Home>Discussions>ELECTRICAL & LIGHTING>Light Sensor, on outdoor light?
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Light Sensor, on outdoor light?

Hey guys,

The side of my house is totally visible to the cul-de-sac in my neighborhood. I have a side door to my garage that's visible there with a light fixture which I typically leave on. It illuminates the street and helps add an extra bit of safety to the cul-de-sac. Although I've got a compact flourescent in there, I would prefer to not leave the light on 24/7. Ideally, I would like to have a light sensor which turns it on only when it gets dark, and turns it off when it gets light.

Do they sell anything like this that I can incorporate into my existing wiring? Everything I see seems to be built into a light fixture, but I prefer to use the one I have.


Re: Light Sensor, on outdoor light?

This is the simple way to have a dusk till dawn automatic control.

Or this type of hard wired system.

Or you can install this programmable unit in place of the switch.

Timothy Miller
Re: Light Sensor, on outdoor light?

Howdy, you can replace the light fixture with a fixture with a built in photo cell. So the light is only on at night. In the other reply the screw in socket tends to dim the light dramatically.
On our light that i simply drilled the 3/8 or 1/2" hole in the fixture and installed a photo cell that is hardly noticable
The little cartilage and couple wires sits inside the fixture . The advantage it let me pick which side of the fixture to install the cell so i could position it for best sun exposure.

A. Spruce
Re: Light Sensor, on outdoor light?

I hate to say it, but it will be cheaper in the long run to just replace the fixture with one that has the sensor in it. The added benefit is that you can also get one with motion sensor, which means the light can be set for either "dusk to dawn" for constant light or on motion sensor so that it's only on when something sets it off. Another benefit is that since the light is visible from the street, you can install a more decorative fixture. :cool:

Re: Light Sensor, on outdoor light?

I have to agree with replacing the fixture, as I went through the same process, and it ended up being cheaper and easier to just buy a new fixture with the sensor built in.


Re: Light Sensor, on outdoor light?
canuk wrote:

Or this type of hard wired system.

Thanks Canuk, I found the site by copying the URL and doing a search for the model of this item based off the file name.

I just ordered it. $20 bucks. I know exactly where to mount it!


Moon Over My Hammy
Re: Light Sensor, on outdoor light?

A lot of the compact fluorescents rated for outdoor use say on the literature that they cannot be used on a timer or photocell. You may have to seek out a different CFL to use in your fixture if you add a photo eye or a timer to the switched light circuit.
Have you seen the new LED replacements? They're neat.

Re: Light Sensor, on outdoor light?

Todd ... you're welcome and good luck.:)

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