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Motion sensor lights operate with what is known as a passive infrared detectorThe difference between passive detectors and active detectors is that active detectors add something to the surrounding environment, such as microwaves, sound waves or light waves, while passive detectors do not.

A motion detector light is a security feature which can be installed outside any home. The sensor works by detecting motion in its field of vision, which will cause the light to turn on. This can be a problem if the light is over-sensitive and is triggered by cats, small insects, or even by stray dust moving in a certain manner.

Possible Reasons for Your Motion Sensor Lights Staying On

So you’re having problems with your motion sensor lights coming on during the day? Well the first thing you should do is look at the owners manual to see if there are any trouble shooting tips. If this doesn’t fix the problem or you don’t have a manual here are several possible explanations.

The most obvious reason might be that the light in question does not have a daylight sensor better known as a photocell. Photocells are a type of resistor that is dark on the top when there is no light but this dark top lightens when it is exposed to light. This change from light to dark is what turns the light on and off. Now chances are if you have purchased an outdoor motion light then it probably has a photocell if it doesn’t them you might want to return or replace it with one that does.

Make sure the photocell light sensor is clean.

Could be that the photocell has gone bad. Many companies use cheap electronics that do not have a long life expectancy. Also many electronic parts like this are designed with a certain number of off/ons before they just wear out.

Check your sensitivity adjustment, if your light has one, make sure it isn’t turned all the way which could keep the light from turning off. This could be the problem even if your light has been up for a while. For example many times in winter the days can be dark enough to keep your lights from turning off if the sensitivities is set to high.

Sometimes motion sensor lights have to be reset if there has been a power outage or some other problem. To reset the light simply turn off the light switch or breaker that the light is connected to. The amount of time it takes to reset a light can very some take as little as 30 seconds while other take an hour or more. The amount of time your light requires can normally be found in the owner’s manual or on the manufacturer’s website.

Sometimes the problem can be an over heated circuit board. As with the cheap photocells many circuit boards also cheap and can not handle the amount of power going to the light bulbs especially when the light has more than one bulb. One way to remedy this problem is to remove some of the bulbs to lessen the load. Though this isn’t ideal it does sometimes work.

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A built-in photocell is used in ‘dusk to dawn lights’ to automatically switch light on when darkness falls and off again at sunrise.

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