my photoelectric swith is not shutting light off at dawn. What is wrong?

    0  Views: 272 Answers: 1 Posted: 9 years ago

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    Dusk-til-dawn flood lights may have any of a variety of configurations and features that could be involved in a failure. The simplest involve a fixture with photo sensor that interrupts (switches) power to thefloodlight lamp holders when daylight is present. Other ‘enhancements’ such as outdoor motion sensing (aka ‘electronic eye’) flood lights and dual brightness level settings may come at the cost of increased susceptibility to weather, mechanical and electronic failures (usually due to temperature extremes or elsevoltage surges from nearby lightning strikes, damaging circuitry inside the sensor assembly). Where possible, consider use of an astronomically-self-calibrating timer, rather than sensor-based controls for outdoor lights. If photo-sensing, and especially motion-sensing, are critical or cheaper due to the wiring configuration of your fixture(s), then consider a whole-house surge suppressor to protect their sensitive electronic components along with those of consumer electronics and newer appliances inside the home.

    A timer may be the culprit if your outdoor lights don’t seem to operate correctly in Spring or Fall: daylight savings time, your own pattern of being outdoors vs. indoors, and changing daylight hours could individually or cumulatively amount to the timer being out of sync with your lighting needs. The most common timer for exterior lighting is a 9″ x 5″ mechanical clock with set-screw timing points that trip a mechanical switch on and off. The Intermatic T101R has been a go-to classic for decades, but may be effectively replaced today by the astronomically auto-adjusting digital version for location in utility areas, or a more elegant wall switch timer that you can locate for convenient manual override to turn your floodlights on/off when the timer would otherwise prevail.


    Photo sensors may take anywhere from 10-120 seconds to respond to continuous illumination (turning off), and a similar duration of darkness before turning on. This tends to minimize flickering and contactor fatigue from responding prematurely to marginal conditions, such as at dusk and/or with passing cloud cover when light levels are already low (such as when the sensor is in a shaded location).

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