Photocontrol questions

Old 04-02-21, 04:27 PM
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Photocontrol questions

We have one wall in the yard along which there are perhaps 10 or so outdoor lights stuck into the ground.
The lights (which I normally have turned off at the breaker) CAN be controlled by an already installed photocontrol device similar to this one (which works great).

This device is installed at the beginning of the series of outdoor lights.

Question #1 : (and probably a stupid question) - does a device such as this HAVE TO BE installed at the beginning of the series of lights ? We have a just finished a 15' tall wall which has perhaps 8 accent lights. I had the foresight to build a wire into the wall for a bright light (to light up the backyard) which will sit on top of the new wall. BUT - that spot would be in the middle of the 8 accent lights.

Question #2 : (hopefully less stupid) - Is there a way to trace an electric wire in a stone wall without opening up the wall ? Kind of like the way they have device which can find the studs behind sheetrock... Given the scenario in question #1 - If I went to the first accent light in the series, is there a way to trace back the source of the power ? (Kind of an electrical divining rod).

Old 04-02-21, 05:07 PM
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A non contact voltage testing pen will/should sound if a wire is energized and should be able to sense it if the wire isn't buried too deeply and depending on the type of stone.
Old 04-02-21, 05:27 PM
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Thanks for the reply.

We built our new wall on top of an existing wall, which already had the accent lights installed, under arches (of sorts). So the lights are obviously exposed, and maybe I could use a device as you suggest to 'rub' along the base of the arches and get lucky. The wall itself is volcanic rock (much stronger than concrete). But the 'grout lines' ? are maybe 2" wide. There is also (perhaps) a junction box of sorts in the area (which I have never opened up). Maybe I should start there.

Your device sounds like a tool I should probably add to my toolbox in any event.

Old 04-04-21, 06:24 PM
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Wiring-wise, it makes sense to have the photo-sensor at the beginning of the run of lights. But if you have the capability of running additional wires/cables, you can put it wherever you want. But electrically, it needs to be at the beginning.

What Dane mentioned is a worthwhile tool to have, but I don't think it will help you much with tracing wires. There are fox & hound and tracing hardware, but anything that is reasonably priced won't work too well. The commercial testing equipment is $500+ for tracing underground wiring.

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