How Do You Generally Reset The Sensor On A Motion Sensor Security Light?

Written By Maria
Last Updated June 7, 2021

Resetting A Motion Sensor Floodlight - Step By Step Guide! 

Are you having a hard time getting your floodlight to work how you want it to, or how it’s supposed to?

It could be time to give it a reset! 

How do you reset the motion sensor on a floodlight?

Occasionally you may find that your floodlight isn’t working how you want it to. 

Think about whether or not there has been a power cut recently as a power interruption usually causes floodlights to misbehave! 

What you may discover that the light flickered for a while and then stopped working. 

No need to worry! A quick reset will usually fix things and you won’t need to call out an electrician.

Below are the step-by-step instructions on how to do it! 

Just incase you're shopping for one now, here is out list of the best motion sensor security lights!

What Is A Motion Sensor Light?

Let’s kick off with what exactly a motion sensor light is and how it functions. 

The name gives it away to some extent. In short, it’s a light that comes on when it senses motion. 

When somebody walks within the range, the light will come on and stay on for a period of time, usually a few minutes.

If it no longer senses motion, it will switch off. If it does sense motion, it will stay on. Simple, right?

This all works thanks to an in-built motion sensor. You can actually control this through a switch button. 

When you turn on the sensor, it works as described. When you switch it off, it will work like any normal light would and be activated by a switch.

Step-By-Step Guide To Resetting A Motion Sensor Light

So now we all have an understanding of motion sensor lights, we can delve into the settings and go onto resetting one! 

Are ya’ with me? 🙂

There are a few different ways to reset the light and it depends on which model you have - fortunately we’ll be looking at several different ways! 

Step One

Switch the circuit breaker off

You will need to start by turning off the circuit breaker. Do this for 30 seconds or so as this will allow time to reset the motion sensor lights. 

If this fails to fully reset the sensor then it could be that you need to wait and leave the circuit breaker off for a longer period. 

There are some models out there that require the circuit breaker to be off for up to an hour. 

In other words, switch it off for 30 seconds. If that doesn’t work, leave it an hour.

Step Two

Flip the switch on and off

The usual trick with technology, isn’t it? Switch it on and off see if that fixes it. Yep!

Try simply turning the light on and off. Don’t do it quickly. When you switch it off, leave it for a few seconds and switch it back on. This should cause the motion sensor to reset.

Step Three

Switch it on/off at a quick speed

Ok, so I know I just said do it slowly but as a final push, you can do it quickly.

Switch the light off and put it back on again quickly. Do this around four times, after that, leave it on. 

Should it stay on continuously after that, you need to switch it off and keep it off for around five seconds.

Now you’re free to turn it back on again. At this point, it really should be reset! 

Step Four

Unplug the motion light

This one isn’t often used, it’s kind of like last chance saloon before you need to get in an electrician. 

Helpfully, it’s also one of the more simple steps! 

Find where the light is plugged in, and unplug it. 

This doesn’t need to be for a long time, just a few seconds will do. After that, plug it back in and switch the light on. 

There we go! 

Those are four different things to try and reset your motion sensor light with. Try one, if it doesn’t work, move on, and hopefully, you’ll strike lucky. 

However, what I have found is that the first step is usually the one with the highest success rate, so best to start there! 

Good luck! 

Common Questions And Answers

Do I need to reset a motion sensor light after a power cut?

You may not need to, it isn’t always absolutely essentially but as we’ve learned, it’s quite a simple job so it can be worth doing.

However, if you find that when the power comes on that the light is working just fine, you shouldn’t need to!

Why is my sensor light always on?

This is quite a common problem that is often caused by power cuts or surges. 

A power cut can interrupt the electrical system and mean that your motion sensor light needs to be reset. 

However, it could be a host of different things, if you need to know you go!

What do I do if I still have a problem with my motion sensor light even when I’ve taken all of the above steps?

It could be that there is a problem with the bulb and its connection. We do go into detail a little more about this here.

However, a good starting point is to change the bulb, even if it’s a new bulb, it can still malfunction. LED bulbs do last longer but they don’t last forever! 

Final Thoughts

These are some of the most common ways to fix a problem with your motion sensor light. Keeping these tips up your sleeve for the future could save you a lot of time and frustration! 

Work through the steps to find out what works for you. It may be that step one works this time and not the next. Who knows! 

What I will say is if these steps don’t work, don’t be afraid to call out a professional to have a look deeper into things. 

Well, that’s it, have we sorted your problem? I hope so!


I have always had a profound love for reading, which naturally evolved into writing too! This passion for the art of crafting stories using words lead me to a path of web content managing.

I have previously managed portfolios for my clients' writing requirements, with each website containing anywhere from 5 all the way to 5,000 pages; my day was easily filled with spreadsheets and databases of content. My current focus is where I am the Lead Editor and Content Stategist!
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