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Why Does My Motion Sensor Security Light Stay On All The Time?

Written By Maria
Last Updated June 7, 2021

How Can I Turn Off The Security Light?

A motion sensor light can add a great deal of security and comfort to your home. Though these sensors aren’t 100% perfect all the time and when they’re not working how you want them to, it can be very frustrating.

Here's our roundup of the best motion sensor security lights in UK right now!

So why does it happen, why does my motion sensor light stay on?

Well, the good news is that there aren’t too many causes for it and the majority of these can be fixed quickly! 

Some of these fixes may require you to get a professional in but let’s focus on the most likely issues first…

Sensitivity Settings On A Motion Sensor Light

If your light is a reasonably modern light, then it will very likely have a sensitivity setting and you can adjust the range of this.

It could be that the sensitivity setting is too high on your light and this is what could be triggering the light, leading to it always being on (if it’s flashing then take a look here!)

When the sensitivity is too high, things like bugs, animals, and even dust can trigger the light so getting it right can be important!

With a little bit of fiddling and adjusting, you can switch your settings down to get it just right. 

You may find that it takes you a few nights to get this right but it’s worth it!

Motion Sensor Light Duration Settings 

Ok, this is another usual suspect when it comes to this issue. 

Motion sensor lights can be set to say on too long, it can be anything from five minutes to 30 minutes or sometimes, even more! 

Have a play around and see how long your light is set off. 

Told you it was a quick fix, didn’t I?

Motion Sensor Light Jammed In

Have you switched your motion light off and switched it back on again? 

When doing this, it’s possible that the sensor was triggered during the period when it was switched off.

This could mean that your sensor is now stuck in auto-on mode. 

Again, another simple fix!

Switch the power back off. Before you switch it back on, leave it for ten - thirty seconds. Then you’re good to restore the power. 

If this was indeed the problem, then you should find that the light now behaves how you’d expect a motion sensor light to behave. 

There are reasons for a motion sensor light to stay on, it could be that there was a power surge. 

If this is the case and there was a loss of power, followed quickly by the power being restored, the light could go into override and it will stay on indefinitely. 

You fix it in the same manner as above. What you should find is that the light may actually come on.

This might last for a few minutes and then go off again.

If it doesn’t go off after that period, or it doesn’t come back on again at all, it’s time to call a professional. 

Change The Position Of Your Motion Sensor Light

Now I appreciate this may not be possible for everybody, nor may it be applicable so do ignore it if that’s the case!

However, if you can face your motion sensor light into a spot that doesn’t face any heat units that give off heat (I’m talking air conditioning units or where your neighbour’s vents are) then you may find that your problem is solved.

The heat that comes off these units can be enough to actually trigger the sensor on your light. As they these unit are on quite a lot, so will your light as it is considering them to be a heat signature!

Remove Objects From Your Motion Sensor Light

Branches and moving leaves from trees or shrubs can cause your light to stay on. If it has been quite windy, you may have found that this is the reason. 

It doesn’t take a lot of movement (depending on your sensitivity setting) for your lights to be triggered so it doesn’t actually have to be all that windy!

Another thing that is worth checking is to ensure that your sensor light is securely attached to the wall. If it’s moving, then it will sense movement. 

A sensor that is facing the road will pick up the movement of cars going by and pedestrians. If you live in an urban area, obviously this is going to cause your light to be on rather a lot! 

Test Mode On A Motion Sensor Light

Have a look to see if your light isn’t in the test position.

If it is in the test setting, then this could be the cause of your light staying on constantly. To resolve this, simply switch it to a time setting and that should sort it!

Turn Off Your Motion Sensor Light Temporarily

There might be times when you want to switch off your light for a short period of time. 

To do this, take a look at the light. There will hopefully be a switch that says “on time”. 

It can usually be found just below the motion sensor part of the light. Now you need to switch it so it’s on any setting that isn’t the test setting. You’re now free to switch off the light it’s connected to. 

Manual Operation On A Motion Sensor Light

One final thing that is worth checking before calling out a pro is to ensure that the light isn’t switched to manual operation. 

Find the switch the operates the light and switch it off. 

Keep it off for several seconds (around 10) and then switch it back on again. 

The result?

It should reset your light to automatic and have it working how it ought to!

However, there are some instances where you do want it to be on all the time, in that case, you can find out how here!

Motion Sensor Light Problems Requiring Professional Help

If you have tried all of the easier things then it may be time to call in a professional as the issue may be more complicated. 

The damage may be in the fixture itself. This can be caused by a few things:

  • Storm damage
  • Power surge
  • Cold weather - this can cause things to freeze 
  • Age of the light
  • Incorrect installation

Does any of those sound plausible?


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 BestReviews.co.uk where I am the Lead Editor and Content Stategist!
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