Daylight sensor?


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Old 07-08-17, 12:50 AM
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Daylight sensor?

Does anyone know if you can get just a daylight sensor that can be wired in to an existing exterior coach light? I have 2 older fixtures like this....Name:  98618f3d-6583-4e92-be7d-ba2e387735a0_1000.jpg
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They used to be gawdawful ugly corroded cheap brass, but I cleaned them up and painted them with a hammered black and they look great now.

Problem is, we almost invariably forget to turn them off in the morning and on if we leave the house before sunset. The only switch is by the front door for some reason and we very rarely exit/enter that way.

The type I'm looking for is what used to be available before every fixture seemed to have every function imaginable, incl telling you when the lawn needed mowing. Oh, here's what I mean...the little round sensor on the top of the mounting. Name:  1e03e4f0-5490-4c4d-be31-4c838a63ee65_1000.jpg
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Unfortunately my back plate isn't very deep. Everything I find has the sensor attached to a molded box which I presume holds some basic electronics. Either that or they are in a separate enclosure completely which I think might look pretty tacky. If I had to, I could probably cut a hole and mount it set in the stucco with an unobtrusive coverplate.

I'm pretty sure I only need one because there are 4 wires in one box and 2 in the other. It's just that I can't find them for less than about $12 and even those don't mention if they'll work with LED's. Heck, I could buy a fixture at WM, scavenge the part I need, and still have a working fixture to give to my neighbor who broke his.

I could use the LED lamps with a sensor built in, but they don't come in the wattage or tempurature I want.
 
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Old 07-08-17, 05:01 AM
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If they are on the same switch leg you could install a timer switch to turn the lights on and off when you want. The are fairly easy to install and electronic ones will adjust for changes in daylight based on your location. Example: Honeywell 7-Day/Solar Prog. Timer for Lights and Motors-RPLS740B1008/U - The Home Depot

Otherwise something like this might fit inside the canopy of the fixtures: https://www.lowes.com/pd/Woods-Hard-...b0thoCESnw_wcB Just be sure not to mount them on the top.

Here is another option, appears to be only 3/4" wide: http://www.greenelectricalsupply.com...l-sensors.aspx
 
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Old 07-08-17, 06:27 AM
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Assuming on the same switch leg you may be able to install a switch type single gang box outside to mount the one of the photocells Tolyn posted. You could mount it outside over the same stud bay as the switch. Setting the box flush with the outside wall would make it less obtrusive and a blank cover plate drilled for the photocell (or with " knockout). Only problem may be finding a position so it is shielded from the light. That might not be over the switch stud bay. Might have to use something like this. https://www.1000bulbs.com/category/l...nt-photocells/
 
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Old 07-08-17, 12:35 PM
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Just be sure not to mount them on the top.
I know you put a smiley, but I don't get what you meant? I do like that second option for a sensor, the 3/4" and rounded edges might do the trick. Can't use a timer really, the switch is in the middle of a 3 gang box and since they used all 12ga wire here, it's pretty tight already.


Yeah Ray, I think that's what I may wind up doing, only not above the switch, but above the first fixture. The switch is on a West wall and the lights are on the South wall of the protruding garage. I'd also have to fight with insulation and the already full gang box I mentioned above to tie it in to the switch. Pretty sure the bay where the light is is un-insulated. I'll probably have to put some sort of sunshade under it. I'll check the light pattern tonight.

I can throw some stucco repair mix at the cover plate and paint it to match the wall pretty easy, then it will just be a little black dot.

This is still more than I really wanted to do. I was hoping to just drill a hole, mount it, wire it, use it.
 
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Old 07-08-17, 06:22 PM
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I know you put a smiley, but I don't get what you meant?
I meant don't mount the button photocell so it is facing up. It will get water in it and cause it to fail. I know that is common sense, but I just wanted to mention it.

This is still more than I really wanted to do. I was hoping to just drill a hole, mount it, wire it, use it
The button cell I posted should work for you then. You should only need on as I assume the lights are daisy chained.

Can't use a timer really, the switch is in the middle of a 3 gang box and since they used all 12ga wire here, it's pretty tight already.
The timer switch is not much bigger then a GFCI. A 3 gang box should have enough room for it and you can move the switch to one side of the box or the other and use a GFCI/switch/switch plate.
 
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Old 07-08-17, 09:36 PM
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I'll tell ya, it was actually easier than I thought, once I went shopping. About $10 (with my discount) for a "mini" photocell, similar to the one TI first linked only it has one of the edges sloped down like your second link, which was a big help. Not on HD website of course, well, not that I found before. I wound up fitting it in the horizontal arm that actually holds the lamp away from the wall...yes, pointing down...lol..and slightly out. Eliminates any chance of it being triggered by the lamp or a reflection off the wall and no issue with moisture. I put the nut on and adjusted how much it stuck out, then used hot glue all around the rest of the threaded portion and slightly on the body (inside the arm of course) to hold it in place.

And just for grins, I looked inside the switch box. No way in he11 would I have got a timer in there and felt good about it. Plus I would have had to buy a new faceplate (do they even make toggle-toggle-decora type?) that would probably have cost more than the sensor all by itself.

Anyway, it's in, it's working. So $10 and maybe 45min. Woulda been less but it was dark and the neighbors drunk electrician friend wandered over to see if he could "help". Don't ya just love that?
 
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Old 07-08-17, 10:35 PM
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Well done!

the neighbors drunk electrician friend wandered over to see if he could "help"
I think he has already helped some of the posters here.
 
 

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