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Old 04-28-2016, 12:37 PM   #1
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Dawn to Dusk lights recycling


I have light fixtures on each side of my front door with built in Dawn to Dusk sensors. The same configuration is on each side of my garage door, except that the garage door lamps do not have these built in sensors, so I installed the screw-in type which the light bulb then plugs into the sensor. When I switch the lights ON, the garage lights blink OFF and ON every 10 seconds. The front door light are not affected. Changing the lamps for the garage door or just leaving one bulb in a fixture still has this cycling effect. Removing the sensors completely from the garage door fixtures and only having the bulbs plugged in, the lights work normally in that they stay ON. Can paralleling 4 lamp fixtures with sensors cause this problem? Just to be clear, the senors at the front door are old built in type while the garage sensors are newer type that only screw into the light socket. Any comments would be appreciated. Thanks
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Old 04-28-2016, 12:43 PM   #2
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What type of light bulbs? LED or CFL? The sensor isn't compatible with the bulb or the minimum load isn't being met is my guess.
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Old 04-28-2016, 02:29 PM   #3
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Re: Dawn to Dusk lights recycling


How much light from the bulb shines on the actual sensor point? Could be the light comes on a triggers the sensor to think it is day light? Put a piece of tape over the sensor so it can't be affect by the light and let us know what happens.
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Old 04-28-2016, 03:46 PM   #4
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Re: Dawn to Dusk lights recycling


The screw-in dusk to dawn sensors are not new. They tend to be cheap and less reliable. Depending on which model you bought, it may not be compatible with LED or CFL bulbs. They also move the bulb a couple of inches in the fixture, which in some fixtures adversely affects the lighting from it.

Until we hear about CFL/LED bulb compatibility, I am assuming they are just getting too much light and cycling. Sometimes you can get them to settle down by covering part of the sensor, and I have gotten a few to work simply by unscrewing them, rotating them 180 degrees, then screwing them back in. By making the sensor face a different direction it may have less light from it's fixture, or another fixture.

The photo eyes built into fixtures tend to be aimed and calibrated for the fixtures they are used in. They have far fewer problems of this type as compared to the generic screw-in sensors.
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Old 04-28-2016, 05:12 PM   #5
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Re: Dawn to Dusk lights recycling


Thanks guys for your responses. First, all lights are incandescent type. I can only test at night because putting Black tape over the sensor blocks out all light, but placing a large cover(cardboard) next to one of the fixtures blocked the light from the other light on the opposite side of the garage door and the light stopped blinking. You guys are right in that it is being triggered from the other light and I will move the sensors, as Oso954 suggested and see it that does the trick. There does seem to be too much light within the fixture which could also be the cause. OK, you've given me something to work with and I will experiment with that. Thanks again.
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Old 04-28-2016, 09:14 PM   #6
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Re: Dawn to Dusk lights recycling


I have tried those and given up on them. Inside a fixture what will happen is -light comes on, light is reflected off glass into sensor, sensor thinks it's light out, turns off light, etc.

I put timers in place of the off/on switches at the front and back of my house. The newer ones can be set to 'dusk' and 'dawn' as well as fixed times. You program it with your rough latitude and it calculates what dusk and dawn will be.
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