We Value Your Privacy

We and our partners use technology such as cookies on our site to personalise content and ads, provide social media features, and analyse our traffic. Click below to consent to the use of this technology across the web. You can change your mind and change your consent choices at anytime by returning to this site.

Update Consent
Loading ...

How to Reset an Outside Sensor Light

Updated February 21, 2017

Outside sensor lights help safeguard the exterior of your home by activating a beam of light if motion is sensed within the immediate area. Not only do outdoor sensor lights help deter thieves by shining light on the entrances of your home, but they also illuminate dark areas so you can safely walk to your front or backdoor at night. Sometimes an outside sensor light malfunctions and requires a manual reset to work properly again. While the exact steps to reset an outside sensor light may vary according to the specific style or model of the light, the basic steps remain the same.

Loading ...
  1. Review the sensor light owner's guide to determine the method recommended for resetting the motion sensor. Most sensor lights require homeowners to turn off the circuit breaker the light is attached to. Make sure no vital appliances are attached to this circuit breaker, such as refrigerators or freezers. Turn off the circuit breaker and wait the suggested amount of time found in the owner's manual, typically 30 seconds to five minutes.

  2. Turn the circuit breaker back on. If the sensor light is powered by a light switch, make sure the switch is flipped down to the "off" position. Wait up to five minutes before flipping the switch to the "on" position. The sensor light should reset. Test by walking in front of the sensor, if it goes off the sensor has been reset if not, move on to the next step.

  3. Manually reset the sensor light by flipping its light switch on and off rapidly until the light beam stays continuously on. This notifies you the light is ready to be manually reset, so turn the light switch to the "off" position. Wait one minute then turn the light switch back to the "on" position. The sensor light should now be reset. Test by walking in front of the sensor.

  4. Locate the reset button found on the motion sensor box, if applicable. Some outdoor sensor lights feature a physical reset button on the side or bottom of the sensor box. Press and hold this button for five-seconds, or however long the owner's manual says it'll take to reset the light. Release the button and the light should be reset.

  5. Tip

    Remove any objects from in front of the sensor light before resetting.


    Never turn off or attempt to reset a sensor light without first reading the owner's manual.

Loading ...

Things You'll Need

  • Sensor light owner's guide

About the Author

Jonathan McLelland

Jonathan McLelland has been a professional writer since 2005. He has worked as a story writer and editor for the international sitcom, “Completing Kaden,” as well as a proposal writer for various production companies. McLelland studied communication and theater at St. Louis Community College.

Loading ...
Loading ...