Outdoor security light troubleshooting

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Outdoor security lights are a great addition for protecting your property. When they don't operate as they should, do your own troubleshooting instead of calling out an expensive electrician. You'll find that most problems with security lights can be solved with a few minor adjustments.

Light won't turn on

Check the circuit breaker for the light to be sure that it has not been tripped. If that's the problem, reset the switch. If your light operates by a wall switch, check the switch is not in the "off" position. You also can check the switch to make sure that all the wire connectors are secure. Turn the power off to the switch at the circuit breaker and remove the two screws that hold the switch plate to the junction box. Inspect the wire connections and tighten any loose wire nuts. Reattach the switch to the wall with the securing screws. Another reason the light might not turn on is that the sensor needs to be re-aimed. Use a screwdriver and loosen the sensor locking screw. Reposition the sensor, then tighten it back down.

Light won't turn off

If the flood lamp is too close to the sensor, the heat from the lamp will keep the sensor activated. Reposition the flood lamp away from the sensor and away from anything reflecting back to the sensor. Make sure that the lighting mode is in "auto" and not "manual." If the sensor was accidentally turned off during a time delay, it will stay in the "on" setting until dusk. After the sun goes down, trigger the sensor by passing in front of it. After the time delay, the sensor should turn off.

Random lighting

If the security lighting sensor is set too high, small animals, blowing leaves and traffic will set it off. Loosen the lock nut and adjust the sensor. Lower the sensor and re-tighten the lock nut. Allow for the time delay, and the sensor should shut off. You also can turn the range to the minimum setting to prevent small animals tripping the system.

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