Will a Photocell Work in the Shade?

Many people are curious if a photocell work in the shade. Photocells are widely used for their functionality and benefits. Properly installed photocells can provide illumination and convenience. They are ideal for both indoor and outdoor use. On the other hand, a lot of people are wondering if they can place photocells in the shade and what happens if they do. Let us find out the answer below.

Will a photocell work in the shade? A photocell will not work properly if placed in a shaded or sheltered area. Make sure that you place the photocell in a clear and bright area but avoid facing it to direct sunlight. Moreover, photocells should not face artificial light sources at night.

Where to place the photocells? Is photocell placement important? Should photocells face artificial lights? How do you test a photocell? These are some of the questions that we will discuss. Check out the rest of the article below to learn more about the topic.

Is the Placement of a Photocell Important?

The placement of the photocell is important for it to work efficiently. Take note that photocells are commonly used to control various lighting fixtures. It causes the light to automatically turn on and off by measuring the level of ambient lighting. On the other hand, they will not work properly when placed in the wrong location.

Where Should You Place Photocells?

The best location to place photocells is facing north and away from direct sunlight. If you cannot face it on the north, you can face it to the east, west, or even downwards. To have the best light fixture control, you need to strategically place photocells around your property. You can also check out this article that we have shared titled, why do photocells face north? We have shared useful tips and information that you can refer to when choosing the right placement for your photocell lighting.

Should Photocells Face Artificial Lights?

Photocells should not face artificial lights. Make sure that you keep it away from artificial lights especially at night. Do not place it near your windows because the light that comes out through it can reach the photocell and affect its performance. The reason for this is that any artificial light that hits the photocell will deceive it so that it turns off. The photocell will interpret the light as daylight and will automatically shut down.

How Do You Test a Photocell?

To test the photocell if is working properly, you need to turn its power on and wait for five minutes until the photocell reacts. Moreover, you can use black electrician tape to cover the photocell and simulate nighttime. Wait for a few minutes to verify that the photocell is properly working or not.

✅ Video – Testing the Photocell for Resistance

EOGBEnergyProducts shared the video below on YouTube. It discusses how to test a photocell for resistance. If you notice that your photocell has a stray light, or is failing to see a flame signal, there must be a problem. You can do a resistance test to determine what the problem is. Watch the video below for more information.

Can You Add Photocell to Any Light?

A photocell cannot be added to any light. Take note that some of the lights are not compatible with a photocell. If you add a photocell to a lighting fixture that it is not compatible with, the light would flicker or it will not turn on. We have also shared this article that discusses what causes a photocell to go bad. Check out the article to learn more about the topic.

Are Photocells A Good Idea?

Photocells are a good idea because they provide a lot of benefits. Aside from being efficient, they are also energy-saving. Because the photocells automatically turn off as soon as it detects any light, you can rest assured that you will save energy. You do not have to worry about forgetting to turn off the light. This can also reduce your energy bills. Moreover, photocells automatically adhere to the seasonal changes and they are not affected by daylight-savings time.

Why Install Photocell Lighting?

Installing photocell lighting will not only improve your outdoor surroundings but will also increase your visibility at night. They can enhance your home security, minimize your chores, and help to reduce your energy consumption. Let us learn more about these benefits below.

Improve Home Security

One of the reasons why it is ideal to install photocell lighting is because it improves your home security. They are an effective way to ward off burglars. The good thing about using photocell is that compared to the traditional outdoor lights, they can help secure your home even when you are away. This is because photocells can be activated using a timer system. It will automatically turn on as soon as it detects that there is no light.

Minimize Chores

Another reason why photocells are popular for a lot of homeowners is that they minimize chores. There are times when you get so busy that turning on and off the lights can be hard to do. Most often, because of your busy schedule, you forgot to turn off your outdoor lights which leads to a high electric bill. By installing a photocell, you can have the peace of mind that the light will automatically turn on and off every day.

Reduce Energy Consumption

Using photocell helps reduce your energy consumption. This is great not only for your savings but also for the environment. Because lighting fixtures that use photocell are automated, rest assured that you will not forget to leave the lights on which saves energy. Moreover, photocells are equipped with a feature that allows you to adjust when the lights will turn on and off. You can also check out this article that discusses if all photocells are the same. We have shared an in-depth discussion about the topic.

Improve Your Lawn

Photocells can help illuminate your outdoor surroundings and improve your lawn. Nowadays, a light fixture that uses a photocell comes in a wide array of shapes, sizes, and styles. You will find the one that suits your preferences. Strategically placing your outdoor lights can enhance certain features in your lawn. It can even highlight your favorite spots.

Increase Visibility

The main benefit of installing an outdoor lighting fixture that uses a photocell is that it increases visibility at night. Going home to a dark place is dangerous and can cause accidents. You might trip over a rock or fall down the patio stairs. It can even be more dangerous when it is raining. A slippery driveway is prone to accidents. Aside from that, a dark surrounding can also encourage burglars to snoop around and enter your home. Make sure to install outdoor lighting fixtures for safety and security purposes.

Is a Photocell a Dusk to Dawn Light?

A photocell is sometimes referred to as a dusk to dawn light. Many lighting fixtures use photocell as their power source. The photocell can sense when dusk has fallen and automatically turns on the light. On the other hand, it also detects natural lights and turns them off at dawn. If natural light changes, the photocell lights are activated. They are not affected by daylight savings time. You can also find photocell outdoor lights that are equipped with motion sensors.

What are Photocell Switches?

Photocell switches are responsible for detecting light levels from the sun. If they detect any changes in the light level, they turn on or off the fixtures where they are wired to. Photocell switches can be used in various applications. You can usually find them in street lamps and security lights. By installing photocell switches, there is no need to manually turn on and off the street lamps. The switches are the ones responsible for automatically turning them on and off according to the sunset and the sunrise. As a result, a significant amount of energy can be saved. Moreover, it can help reduce light pollution.

What Causes a Photocell to Stop Working?

There are many reasons why a photocell stops working. One of the common causes is incorrect or loose wiring between the photocell and the main circuit of the lighting system. When connecting a photocell to a lighting system, make sure that it has a solid, soldered connection. Aside from that, there should be proper electrical power. We have also shared this article that talks about what causes a photocell to go bad. Check out the article for more tips and information about the topic.


In this article, we have discussed if a photocell will work on the shade. We have found out that a photocell will not work on a shaded area. Make sure that you place it in a sunny area but do not face it directly at the light of the sun. Nowadays, there is a wide array of lighting fixtures with photocells. Check your local store for the best options that you can have for your home. Thank you for reading!

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