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Will CFL Lamps Work With Dusk To Dawn Fixtures


By Dave Rongey - Summary:

Why Dusk To Dawn Light Fixtures and CFL Lamps Will Not Work

Dusk To Dawn Light Fixtures and CFL Lamps

Electrical Question: I recently had new outdoor light fixtures and lamps installed.

This electrical question came from: Paula, a Homeowner from Albuquerque, New Mexico USA.

Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your electrical wiring question Paula.

Why Dusk To Dawn Light Fixtures and CFL Lamps Will Not Work

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FAQs Frequently Asked Questions and Comments

6 Responses to “Will CFL Lamps Work With Dusk To Dawn Fixtures”
  1. Dave Rongey says:

    Hi George,
    Begin your troubleshooting by replacing the CFL lamps with conventional incandescent or halogen light bulbs as specified in the owners manual. The CFL lamps may be the problem. Also make sure the fixture settings are not in the TEST mode, as this will make the fixture go on and off at all times.
    I hope this helps,
    Dave

  2. George says:

    I just got this outdoor post lantern and the dust to dawn light will not go off. The light stays on if place the CFL bulbs in it. What could be the problem that causes the light to stay on all day and night?

  3. Dave Rongey says:

    Hi Jay,
    If the problem is with the photocell seeing the light, then switching from CFL lamps to LED will not solve that problem. The photocell should have a hood over a portion of it to prevent the light from the bulb from interfering with the sensor. Another thing to understand is that this type of photocell adapter needs a neutral connection of the circuit for the photocell circuitry to function.This connection is commonly provided through the filament of a standard incandescent lamp, whereas the CFL lamp has its own type of design and circuitry requirements that are not compatible with this type of photocell adapter, so this is causing the CFL lamp to flicker.
    You could try an LED lamp, or a energy saver type of incandescent light bulb.
    Dave

  4. Jay Alcook says:

    Hi there, I have acquired several sockets with photocells to get my lights on and off without worry about turning the switch off. I got CFL lamps installed in every socket but as soon as the daylight goes down the CFL start flickering. I was wondering if the photocell is getting the light of the lamp then detects light and switches off, then detects darkness and restart the light, a infinite loop.

    I was really disappointed spending almost 150 bucks so my question is instead of CFL lamps. Can I use led lamps?

    Jay

  5. Dave Rongey says:

    Hi Robert,
    CFL lamps should not be installed in Dusk-to-Dawn light fixtures because of the lower light level that the light fixture adjusts to.
    CFL lamps should not be used with motion detector fixtures either because of the number of times the light may be turned on and off, which is what will shorten the life of a fluorescent lamp.
    I agree. LED lights need to come down in price, when they do, lets make sure they are compatible with these same features as well.
    So Robert, in the mean time, you may want to consider installing a moderate watt light bulb that is rated for 130 volts, not 120 volts. The 130 volt lamps will last longer due to a heavier filament. These light bulbs are also called Rough Service Lamps.
    Dave

  6. Robert Travalentr says:

    I have installed seven dusk to dawn fixtures. Our electrical bill has gone way up.
    I tried a cfl bulb in one light fixture it flickered on start up, and burnt out in about five days. Is there a cfl bulb out there that will work in my outdoor dusk to dawn lights. Our electric rates shot up an extra $100.00 dollars. The LED bulbs need to come down if price.

    Thank You