hole. This was really my lucky day - there was also a spare hole in the header at the top of the wall (the planter shelf). I cut a box size hole in the planter shelf for access to the spare header hole and used a fish tape to pull the new wire from the attic under the plant shelf to the header hole. The rest of the job was simple attic work to reach the dinning room switch.

    In summary, this project was a lot of work to add a simple 3-way switch, but worth the effort!

    -Don


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