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Motion Sensor Light Troubleshooting: Methods To Fix [Common Problems]

Motion sensor light troubleshooting is not as hard as running a test on a vehicle. For example, troubleshooting some of the problems that these lights experience can easily be tracked down.

So, there’s no need to feel hopeless in the process. We’re going to teach you some common ways to determine if your unit is still in great shape.

All of these tests are relatively easy to run on your own. If you’ve done any electrical work, this will be a walk in the park.

And at the end of each explanation, you’ll find a short guide on how you can fix the motion sensor light.

Motion Sensor Light Troubleshooting

What Does a Motion Sensor Light Do?

A motion sensor light is a device that uses sensors to pick up movement.

This means that if you’re walking towards the kitchen, the sensor will pick up your body’s activity, which will turn on the lights.

These types of lights have grown in popularity over the years. And there is a reason for that; they make everything easier.

For example, motion sensor lights can be a great addition to your house if the light switch is too far away from you.

It will detect your movement and then turn them on.

How to Know if a Motion Sensor is Broken

Your motion sensor light’s reliability can be affected by external factors, like heat or water.

Down below, you’ll find two common ways, which will determine the state of the light.

Turn On The Breaker

The easiest way to determine whether the sensor is still in great shape is by turning on the breaker.

If the light does come up, go ahead, and set up the sensor’s sensitivity as you’d typically do.

However, if the light does not come up, you might want to change the bulb.

If none of that was helpful, then it means the motion sensor is no longer working, and it has to be replaced.

Dim Lights

As time goes by, lights lose their brightness, so there’s nothing strange about that.

Sometimes, changing the bulb fixes the lack of brightness. However, you might not always fix it by replacing the bulb.

For example, a common culprit for this issue is the power supply. It’s not as frequent, but it does happen.

When it goes bad, it sends less power to the bulb, which causes the lack of brightness in the room.

Other Common Causes

There are other cases where the LED modules go bad. When one of them stops working, the whole unit stops working.

To test the unit, you’re going to have to take it off the wall.

After that, we suggest hooking it up to a high voltage power supply to find out whether the lights turn on or not.

If you’ve determined that the power supply does not work, you must replace it.

Depending on the model you picked up, the power supply availability may vary, so keep that in mind.

6 Motion Sensor Light Problems

Motion sensor light troubleshooting does not have to be a tedious task.

Solving a motion sensor light problem can be as simple as resetting the sensor itself.

That said, here is how you can find the source of the problem to fix it:

1. Movement Is Not Being Registered

There is no doubt that the more money you spend on motion sensor lights, the more quality you get.

After all, you get what you pay for. But as reliable as they might be, these lights might not always be as effective as they once were.

For example, you could get back from work, go to sleep, and the next day as soon as you walk out of the room, the motion sensor might not pick up your moment.

This issue is not rare at all, and you might be able to fix it by resetting the system.

If you’re not sure how to go about it, follow the steps down below:

  • If the motion sensor light is connected to a light switch, turn it to the on position. After that, flip it off for at least two seconds.
  • When that time has passed, turn it to the on position. That should be enough to fix the lights problems.

If the motion sensor light won’t reset, we suggest repeatedly turning on and off the light switch.

You must do this process for both positions at least four times.

As soon as the light comes up, turn the light switch to the off position. You must wait five seconds before turning it on.

Still, having issues? Well, we still got another step that might do the trick for you.

  • The first thing you want to do is find the breaker panel. Most of the time, they can be found in the bedroom or in the hallway. Once you’ve located it, open it up
  • If you’re not sure which one to toggle, there should be a paper on the breaker panel with instructions indicating which breaker is for which area. Once you’ve found it, flip the breaker to the off position. After nearly a minute has passed, turn it on.

2. Overly Sensitive Sensor

Now, this issue is somewhat confusing and can throw some people off.

Some motion sensor lights are quite responsive, to the point they switch on and off on their own.

You’ve probably been advised to change the bulb, and unfortunately, this did not fix the issue itself.

Most of the time, it has nothing to do with the unit being damaged.

In fact, it’s just that your motion sensor is way too sensitive.

And the good news is that fixing this problem barely takes any time or money.

If you want to tackle this job, down below, you’ll find what you need to do:

  • Get cardboard and cover the photosensor with it. This will stop the light from bouncing, which should fix the issue.
  • Don’t worry; the motion sensor will still work. You’re just covering the photosensor so that it will not pick up the light and turn itself on and off.

This issue is a design flaw, and you shouldn’t worry about it. If you want to get a little bit more creative on how you can stop the light, we suggest watching this YouTube video for more information:

3. False Triggering

Motion sensor lights are fantastic. There is no doubt about that. But perhaps technology just isn’t there yet.

If you’ve had these for a while, you know how common it is for it to get triggered by other things moving.

Whether it be your pet, flowers, or vehicles driving nearby.

This issue in question is pretty usual, so there is no need to feel stressed out about it.

The solution to this problem is also relatively easy and does not require much time.

To fix the false triggering motion sensor light, you have to adjust the camera’s height, meaning you must find a height in which the motion sensor does not pick up any movement but yours.

For example, if the motion sensor is nearby plants, there is a high chance they could be triggering it.

That said, adjust the knob on the light so that it won’t pick up the plant’s movement.

4. Light Stays On During The Day

Ever noticed how your LED lights turn themselves on during the day? Well, you’re not alone.

This problem is quite common, and it’s relatively easy to get around it.

Now, there could be several reasons as to why this is happening. For example, it could be something related to the previous problem we covered.

The sensor could be trying to pick up movement nearby. That is perhaps the most common reason.

Another culprit, although not so common, is the test switch. If you’re trying to troubleshoot the sensor, there is a high you left the test switch on.

As soon as you switch it back to the on and off mode, your light should go back to normal.

5. Motion Sensor Light Blinking Red

If you recently got a motion sensor light and noticed that the red light is continually flashing, you might not have to worry about it.

Some motion sensor lights are made so that it flashes the red light when it isn’t dark outside.

During the night, the motion sensor will turn on the lights, and the red light should go away.

Another reason why the LED light is blinking is because of the test mode.

You might have switched it to the test mode and left it on. To fix it, switch it back on.

However, if that does not work, we suggest turning on and off the light switch a couple of times.

That should get rid of the red light.

6. Lights Won’t Turn Off

Users can decide how long the lights will stay on.

But things can get pretty confusing when you get out of the car, only to come back hours later to find out that the lights are still on.

This issue is nothing out of the ordinary, and fixing it barely takes any time.

Here are a couple of methods you can try:

  • Reset the system and then adjust the settings, meaning you have to change the motion sensor’s sensitivity.
  • Clean the sensor. Sometimes they get dirty, which can make the sensor act in strange ways.

Sometimes the solution to the lights not turning off can be as simple as that. We often spend lots of time troubleshooting only to find that all it took was a simple fix.

Frequently Asked Questions

In this section, you’ll find some questions most people have about the motion sensor lights.

Why is my motion sensor light not working?

Here is a list of common issues:

  • The power supply went bad. When it goes bad, the bulb won’t emit any light at all.
  • The LED module stopped working. If these modules are no longer functional, your motion sensor light will not work at all
  • If the motion sensor has been outside, dust could have gotten in and damaged the unit. You might be able to fix it by cleaning it off.

How long do motion sensors last?

It depends on the model you got. However, on average, they tend to last about 20 minutes.

As soon as they pick up any movement, the sensor will turn on the light, and it’ll remain on for the pre-adjusted time.

What triggers a motion sensor?

Motion sensors are triggered by movement. For example, when getting out of bed or when walking out of the house.

It does not have to be a human being. It could be the leaves of a tree swinging around.

How do you fix a motion sensor light stays on?

Turn the light off for a moment. Now head over to the breaker.

Once you’re there, flip it to the off position and then switch it back to the on position.

After that, switch the light switch back on. Now the lights should have been reset to manufacture settings.


Motion sensor light troubleshooting is one of the easiest things anybody can do.

You don’t need prior experience to troubleshoot a motion sensor.

Taking it off of the wall and cracking it open, as well as a couple of tools, should be more than enough to test a unit.

Sometimes you don’t even need to take it apart.

The simplest fixes that are often overlooked can be all you need.

Either way, we hope you managed to bring back to life your old motion sensor light.

If it ever starts acting up again, you’re now ready to fix it on your own.