Motion Sensor Lights On The Fritz? Troubleshooting Tips and Tricks

Before calling us to troubleshoot your motion sensor lights and/or replace them, we wanted to give you a few troubleshooting tips and tricks you can do on your own. Don’t get us wrong: the electricians at KB Electric LLC LOVE to come out and help you troubleshoot to figure out motion sensor issues. If you would like us out to troubleshoot for you, we will be more than happy to; however, in some circumstances, there may be a few simple fixes that don’t really need an electrician’s assistance.


motion sensor lights


If you would like to try some troubleshooting techniques yourself because your motion sensor lights are not turning on anymore when they are supposed to, or if they are staying on too long, try these things before calling your local electrician.


Motion Sensor Lights: Tips For DIY Troubleshooting 


  1. Clean The Sensor

If you have had your motion sensor light for awhile now, the first thing we recommend is cleaning the sensor. Dirt and debris can cover it, not allowing it to sense movement properly, which could be the cause for a motion sensor light that isn’t turning on anymore. Use a damp to wet rag with water, and this should clean it just fine. Reset the motion sensor light and test it out.

  1. Test The Positioning

If cleaning the light didn’t work, adjust the positioning. Here are some common instances:

Are you noticing that the motion sensor light is turning on more frequently now? It may just be that the sensor is hitting more movement than when previously installed. Check the positioning to make sure the motion sensor isn’t positioned near a road or alley where traffic (car, foot, or animal life) is prevalent. 

Are you noticing that the motion sensor light isn’t turning on anymore? Check the positioning to make sure the sensor isn’t pointed towards the ground. Any type of movement could have done this, from intentionally changing a bulb, to an unintentional foreign object hitting the side of the house during a storm.

  1. Adjust The Sensor Settings

You may not have known this, but motion sensor lights have a range setting, and a timer setting. For example, you can set the sensitivity of the sensor by adjusting its range. Refer to your motion sensor’s owner’s manual for adjusting the sensitivity/range. Most sensors have a switch on the bottom to control this.

A timer setting is set for how long you want the light to stay on when it turns on. Some people don’t realize that this needs to be set accordingly so that it doesn’t seem like the light stays on for a long time. A good setting is anywhere between 1 and 2 minutes. Refer to your owner’s manual on how to do this, seeing as there are a lot of different brands and types of motion sensor lights on the market.

  1. Reset The Motion Sensor Light

When all else fails, try resetting the motion sensor light. Power surges and electrical outages/failures can cause a motion sensor light to work improperly. Even turning off the light switch by mistake that controls the light can reset it an auto-on mode, not allowing it to turn off when it should. To reset your motion sensor lights, power off the breaker in your main electrical panel that controls the light for at least 30 seconds or so. 

Still Need Help?

If you have exhausted all options above and your motion sensor lights still aren’t working properly, it may be time to call a licensed electrician for assistance. KB Electric LLC can help with any motion sensor troubleshooting, service, and replacement job if you reside in Montgomery County, Bucks County, Berks County, Chester County, Philadelphia County, or Delaware County. Call today! (267) 467-3178