Saturday, December 10, 2011

We LOVE Photocells!

We live at the end of a cul-de-sac with very few street lights.  At night (especially now that it gets dark so early) it is very dark.  Most of our neighbors leave on a porch light or lamppost at night but 1) we never remember to turn it on and 2) we definitely don't remember to turn it off when we go to bed or even the next morning.  In fact, we use our lamppost so little that I didn't even realize that the bulb was dead until trick-or-treat night.  So we just live in the dark.  When we drive through the neighborhood at night or are out walking Kodak in an adjacent neighborhood we often comment on how many people have outdoor lights on and isn't it amazing that they all remember to turn them on and off!! Well, that was until Andy discovered that most of the lights in the newer neighborhood operate on photocells that are dusk-to-dawn lights.  We don't love our lamppost, but upgrading to a whole new fixture just isn't in the current plan.  Enter the add-on photocell!!

Our existing lamppost is nothing fancy, but it works.

Andy took the top off, drilled a hole in the existing post, and connected the new photocell to the existing light.  It was probably about an hour job and totally worth it to have a light on in the driveway at night.

Then we decided it was a shame that we just replaced the porch light because it would be nice to have that on a photocell too.  Well, the wonderful employees at Lowe's pointed us in the direction of this screw-in photocell adapter.  Just imagine a literal "light-bulb" moment with angels singing in the background.  For less than $10 -- SOLD.  We were considering buying a new fixture for the door with a built-in photocell.  If we ended up not using one of the 5 lights I bought at the tent sale it was still a worthwhile trip and not a considerable cost.  But this was the perfect alternative.

The photocell sits pretty high up inside the fixture so we've found that on cloudy and rainy days it doesn't always turn off.  It's definitely an improvement but we are considering other options to make sure that the light turns off when it should (either an extender for the original dusk-to-dawn adapter or possibly installing a photocell like the one on the lamppost).

I apologize in advance to my OCD family members who will be visually disturbed because the screws on this switch plate are not all lined up vertically.  You may not want to look at the next picture.

Yes, we labeled the switches with the photocells.  That way we don't turn them off by accident.  (Just ignore the black switches and ivory switches.  This is a recurring theme in our house -- one that we are slowing trying to fix, but this hallway is pretty far down on the renovation list.). 

1 comment:

  1. You could also consider programmable switches!