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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Holliston, MA
    Posts
    19

    Default Exterior Motion Sensor Lights

    I am running into a couple of problems with my exterior motion sensor lights either going on during the day or a delay in going on at night. I've got two sensor lights on the same circuit. One is a wall sconce type light and the other is a dual spot light security type light. A couple of pieces of additional information, the wall sconce was installed back in January and has worked perfectly for 5 to 6 months. The security light has been up for 7 years or so.

    Here is the problems I am having:
    The security light has coming on during the daylight. In particular, I see this as I leave in the morning roughly 6am. Night time, it works just fine if for a slightly miss directed sensor at times.
    The wall sconce has me challenged a bit. It is beside a side entrance door. It use to turn on as soon as you open the door to go outside. Lately, it is nolonger activating when exiting the house nor does it activate when I wave or slowly move my hand 6 to 8 feet from the sensor.

    Would be interested in hearing what may be causing this for a am a bit challenged at the moment.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    1,131

    Default Re: Exterior Motion Sensor Lights

    Huh. No responses yet, eh?

    I'll toss in a couple notions, I guess.

    Our motion sensors will display slightly altered behavior (range of sight/response) when the summer weather becomes persistantly humid or they are exposed to temporarily foggy conditions in spring or fall. Consequently, I'm wondering if these sensors have been exposed to such conditions lately...or heavy wind-driven rain, maybe. (Our sensors are independantly mounted from the light fixtures (many feet away) and those sensors are under roof/soffit.)


    I'll suspect/assume that your sensors are probably out in the open (not under roof/soffit). In this instance, rain could easily affect them...if the seals aren't dead-tight.


    If the seals/seams on yours are compromised,they are out in the open and rainwater has entered... you may have no recourse but to replace them. Then again, they may start behaving again *if* they dry out. Tough/impossible call to make from here. Only time will tell.

    Or...they may just be defunct because the internal components have reached their life expectancy. There are many cheaply made units on the market these days. Ours are approx. 20 YO. The units I've encountered/installed for clients in the last ten years have all been "wanting" to some degree. I doubt things are getting any better in that regard.
    Last edited by goldhiller; 08-08-2008 at 11:41 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Baltimore, MD
    Posts
    76

    Default Re: Exterior Motion Sensor Lights

    Quote Originally Posted by bean_counter67 View Post
    The security light has coming on during the daylight. In particular, I see this as I leave in the morning roughly 6am. Night time, it works just fine if for a slightly miss directed sensor at times.
    The wall sconce has me challenged a bit. It is beside a side entrance door. It use to turn on as soon as you open the door to go outside. Lately, it is nolonger activating when exiting the house nor does it activate when I wave or slowly move my hand 6 to 8 feet from the sensor.

    Would be interested in hearing what may be causing this for a am a bit challenged at the moment.
    Without knowing the models and having access to their specs it's difficult to say exactly but a couple of thoughts...

    - The security light is 7 years old. It's possible the outdoor elements (sunlight and rain in particular) have impacted the sensor and it may need to be replaced. You don't necessarily need to replace the whole light kit. You could also try cleaning the sensor really well unless it is brittle. It sounds like the problem on that unit has more to do with the photo cell that tells it that it's daylight so don't bother turning on. Some devices allow you to override that day/night option and come on regardless... so see if yours has that and make certain the switch has not been bumped or the light sensor is not blocked with dirt or a spider web etc.

    - For the wall sconce, you might check to see what sort of warranty it has in case you need to replace it. But first check for other light or heat sources that may be impeding it's ability to sense movement. If it too has a light sensing photo cell to prevent daylight activation (most do) then it may be seeing a streetlight or some other light source as daylight. Repositioning the sensor or putting up some sort of block could solve that.

    - Another possibility... Many motion sensors actually sense changes in heat. Things like standing water (as in a swimming pool), nearby dryer vents and other factors may make it more difficult for a the sensor to recognize the change when you enter the picture. Again, repositioning the sensor and looking for these types of things can help.

    - Finally, try adjusting the sensitivity settings on your unit(s). Be sure the Wall sconce is set to the maximum sensitivity. If it has a test mode then you can back it off from there until it comes on when you want it to.

    Good luck.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    1,131

    Default Re: Exterior Motion Sensor Lights

    Or...it's possible that these sensors may have fallen victim to an electrical surge/lightning strike.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: Exterior Motion Sensor Lights

    Motion detectors are definitely effected by the seasons. During the winter it's way easier to sense the temp difference of a body walking by than in the summer. You may just need to crank up the sensitivity & things will return to normal?

    Or time for new ones, stuff just isn't made as well anymore.....


    Lee

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Holliston, MA
    Posts
    19

    Default Re: Exterior Motion Sensor Lights

    Thanks to everyone for your thoughts. The monsoon weather we have been having may have affected the sensors. I truthfully never thought about the seasonal affect. Let me play with the sensitivity and clean the outside of the units.

    Thank you!

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