05:53PM | 12/31/06
Member Since: 12/30/06
4 lifetime posts
I realize it's been a while since the original post. But why not use a 3-way switch? Using a standard 3 wire photocell switch, connect the black wire from the light to the common on the 3-way switch. Connect the Red wire from the photocell to one of the 'traveler' connections on the 3-way. Connect a piece of black wire to the other 'traveler' connection on the 3-way switch. Make a 3 wire connection with the black wires from the 3-way, photocell and supply. Make another 3 wire connection with the white wires from the light, photocell and supply. Flip the switch one way and the photocell has control (AUTO). Flip the switch the other way and the light is ON 24/7 (MANuel). Note that the photocell is still active. It just doesn't controll anything.

To also turn the light OFF 24/7, add a Standard switch between the black supply and the other black wires described above. The Standard switch turns the whole thing ON/OFF. The 3-way switch set it for Auto/Manual. Be sure to label the switches as ON/OFF and AUTO/MAN. The ON/OFF switch is ON if the light comes on with the 3-way switch in one or both positions. In daylight, the AUTO/MAN is MAN if the light is ON when the ON/OFF switch is ON.


11:17AM | 01/02/07
Member Since: 01/03/05
7 lifetime posts

Does this scenario use one 3-way switch or does it use two 3-ways? I'd need it to use two 3-ways at remote door locations. If so what wires get connected to each of the 3-way terminals?



03:58PM | 01/24/07
Member Since: 12/30/06
4 lifetime posts
My previous suggestion uses only one switching point. It uses a 3-way switch to connect the light to either a photo cell or directly to the supply. For multiple locations, you could easily add any number of 4-way switches for other locations. Simply remove the 'traveler' wires from the 3-way and connect them to one side of the 4-way. Now you can connect the other side of the 4-way back to the the travelers on the 3-way. The 4-way will reverse the functions of the 3-way. You now have two wires (and a ground,) running between the 4-way and the 3-way. You can add more 4-way switches in the series as you need as long as you connect the last one back to the 3-way.

The problem with multiple switches is going to be determining if the light is connected to the photo sensor or to the supply. This can only be checked durring daylight. If you turn the light on durring the day, and don't turn it back to the photo sensor before the photo sensor turns on at dusk, you can't tell the difference. So you need to remember to switch it back or check it the next day.

I seem to remember a rotary timer wall switch that may have worked as a 3-way switch. I may even have one. But I don't remember if there was a 4-way timer switch. But these may only muddy the waters.

The only way I know to have multiple locations and know whether the light is set for ON, OFF or Photo sensor, is to use a relay (mechanical or solid state) and some electronic wizardary. It's not to complex for someone who knows how. Put a push button and an indicator at each location. Run 3 or 4 strands of wire back to a controller (CAT-5 or telephone wire would do). You can add a photo sensor, a motion detector and even a timer. The indicator could change color and be on or off or blink.

This is probably overkill, but I haven't used the 'smarthome' or 'x-10' systems. I worry about outside interference and the expense with those.


11:33PM | 12/27/12
I missed earlier conversation.I want to add an override switch to turn on the lights on a cloudy day at a used carlot.The lights are operated by a photo cell now,which will turn lights on a very cloudy day.Should I just put blocker on half of photo eye or can I wire an override switch and how?if I wanted to turn light off,I would tie in between red off photo cell and b4 coil of contactor.Thanks for any clarity,


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06:10PM | 03/29/14
How do I wire a photocell with a time clock a contactor and override switch?


06:19PM | 12/14/17
I believe this is called a master circuit.
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