Photocell Sensors: What They Are, How They Work & Why We Use Them

Controlling your home’s lighting automatically saves money and energy. Many people opt for timers to control their exterior and interior lighting. But there is another option: photocell sensors. 


What Is A Photocell Sensor?

A photocell sensor is an electrical device that hooks up and communicates with a transformer. Photocell sensors work like a timer switch in that they power light fixtures off and on automatically during a set “time”. They work a little bit differently though than timer switches because photocell sensors sense the natural light of the sun for controlling artificial light output from lighting fixtures.


How Does A Photocell Sensor Work?

With low voltage lighting like with many outdoor landscape lights, photocell sensors tell the transformer to turn on and off based on how much light is present. For example, when the sun sets outside and it starts to get dark, the photocell sensor lets the transformer know that it is time to turn the outdoor light fixture on.


A photocell sensor can also be used indoors in a space with windows. When there is no natural sunlight coming through a window, the sensor powers on your indoor lighting fixtures. Indoor photocell sensors increase and decrease the artificial light levels to save energy. For example, on a cloudy day when natural sunlight isn’t abundant, the artificial light from your fixtures will increase. When the sun is rising and natural light is making its way into your office, your artificial light source decreases. Indoor photocell sensors are similar to that of dimmer switches in that both increase and reduce the output of artificial light. 


Should I Use Photocell Sensors?

Many people use photocell sensors for energy savings, convenience, and safety. Specifically for outdoor lighting, photocell sensors are a good burglar deterrent because they can power your lighting on and off when you aren’t home. They are a convenience factor since you don’t have to worry about forgetting to turn lights off. Because you won’t ever have to forget to turn the lights off, photocell sensors save energy, which saves you money. Indoor lighting with photocell sensors saves energy with the automatic reduction of artificial light.


Who Can Install Photocell Sensors?

Licensed electricians like KB Electric LLC should be the professionals to call for a photocell sensor installation. Installing photocell sensors should be left to the experts for proper wiring and safety. Save time and energy by calling an electrician with the knowledge and expertise to get the job done right the first time. KB Electric LLC can install your photocell sensor in Montgomery, Chester, Bucks, Berks, Philadelphia, and Delaware counties. Call us! (267) 467-3178