Outdoor light goes on/off when it SHOULDN'T

acehSeptember 29, 2007

Had the house rewired due to Hurricane Katrina. The electrician replaced an outdoor light under a carport which is a permanent part of the house structure shared by a common roof. The light is a photocell dusk/dawn type light. The light will say on for about 3 minutes the go off and immediately come back on. It will keep doing this. He tried another similar type light and it did the same thing. Could this be a symptom of a bigger electrical proglem?

P.S. Prior to Hurricane Katrian and the house rewiring job, the previous light did not have this problem it worked fine.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I believe the photo cell is picking up reflected light from
the bulbs and is tricked into turning off. The simplest test
for this is to simply reposition either (or both) the lights or
sensors till it corrects the problem.


    Bookmark   September 29, 2007 at 8:43AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Or put a piece of black tape over the photocell window to see if it stays on continuously.
Then you'll know if something is reflecting the light back into that photocell and need to deal with that.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2007 at 9:59AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


I did the black electrical tape test and the light stays on as it should. I decided to purchase a motion sensor light which is what I wanted there in the first place.

Thanks for all the replys.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2007 at 11:26AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The trick is to seperate the photocell and the light. Units can be bought where the photocell is mounted remotely from the light so reflection is not a problem. I've used two of these in our previous house and have one in the garage at this time.

We never turn a light on in the garage, if it is dark it comes on automatically when you enter the garage. Also turns off after a few minutes 'cause the teens never learn to turn them off.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2007 at 4:21PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

As you guys mentioned, it was a simple matter of positioning the photocell in a certain way. The light is now working correctly.

Still going to replace it with a Motion Sensor Light.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2007 at 11:13PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

If you replace it, get a motion sensor light that also has a photo cell. Otherwise, it will come on during the day too.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2007 at 11:24AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have the same problem with my photo cell going on and off and it is no where near the lights that it is turning. It doesnt have a cover over it, would that make a different?

    Bookmark   March 2, 2009 at 12:15PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Please Critique Low-Volt (Home Automation) Plan/Proposal
GW/Houzz Community, As always, I want to thank this...
Andrew K.
Replacing fan speed dial back to standard toggle?
I am removing a ceiling fan and replacing it with a...
Need help Replacing old dimmer that used only 2 wires in a three way
I need advice as to which wire to connect to which...
new wiring project
I have a water damaged room I will soon be renovating....
Multiple Fluorescent Ballasts in one light fixture
Hello GardenWeb. I'm not new here, but couldn't log...
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™