My motion sensor light is not working

Updated March 23, 2017

Motion sensor lights make your home safer by scaring off potential intruders and improving the visibility around your front door. If your light does not work at all or turns on inconsistently, you may be able to troubleshoot and fix the problem without spending a lot of time or money.


Check the light switch and replace the light bulb if it looks burnt out. If you are not sure, remove the bulb and shake it lightly. If the filament inside the bulb rattles, install a new bulb in your motion sensor light.


Dirt on the motion sensor or contacts will interfere with the light's ability to turn on or off. Use a dry cloth to wipe off the sensor, then disconnect the power supply and remove the bulb so you can clean the inside of the socket.


Use a circuit tester to verify that the motion light has power. Remove the light bulb and touch the tester's leads to the inside of the socket. Call an electrician to inspect your home's wiring if you do not get a reading on the tester.


Look in your instruction manual to find out whether the motion sensor's range of vision is 180 degrees or 270 degrees. Adjust the sensor so it is pointed toward the centre of your desired area. Clear out any trees or shrubs that may be blocking the sensor.

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Denise Sullivan has been writing professionally for more than five years after a long career in business. She has been published on Yahoo! Voices and other publications. Her areas of expertise are business, law, gaming, home renovations, gardening, sports and exercise.