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Old 09-17-2012, 11:49 AM   #1
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Dusk-to-Dawn Options


I'll be installing a new wall sconce on my patio and want the lighting to be on from dusk to dawn. I have seen several options for photocells, and I'm not sure which one will be the most accurate and reliable.

There are the photocells that are built into the sconce; aftermarket screw-in photocell adapters; and aftermarket hard-wired photocells. Any input on which one is the best? I have heard stories about certain ones not turning on accurately or staying on when it's light out.

2 things I should note: 1) I'll be using a CFL bulb; and 2) the location is covered so it won't get direct sun. Not sure if it matters....

Thanks in advance.

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Old 09-17-2012, 12:30 PM   #2
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Dusk-to-Dawn Options


I am not sure you can make a general statement about which is best. All of them are subject to failure at any moment. After all, they are electronic.
The screw in ones can be affected by dark glass in the fixture and position of the eye. You often have to try a couple of times to get the eye pointing towards the daylight rather than the wall.
Whichever one you buy, make sure that it is rated for a CFL bulb. Erratic operation is often a CFL being used on a photo eye that is not rated for them.

In Calif. (because of Title 24), any of the fixtures you buy locally with the built in photo eye will be CFL only fixtures with a pin type connection. I would recommend a GU-24 base over a quad-pin or other bi-pin.

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Old 09-18-2012, 10:38 AM   #3
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Dusk-to-Dawn Options


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Originally Posted by Oso954 View Post
I am not sure you can make a general statement about which is best. All of them are subject to failure at any moment. After all, they are electronic.
The screw in ones can be affected by dark glass in the fixture and position of the eye. You often have to try a couple of times to get the eye pointing towards the daylight rather than the wall.
Whichever one you buy, make sure that it is rated for a CFL bulb. Erratic operation is often a CFL being used on a photo eye that is not rated for them.

In Calif. (because of Title 24), any of the fixtures you buy locally with the built in photo eye will be CFL only fixtures with a pin type connection. I would recommend a GU-24 base over a quad-pin or other bi-pin.
Thanks. My biggest question was whether one option may be more prone to failure or inaccuracy than another. But from what it sounds like, all of them are subject to variability based on orientation and other factors. I think my preference is to go with a screw-in type to give myself the most flexibility when it comes to buying a fixture.
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