How to Connect an Electric Light Sensor


Electric light sensors are designed to turn lighting on when the ambient light dims and off when the light returns. They are usually used to turn lighting on at dusk and off at dawn. The light cycles are sometimes used to enhance nighttime scenery and often used to add to nighttime security.

Things You'll Need

  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Flat-blade screwdriver
  • Diagonal cutter
  • Wire stripper
  • Mounting plate
  • Wire connectors
  • Turn off the power to the circuit you are working on at the breaker box.

  • Mount the light sensor by threading it into a mounting plate. Mounting plates are available at local hardware stores. The mounting plates are threaded and ready for mounting one to three devices.

  • Attach the light fixture or fixtures (often flood lights) to the mounting plate. You now have the complete lighting unit assembled.

  • Connect the wires on the lighting fixture to the wires from the electrical box. Start with the green wires. A green wire will connect either to a green screw or to a green wire from the box, using a green wire connector. This is an essential safety step to connect to ground.

  • Connect all the white wires together and secure with a wire nut. These are the "common" or neutral wires.

  • Connect one of the colored wires from the light sensor (usually black or red) to the colored wires from the light or lights.This will provide power from the light sensor to the flood lights when the light sensor activates.

  • Connect the remaining colored wire from the light sensor to the colored wire from the electrical box. This will provide power to the light sensor.

  • Attach the lighting unit to the electrical box using the hardware provided with the mounting plate.

Tips & Warnings

  • Always turn off the electrical power before doing work on anything electrical.

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  • Photo Credit electrical box image by jimcox40 from
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