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Setting Up Outside Ornamental Lighting.

 

One of the things my wife likes to do when we are RV'ing is setting up exterior ornamental lighting. However, part of that challenge is I have to turn all the stuff on and off. At night, this means I have to go outside to do so. I solved this problem by building a lighting control box that allows me to turn the lights on and off via RF transmitter from inside the RV.

As well, I want to keep everything as waterproof as possible, and I found a few items that will keep everything dry.

 

I used a commercially available inexpensive RF transmitter/receiver that can to turn relays on and off, and employed it inside a waterproof box.

The box has 4 channels that can be independantly turned on and off. This allows a lot of flexibility in setting up ornamental lighting. As well, the range of the transmitter is up to 100ft, depending on whether or not you desire to add an external antenna.

But - you can buy a cheap product similar to this box that is already built, so why custom build such a box?

Several reasons really:

  • Longer transmitter range.
  • Multiple channels.
  • Expandible (think automation).
  • It's something you made yourself.

One of my goals is to add automation at a later date (Arduino, etc) so that I can have various sequence patterns for the lights. Of course, if you don't have such needs, then one of the ready-built remote switches should suffice.

 

I have to say though, there are several interesting products on the market that can perform the remote function, including a WiFi enabled switch (via Smartphone), and even one that responds to Amazon Alexa!

  

 

Still, these devices won't allow the independant control of 4 channels like one you can build. And if you want to go overboard, I mean really overboard - you can buy a remote relay switch that can control up to 16 channels.

The remote lighting box itself is a separate project and a detailed construction document is available by clicking on the document to the left. As well, there is a video dedicated to just building the remote box project.

The cost of building this box is a little more than the single channel ones you can buy... well, maybe not so much when you have to buy 4 of them if you want 4 channels of control. As well, they cannot be upgraded with automation.

So let your imagination run wild and think of ideas for your RV's lighting setup. The only real rule though is to not annoy your neighbors with incessant flashing of the lighting. And be courteous and turn the lighting off for the overnight hours.

 

When you are finished with the remote control system - whether you build or purchase one, you will want to put everything into a box to keep it watertight. I am using a product called SockiT, which is a nice waterproof box. They are available in several different sizes, and make a reasonably watertight environment that won't allow the connections to become wet due to rain - dew, and so on.

 


 


Setting up Ornamental Lighting Video.

 

          

 


 


SOCKiT Box.

 

 

           

 


 


Remote Lighting Switch Project Video.

 

             

 

Whenever possible, purchase electronc components on-line from electronics suppliers such as:

They are usually less expensive. Still, Amazon as well as eBay sometimes have attractive pricing, especially with Generic items - however, you don't always know what you are getting. And pay attention to the ship dates as you may be waiting 30-45 days for some items.