I'm new to this website and (as you will see), I have no electrical knowledge. My wife and I recently moved and hung string lights in our back patio (bought from Costco; 24 watt per string). We do not have an outlet in the back patio, so I intended to use an E26 to outlet adapter. Problem is when we went to install the adapter, the socket is actually a GU24. So here was my "solution":

I bought a GU24 to E26 adapter and installed it. Then, I installed the outlet adapter to the E26 adapter (I know this sounds hairy). The string lights turned on, but shut off after approximately 20 seconds.

Any diagnostic impressions or troubleshooting ideas would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you!

  • Sounds like one of the components is faulty. Did you do any testing, say with a light bulb in the E26 socket? An inexpensive electrical meter would be handy for any homeowner to have on hand.
    – isherwood
    Jun 15, 2020 at 16:02

3 Answers 3


My first guess would be that your existing (presumably outdoor fixture) socket was connected to a "dusk to dawn" photocell (light sensor) somewhere, with a 2 minute delay (not uncommon) to automatically turn your outdoor fixture on and noght and off when the sun comes up. So when you turn it on, the light from your string lights is enough to make the sensor think it is dawn and it turns off. Usually if the existing outdoor fixture had a flood lamp in it, the light from it was directed away from the sensor so that didn't happen, but the string lights are spreading light in all directions, so now the sensor sees it and reacts.

Look for a photocell or sensor somewhere and if you find one, cover it with something dark, like electrician's tape. Sometimes, like in the example below, they provide a sliding metal cover to use for this purpose.enter image description here

The photocell may not be a separate device like this however, it might be built into the fixture itself. But the "cell" might look like that round area with the squiggly lines in it. It also might look like the gray area on the top of this example:

enter image description here

  • Thanks JRaef. You were spot on. It was a photocell issue. The small photocell was located directly above the housing and out of my view. Simple fix. Thank you thank you!! Jun 15, 2020 at 17:28

Your adapter stack is failing

I've dealt with this myself with the cheapie adapters from China (though, mine were at least UL Listed, probably because I was doing something reasonable, putting Candelabra bulbs in Edison sockets). It is just hard for them to fit solidly and well.

  • Thanks Harper. It was indeed falling off/becoming loose because of the adapter stack weight. I had to resolve that issue by wrapping around the housing of the original socket--all good now and the solution to our issue is below. Jun 15, 2020 at 17:27

I am honestly floored but the quick responses to my question and for the moderator for helping to articulate my question clearly. You guys rock. Truly appreciate it! They're working perfectly now--it was a small photocell above the light housing that was out of view.

I'll be back with more questions I'm sure, and hopefully I can pay it forward ins due time.



  • Mind editing this to cut down on the fluff? As it is, it's on the verge of being a "thank you" post, which isn't how this site works (we thank people around here with upvotes and answer accepts) Jun 15, 2020 at 23:27

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