My Outdoor Security Light Won’t Turn Off

2017 Oct 04
Posted in: Electrical

If your outdoor security light won’t turn off, it’s most likely because of one of these problems:

  • The sensitivity settings are too high
  • The duration settings are too high
  • It’s stuck in auto mode
  • Something in the light itself is defective

Not sure which one is your problem? Don’t worry, we’ll help you troubleshoot a security light that stays on 24/7.

Note: Not all security lights are designed with the same settings. If the following steps aren’t applicable to your lights, have a professional inspect the fixture. If you need professional help, just contact us—we’ll send one right away.

Step 1: Adjust the sensitivity settings

Most security lights have a sensitivity setting on the sensor head or under the light fixture. These can usually be controlled with a small dial (this dial may also be labeled “range” and will look something like this).

If the sensitivity is too high, the light will constantly “trip” when it detects small movements like a flying bug or even a spider web.

What to do: If the sensitivity dial is set to “max”, lower it. You may also want to adjust the direction of the sensor head so that it only picks up movement from a specific area (i.e. only the driveway instead of a busy street).

Light still won’t turn off? Then your duration settings may be the culprit. 

Step 2: Adjust the duration settings

Motion sensor lights also have “duration” setting options. These dictate how long the light will stay on after being activated. Most models have durations that span from 1 minute to over a half hour.

If it seems like your outdoor security lights are constantly on, it could just be that it’s activating frequently (due to high sensitivity levels) and then staying on for a very long time.

What to do: Check your motion light’s duration settings (this setting should be located next to the sensitivity or “range” setting). If it’s set for 5 minutes or higher, adjust it to the lowest duration option then clear the area to see if the light shuts off after a few minutes.

If the light doesn’t shut off after this, continue on to Step #3...

Step 3: Turn the power off for a few minutes

Most motion sensor lights have a built-in “override” mode. This mode keeps the light on 24/7 regardless of any motion. 

But what most homeowners don’t realize is that by switching the light on and then off within 3 seconds forces your security light into this auto mode.

What to do: Shut the lights off at the breaker and wait a full 30 seconds before turning the power back on. After this, the security light should come on for a short while then turn off again and go back to normal settings.

Step 4: Call a professional to check for the issue

If you’ve completed Steps 1-3 but still have a security light that won’t turn off, you’ve exhausted all of your DIY troubleshooting options and will need to call in a professional.

Some security light problems that require a professional include:

  • Problems with the electrical wiring
  • Damage caused by a power surge
  • Improper installation
  • The security light needs to be replaced due to normal wear and tear

Need help from an AZ electrician?

If you’re still struggling to get your outdoor security light to function properly, we can help.

Just contact us and we’ll send over an electrician who can find and fix the problem in no time.

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