How to Reset a Motion Sensor Light

November 9, 2020

reset motion sensor light

Motion sensor lights are a great security measure to take in your home. Many homeowners rely on motion sensor lighting for added security. When a motion sensor light starts to malfunction, or is stuck in the on or off position, this can be frustrating. Not only will your motion sensor light not trigger at the right time, but you could be wasting valuable energy if it’s stuck in the “On” position.  You may need to reset your motion sensor light!

Unfortunately, motion sensor lights are sensitive to power surges. This means that they will sometimes start to malfunction after an electrical blink or power outage. In this scenario, many homeowners assume that the light must be broken beyond repair, but it is likely that it just requires a reset. By taking some time to troubleshoot the motion sensor light, you can save a lot of time and money. Best of all, this doesn’t require any special skills or tools!

Today, our Raleigh electricians will be walking you through how to reset a stuck motion sensor light. As always, if you need our licensed electricians to help you fix your malfunctioning motion sensor lights you can give us a call anytime at (919) 359-1017 for an immediate fix!

How to Know if You Need to Reset Your Motion Sensor Light

Motion sensor lights are designed to turn on whenever a person, vehicle, animal, or other moving object is within the range of the sensor. Unfortunately, after a power blink or with age, these motion sensor lights can become less responsive and possibly even quit working altogether.

To help you identify when your motion sensor light may be in need of a reset, our electricians have organized a list of signs that indicate a reset may be in order:

  • The light stays switched on for long periods of time or permanently instead of turning off once the movement has ceased. Keep in mind that a properly functioning motion sensor light should turn off automatically within a few minutes of detecting motion.
  • Large objects such as vehicles and people aren’t triggering the light.
  • The light appears to be less sensitive than usual and isn’t consistent in detecting motion.

If any of these situations fit your current predicament, it’s likely that your motion sensor light just needs to be reset!

How to Reset Your Motion Sensor Light in Just 6 Steps

Fortunately, it is pretty simple to get your malfunctioning motion sensor light working again! This can be done in just a few steps. Always try the following steps to reset your motion sensor light before forking out the cash for a new one. You may be glad that you did!

Step 1: Turn off the fixture’s circuit breaker for at least 30 seconds.

Step 2: If the fixture is connected to a light switch, you should turn the switch on for about 2 seconds, off for an additional 2 seconds, and then back on again.

Step 3: If the fixture is connected to a light switch, rapidly switch it on and off between four and five times, or until the light stays on.

Step 4: Once the light stays on, you should turn the switch off for up to 5 seconds before turning it back on again.

Step 5: If your motion sensor light is a device that allows for a change in its sensitivity level, you should try adjusting this to make it less sensitive to motion. You don’t need it to be sensitive enough to detect small critters, after all. It just needs to be sensitive enough to detect if there’s a possible trespasser on your property.

Step 6: If all else fails, replace the light bulbs in your motion sensor light in case the malfunctioning is due to the bulbs and not the wiring of the light itself.

After completing the steps above, you should have a good idea of whether or not your motion sensor light simply needed to be reset, whether dead light bulbs were the issue, or if you’re in need of an electrical lighting upgrade.

Outdoor Lighting Installation From Raleigh Electricians

Have you tried all of the steps above and identified that it’s time for your outdoor lighting to be upgraded? If so, you’re in the right place! Our Raleigh electricians are here to help you find the perfect solution to the problem, whether that be new lighting installation or lighting repair services. To receive a free quote on new outdoor lighting installation, give our experts a call at (919) 359-1017 or submit a form submission on our website today! We’re here to help anytime.


Renee is a freelance copywriter and blogger known for her expertise surrounding topics like marketing, freelancing, mental health, and more. She has written for hundreds of small business websites and is the Marketing Director here at Right Electrical Services, LLC. Renee believes that when a business prioritizes entertaining, engaging, and informational content for their readers, they can expect a loyal following that trusts their company.

One Reply to “How to Reset a Motion Sensor Light”

  1. I agree that motion sensor lights are sensitive to power surges, so it has to be checked and monitored by a certified and well-trained electrician. Thank you for sharing these tips on how to reset a motion sensor light. I can save money with this. Great!

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