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Old 12-16-2009, 01:17 AM   #1
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Please Help with Outdoor Lamp/ Sensor

Hi, Everyone,
Your help on this would be greatly appreciated !


I have just re-wired/ re-socketed a 3-bulb exterior carriage light next to my driveway, since after 5 years' use, the sockets were corroded and therefore were shorting-out bulbs.

But, when re-connecting the light to its (5-foot-high) metal post, that has a light-sensor built-in (a 1/2" diameter, side-mounted photoelectric, brand unknown), I get this result:

> The House Power to the Lamp is fine/ the Lamp is lit when the House Power/ panel switch is on ...

> Unfortunately, the Lamp is lit ALL the time/ regardless of day or night, and will not shut-off on its own when exposed to any dim, or bright, daylight ...

> The only way to turn-off the light is at the house panel. The lamp will go off 100% of the times I manually switch it 'off' at the panel, and will come on 100% of the times I manually switch it 'on' at the panel, no problem there.


I'm guessing either I have the wiring wrong; or, the sensor is broken?

Prior to the re-wiring/ socketing of the rusted-sockets lamp, the on-off light sensor on the post WAS working fine every day and night. Maybe I've somehow damaged it during the re-wiring ...?


Here's the connection scheme I'm currently using to connect the house power to the switch/ lamp.


The House Power source has 3 wires total (Black, White, Ground/ Copper).

The Light-Sensor Switch has 3 wires total (Black, White, Red).

The Lamp has 2 wires total (Black, White).


Current Connections:

1. House Power (3 wires total)
  • Black Wire ... to Light-Sensor Switch Black Wire
  • White Wire ... to Sensor Switch White Wire.
  • Ground/ Copper Wire... to Lamp Base/ Housing.


2. Light-Sensor Switch(3 wires total)
  • Red Wire ... to Lamp Black Wire
  • White Wire ... to Lamp White Wire (note: it is already paired with the House White Wire attached to this Switch White Wire, per above. That is: all-three White Wires are now connected together, as one.)
NOTE: There is no "second" Switch White Wire coming from this particular brand of light sensor, as some DIY help-desks have suggested there may be, just the one White Wire coming out.
  • Black Wire (per above, it is connected to the House power's Black Wire).

That's the whole deal.

Right now, there's back-and-forth trips to the basement every night/ day for my "automatic" light sensor lamp to instead be manually set on/ off.

ANY help/ approaches are Hugely welcome ... Thanks!!



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Old 12-16-2009, 07:42 AM   #2
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Please Help with Outdoor Lamp/ Sensor

You can try reversing the red and black wires on the sensor. Maybe you got the hots reversed?

House power:
Black Wire ... to sensor Red Wire

Black wire ... to lamp Black wire.

If it turns out your sensor is broken, you can either buy a new one or install a timer switch on the line before it goes outside, like one of these:


Last edited by secutanudu; 12-16-2009 at 07:50 AM.
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Old 12-16-2009, 11:49 PM   #3
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Please Help with Outdoor Lamp/ Sensor

Secutanudu --

Thank you very much, for all three thoughts; I'll give em a try.


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