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Photo cell issue

Discussion in 'Ask' started by Bob, Jul 28, 2018.

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  1. Bob

    Bob New Member

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    My lights wouldn't come on. Blue light is lit when I turn lights on setting timer to "on". Volt sent me new timer and photo cell. Same issue. Lights won't come on automatically. Taped photocell waited for 20 minutes and nothing. They will come on if I turn timer to on and the blue light comes on. In normal timer mode blue light is not on. Any suggestions? Stumped.
     
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  2. Trebor

    Trebor New Member

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    I have the same issue. Photo cell worked well for several months, then suddenly lights no longer come on automatically. They only come on if I turn the setting to “on”. It feels as though the photocell is no longer working. Does anyone know how to test it.
     
  3. Evan Kruk

    Evan Kruk Online Liaison Staff Member

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    Hello,

    The dilemmas being described sound as though they may be related to the placement of the photocell devices. Bob, I understand we already sent you a replacement so it does appear that ambient light may be affecting the cycles of the devices by giving the illusion of daytime. For best practice, it is always best to mount a photocell in an area that remains mostly dark at nighttime and to avoid pointing any light fixtures directly at the device.

    I would highly recommend moving your transformer unit or photocell device first before possibly investing in further replacements!
     
  4. Robert Bougard

    Robert Bougard New Member

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    I started experiencing this same issue recently. Is there any known problems or solutions?
     
  5. sofaking

    sofaking New Member

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    i am having the same problem. And some nights everything works other nights the lights do not come on. tested the timer and turned to on position and lights come on. sensor is behind a rose bush that does not get other ambient light at night to keep it from working.
     
  6. Evan Kruk

    Evan Kruk Online Liaison Staff Member

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    It seems that some people may still be unsure about their device. Let's talk about how to troubleshoot a photocell!

    When testing the cycling functionality of the photocell, if it does not cycle properly, the device may need to be inspected. If the device cycles properly when testing but does not do so when applied to your project, the issue is more than likely related to the location of the photocell device in regards to ambient light.

    To test the Timer & Photocell combo device:

    (In daylight)
    1. Test in the ON position first.

    2. If the timer works in this setting then, set it to dusk to dawn setting; it should turn off after doing this.

    3. You should then cover the photocell in complete darkness for anywhere from 5-6 minutes (using a towel or something that encompasses the entire device is recommended.) After this time, it should power on.

    (If using the Slim Line transformer which has the timer device built it, you would need to cover the entire glass face of the door to properly test the cycling functionality.)
     
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  7. sofaking

    sofaking New Member

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    will try that tomorrow. thanks.
     
  8. sofaking

    sofaking New Member

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    so i tried your test. switched to on and lights come on. then covered the light sensor and switched to dusk to dawn setting and it took a couple minutes and they came on then about 5 minutes later they went off again.
     
  9. sofaking

    sofaking New Member

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    also this has been working for the past 6-9 months since i installed it and the sensor has been in the same place the whole time around the corner of the house behind a fence the whole time. i came home last night and the lights were working and a little later i look outside they are off again. thinking i just need to try and replace the sensor? would this part be covered under warranty?
     
  10. Evan Kruk

    Evan Kruk Online Liaison Staff Member

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    From what you have described in your case, it does sound as though the photocell needs to be inspected. We do indeed offer a warranty for our timer accessories and under this warranty we will happily inspect products in-house!

    Unfortunately, I do not have enough information to contact you directly at this time so, if you could at your earliest convenience, please contact our team with your email or specific order number in-hand we can reference your account and provide assistance directly! The number that you can use to get a hold of our live support team is 813-978-3700.
     
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  11. sofaking

    sofaking New Member

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    Thanks much Evan... Appreciate the assistance.
     
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  12. Evan Kruk

    Evan Kruk Online Liaison Staff Member

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    Glad to be of help!
     
  13. datcope

    datcope New Member

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    Was having the problem of the lights turning off after five minutes As it turns out, it was the ambient light issue from one of my lights (I didn't realize that there was a delay once the sensor detected a low level of ambient light). It would turn them on, sense too much light and turn them off after a delay. As a temporary solution, I put some electrical tape over 75% of the sensor case and now everything is working great! Thanks everyone for contributing to this issue...
     
  14. Ralph Ware

    Ralph Ware New Member

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    Having the same issue. Turns on manually. Would a heavy snow fall cause the photo cell to pick up enough ambient light to kick off?
     
  15. Evan Kruk

    Evan Kruk Online Liaison Staff Member

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    That's a great question Ralph and it's difficult to say. A nearby light-source would have to be quite powerful to cause snow to reflect light so intensely that it would trigger a photocell. While I haven't heard of anything like this happening, I definitely wouldn't say it's impossible. Have you by chance ran through the recommended steps above to test the device?
     
  16. Lumiscape

    Lumiscape New Member

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    Photocells and timers have always been a fail point for me. I'm lucky to see them last two years. Astronomical timers bring their own glitches, but seem to be better overall.
     
  17. Scott K.

    Scott K. New Member

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    So I just bought my volt system and low and behold, my transformer/photocell box is located on the wall near one of the uplights. There really isn't anywhere else I can put it and keep the uplight where I want it. I was able to put in on dusk/dawn and cover it for about 5 minutes and they came on, however, after about 10 min they turned off again. Surely there has to be a way around this?? I can't manually turn my lights on every night.
     
  18. Evan Kruk

    Evan Kruk Online Liaison Staff Member

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    Hey Scott,

    If you are against relocating the transformer or the fixture, the best solution would be using a mechanical or digital timer. I see that you were able to troubleshoot that the timer is indeed working so, using another photocell device at the same location will more than likely result in the same interference. If you are using a slimline transformer which has the photocell/timer built-in, rather than relocate, you could use an outdoor timer directly at the GFCI outlet and then plug the transformer into this while leaving the timer inside of the transformer set to ON.