Electrical Wiring in the Home/Wireless wall light switch


Hi. Sorry this isn't a "stumper" question, and hopefully it doesn't fall into the category of design. It is probably really simple for someone in the field.

Short version: We're going to redo a door into a room such that the door, when open, will block the existing light switch. I am trying to research ways to fix that situation (before the door is moved) and can't seem to pin down a good solution, so I'm hoping for a recommendation from you.

An occupancy sensor switch would be really ideal, but obviously it will be blocked by the door and will turn the lights off despite the room being occupied.  

So far, I have three possibilities:
1) A wireless occupancy sensor and compatible replacement switch (sensor would mount on ceiling or wall and control the replacement switch -- which would be where the current switch is -- via RF)

2) A wireless "switch". I haven't yet had much luck tracking this down, but I'd have sworn I saw it not too long ago. Basically, it's a wireless switch wall-mounted in a good location which controls a replacement light switch wirelessly (like the occupancy sensor, but it's manual)

3) Turn the existing light switch into a 3-way. The switch is located such that making it a 3-way and connecting it to a new 3-way (mounted just OUTSIDE the room) is relatively easy. Obviously a switch outside the room isn't "normal", but it's OK in this case.

As you can probably tell, we really want to avoid MOVING the existing switch (and the ensuing wall repair) if at all possible.

So, hopefully I haven't violated your no-design-help rule and you have a recommendation or 2 for me (including specific brands/products).

Thanks for your time!


Robert Wilber
Licensed Philadelphia Electrician
Philadelphia License # 3516 - 16765
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I looked at the wireless wall switch on line. They were available from adhocelectronics.com. Interesting, but the ones I saw needed a neutral as well as a hot and switched wire, so that would limit their use. If it is a ceiling light, maybe you could install the module at the light?

There are Z-wave switches which also need a neutral, but I understand can be addressed and controlled from your smart-phone.

You didn't mention whether this was to control a ceiling light or receptacle. I also saw some wireless devices to control a receptacle, but didn't note where.

As far as a three-way goes, you could extend from the existing location to a single pole outside the room and just blank the old box off. If you are going to do that, then why not spin the box around and patch the wall? That would be my choice. I tend to avoid installations that rely on extensions with non-functional, semi-abandoned enclosures.  
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Robert Wilber


Licensed Philadelphia electrician serving Delaware, Chester, Montgomery and Philadelphia County in Pennsylvania. I install and repair residential, commercial and industrial wiring and lighting. Troubleshooting and repair of problems that stump other people is my favorite. I am willing to help people figure out why things don`t work. I understand motor controls, transformers and machine wiring. I do not teach basics to novices or do free design work.


Experience in the area I have 44 years experience in residential, commercial and industrial electrical construction and repair, 480 volts and below. This is not to be confused with one week repeated two thousand times.

44 years experience in residential, commercial and industrial electrical construction and repair

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