Photo cell behind dimmer?

Thread Starter


Joined Jun 16, 2012
I would like my outdoor security lights, currently on a standard household dimmer, to automatically go on at dusk and off at dawn.

Will a standard photocell like this work behind the dimmer?

I like the way bulbs last much longer on a dimmer plus being able to control the amount of light & the ambiance with the dimmer, but would like it to be automatic.

The dimmer is already installed in place of a regular wall switch. Can I wire the photocell at the box where the lights are mounted between the cable powered through the dimmer to the bulb sockets? cable from dimmer---->photocell---->sockets




Joined Nov 30, 2010
First answer: no.

That photocell (and most others) is/are designed to work on 120 VAC. Therefore, it gets wired in before the dimmer.

Depending on exactly what kind of lights you have, dimming (longevity) can be accomplished in several ways.


Joined Aug 7, 2008
Use SCR for dusk to dawn & get 15 yr life on 1/2 wave rectification. As it is line operated , no schematic can be provided.