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What is this thing . . .


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Possibly a surge arrestor with an indicator light to show when it's been fried?

That occurred to me, too. I just didn't know. We've had threads before that discuss how surge protectors are (wrongly, but typically )double-tapped into the SE lugs, so that's how I made the connection.

I did, of course, hold my finger over the lens/sighthole to see if anything energized, but without any luck.

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It's not a surge arrestor - it's a light sensor-switch. They're used all the time around here on condos to light the public lighting automatically when the sun goes down.

OT - OF!!!

M.

You were typing while I was. None of the other townhouses had similar gizmos on the disconnect enclosures. I wonder if my unit was supplying power to a faux streetlight or something.

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It's not a surge arrestor - it's a light sensor-switch. They're used all the time around here on condos to light the public lighting automatically when the sun goes down.

OT - OF!!!

M.

You were typing while I was. None of the other townhouses had similar gizmos on the disconnect enclosures. I wonder if my unit was supplying power to a faux streetlight or something.

I sometimes see them controlling the indoor stairway night lights. You know, those little louvered lights over stair treads. When it gets dark out, the night lights come on. Pretty slick.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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Yes that double tap is a no no!

And the lower electrical box seems to have a conduit going into the ground. Probably to outside lighting.

Place some black electric tape over the photocell and the outside lights should come on.

With those style of photocell controls, you can get higher wattage switching which can handle quite a few lights. Like this 3000 watt control...

http://www.residential-landscape-lighti ... 213PRE.htm

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I did, indeed, bust the double-tap and also--ummm, very professionally, mind you--cover the lens with a finger and crane my neck like a damn idiot to see if any light fixtures illuminated.

They didn't.

That's why I asked you guys what the thing was. I was fairly certain it was a photo-electric sensor, but I didn't want to find out down the road that it was some sort of nuclear device or stun-system for teenagers who broke curfew.

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Looks like a disconnected light sensitive photo-eye switch.....what's the right name for those?

Photo-cell

A photocell is a type of resistor. When light strikes the cell, it allows current to flow more freely. When dark, its resistance increases dramatically.

Any and all light is made up of Photons.

Matt

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I think that lag is a common characteristic of photoelectric switches. It's actually more of an averaging function than a time delay. It helps avoid lights going off at night during lightning storms.

Marc

That must be an improvement from the 60's ...

When we were kids, we accidentally learned that we could instantly knock our streetlights out for about ten minutes by aiming a camera flash attachment at them and firing.

We used the resulting darkness for, uh, . . . . oh, never mind.

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