• by Brandon Waldrop May 05, 2024 3 min read

    Outdoor lights are a great way to enhance the beauty and safety of your home. Whether you want to add pool lights for a late-night swim or outdoor step lights for added visibility, there are many options available. One feature that can make your outdoor lights even more convenient and energy-efficient is a photocell. In this article, we will discuss the steps you need to follow to add a photocell to your outdoor lights.

    What is a photocell?

    A photocell, also known as a photoresistor, is a sensor that detects light and automatically turns on or off the connected lights. This means that your outdoor lights will turn on at dusk and turn off at dawn without you having to manually control them. This not only saves you time and effort but also helps reduce energy consumption.

    Step 1: Gather the necessary materials

    Before you begin, make sure you have all the necessary materials. This includes a photocell, wire strippers, wire connectors, electrical tape, and a screwdriver. You can purchase a photocell at your local hardware store or online.

    Step 2: Turn off the power

    Before working with any electrical components, it is important to turn off the power to the outdoor lights. Locate the circuit breaker that controls the lights and switch it off.

    Step 3: Remove the existing light switch

    If your outdoor lights are controlled by a light switch, you will need to remove it. Use a screwdriver to unscrew the switch from the wall and gently pull it out. You should see two wires connected to the switch.

    Step 4: Connect the photocell

    Using wire strippers, strip the ends of the two wires connected to the light switch. Then, connect one wire to the black wire on the photocell and the other wire to the red wire on the photocell. Secure the connections with wire connectors and wrap them with electrical tape for added safety.

    Step 5: Mount the photocell

    Choose a suitable location for the photocell, preferably near the outdoor lights. Use screws to mount the photocell to the wall or any other surface. Make sure it is securely attached.

    Step 6: Test the photocell

    Once the photocell is mounted, turn the power back on and test it. Cover the photocell with your hand to simulate darkness and see if the lights turn on. Then, remove your hand to simulate daylight and see if the lights turn off. If everything is working correctly, you can proceed to the next step.

    Step 7: Adjust the sensitivity

    Some photocells come with a sensitivity adjustment feature. If your photocell has this feature, you can adjust the sensitivity to your liking. This will determine how dark it needs to be for the lights to turn on.

    Step 8: Secure the wires

    Once you are satisfied with the placement and functionality of the photocell, secure the wires with wire clips or cable ties. This will prevent them from getting damaged or tangled.

    Adding a photocell to your outdoor lights is a simple and cost-effective way to make your home more energy-efficient and convenient. By following these steps, you can easily install a photocell and enjoy the benefits of automatic lighting. Have you added a photocell to your outdoor lights? Let us know in the comments below.

    Brandon Waldrop
    Brandon Waldrop

    Since 2005, I have been a part of the ever evolving lighting industry. Initially, as an inside sales representative at a local showroom catering to contractors and homeowners. Then, I transitioned into an outside sales role with a company specializing in commercial lighting for local businesses. In 2017, I utilized all of my skills and collaborated with Stars and Stripes Lighting. Over the course of 6+ years, my efforts have been focused on creating an e-commerce platform that simplifies the process of finding ideal lighting solutions for customers' projects. "As an outlet away from work, I relish spending quality time with my beloved dogs, engaging in physical activities, and indulging in the excitement of watching sports."

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