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  • Choosing a photorelay for street lighting

    1. Types and technical characteristics of photorelay
    2. Types of photorelays
    3. Technical characteristics of photorelay
    4. Photocell connection
    5. Connecting photocell with integrated power unit
    6. Photocell connection with remote photocell
    7. Conclusion

    Various modifications of photorelay

    Modern technologies are entering our lives more and more firmly, and photocells for lighting are one of the clearest examples of this progress. After all, this simple device allows you not only to save a lot, but also greatly simplify your life.

    With all this, the cost of this innovation is in reasonable aisles, and its payback period is less than a year.

    Types and technical characteristics of photorelay

    Due to the fact that photorelays have found a very wide application, a wide choice of models with a wide variety of technical data and parameters is presented on the market. Models differ in connection method, installation, technical content and many other parameters. Therefore, in order not to overpay and purchase a model that ideally meets your requirements, let's pay close attention to these parameters.

    Types of photorelays

    The photo shows photo relay with additional functionality.


    • First of all, you should know that a photocell for street lighting can be built into the power unit, or it can be remote. Built-in models are a single unit that is installed directly on the street. It has good weather protection, but is often capable of switching only small currents up to 16A. Of course, there are built-in models designed for switching and high currents, but the price of such devices is much higher.
    • Photocell with remote photocell consists of two separate elements. The first is directly the switching device, which is installed in the switchboard. The second is the photocell itself, which is installed in open space and connected to the switching device by means of wires. The rated current of such photocell can reach 63A and above.
    • One more important difference of the photorelay is its functional filling. So, many of them contain not only a photocell, but also a motion sensor. This greatly enhances the control of lighting, and also reduces your costs.
    • In addition, there is a photosensor on lighting, which is combined with a timer. This allows you to turn on the lighting, not only when it is dark, but also at a specific time. In addition, such photocell can be programmed by annual cycles and other time parameters.
    • There are relays that combine all these functions. This allows you to program the switching on and off of lighting, combining various parameters. But to be honest, I have never seen cases when their full functionality was used in such photo relays.

    Technical characteristics of photorelay

    Photo relay installation


    • First of all, it is the voltage for which the photo relay is intended. It can be 220V or 380V. For individual use it is quite enough devices on 220B. If you plan to power the lighting of a small industrial facility from this photorelay, then, of course, 380V devices will be the ideal solution. Of course, there are still 12 and 42 V devices, but they are used extremely rarely.
    • Choosing a photo relay disconnecting lighting, pay close attention to its rated current. Currently on the market are models with denominations of 6, 10, 16, 32, 40 and 63A. The selection should be made on the basis of the rated power of your lighting network.
    • Another important parameter is the ability to adjust the illumination at which the photocell will operate. Usually, the regulation limit can vary from 2 to 100 Lx, but other options are possible. Therefore, if you have any special requirements for the level of illumination, pay attention to this parameter.
    • Due to the fact that many photocell are designed for outdoor installation, pay attention to its degree of protection. It is indicated by numbers after the abbreviation IP.

    Note! The first number indicates protection against dust and can vary up to 6, which means full dustproofness. The second digit can vary up to 8 and means the water resistance of the product. Therefore, if you need to adjust, for example, the lighting for indoor photography, then IP40 will be enough. For outdoor installation it is better to use photo relay with IP44 and higher.

    • Well, the last component, which is worth paying attention to when choosing a photorelay, will be the delay for switching on and off. It is usually adjustable from 5 to 90 seconds, but other options are possible. The importance of this parameter is determined only by your project.

    Photocell connection

    Unfortunately, there is no single standard for connecting a photo relay, and each manufacturer offers its own method. But in general, they are almost indistinguishable, and the main problem, if you started to connect photocell with your own hands, can become a relay with a remote photocell.

    Therefore, in our article we will consider almost all possible connection options.

    Connecting photocell with integrated power unit

    Connecting photocell with built-in power unit

    • The simplest photo relays with an integrated power unit usually have three leads. Of which the two wires connect the phase wires, and the third - zero. Connecting the protective wire is usually not provided.
    • To connect, first of all, remove the voltage from the part of the circuit where the work is to be.
    • After that, to the output "L1" (another marking of the output can be applied) we connect the phase wire coming from the supply circuit breaker.
    • To the conclusion "L2" we connect the phase wire to which our lighting devices are connected.
    • To the conclusion "N" connect the neutral wire. It is necessary so that the photocell can switch on the lighting normally.
    • Now, after making all the necessary adjustments, you can energize and test our photo relay.

    Photocell connection with remote photocell

    Photocell connection with remote photocell

    A feature of a photo relay with a remote element is the location of the sensor itself, separate from the power unit. The photocell to turn on the lighting is connected separately, in connection with this, such power units have five conclusions.

    • To connect such a photorelay, you must first connect the power wires. This is done exactly like connecting a photo relay with a built-in power unit.

    Note! Some power units with a remote sensor have the ability to connect several different lighting groups at once. In this regard, such units will have four or more phase outputs. Connection is made to any two paired outputs.

    • After that we can connect directly the photocells to turn on the lighting. To do this, we have two conclusions that are labeled accordingly. This marking is significantly different from different manufacturers, but in most cases it represents the sensor.
    • After completing all the necessary settings, we can energize and test the performance of our circuit.


    We very much hope that our instruction will allow you to choose and connect any photorelay. And you can appreciate its convenience, efficiency and simplicity.

    A video posted on our website will allow you to more competently organize your outdoor lighting.