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Motion Sensor Light Not Working Properly


When it comes to home safety and security, outdoor lighting plays a crucial role. Motion sensor lights are a popular choice for homeowners in Cranston, Providence, Rhode Island, and for good reason. These lights provide the convenience of automatically turning on when they sense movement and can act as a deterrent for potential intruders. However, what happens when your motion sensor light is not working properly? The frustration and inconvenience of constantly having to deal with a faulty motion sensor light can be overwhelming.

At B&K Electric, a family-owned and operated electrical business based in Warwick, RI, we understand the importance of having a properly functioning motion sensor light. With over seventeen years of experience serving the residents of Cranston, Warwick, and all of Rhode Island, we have encountered and fixed numerous motion sensor light issues. In this article, we will discuss common reasons why motion sensor lights may not be working properly and how to troubleshoot them effectively.

Power Issues

The first step in troubleshooting any electrical issue is to check the power source. In the case of motion sensor lights, this means checking if they are receiving power. Start by ensuring that the light is properly connected to a power source and that the outlet or switch is turned on. You can also try resetting the circuit breaker in your electrical panel in case it has tripped.

If the light is properly connected and the power source is working, the issue may lie with the wiring. Over time, the wiring in your motion sensor light may become damaged or loose, causing a disruption in the power supply. In such cases, it is best to call a licensed electrician, like B&K Electric, to inspect and repair the wiring.

Sensor Range and Sensitivity

Motion sensor lights operate by detecting movement within a specific range and sensitivity level. If the light is not working properly, it is possible that the sensor range and sensitivity need to be adjusted. In some cases, the sensitivity may have been set too low, resulting in the light not detecting movement. On the other hand, if the sensitivity is set too high, even small movements such as leaves blowing in the wind may trigger the light.

To adjust the sensor range and sensitivity, locate the control panel on your motion sensor light. This control panel may be located on the sensor itself or inside your house near the light switch. Adjust the settings accordingly and test the light to see if it is now working properly.


Outdoor motion sensor lights may also face obstructions that could interfere with their functionality. Common obstructions include tall trees, branches, or bushes that are constantly moving due to wind or other factors. These movements can trigger the sensor, resulting in the light turning on unnecessarily.

If this is the case, consider trimming any overgrown shrubs or trees near the light and making sure that there are no objects in the sensor’s path. You can also adjust the sensor range and sensitivity as mentioned earlier to avoid any false alarms.

Environmental Factors

Another reason why your motion sensor light may not be working properly is due to environmental factors. Extreme weather conditions, such as heavy rain or snow, can cause the sensor to malfunction. In such cases, wait for the weather to clear up before attempting to troubleshoot the light. If the issue persists, it is best to call a professional electrician who can assess and repair any damage caused by the weather.

Similarly, insects and bugs can also interfere with the sensor’s functionality, especially if they are attracted to the light. In such cases, regularly clean the sensor and its surroundings to keep insects at bay.

Defective Sensor

If you have ruled out all other possible causes and your motion sensor light is still not working properly, the issue may lie with a defective sensor. Sensors can wear out over time and may need to be replaced. If your light is still under warranty, contact the manufacturer for a replacement. If not, you can purchase a new sensor and install it yourself or hire a licensed electrician for the job.


There are several reasons why your motion sensor light may not be working properly. By checking for power issues, adjusting sensor range and sensitivity, removing obstructions, and considering environmental factors, you can troubleshoot and resolve many issues on your own. However, for more complicated issues and to ensure the safety and proper functioning of your motion sensor light, it is best to seek the help of a licensed electrician like B&K Electric.

At B&K Electric, we prioritize the safety and satisfaction of our customers. We take pride in our quality workmanship and strive to provide top-notch service for all your electrical needs. As your go-to electrical company in the Warwick area and the greater Providence area, we are committed to serving our community and providing exceptional customer service. Contact us today for all your electrical repair, panel maintenance, and installation needs.


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Electrical Repair