Ideas / / What is a Dusk-to-Dawn Sensor, and How Does it Improve Your Outdoor Lighting?

What is a Dusk-to-Dawn Sensor, and How Does it Improve Your Outdoor Lighting?

Posted in: | November 16, 2020

For zero hassle outdoor lighting, dusk-to-dawn sensors are game-changers. The terms “photosensor,” “photocell,” and “photo-eye” are all alternative words for this same solution: a simple technology that senses the ambient light surrounding it. We program our lights to use the sensor as a trigger to turn on after sunset and switch off after sunrise.

By choosing from the vast array of dusk-to-dawn sensor-equipped lights out there, you will be able to brighten up your garden, driveway, or pathway without concerning yourself with manually turning lights on or off.

Stainless Steel Path Light - Black

Dusk-to-Dawn Sensor Benefits

Imagine having your lights going on and off when they should. Picture the elimination of tedious, inconvenient manual controls. These aspects of dusk-to-dawn sensors offer peace of mind along with these other benefits:

  • Added Security: A brighter home at night will deter intruders and make passersby highly visible. Whether you are in your house or away, you can be sure that the sensor will keep those lights shining.
  • Comfort: Walking outside your home, be it around a garden or to and from your mailbox, should feel safe and comfortable at all times. Dusk to dawn lights keep those areas inviting without you having to flip a switch.
  • Energy Efficiency: Reliance on solar power means electricity or gas usage will be reduced, making your home that much greener.

Bright Light Interference and Troubleshooting

Bright Light Interference and Troubleshooting

As the sensors rely on their semiconductors being hit with the right amount of light, it is possible for other light sources in the nearby area to mislead the sensor due to light reflection. If you find that your dusk-to-dawn light turns itself on or off improperly, search for any potential sources of light reflection and if at all possible, remove them. If removal is not feasible, a photo control shield is an inexpensive, easily installable option. Once you attach the shield to the light sensor itself, interference should no longer be an issue.

Additional tip: the light sensor can also be combined with a motion sensor, meaning that alongside regular dusk-to-dawn programming, the light will again turn on when movement is detected. For a light featuring this combo, we recommend the Solar Pillar Commercial Bollard. It combines motion-sensitive output with the dusk-to-dawn operation. Learn more about it here: Highlight High Foot Traffic Areas with the Solar Pillar Commercial Bollard.

Gama Sonic’s Dusk-to-Dawn Recommendations

Convinced you’d like a dusk-to-dawn light but not sure where to look? Here are a few Gama Sonic lights we can wholeheartedly recommend:

Gama Sonic Premier Garden Dual Light – Set of 2 – 239002

The Premier Garden Dual Lights are perfect for illuminating your path or garden at night and can easily switch between warm white and bright white color temperatures.

Aurora Bulb Solar Light

The Aurora Bulb Solar Light is a sleek dusk-to-dawn solar light with three mounting options. With its 3-in-1 mounting options, you can place it virtually anywhere.

Baytown Bulb Solar Lamp Post with EZ-Anchor and Planter

The Baytown Bulb Solar Lamp with Planter and EZ Anchor is a timeless planter, allowing you to showcase your gorgeous flowers and foliage day and night.

Plaza Solar RLM Light with Adjustable Gooseneck Arm 119B50044

The Plaza Solar RLM Light with Adjustable Gooseneck Arm is an eye-catching and practical light for signage and vertical architectural surfaces.

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  1. gary pickett on September 27, 2022 at 3:22 pm

    i have a bad photo cell on my gama sonic post light dont know the model,its about 5 yrs old has six heavy beveled glass panes six solar panels also switch for hi and low light photo cell is near peak and is small can u help me find one? thanks gary

  2. Melody on December 12, 2022 at 12:10 pm

    Hello Mr. Pickett,

    If you are still in need of assistance with your Gama Sonic model, please contact our support team at 1-800-835-4113. We will need to identify the unit that you have in order to provide you with the replacement parts needed. Our office hours are M-F; 9:00am to 5:00pm EST.

    We look forward to speaking with you,
    GS Support Team