Even with the best security system, there can still be issues with motion detector lights — and these often involve external components that are exposed to the elements. For a variety of reasons, these components don’t always last as long or hold up as well as interior devices. It’s important to take good care of them, but even with the best of care they sometimes fail to work properly. If a homeowner finds that their motion detector light isn’t working, they’ll want to find the problem and get it fixed.

Otherwise, they may not have the complete level of protection they’re looking for — and that’s not a good thing when peace of mind and a high level of security is important. Fortunately, there are ways to adjust motion detector lights and make corrections to them, so they can work the right way and give homeowners the protection they expect with their monitored home security system.

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    Motion Detector Lights Can Need Reset

    One of the easiest things to do with a motion detector light is to simply reset it. Sometimes these lights glitch, and they aren’t going to work right after that if something isn’t done with them. For the homeowner who needs to get their motion detector light working again quickly, there are options for resetting it.

    Sometimes it can be reset through the security panel, but the easiest thing to do is to turn the power off to the light for a few minutes and then turn it back on again.

    A hand is flipping up a white light switch that's on a beige wall

    Troubleshooting With Your Light Switch

    If your motion detector light bulbs are hooked up to a wall switch in your home, such as in your garage, laundry room or basement, you should try troubleshooting the light switch.
    This requires first flicking your light switch on. Next, flip the light switch off for two to three seconds.

    The second phase of this troubleshooting method calls for you to turn the light switch on again with speed, adjusting each position at least four times. When the motion detector light bulbs come on, you can turn the switch off for about seven seconds. Lastly, you’ll turn the light switch on again. Finally, your motion detector lights are reset and should be off.

    An up-close view of a circuit breaker with multi-colored wires sticking out

    Troubleshooting With Your Breaker

    If turning the switch on the light on and off isn’t enough, turning the power off to the breaker is the next convenient way to reset the light.

    First, you need to turn off the circuit breaker that powers your motion detector lights. Keep the power off for 30 seconds to one minute. Once the time passes you will turn the switch on again.
    Next, it’s time to check up on your motion detector light bulbs. Are they working again? If not, you will need to seek out additional methods or help from a professional.

    Turning the switch on the light on and off isn’t going to be enough, but turning the power off to the breaker is a convenient way to reset the light and ensure that it has the best chance of starting to work again. If that doesn’t work, then the homeowner still has other troubleshooting options they can consider.

    Light bulb lying on a white surface with a white background behind it

    A Faulty Sensor or Motion Detector Light Bulb Could be the Culprit

    With the right security system, a motion sensor light should work well. But like any other component, things can eventually wear out. A bad sensor or bulb could be to blame for the light not working. To find out whether these are the issues, replace the bulb. If that doesn’t help, try the following:

      • disconnect the wires from the sensor
      • hook the wires straight up to the light, bypassing the sensor
      • see if the light comes on
      • be careful around electricity, or have a professional handle it!

    If that doesn’t work, then it’s not the bulb or the sensor, and resetting it isn’t going to help. In an instance like that, it may simply be time to replace the entire motion sensor light. With that in mind, what security company the homeowner has may make a big difference in whether the light is replaced by the company or whether the homeowner is obligated to handle that issue.

    Is It Time to Choose a New Security Company?

    Depending on how the homeowner feels about their motion sensor light and other parts of their security system, they may want to choose a new monitoring company. If they do that, they should look for 24/7 monitoring and a high level of customer service to add to their peace of mind. That can give them a great feeling of safety and security. It can also help protect their home at a higher level than they would have thought possible. It’s an excellent way to be sure they are getting the quality of home monitoring experience they really want and need.

    Interested in monitored home security? Get a free quote from Protect America.