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#51981 - 05/16/05 10:57 PM photo cell staying on  
eswets  Offline
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 55
Lansing, IL, USA
Installed a new post light last week, and could not get the lights to turn off. Replaced photo cell three times. Voltage was correct and line and load was correct. Finally found the problem. Any guesses to what happened.

Work Gear for Electricians and the Trades

#51982 - 05/17/05 12:04 AM Re: photo cell staying on  
Gregtaylor  Offline
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 212
Boise, Idaho, USA
The sun never rose that day? What?!

#51983 - 05/17/05 06:02 AM Re: photo cell staying on  
Scott35  Offline

Broom Pusher and
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 2,707
Anaheim, CA. USA

Installed a new post light last week, and could not get the lights to turn off. Replaced photo cell three times. Voltage was correct and line and load was correct. Finally found the problem. Any guesses to what happened?

Here are some guesses:


[*] Did not turn off Power before Connecting Photocell (AKA - Wired it "Hot"),

[*] Did not have the "Light Limiter" slider up far enough (the metallic gizmo which slides over the PC's lens),

[*] Forgot to remove the "Tape" from the Lens after testing it - or (see #4)

[*] Did not remove the protective covering from the lens - if used,

[*] Bad, or non-existent "Neutral" connection to "Common Wire" of Photocell,

[*] Load Current exceeded the max. ratings of the Photocell, forcing it into an Arced closed situation,

[*] Left it in the "Test" mode, or some slider switch setting which relates to motion / light levels, or switch overide,

[*] Photocell was getting hit from something while in operation - like a Tree's Branches blowing in the wind were hitting the Photocell,

[*] Photocell was designed to turn loads "off" when dark, or something in this realm,

[*] Photocell was marked incorrectly - like intended to be used in conjunction with another component, or it was really a motion sensing - "off" or "on" device, or Line/Load incorrectly marked (grasping at straws here)

[*] Lighting Fixture(s) Posessed by a Demon, and Demon has no tolerance for Photo Controlled Apparatii.

Any of these come close?


Scott " 35 " Thompson
Just Say NO To Green Eggs And Ham!

#51984 - 05/17/05 08:10 AM Re: photo cell staying on  
Dnkldorf  Offline
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 1,064
nowhere usa
I had a bitch of a time with photocells a little while back on street lights, had the right voltage, but the buggers wouldn't work when plugged in.

Problem: nuetral tap 3 poles down dropping the nuetral out, when a load was applied.


#51985 - 05/17/05 11:38 AM Re: photo cell staying on  
gfretwell  Offline

Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,099
How long are you waiting? The photocells I have will start out "on" and it takes a few minutes before it finally figures out the sun is up. It also seems to take full sun to turn it off.

Greg Fretwell

#51986 - 05/17/05 11:49 AM Re: photo cell staying on  
NJwirenut  Offline
Joined: Sep 2001
Posts: 806
Bergen County, NJ
Some PC controls have a jumper wire to select operating mode, as well. By cutting or not cutting the wire, you select "Dark=Load OFF" or "Dark=Load ON"

#51987 - 05/17/05 07:11 PM Re: photo cell staying on  
e57  Offline
Joined: May 2003
Posts: 2,876
The piece of black tape you left over the "eye"?

Mark Heller
"Well - I oughta....." -Jackie Gleason

#51988 - 05/17/05 08:02 PM Re: photo cell staying on  
frenchelectrican  Offline
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 939
Wi/ Paris France { France for ...
other possibtly is the photo cell socket bypassing the photocell circuit

or other possiblty is the photocell is line up wrong way where the eyes is not getting correct light source

or other possiblty is the line - load bypassing the photoeye circuit

Pas de problme,il marche n'est-ce pas?"(No problem, it works doesn't it?)

#51989 - 05/17/05 08:28 PM Re: photo cell staying on  
Sparks30  Offline
Joined: Mar 2002
Posts: 125
Does the post light have a ballast? If so did you conect the photo cell to the socket to photo cell. Had an apperntice do that once. Would not shut off.

#51990 - 05/17/05 08:33 PM Re: photo cell staying on  
NJ Wireman  Offline
Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 186
New Jersey (South Jersey)
Light is shinning to close to photocell causing it to think its sun. this has happened to me.

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