Photosensor Dimmer Question

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Old 11-28-09, 11:47 AM
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Photosensor Dimmer Question

I have two can lights in my front porch ceiling. I wanted to be able to have them automically come on at dark, so I went to Lowes and bought a photosensor.

I wired the photosensor in and everything works great. However, I also want to be able to have the light come on at a dimmer level so I then installed a dimmer switch into the circuit.

After installing the dimmer, i noticed that the light doesn't go out in the daylight UNLESS the dimmer is in the FULL ON position.

In other words it seems like my photosensor doesn't like have the dimmer connected. Why would this be?

Again, the whole system works perfectly unless I dim the switch. When i do, it kicks the lights on in the daytime.
 
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Old 11-28-09, 11:58 AM
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By installing the dimmer you are reducing the voltage to the photocell which is causing the unwanted effect. I would suspect when the input voltage drops to a point, that is when it closes the circuit and the lights come on. If you want the lights dimmer I suggest installing a lower wattage bulb.
 
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Old 11-28-09, 12:01 PM
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I was afraid of that. Guess I can use the dimmer elsewhere.
 
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Old 11-28-09, 12:20 PM
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Is it a 3 wire, white/red/black photocell? In that case you might run the photocell ahead of the dimmer to see what happens.

The photocell would get full line voltage, via the black/white leads, the dimmer would be fed full line voltage from the switched red lead.

The photocell "should" have a relay in it to switch the load so you may need to get one compatible with CFL's.
 
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Old 11-28-09, 12:51 PM
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Yes it is a red white black photosensor. I seem to recall the package said CFL compatible but not sure.

I am not certain i want to go to the trouble of trying to get it ahead of the switch, not even sure where to look to go with that.
 
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Old 11-28-09, 02:39 PM
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Old 11-28-09, 03:39 PM
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Yeah, that should work.

I think you still need to put the photocell before the dimmer in the circuit. The photocell needs line voltage and the CFL safe versions (what you have) will put that out to the dimmer Some other styles won't.
 
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Old 11-28-09, 03:45 PM
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one other option is a motion sensor with dual bright it dims with no motion and full bright with motion can be bought at most any hardware store . then remove the dimmer
 
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Old 11-28-09, 05:35 PM
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I can't find one of those online.
 
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Old 11-28-09, 09:13 PM
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Here one item it will click to mind and this is pretty popuar item but I am not sure if they still making this item but here the link

RAB Good NightLight Smart Box - 180 Watt 180&deg Detection - Outdoor Sensor - ProLighting.com


That have low setting during nitetime until someone walk up or detected a motion then the luminaire will go full brightness.

Merci,Marc
 
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Old 11-29-09, 07:34 AM
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try homedepot.com or lowes.com then go to electrical and search for motion sensors
 
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Old 11-30-09, 12:12 AM
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Could you not put the dimmer in after the photocell, and then put a switch between a hot and the live switched terminal on it?

Then you can turn it on and off at will, and you have a dimmer.
 
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Old 11-30-09, 12:23 AM
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Originally Posted by 07bloomfieldb View Post
Could you not put the dimmer in after the photocell, and then put a switch between a hot and the live switched terminal on it?

Then you can turn it on and off at will, and you have a dimmer.
I will use the slider dimmer switch type so you will know excat where you set it last.

I think I might come up a drawing how to get this working but I will post it later on the day

Merci,Marc
 
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