Outdoor LED spotlights are ideal candidates for photocell integration. When used for perimeter lighting, security or around industrial buildings, the lamps are usually turned on around more or less the same time every day (after sunset).
Because of this highly predictable action, it would be effective to automate operation by installing a photocell with the lighting system.
Types of LED Spotlights for Photocell Integration
Not all LED lights are suitable for photocell integration. There are some types, such as flashlights and UV lamps, that do not use photocells due to their specific applications at the work site.
Most types of LEDs that should be used with photocells are rated for outdoor use. For example, LED wall pack lights that emit spotlight beams (in an upward direction) can directly benefit from photocells. In most cases, the fixtures are installed in hard-to-reach locations and are turned on at night for security and passive illumination around the building.
LED spotlights used for advertising signs and billboards could also perform optimally with photocells. In both scenarios, reliance on human operators is greatly minimized.
Timer Functions and Benefits
It is important to remember that when an LED spotlight is triggered by a photocell, it will remain on until it senses a shift in ambient lighting. Depending on the sensitivity of the sensor, this could result in extended periods of illumination or unwanted illumination while transitioning to daytime conditions. A timer is a solution for such issues, which can be used to limit operation within a set timeframe (for instance, between 6pm to 12am).
When combined with a photocell, timers are also effective for reducing light trespass in outdoor locations. Also known as light leakage, the use of a photocell with a timer can cut the light before it contributes to glare or ‘sky glow’ (increased sky brightness from artificial lighting).