Switching a light at a top of a hill quandry.


Old 08-28-18, 03:37 PM
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Smile Switching a light at a top of a hill quandry.

I need some thoughts, ideas. I am rewiring a camp (cabin) that is at the bottom of a hill, at the top is a garage/parking area. It's in the woods in a remote spot in northern new york (night = real dark).

I need to be able to turn an outdoor light on from the camp (bottom of the hill) to illuminate the trail for the guests to go up to their cars. Then we'll turn the light off (don't want an always on security style light). The area actually frowns on "light pollution"

I have two options that I would appreciate some thoughts on:
1) Previously I ran a 50A service to the garage (about 75' underground, in conduit), and included pull wires. I have a light on the garage with a single pole switch that would fit the bill if I could turn it on from the camp. Currently, you can only switch it on from the garage. I could pull about 100' of 14/3 wire and switch to two 3 way switches as a solution. But, I would rather not if I could find a "remote control switch" preferably wired, where I would pull some low voltage wires from the camp to the garage. Is anyone aware of such a thing?

I also am concerned about switching the light on at the top of the hill and not realizing it's on all night (hill is behind the camp) so it would be good to have some indication in the camp that the load is on

2) Other solution. The previous owner wired a mercury vapor light on a tree at the top of the trail. Unfortunately, it is not switched, The wire is strung with a guy wire to the pole on the peak of the camp, and enters the panel through the same conduit as the power feed, directly to the breaker (i.e. not much wire length). I was thinking I could ad a box connected to the panel via a short rigid conduit, to feed the wires from the light into, and a switch from another box, then a wire back into the panel. This would eliminate having to mess with too much. Then I would just switch the light over to an "instant on LED style security light"

So, I am looking for some thoughts. Preferably something super easy that I haven't thought of.

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Old 08-29-18, 07:27 AM
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Super easy would be to install some solar-rechargeable security lights as pathway lighting--either low to the ground (if they will get sun during the day to recharge, or up on posts. These would turn on as one approaches on foot, then off a couple minutes after they pass. I've tried 2 types: One stays on dim all night and gets fully bright when you approach, the other type is off until you get near. I prefer the stay-off type since I'm also picky about "light pollution".

I can't say how long these devices last in the real world since they're new to me but a $0.98 solar light has been an "eternal flame" over our cat grave for 4 years without being touched.
Old 08-29-18, 08:58 AM
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thanks for the reply and the suggestion. Unfortunately, the camp is in the woods. Think pine and birch trees that are well over 100'. Nothing solar charges. But, you did give me an alternate thought, to wire low voltage path lights (with a power supply), and I could have them both day/night sensed and on a switch. That might be an easy solution as well. The soil is mostly sand so burial is not that hard.

Old 08-30-18, 05:34 AM
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Low voltage lights on a long run are tricky. You need to do calculations to figure out how heavy the wires need to be. For best results a system with a single power supply should have the power supply in the middle and/or very low wattage lights namely low intensity LEDs.
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