How to Install a Photocell Sensor in 5 Easy Steps

Automated lighting, for example, street lights, usually employs photocell sensors, also called photo eyes to determine the amount of ambient light. If the photocell can detect sufficient light levels then the light is turned off, and rising outside light levels shut off the light.

The photocell comprises a resistor that is attached to photosensitive plates. When more light strikes the plates and the plates are exposed, the resistance (the quantity of electricity flowing across the resistor) alters, turning the lights on and off. This method automatic lighting is suitable to all outdoor places.

Since there is no input from the user it’s not a problem making timers, or not remembering to change the light on. The photocell functions in the same way a light turns or what a light switch can do. As the photocell sensors commonly referred to as pre installed photoelectric switch.

They are in operation all year they turn on at night before turning off around dawn. This is even when daylight hours are shorter in the summer and shorter during winter. They sense the quantity of light, rather than working according to a time-based schedule, they do not need to be adjusted every time sunrise or sunset times change with changing seasons.

A lot of outdoor lights systems use motion sensors. Photocell sensors as well as motion sensors usually serve distinct objectives. A motion sensor could serve to deter stray animals from dumpsters or garbage bins for instance the dawn photocell sensor can keep the parking area safe and continuously lit for extended lengths of duration.

How to Install a Photocell Sensor in 5 Easy Steps

How to Install a Photocell Sensor for Outdoor Use

The steps below will help you install photocell sensors. This task requires electrical power, so should you not feel secure or comfortable undertaking these projects then you must seek out an electrician who can install the photocell on your behalf.

  • Shut off your circuit breaker for the outside lighting. If you aren’t sure the breaker that powers your light, shut off all breakers inside the building, to make sure the power has been cut off. Verify that the light is turned off by turning the switch on the outside light and making sure that the light is not on.
  • Take apart the light housing which houses your light source outside. You might want to capture what happens to it using images so that you will be able to be able to restore it.
  • There should be two black wire connected to the photocell. These black wire must be plugged into the black wire between the lighting fixture and the structure’s principal electrical power. The black wire must be disconnected from your home to the fixture.
  • Connect one wire of black on the photocell with the black wire directly from the construction. Make sure you turn the exposed copper wire until it is firmly connected.
  • Connect the black wire of your photocell with the other black wire of your light fixture. Be sure the bare copper wire has been twisted to the light fixture completely.
  • Make sure to cover the connections that you created with caps for electrical wires. Be sure that the cap fits tightly encased over the wires.
  • Make sure that your connections are completely taped using electrical tape. Check to ensure that there is none exposed copper wires.
  • To check the condition of the photocell restart the power by removing the circuit breaker. Verify that the light switch is set to on. Cover the photocell sensor by your fingers. If the light goes off when the photocell is completely covered, your photocell functions properly.
  • Completely install the photocell before placing your light fixture to its original position.

If you’re putting in an entirely new lighting fixture, you will need to follow the same steps as that described previously mentioned. To install a brand-fresh new light fixture you might require the following items:

  • The photoelectric switch is a new invention.
  • Wire strippers
  • Needle nose pliers
  • A screwdriver
  • A voltage tester
  • Electrical tape
  • Wire nuts
  • Silicone sealant

Steps for installing a new fixture:

  • Switch off the power on the circuit breaker.
  • Get rid of the old lighting fixture.
  • Install the light fixture by using the photoelectric light switch by following the instructions for mounting included with it.
  • To wire the new light fixture, you will need your pliers and cut approximately three-quarters” of insulation off the wires. Connect the black wire from your light fixture and the black wire in the house. Connect the wires with a wire nuts and ensure it’s solid. Repeat the process with white wires. Make sure to attach black wires to black wires, and white wires connect white wires to black.
  • Connect all wires using electrical tape, then put all wires aside.
  • Completely install your light fixture following the manufacturer’s directions.
  • When everything is put in place Test your lighting as illustrated below.

LiTian Lighting provides photocells that can be placed in a wide range of locations, such as outlets, post lamps as well as outdoor light. Our photocells are constructed well and have long-lasting service life. If you’re interested in LED light photocells, we invite you to contact us.


How do you connect a photocell sensor?

Make sure to connect white wire to white ground wire at all times. Make sure to cover all connections to red wire with electrical tape. Set up the lamp as stated in the manufacturer’s instructions. When everything is in place, you can test it by using the lamps shown below.

Can you add a photocell to any light?

Based on the location of your home as well as your wiring Photocells can be used for lighting the LED flood outdoor lighting as well as outdoor light such as parking area lights, LED pole lights and various LED lights.

Where should a photocell be placed?

The best way to ensure that photocells work is to face north in a position that is not directly lit or under shade. In daylight, photocells need to be avoided as artificial lighting from exterior light sources could confuse the photocell and cause the photocell to stop.

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