Carport light solution for unoccupied house
February 17, 2014 9:37 AM   Subscribe

This house is unoccupied at this time, need carport light to come on a dusk and off at dawn. Bought one of those light bulb sockets at Wal-Mart and it worked good the first month. Now it stays on all the time. Have tried moving the photo eye around with no improvement. Any suggestions that does not involve wiring would be helpful. I was thinking about the timer light socket but read many bad reviews about those too (not working correctly).
posted by just asking to Home & Garden (7 answers total)
Could you get an electrician to install a timer at the switch? That's what my parents have for their porch light. (Their switch is inside.)
posted by ocherdraco at 9:47 AM on February 17, 2014

Seconding the timer at the switch - it does involve wiring, but is fairly simple for a layperson to install. The only caveat is that you would need to reset it if the power were to go out.
posted by Sweetie Darling at 9:53 AM on February 17, 2014

Sounds like the socket has failed. Are you using a CFL bulb in a fixture that isn't rated for them? Usually that kills the bulb, but I suppose it could damage the photocell also.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 9:53 AM on February 17, 2014

They sell timers at Home Depot that do this. There are even mechanical timers that shouldn't be affected by intermittent power outages.

Note that unoccupied houses are really bad for insurance underwriting. Most homeowners policies automatically cancel once a house has been vacant for more than about thirty days. Just something to keep in mind.
posted by valkyryn at 11:11 AM on February 17, 2014

There are CFLs with light sensors integrated into the base. I used the Philips model from Home Depot in an external fixture for a couple of years with no problems.
posted by Max Camber at 1:22 PM on February 17, 2014

We use the RAB Stealth 360. Link is to the sensor only, but it also comes as a kit with LED or as a fixture that can take CFLs. You will need an electrician to install it, but it will both turn on when it detects movement and during set time intervals.
posted by snickerdoodle at 5:25 PM on February 17, 2014

I'm not sure from your question but it sounds like there is electricity to the house.

If the carport light has a standard light switch, get a light switch timer.

Edited to add: Does not require wiring, installs in about 2 minutes with a screwdriver.
posted by yohko at 7:45 PM on February 17, 2014 [1 favorite]

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