High Bay Sensor Wiring

When it comes to lighting, many people might think wiring a fixture is too involved for their level of experience. Just because you have never wired a fixture before, doesn’t mean you should be too intimated to try it out. It is actually a simple task. While there are wiring tasks that might be more advanced and should be done by a professional, a relatively easy task is high bay sensor wiring. Adding a sensor to your fixture is a great way to save money and energy while extending the life of the fixture. A sensor means the light will only be on when there are occupants or illumination is needed.

Here are a few basic steps to help you try high bay sensor wiring for yourself. These suggestions are made based on adding a high bay passive infrared occupancy sensor to a standard high bay fixture. You can use these guidelines for adding other types of sensors as well.

  • Open the fixture by removing the screws and locate your existing wires on the fixture.
  • Find your leads and disconnect the power from the quick disconnect.
  • Pop open the sides of the fixture to get better access to your wiring system.
  • If you are working with a three-wire layout, as most fixtures tend to operate on, you need to remember that two wires need to be set up as two power wires and one load wire to get it to work properly without overpowering your system.
  • Most wires are sold in lengths that are extra-long just in case. Trim your wires to be slightly more than what you need. A good rule of thumb for most fixture wiring jobs is to cut it down by about two feet.
  • Use three different color wires since you are working a three-wire layout. This will help you keep the three components of neutral, ground, and power wires.
  • Strip your wires. You want to strip the leads about an inch or so for the best results.
  • Fish the wires through the fixture through wherever the wiring components are in your particular fixture.
  • Connect your power leads. Remember, one wire for load bearing, and two for power bearing.
  • Connect your sensor wires and fixture wires in accordance with the setup you have chosen. For example, make sure your power wires on the fixture are connected to the power wires in the sensors and not the load bearing.
  • Connect it to the switch leg and lamps.
  • Trim down any extra wiring.

Of course, when it comes to something that seems as involved as wiring a fixture, it is always great to have a visual representation of the steps to follow. Here is a great video walking you through it in more details step by step.

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Video Transcription

Hi, this is James Abraham with Warehouse Lighting. I’m actually going to show you how to add a motion sensor to a lighting fixture. This one happens to be a high bay. I got the camera kind of close on the fixture so you can pretty much just watch my hands. I’ll try to explain it as best as I can. If you have questions, please contact us call or email or you can always get a hold of me at James at warehouse hyphen lighting dot com. We’re going to be putting in a Leviton high bay fixture and that would be part number OSFHU-ITW. It’s a high bay passive infrared occupancy sensor. This one goes on most of our fixtures. We do have a watt stopper, too, but just to give you an idea if you weren’t able to order the fixture with your occupancy sensor, we do have them available that you could just add them to it.

So, we’re first going to start by opening up the fixture. On this one it happens to be two screws. This is one of our HT T5’s. Then what you’re going to do, you’re going to look for your wires coming off of this ballast. It’s an OZ ram, just to give you an idea, it’s got what’s considered a switch leg in it, so it’s got basically two leads coming off the ballast that are controlling two sides of the lamp. So, you can actually separate the fixture from doing two and two so two lamps are two lamps. You can keep on or off a couple different ways that you can wire this fixture is, you can just actually if you wanted to leave two of the lamps on all the time, you could leave a hot to those and then you could you know just actually the sensor itself switch between the two, the other two. So, what we’re going to do is, we’re going to remove this from the quick disconnect, and now we’ve got the two power leads that come off the ballast there. We’re going to pop an opening at this side of the fixture using a screwdriver or whatever you need to use for that. We’ve already pulled off the nut on the fixture or on the sensor itself. You know, a lot of the times, I’ll just cut the extra wire off of this because we don’t really need all of it, and it just seems to get in the way. I’ll cut it about a foot and a half off or two feet then I’ll strip the leads, pull them the rest of the way off. We’re going to fish the wires through the fixture of whatever end or center or wherever you need to wire that fixture and as you notice on here you’ve got this is your switch right here that actually you’re going to connect your power leads to. It’s the red one off of this particular sensor. This is the power that’s going to go to the quick disconnect and the white is also going to go to the quick disconnect with whatever white is rolling off the ballast. So, what I’m going to do is I’m going to fish the wires through one end without a struggle, push it all the way, then I’m going to take the screw that we pulled off of the sensor. We have fished that over the wires. Tighten it down, usually a hand tighten is really all you need. If you wish to tighten it more, you can also get an arm that extends it out from the fixture a little bit, so you don’t have to worry about the fixture inhibiting the sensor at all.

So, from here you still have your quick disconnect, you still got a black lead off of it, and you still got a white lead off of it. What I always do in cases like this is the black lead off of this particular one is going to go into the quick disconnect for this fixture. So, now what we got to do is we got to hook up the switch. So, this is going to act like if you had a switch in the wall and you’re going to wire it to the two whites called the switch leg and the other power which controls two lamps and two lamps and you can have this whichever way you want to. You’re going to take it and wire it to the red lead coming off the sensor. Sometimes there’s a little extra wire. I’m just going to clean up the ends. So, you got the red going to the power coming off the ballast do that with a wire nut seeded down as much as possible, plug it into the fixture, fish your wires through. So, now you’ve got your neutral, you’ve got your positive, and your negative coming off of the ballasts and now you’re all set up to, oh I’m sorry one more thing, you’ve got to take your white coming off the sensors and you got to connect it to the other white or the neutral and now you got your ground, you got your white coming off the ballast, you’ve got your neutral coming off the sensor itself and you’ve got the black rolling off the sensor and you’ve got the red hooked up to the switch leg on this one and the power coming off the ballast. So, now you’re all hooked up ready to wire up the fixture. I’m going to close this one up. We’re going to tighten it down. It’s really as easy as that. It only takes you about less than five minutes to hook it up if you’re trying to speed through it. There’s other lenses. We got to toss the lenses in on the fixture so when you get it you’ll be able to wire it right up or you can change it to be an aisle way sensor or whatever you want to block it out as. If you have any questions, feel free to call Warehouse-Lighting.com. We’re here to help. So, thanks a lot and have a great day.