Motion Sensor Problems – My Outdoor Motion Sensor Light Stopped Working, is an article that will take you through the possible problems you may be having and offer you some solutions. When you’re having motion sensor problems, your lights may be coming on when you don’t want them to. They could also be failing to come on when they should. Your timer may not be working, or maybe the problem is, they only work on test mode. Or possibly yours won’t shut off in the daytime.
In order to resolve the issue, let’s take a few seconds to discuss just how a motion detector is supposed to work. Normal operation uses a few simple components and knowledge of these parts will make it easier for you to troubleshoot your motion detectors. Motion detectors use a form of radar to detect movement in the form of heat, or temperature through infrared sensors that send out a wave and measure the time it takes for the wave to return. When something interferes with the rate of return, the motion detector is activated and the switch turns on. This can be a human or animal or even a leaf blowing by. It can be cars passing in the street or even a piece of trash blowing into the range of the detector. After a set period of time without the wave being interrupted, the switch will turn off. This time period is user adjustable and usually ranges from one minute to twenty minutes depending upon the manufacturer. Motion detectors also incorporate a photocell switch. This component detects sunlight and actually breaks the circuit for the infrared detector during daylight hours. This keeps your lights from coming on during the day when they would be wasting valuable energy.
Motion detectors need a power source. This can be an electrical connection to your homes power supply, or a solar source, or even a battery. No matter what your unit uses to get its power, the troubleshooting procedures and the solutions are all the same.
- If your motion lights will not come on, first check the bulbs by trying the lights on test mode. The lights should come on and stay on. Test mode allows you to try the unit out in the daytime as well.
- Check the power supply and make sure the breaker is on and that no secondary switch has been inadvertently turned off. Check the battery if you have a battery unit. Solar units must be dirt free and not obstructed from sunlight by leaves or other debris.
- Exterior motion lights should be sealed from possible moisture. This could be an issue if the fixture is turned upward and water collects within the socket. Make sure to angle sockets down, even though most lights have water seals.
- If your lights are not shutting off, or coming on during daylight hours, the culprit is probably the photocell. If it’s not detecting sunlight, many different types of malfunctions can occur.
- Most motion detector lights are relatively inexpensive. Aside from changing light bulbs, replacing the entire unit may prove cheaper then repairing or replacing a single component.
When having motion sensor problems and your outdoor motion sensor light stops working, running through these fixes should find the problem 99 percent of the time. The other one percent of the time will prove to be a faulty unit.