menu
The 50plus

switch to LED

Great little ideas: timer-photocell lighting

With the advent of LED bulbs outside lighting offers greater flexibility and reliability and than the older incandescent and halogen technologies. It's no longer worth purchasing halogen lights, the lifespan of the bulbs makes LEDs far more attractive and one doesn't have to go climbing ladders to replace blown bulbs and fight with rusted fixings.
The substantially reduced cost of operation of LEDs (typically 80% to 90% lower) makes it worth thinking about using lower level lighting and keeping it on for morning and evening darkness periods if security is required, instead of the typical high powered halogen PIR lights (triggered by hopefully human movement) that have been popular in recent years. And let's face it you really don't need a 300 watts of lighting when you walk up to your front door or garden path. If you must stick with the PIR approach (and there are circumstances where it remains useful) then fit LED PIRs.
So what is the improved alternative? The simple method is to use a time switch and photocell to control outside lights. The cost of the parts is small, from around £30 plus the light fittings if they need replacing. The trick is getting the cabling installed. A competent electrician can do it, but it may require a good search for suitable routes.
The timer can be the simple 24 hour type offering offering 4 on-off periods per hour or for greater flexibility use a seven day programmable timer. Remember to use a relay or mechanical switch based timer. Those designed to switch immersion heaters on and off are rated at 16 amps so will be more than adequate.

The diagram shows a schematic of the wiring.

schematic

Wired like this you can choose which hours of darkness you'd like the lighting on for and the photocell will turn the lighting off automatically once there is an adequate light level. So there is no need for adjustments as the days lengthen and shorten.
You can find details of how lighting circuits are wired and how to buy the 50plus homeowners electrical guide which contains greater details on our technical support pages.

contents
contents1

Contents1 picture

t1

Read the latest features

contents2

Contents2 picture

t2

Just for you:
members offers

contents3

Contents3 picture

t3

Great prizes: your chance to win!

contents4

Contents4 picture

t4

Improvements and repairs

content-guide

-------------------

Quick contents guide

-------------------

Cover page

-------------------

Features

Features archive

Offers

Services

Work

-------------------

Competition

Advertise

-------------------

50plus Help site

-------------------


contents5

Contents5 picture

advertising a1

a2

a3

a4
contact

Contact The 50plus Magazine

The 50plus Magazine is produced for The 50plus by 50plus Publishing Ltd.

Illustrations (c) Can Stock Photo, The 50plus Organisation Ltd and 50plus Publishing Ltd.
Content copyright 50plus Publishing Ltd
For information on cookies, copyright, terms and privacy click here.

Chesham, England
Phone: (+44) (0)1494 784 448
Email: publishing@the50plus.co.uk
footer