dawn to dusk yard light

mooieNovember 29, 2008

There is a 'dawn to dusk' yard light in front of the house that I just moved into. Not only does it annoy the heck out of me by it's brightness at night, it doesn't seem to ever shut off. The previous owners hardwired it to a box in the garage. I've been watching it since this morning to see if it does shut off and it was still on, long after it was bright and sunny. I can't figure out how to get into the sensor and if worse comes to worse, I may just unwire it at the box. Any ideas? Thanks!


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The sensor could be on the top of the lamp fixture and birds have been sitting there. We had a lamp like that, never shut off 'cause of the dirt on top.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2008 at 3:44PM
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Or perhaps they bypassed the sensor.

If it's too bright at night, replace the bulbs with lower wattage ones.

These units are relatively inexpensive, so you might just replace it. You can get ones that dim except when they detect motion. And stay off in the day.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2008 at 4:45PM
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You can clean the sensor if it is dirty and if that does not help then replace the sensor. They are only a few bucks at most hardware stores. Is the shade that directs the light down still in place? Also check the orientation of the sensor, it has to be pointing at the sun to work properly. Or you can disconnect it totally, just remember that your house is probably going to be the darkest one around and thieves, vandels, etc. prefer darkness.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2008 at 5:22PM
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Also check the orientation of the sensor, it has to be pointing at the sun to work properly

Actually, if possible it is preferred that a photo eye point away from the sun (north) in most cases. Most will state this in the directions. Obviously, if the eye will be pointing at a wall lighted by the fixture, into headlights on a road, or a streetlight, you need to make adjustments.

Personally, I operate yard lights from a photo eye mounted on the house, usually mounted under the roof overhang somewhere and encourage my customers to do the same.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2008 at 6:41PM
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I've checked the photo eye on it and checked this and that, and have come to the conclusion that it's very possible that the PO did bypass the sensor.

I believe I will just disconnect the thing at the house. Maybe next spring I will take it down and replace it with something better or just go with landscape lighting along the sidewalk. There are plenty of other street lights etc, in the immediate area to keep my yard comfortably lit in the meantime.


    Bookmark   December 2, 2008 at 6:37AM
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I have an outside streetlight that I wired a photo eye on the pole. I wired a dimmer at the switch in the house and although the dimmer works, it appears to override the photo eye as the light is on all day. How do I wire the dimmer so that it does not affect the photo eye?


    Bookmark   June 25, 2010 at 11:34PM
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Most likely you'll have to put the photo sensor ahead of the dimmer. You could lay new wire for the pole to provide a dimmer loop, but it's much easier to abandon the existing photo sensor and use one in an outdoor box mounted on the outside of the house. You could certainly use Uncle Bill's suggested location. I have mine mounted low on the north-facing wall - easier to wire in my situation - and it works fine.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2010 at 3:53PM
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