Go Back   DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum > Home Improvement > Electrical

CLICK HERE AND JOIN OUR COMMUNITY TODAY...IT'S FREE!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 04-19-2009, 10:56 PM   #1
Newbie
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 4
Share |
Default

Dawn to Dusk Porch Light problem


I'm sure the porch light fixture is pretty old. It was my mother's house before i moved here a year and a half ago. The dusk to dawn control worked fine until a few days ago. Now, at night the light seems to come on for a few minutes, then it goes off for a few minutes, then it comes back on for a few minutes. It actually reminds me of a motion sensor light because it sometimes seems to come on when i walk near it. But this could be a coincidence. I don't imagine that it could suddenly become a motion sensor light.

I'm wondering if there's a manual override on it, i dont' see anything, at least not on the outside of the fixture. I see the photo cell. I tried changing the bulb. it had a mercury bulb in it. I put a different mercury bulb in but the same problem continues. I put a regular incandescent bulb in but it has the same problem. When the light switches on and off, it makes a soft click. I don't feel safe with the porch so dark.

Today i went out to try to buy a new one of these fixtures. Home Depot had none at all, except for security lights, no regular porch lights. OSH had one i liked but another customer came and took it while i was trying to decide and it was the only one. I saw one that would work at Lamps Plus but it was much more expensive.

I have a call in to an electrician. I'm not a do it yourself-er, not to install something electrical like that, but if anyone knows if there's something simple i can try, i would appreciate it. I would like to somehow make it stay on tonight. I really don't like the darkness there.

I asked at OSH for one of those controllers that you screw into your existing socket and and screw the light bulb in to the controller but they gave me an automatic shut off controller. I didn't realize it til i got home.

jaw444 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-19-2009, 11:45 PM   #2
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Washington State
Posts: 77
Default

Dawn to Dusk Porch Light problem


Put some electrical tape or dark tape over the photocell to simulate its dark all the time. An incandescent bulb wont work in a HID fixture anyways and vice versa. Make sure you have the correct lamp for your fixture, although it sounds like a capacitor or something else in the fixture is the problem, causing the lamp to cycle. Easier to replace than repair.

unclduey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-20-2009, 12:29 AM   #3
Newbie
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 4
Default

Dawn to Dusk Porch Light problem


Thanks. I'll try putting tape over the cell, otherwise buy a new porch light and move on.
jaw444 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-20-2009, 03:22 AM   #4
Tool Geek
 
PaliBob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Pacific Palisades CA
Posts: 2,509
Default

Dawn to Dusk Porch Light problem


Here is a CARLON Dusk to Dawn Light Socket PhotoCell for an incandescent bulb up to 150W and can be used indoors or outside if its in an enclosed location (not made to be be used where it can get wet)

http://www.amazon.com/DUSK-DAWN-LIGH.../dp/B000HOSZNS

also available at OSH or similar stores
__________________
Disclaimer
& Stay Safe
.....Bob Lavery
PaliBob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-20-2009, 11:34 AM   #5
Newbie
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 4
Default

Dawn to Dusk Porch Light problem


Quote:
Originally Posted by jaw444 View Post
Thanks. I'll try putting tape over the cell, otherwise buy a new porch light and move on.

Uclduey, thank you for that suggestion, the tape worked as a manual override and i was able to have the porch lighted all night. I will still need to have the old light replaced, but not as urgently. What a relief and sense of empowerment. big thanks
jaw444 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-20-2009, 12:10 PM   #6
Newbie
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 4
Default

Dawn to Dusk Porch Light problem


Quote:
Originally Posted by PaliBob View Post
Here is a CARLON Dusk to Dawn Light Socket PhotoCell for an incandescent bulb up to 150W and can be used indoors or outside if its in an enclosed location (not made to be be used where it can get wet)

http://www.amazon.com/DUSK-DAWN-LIGH.../dp/B000HOSZNS

also available at OSH or similar stores

Thanks--i wanted to ask a couple of questions about this. First, i did mean to get one at OSH. The OSH guy showed me where they were and there were two or three different kinds hanging on the rack. One was a kind that i had seen on the web earlier in the day, with very bad reviews on one site, don't remember what site it was but basically, two reviews both said the thing didn't work very long. It has a timer switch on it and another switch. One review said they used another kind that worked well. Then they replaced it with this one with the switches and said Do Not Get This One wiht the Switch. So i picked up another next to it at OSH that had no switch and asked the guy if this was the right thing and he said yes. When i got home, i found it was just an automatic delayed light shut off thing.

I'm going back today to exchange it for that CARLON one you suggested, if they have it. If all they have is the one with the switches, i'm not going to get it. It's on Amazon as well and has fairly poor reviews there.

http://www.amazon.com/Westek-SLC6CBC...85E6X183Q63EX4

My question is, would a socket photo cell be likely to work in my fixture even though something is wrong with the function of the one on the fixture? I'm having a hard time putting this question into words. If the photo cell on the installed fixture is malfunctioning, would the socket photo cell take over? Or would it be interfered with?

One more question--i see you're from Pali. Before i moved to this house in the Valley, i lived in Santa Monica for about 25 years. So, i am from the same area. If OSH only has that bad kind of socket photo cell, can you suggest anywhere else local, westside or Valley or wherever, where i could get the CARLON kind?

Home Depot didn't have any at all. They just had a photo cell that you can install into your fixture by drilling a hole. That's out of my league, i can't do that. It's just a little thing with a wire. Disappointed in Home Depot, big store like that, home improvement, and don't even have a single dusk to dawn porch light (though they do have them on their website, quite a few) and no photo cell socket. Hard for me to understand, such a big store.

I imagine Lowe's might be better. Closest one is Burbank.

You said the socket will work with an incandescent bulb. Will it work with a mercury bulb?

thanks for the info/recommendation of the socket photo cell brand.
jaw444 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-20-2009, 12:58 PM   #7
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Washington State
Posts: 77
Default

Dawn to Dusk Porch Light problem


Quote:
Originally Posted by jaw444 View Post
Uclduey, thank you for that suggestion, the tape worked as a manual override and i was able to have the porch lighted all night. I will still need to have the old light replaced, but not as urgently. What a relief and sense of empowerment. big thanks
Glad it worked, good job!
unclduey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-20-2009, 03:14 PM   #8
Tool Geek
 
PaliBob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Pacific Palisades CA
Posts: 2,509
Default

Dawn to Dusk Porch Light problem


Quote:
Originally Posted by jaw444 View Post
My question is, would a socket photo cell be likely to work in my fixture even though something is wrong with the function of the one on the fixture? .......... If the photo cell on the installed fixture is malfunctioning, would the socket photo cell take over?
NO &NO
Is the photocell on the fixture an add on or is it built in? Does it look like this?
http://www.goodmart.com/products/712049.htm
If it is an add-on get an electrician to replace it.

.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaw444 View Post
One more question…….. where could I get the CARLON kind?
Check the yellow pages for “Electrical Distributers”
.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jaw444 View Post
You said the socket will work with an incandescent bulb. Will it work with a mercury bulb?
Mercury Bulbs are very high wattage (& long turn-on time) bulbs that require a special fixture
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mercury-vapor_lamp

If you meant CFL Fluorescent Bulbs the answer is NO
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compact_fluorescent_lamp
.

__________________
Disclaimer
& Stay Safe
.....Bob Lavery
PaliBob is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Installing New Porch Light, Electrical Box GeauxCajuns82 Electrical 1 12-19-2008 05:16 PM
Wiring Problem in Bathroom notasparky Electrical 7 10-27-2008 06:34 PM
Need to replace can light with standard light Woodcutter Electrical 3 02-29-2008 07:06 AM
Hot Light Outlets Materials Guru Electrical 5 07-31-2006 07:11 PM
New porch light CB-PDX Electrical 4 03-09-2006 12:17 PM




Top of Page | View New Posts

Copyright © 2003-2014 Escalate Media. All Rights Reserved.