Outdoor motion lights fail

I had installed one of the Home Depot motion detector lights about 3 years ago and it worked fine until recently when all of a sudden it would not come on except in "TEST" mode. I assumed the circuits were dead so I went and bought a new one with more or less the same features.
Well new one is installed and guess what, no lights except in test mode. I can turn the light switch off/on several times which is suppose to force the light on, no go. Set it to 2 hr., 4 hr., no go. Set the sensitivity High, Med, Low, no change. Seems nothing will make the light come on normally.
As far as background light goes it has not changed since the first unit was installed. I even placed my finger over the photocell to see if I could force it "dark" but that made no difference either.
Suggestions?
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wrote:

Have you tried it at night? The photo cell takes a while to react.
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I use a similar model, made by the same company and have found that the photocell can "see" light through the front lens even when the p cell hole is covered. Also I believe the bypass switch only works in the dark.

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I got back on the ladder and did the following:
1. Covered the photocell with tape. 2. Turned all power off at the circuit and tested that power was off, left off for 5 mins.
3. Set system back to "test" mode and it worked agian, duh.
4. Dusk, tried to get system to work, no go. Turned light switch off and on twice ot force on, didn't work but did it like 10 times and then it finally worked but the light stayed on for only a minute.
5. It is dark outside now, tape is on photocell, system is set to 2 hours on - result = same problem, no light during motion that "test" mode detected.
Guess I'll pull it tomorrow, take it back in for another. I really like the remote trick so I hate to change models.

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