Dusk to Dawn Light Control

Old 11-23-03, 08:27 PM
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Question Dusk to Dawn Light Control

I am hoping I could get some suggestions and comments regarding some outdoor lights. The lights I will mention are being used on the left and right side of my front door. We originally hoped for motion sensors so they would come on when anyone approached the door. However, after doing some research we found those were difficult at best to find.

Instead we settled for a fixture from Home Depot and purchased 2 screw in light controls that turn the bulb on at dusk and shut off at dawn. Here is my issue.

The concept behind these is great and they do work. The problem is they are not all they say. For whatever reason they reduce the light output by 20-25%. Why I have NO IDEA. The company wants you to believe it's to help extend the life of the bulbs and increase energy saving.

Does anyone know if there are any other options than the ones available trough Home Depot? Are there any that DO NOT reduce light output? If I put a 100w bulb in I want a 100w of light. These are very convenient in that they simply screw into the socket and I like dusk/dawn feature I just hate having such dimmed front door lights. By the way I am already using the max bulb allowed by the fixture.

Any other options or suggestions?

Old 11-23-03, 08:43 PM
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Go to a 'real' electrical supply house

The DEPOT carries middle of the road stuff and shoots for the mass market.

A good electrical supply house should be able to help you.

I am running my system via X-10 home automation but it required me to buy a X-10 on/off switch and a computer controller to run the on/off program. It updates it's time so it 'knows' when dusk/dawn is and does not rely on a photocell.

I run the whole house via X-10 so it made sense for me.

Check the yellow pages for a reputable supply house & return those things to the DEPOT!
Old 11-24-03, 10:31 PM
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It is possible that some light from the bulb is being reflected back into the photocell. This fools the cell into thinking there is still some light outside, and only brings the light up to a certain level. I say this because most of these screw-in photocells do not simply turn ON or OFF, they tend to ramp up from off to full brightness depending on the ambient light.
Try to orient the eye so NO light from the bulbs (or the side of the house) shines into the eye.
Old 11-25-03, 09:42 AM
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You can test Andrew's theory by covering the eye with some black tape and see if it gets any brighter.

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