Guide to Troubleshooting Photocell Sensors

This security light has a photocell and a motion sensor.
••• Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images

Outdoor lighting enhances a home's exterior and acts like a guide to direct visitors down a pathway. Many lighting systems utilize photocell sensors to automatically activate lighting, but the photocell can malfunction at times requiring simple troubleshooting procedures.

Function

A photocell sensor is an electronic component, typically a resistor, that detects levels of light. As the sun sets, the photocell senses the light waning. As a result of less light, the photocell activates the lighting system.

Considerations

One common problem that affects photocell functioning is incorrect or loose wiring between the photocell and the main circuitry of the lighting system. The wire that connects the photocell to the lighting circuit needs to have a solid, soldered connection. In addition, the system needs to have proper electrical power. Verify that all connections are securely fastened to he power supply.

Identification

Over time, photocells can suffer from small cracks within their assembly. These cracks can result in intermittent lighting, or even no light activation at all. Inspect the photocell for any aberrations. If cracked, replacement is the only option.

Related Articles

How to Test a Toshiba DLP Ballast
How to Install a Shunt-Trip Circuit Breaker
Infrared Light Effect on Eyes
What Are the Different Types of Ballast?
Types of Light Sensors
How to Use a 12-Volt LED on a 24 Volt
How Does a Check Valve Work?
What Is an Electric Relay?
How to Reduce 12 Volt to 6 Volt
Projects for Electrical & Electronics Engineering
How to Diagnose a Circuit Board With a Bad Transistor
How Do I Control the Light Level of an LED?
How Does a Lock-Out Relay Work?
How Does a Limit Switch Work?
How to Measure an LED's Brightness
How to Hook Up a 480V, 208V, or 120V Transformer
The Advantages & Disadvantages of Series and Parallel...
How to Wire a Lighting Contactor
How Does an Earthworm Sense Light?
What Is a Momentary Action Switch?

Dont Go!

We Have More Great Sciencing Articles!