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Am I able to turn outside light fixture into an "auto" light

Am I able to turn outside light fixture into an "auto" light


Old 10-08-06, 06:42 PM
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Am I able to turn outside light fixture into an "auto" light

Is it possible to turn my outside front porch lights into automatic lights that would come on a dusk and go off at dawn. The lights out there now were pretty expensive so if I have to replace them I would just stick with the ol' manual turn them on a night and off in the morning. Just wondering if they have a device that I can install on my existing lights that would allow them to turn on and off automatically.
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Old 10-08-06, 06:48 PM
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There are dusk to dawn adapters available that screw into sockets.
Old 10-08-06, 06:50 PM
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in addition to twelvepoles suggestion, many pole lights have a photocell mounted in the side of the pole and put in circuit with the light.

A photocell can be placed anywhere it will fit.
Old 10-08-06, 06:56 PM
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To have lights turn on at dusk and off at dawn requires a sensor. The sensor controls the light based on the amount of lights hitting the sensor. There are types that screw in like a light bulb, and the light bulb then crews into them.

They work fairly well for lights that are out in the open with clear glass, but not so well for lights that are hidden behind glass that is not plain, or for lights that are perhaps under a porch roof where the daylight doesn't easily reach them.

They also add an inch or so to the height of the bulb, so they can be difficult or impossible to use in certain fixtures.

They are, however, inexpensive. You can try one to see if they work, and if they don;t you aren't out a lot of money. ANd sinde they install like a light bulb, they don't take an electrian to install.

There are also sensors that can be installed elsewhere. These work better because they can be installed in the right spot, avoiding the shadows. However, these require rewiring in most cases.

A better alternative might be a timer switch. You can buy battery operated timers that install in place of the switch. They can be used just like a regular switch, but they also can be programmed to turn on and off several times a day, and in some cases even different schedules based on the day of the week. These, however, can be tricky to install as they are fairly good sized.
Old 10-08-06, 10:04 PM
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Twelvepoles suggestion is the easiest if the lights can pick up the sun. Racraft's timer suggestion is also good. I use one which does not use batteries, so I don't have to worry about them going dead. Two downsides. First a power failure requires resetting, and second, battery or not, you have to reset the on / off times seasonally.
Old 10-09-06, 05:37 PM
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Thanks for the quick responses. I went out to HD today and bought a sensor that screws into the light socket and it goes on at dusk and then I can set it to go off from 1-12 hours after it goes on.
Old 10-30-06, 07:16 PM
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Well the outside light sensors didn't work too great. One of them broke after a couple of weeks. It just stayed on all the time. So I returned them and bought a timer that replaces the wall light switch. I have a 3 switch box and had no problems fitting the timer into the box. Didn't get the digital timer because didn't want to have to worry about batteries. Just the old fashioned hopefully reliable timer.

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