Is there a way to build in a outdoor photocell with timer for outdoor lights?

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  #1  
Old 10-19-05, 08:05 AM
CptanPanic
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Is there a way to build in a outdoor photocell with timer for outdoor lights?

I want to set my front outdoor lights to turn on at dusk and turn off a few hours later. I see a bunch of these units sold that has an outlet and a plug. But are there any that can be wired permanetly.
Thanks,
CP
 
  #2  
Old 10-19-05, 06:55 PM
C
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Originally Posted by CptanPanic
I want to set my front outdoor lights to turn on at dusk and turn off a few hours later. I see a bunch of these units sold that has an outlet and a plug. But are there any that can be wired permanetly.
Thanks,
CP
I've never seen one sold ready-made commercially, but they're easy to build. The setup is common in commercial buildings.

Buy a 24 hour timer in an outdoor enclosure. Install a photocell in one of the knockouts in the bottom of the enclosure. Install enclosure where it can "see" daylight. Alternately, you can install the timer inside and remotely locate the photocell outside.

Connect the hot lead from the electric panel to the terminal for the clock motor. Jump from there through the photocell to one of the switch terminals in the timer. Connect the other switch terminal to the light.

Set the timeclock to come "on" at about 3 PM. This will enable the photocell early, such that it will turn the light on when it gets dark. Set the "off" tripper on the time clock for whatever time you want the lights to turn off.

The more high tech way to do it ould be to install X-10 Powerhouse Active Home software on your computer, and hook your lights to an X-10 compatible switch. The software has programming in it such that it knows the times of sunrise and sunset at all times during the year. It's adjustable for location worldwide.

That's how I have it set up at my house.
 
  #3  
Old 10-20-05, 08:10 AM
C
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They also make programmable switches that replace a standard single pole switch. The one I used was a pain though, everytime the power went off you had to reprogram it. Whatever you use make sure you dont have to reprogram it after a power failure.
 
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Old 10-20-05, 08:25 AM
C
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I'd set up the lights with a normal D-D sensor. Then supply that with a timer set to turn on before dusk, and turn off like 10 or 11 PM. The timer will be installed in the house.
 
  #5  
Old 10-23-05, 07:21 PM
Z
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Anyone have any experience with the Intermatic indoor Wall Switch Timer, model EJ500? I just installed this but can't seem to get it to work correctly. I replaced one of my two original switches with this one. I programmed it according to the instructions but it won't automatically turn off/on the lights. I can manually use the timer switch to turn lights off/on but the second switch seems to have to be in a certain position to do so. Do I have to modify the second switch in any way for this to work correctly?

Thanks for any information
 
  #6  
Old 10-24-05, 11:03 PM
C
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Originally Posted by ZX1100
Anyone have any experience with the Intermatic indoor Wall Switch Timer, model EJ500? I just installed this but can't seem to get it to work correctly. I replaced one of my two original switches with this one. I programmed it according to the instructions but it won't automatically turn off/on the lights. I can manually use the timer switch to turn lights off/on but the second switch seems to have to be in a certain position to do so. Do I have to modify the second switch in any way for this to work correctly?

Thanks for any information
Are you replacing a three way switch? (three wires on the old switch). Is the new one a three way timer switch?

If you are replacing a three way, you will need either a three way timer switch or you will have to change the wiring in the second switch (and the second switch won't operate it any more).
 
  #7  
Old 10-25-05, 11:42 PM
Z
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Originally Posted by Cheyenps
Are you replacing a three way switch? (three wires on the old switch). Is the new one a three way timer switch?

If you are replacing a three way, you will need either a three way timer switch or you will have to change the wiring in the second switch (and the second switch won't operate it any more).
Looks like it's a three way switch I'm replacing and the timer switch is a three way also. It actually turned on the lights and turned off the lights one time but didn't do it again The second switch I didn't touch can still can power the lights on/off depending if the timer switch is in the 'On' position. It's most likely a programming error so I'll have to keep playing with it but I'm all ears for any other ideas
 
  #8  
Old 10-27-05, 12:30 PM
C
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Are you sure the timer is 3-way? I never heard of one.
 
  #9  
Old 10-29-05, 02:10 AM
Z
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I actually have one setting (total of 7) programed and working
 
 

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