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Dusk to Dawn Light Stays On All The Time: Troubleshooting

Dusk to dawn lights have recently become very popular. They only turn on when there’s no light, so they’re a great way to save electricity bills. 

Also, since you don’t physically turn them on and off every day. As a result, it saves you a fair bit of effort as well. One of the most common complaints about such lights is that they stay on for too long.

What to do if dusk till dawn light stays on all the time?

You can fix your light turning off all the time by overriding the sensors manually. Turn the lights off and leave it that way for a while. Turn it on after a few minutes and it should work properly. If this happens regularly, there might be bigger problems that require professional help.

In this article, we’re going to discuss how to deal with dusk to dawn lights. We’re also going to discuss some other troubleshooting in general. Let’s begin!

How do Dusk to Dawn Lights Work? 

To understand the problems in our dusk to dawn lights, we need to know how dusk to dawn lights work. Knowing how they work can help you fix problems easily.

Dusk to dawn lights contain photocells. These cells control when the lights turn on and off. These photocells contain semiconductors that do all the work.

The semiconductors in the photocells respond to the light it receives. When there’s enough light, the current starts flowing from the semiconductors to the lighting system. And then turn it off. 

Again, when there’s no light, the semiconductors stop providing electricity, turning the system on. In most lights, you can decide the level of light to activate the photocell systems.

Why do Dusk to Dawn Light Stays On All The Time? 

Your dusk to dawn light can stay on all the time for multiple reasons. Understanding your problem is the first step to solving it. And then fix the problem according to that.

System Override 

One of the most common reasons these lights stay on longer than normal is due to system overrides. System overrides can happen due to power outages or minor problems in your system. 

Also, problems like these can happen if you don’t have the right wire in place.

Dealing with a system override is fairly easy and doesn’t require a lot of effort. For that, you need to turn the lights on and off again manually, and you’re good to go. 


The best way to deal with a system override is by manually resetting the system. You need to turn off the system and turn it back on. It should fix the overridden system and turn the lights off. 

Simply turn off the switch to your outdoor lighting. And let it be turned off for a minute or two. Afterwards, turn the switch on and reset the light sensors to auto. This should turn the lights off and fix your system for the time being. 

Obstructed Sensors

If your sensors are obstructed, it would prevent light from entering your sensors. This prevents them from getting turned off. As the sensors are placed at the base of the bulb, we often forget to clean them.

As a result, the sensors can get obstructed with dirt and debris. You need to take care of the dirt for it to work.

Dirt and rust cause all lights including LED lights to dim or act differently. Make sure to always keep them as clean as possible.


The photocell sensors are placed at the base of the bulb. Ensure that the sensor is receiving enough light. There could be large trees, lampshades, or any other fixtures preventing the light from getting into the cells.

Move the light from its position and shift it to a place where its light isn’t obstructed. This should help the situation

If the reason behind obstruction is dirt, open the bulb and wipe away all the dirt. Be careful so you don’t damage the sensors or other parts of the light.

Your light might still stay on for longer after trying these steps. It’s likely that your photocells need repair or replacement in this case. Consult your electrician and get it fixed as soon as possible.

Tips to Ensure Longevity for Your Dusk to Dawn Lights 

If taken care of well, dusk to dawn lights will last a fairly long time. With a little bit of care, they can last a fairly long time.

Ensure Consistent Lighting

It’s important that the lamps and ballasts are of the same category. Otherwise, your system won’t work and you’d get inconsistent lighting all the time. 

Make sure that your lamps and ballast have the same ANSI number. This will ensure that they’re compatible with each other and won’t cause any problem for you.

If you’re looking for the right ballast for your system, look no further. Here’s our recommendation for the best ballast out there:

Product 1
Product 2 

These are the best products out there, and we hope you’d benefit from them.

Check Your Wiring 

Your wiring is very important in maintaining your system. If the wiring isn’t good, it can cause a lot of harm in the long run. 

Get your wiring checked by a professional once or twice a year. And if you have inconsistent lighting or similar problems, get it checked immediately. 

Not only wiring but make sure you have the correct switches for your circuit as well.

With that, we’ve discussed the necessary steps to fixing dusk to dawn light. And how to ensure longevity for your lights. Make sure to follow our guide.


Question: Can you turn a normal lighting system into a dusk to dawn lighting system?
Answer: Yes, you can turn your regular lighting into a dusk to dawn system. For that, you’d need a good lighting system and the necessary tools. 

Question: How to know if your photocell is bad?
Answer: To know the condition of your photocell, use a digital multimeter. Place the multimeter near your sensors and turn it on. If the multimeter gives resistance, your light is in good condition! 

Question: How long do photocells last?
Answer: If taken care of properly, photocells can last as long as 10 years effortlessly.

Final Word

Dusk to dawn lights are a great way to conserve electricity. You also get to save yourself from the excess effort. If your dusk to dawn light stays on all the time, it’s likely that it has some problems.

Our discussion should help you fix and take care of your dusk to dawn lighting system.

We hope you find this helpful!