Step 2: Testing and Connecting your photocell

Picture of Testing and Connecting your photocell

Testing your photocell

The easiest way to determine how your photocell works is to connect a multimeter in resistance-measurement mode to the two leads and see how the resistance changes when shading the sensor with your hand, turning off lights, etc. Because the resistance changes a lot, an auto-ranging meter works well here. Otherwise, just make sure you try different ranges, between 1M ohms and 1K ohms before 'giving up'

Connecting to your photocell

Because photocells are basically resistors, they are non-polarized. That means you can connect them up 'either way' and they'll work just fine!

Photocells are pretty hardy, you can easily solder to them, clip the leads, plug them into breadboards, use alligator clips, etc. The only care you should take is to avoid bending the leads right at the epoxied sensor, as they could break off if flexed too often.