Adding a Photo cell

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by Tim C., Sep 4, 2008.

  1. Tim C.

    Tim C. LawnSite Member
    Messages: 54

    I have a lawn customer with a existing transformer. Not sure of the brand who wants me to add a photo cell to it . I have used the cheap Malibus in the past without much luck. I am trying to find a brand that will actually last.
  2. JSLDesign

    JSLDesign LawnSite Member
    Messages: 3

    We would need more information about the transformer. Most of the pro grade LV lighting transformers out there have the ability to use a "plug & play" photocell, either mounted to the transformer or close by.

  3. Mark B

    Mark B LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,020

    If the tranny is a old one i.e Hadco you will have to make the connection yourself. That is what I did when I first started. My southern .02
  4. S&MLL

    S&MLL LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 751

    If there is a jumper cable in place you can pretty much use any photocell. If not you will have to hard wire in a 3 wire photocell you can get from lowes. Same in post lights and such. photocell runs for about 10 bucks
  5. Mike M

    Mike M LawnSite Bronze Member
    from usa
    Messages: 1,988

    Is the customer aware of timers? Like James said, we need to know the transformer make and model. We may be able to hook you up with an easy to plug in timer & photocell combo or an astronomical timer that has the daily sunset times built in.

    The problem with just a photocell is rain/overcast triggers it to come on in day time, plus, the lights stay on all night long.

    Many customers don't know the timer options that are available.
  6. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,645

    The two easy options are an outdoor photo-cell timer for around 8 bucks, a "plug and play" which lets you choose how many hours of on time, or dusk to dawn, or just manually on or off. they hold up pretty wel, but after a few years the writing on the dial disappears. the other option is a straight photocell outlet box you can build yourself, but the box, outlet, male cord and electrical pieces run it over 20 bucks. It may last longer than the plug and play, but is limited to dusk to dawn.

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