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Thread: outdoor lighting photocell with timer

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by blkmagik21 View Post
    Just get a daylight savings time programmable time clock


    Quote Originally Posted by dkidd View Post
    It won't know when it is dusk. A photocell is needed.
    They are programmable to your latitude, have day light savings built in and come on at dusk year round. Pretty neat technology. You can set them to turn off when ever you want.

  2. #12
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    What is planned:
    Simple timer inside. Photocell outside (after the timer).
    So the lights will come on mid-day for a few seconds when the photocell powers up from the timer. And then the timer will shut off at 3am.

    I think it'll work. Much simpler to have all the timers inside, in one location.

    Is it a big deal to have the outdoor lighting power up for 10-30 seconds while the photocell is thinking. Probably not.....

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by spark master View Post
    I have a job where they want parking lot lighting; DUSK to 3AM.
    Any problem putting a timer (indoors) before a photocell ?
    I'm thinking the lights will come on for a few seconds every day when the timer turns on. Then the lights will turn off until dusk, until the photocell triggers.

    Any problems with cycling a photocell so often ?

    Must be a common need, of not wanting to adjust the lighting timer so often.
    Should be easily programmable assuming you are using something like a Wattstopper LCMP panel. I would describe the sequence of operation and leave it to the vendor and contractor to figure it out.

    Otherwise i think you need two timers...one that is engaged by the photocell and shuts off at 3AM, and a second that disables the photocell for 8 hours until ambient light is at the threshold.

  4. #14
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    Hawthorne, NY
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    What is planned:
    Simple timer inside. Photocell outside (after the timer).
    So the lights will come on mid-day for a few seconds when the photocell powers up from the timer. And then the timer will shut off at 3am.

    I think it'll work. Much simpler to have all the timers inside, in one location.

    Is it a big deal to have the outdoor lighting power up for 10-30 seconds while the photocell is thinking. Probably not.....
    Yeah it is. It's going to look like someone didn't know what they were doing. Have you ever seen it done that way? Why is there a problem with wiring the photocontrol first so that won't happen? Nothing changes except an extra conductor to the photocontrol.

    -Hal

  5. #15
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    Jun 2016
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    Tampa, FL, USA
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    http://www.homedepot.com/p/Defiant-2...9814/203678179

    I've installed several of these. It automatically adjusts to sunrise and sunset times year round. It has other programming. You may be able to set a fixed off time. Not sure. $20 if I remember correctly. Obviously not industrial quality.

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by hbiss View Post
    Yeah it is. It's going to look like someone didn't know what they were doing. Have you ever seen it done that way? Why is there a problem with wiring the photocontrol first so that won't happen? Nothing changes except an extra conductor to the photocontrol.

    -Hal
    I agree and I would make sure both the clock and the photocell our powered 24/7.

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by strap89 View Post
    Should be easily programmable assuming you are using something like a Wattstopper LCMP panel. I would describe the sequence of operation and leave it to the vendor and contractor to figure it out. Otherwise i think you need two timers...one that is engaged by the photocell and shuts off at 3AM, and a second that disables the photocell for 8 hours until ambient light is at the threshold.
    Since the invention of low wattage LED outdoor lighting, we moved away from lighting contactors, & control panels. Most things can be handled by a simple 120v timer.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The only way I see to have the timers indoors, (1 location), and the photocells outside for each area; is to have a photocell with separate contacts. Otherwise you're running extra conductors back & forth, increasing the runs to 100's of feet.

  8. #18
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    The only way I see to have the timers indoors, (1 location), and the photocells outside for each area; is to have a photocell with separate contacts. Otherwise you're running extra conductors back & forth, increasing the runs to 100's of feet.
    Why would you need separate contacts? Are you switching something you haven't told us about? My understanding is that this is a single 120V circuit. Photocontrols have a common hot, neutral and a switch leg. 3 wires back to the time clock location then 2 wires out to the lighting is all you need.

    Also, what is the reason for putting photocontrols in different areas? Last I looked it gets dark all over each night. Just pick an unsheltered outdoor location near your time clock that isn't affected by the lighting.

    -Hal

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    That Home Depot thingy is setup like a thermostat and all the bicker over 24 hr vs 7 day timer is not an issue as you could set one program and choose "every day" option. Read the manual online. You should be able to do ON dusk, off 3AM. You have to program the current dusk/dawn time, and the current time. The rest is figured out by the internal look up table. Setting up the current time and the current dusk/dawn you find by Googling is the most important thing for good working.

    It uses a mechanical relay, so you can control anything. The internal relay might not last long with a large quantity of LED ballasts due to inrush current but you could just switch on/off a 120v coil relay/contactor.
    Last edited by Electric-Light; 02-10-17 at 05:40 PM.

  10. #20
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    Jun 2003
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    A good point. If you have several areas (and circuits) it probably would be cheaper to use a lighting contactor. One photocontrol and time clock will control everything.

    Good advice about the electronic time clocks too. Used to be that a mechanical astronomic time clocks' cost was "astronomic" but the electronic ones available now are affordable and can eliminate the need for a photocontrol.

    -Hal

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