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kunzweb 06-18-2012 01:02 PM

Photocell garage/porch light install problem
Just replaced 3 exterior house lights with Mirador Energy Star 13W fluorescent lights (#17264) from LampsPlus.
The old fixtures were 60W incandescents.

The 2 new garage lights work fine in dusk-to-dawn operation.
The porch light, not so.
Covering its photocell sensor results in an audible "click," but no bulb illumination.
Swapped bulbs with a garage light -- bulb is good.
Got a new fixture from LampsPlus -- I get the "click" again, but no light.
Black/white/ground seem to be connected OK.

Any tips?
If I have to, I would bypass the photocell and make the porch light simply on-off. How would I do that?

Thanks much (my first post).

PaliBob 06-18-2012 01:27 PM

How did you turn your original porch light on/off?
or did it come on automatically by a remote timer or light sensor?

kunzweb 06-18-2012 01:33 PM

Bob -- no timer, no sensor -- one on/off switch inside the house for all 3 lights.

PaliBob 06-18-2012 01:42 PM

Is this your fixture? I could not find a ref to #17264?

kunzweb 06-18-2012 01:55 PM

close...12 incher...all other specs look the same...

PaliBob 06-18-2012 01:59 PM

My guess is that the photo-sensor does not see a big enough transition between light and dark to switch on the porch light. Is there another light source that could be affecting the porch light?

PaliBob 06-18-2012 02:12 PM

To bypass the internal photo sensor on/off circuit and just use the existing on/off switch you would need to bypass that circuit or just buy a light without the internal light photo sensor.

kunzweb 06-18-2012 02:15 PM

Bob -- when I put my finger over the top of the sensor, it clicks but bulb does not light. When I put my finger on the garage light sensors, the lights illuminate in broad daylight.
To do a bypass, I can not rewire the light internally to cut the sensor out of the loop?

PaliBob 06-18-2012 02:39 PM

Let me test my understanding; This is the second porch fixture that you have tried?

You should not modify the internal light circuitry but I would try putting black tape over the sensor and try it overnight.

rjniles 06-18-2012 02:55 PM

Check for a hot neutral reversed.

PaliBob 06-18-2012 03:54 PM

Good suggestion from RJ, If you don't have a DMM maybe you can borrow one.

kunzweb 06-18-2012 04:01 PM

will try the tape trick tonight. This is the second photocell fixture I've tried here. The old plain-Jane 60W fixture was fine; never had a problem with it.

PaliBob 06-20-2012 10:52 PM


Originally Posted by kunzweb (Post 946298)
.....The old plain-Jane 60W fixture was fine; never had a problem with it.

  • If The Hot & Neutral were always reversed the 60W Incandescent would still have worked fine.
  • Not so with a solid state circuit.

kunzweb 06-21-2012 08:38 AM

Thank you Bob. Time to call in a pro and drop the hot/neutral reversed idea on him.

PaliBob 06-21-2012 12:15 PM


Originally Posted by kunzweb (Post 948258) in a pro and drop the hot/neutral reversed idea on him.

No need to do that if you can borrow or buy even a cheapo DMM or even a cheapo Voltage sniffer.

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