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.

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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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