Be it a time clock or a photo cell, automated outdoor lighting is the mark of professionalism and safety in many places, such as Atlanta. Electrician-installed systems have the benefit of greatly reducing (if not eliminating all together) incidences such as unlawful entry, robbery, vandalism, as well as accidents. Installed in the home, outdoor lighting creates a welcoming, safe atmosphere and leads to more time spent outside. The obvious benefit of having an automated system is that the business or home owner knows that the lights are on when they need them to be, whether there is someone are there to turn them on or not. This is especially useful when the lights in question are of the high intensity discharge variety, such as metal halide, sodium vapor or mercury vapor, since they require an extended “warm up” period to function normally. The only real question is which should you ask your electrician to install, a photo cell or a time clock?
A time clock is just what it sounds like, a timer that can be programmed by an electrician to turn your outdoor lights on and off at specific times. They need to be continually reprogrammed throughout the year to adjust for the longer nights in winter verses the shorter nights in summer. A photo cell will click on in bad weather or any other time the surrounding area is dark, but with a time clock a person can know precisely when their lights will be on or off.
Photo cells have a number of advantages over time clocks, as any electrical contractor in Atlanta or another busy city will attest to. Right off the bat the superiority of a photo cell is obvious, as the instillation of one can take place almost anywhere, such as inside lighting fixtures, on walls, on brackets even in post collars. A photo cell can cost as little as 8% of what it costs to install a time clock, moreover, the savings don't stop there. A photo cell ensures that the light is on only when it's needed, so the precise time it clicks on changes with the length of the days throughout the year and shaving unnecessary time burning electricity. This, of course, cuts down on electric bills. Lower energy costs combined with a low instillation fee means that the unit will pay for its self pretty early on. The financial advantages of using a photo cell really stack up.