photocell

[foh-toh-sel]
noun Electronics.
a solid-state device that converts light into electrical energy by producing a voltage, as in a photovoltaic cell, or uses light to regulate the flow of current, as in a photoconductive cell: used in automatic control systems for doors, lighting, etc.


Origin:
1890–95; photo- + cell1

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
photocell (ˈfəʊtəʊˌsɛl)
 
n
photoelectric cell, Also called: electric eye a device in which the photoelectric or photovoltaic effect or photoconductivity is used to produce a current or voltage when exposed to light or other electromagnetic radiation. They are used in exposure meters, burglar alarms, etc

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
photocell   (fō'tō-sěl')  Pronunciation Key 
See photoresistor.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
They turn on when a photocell attached to them reacts to the darkness, and off
  when the sun comes up.
The photocell sits at the bottom of the vertical portion of the chamber.
Behind the film was a disc scanner and behind that was a photocell.
If the dark character image matched a transparent character image, the amount
  of light reached the photocell was small.
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