Will Motion Sensors Work In Daylight?

Outdoor lighting is necessary whether you’re protecting your home from unwanted guests or providing light to avoid fumbling through your keys when unlocking the door.

Unfortunately, the disadvantage with this fixture is high utility bills because garage, porch, and other outdoor lights left for 24/7 quickly accumulate energy costs.

Therefore, experts recommend installing motion sensors that allow the light to go off when there is no movement in the target area. In addition, when the light goes on, you can be sure that someone is moving around the sensor.

Motion sensors allow users to make adjustments depending on their security preferences. But some are not convinced about the device’s efficacy during the day. Therefore, let’s engage in a detailed discussion on will motion sensors work in daylight?

While most people assume that motion detectors only work at night, the device stays active during the day. Further, if the light is on, it automatically illuminates after detecting motion, even in broad daylight.

However, unnecessary illumination during the day is counterproductive to energy conservation and money-saving efforts. Thus, turning the light off in daylight is advisable.

Also, you can invest in dusk-t0-dawn and timed lights that automatically go off in the morning.

Most outdoor light fixture manufacturers provide instructions for adjusting motion sensors to operate full-time. Hence, always read the product label for the best result. In addition, go through this article for more insight into motion sensors and various settings that aid in conserving energy while guaranteeing maximum safety.

Does Sunlight Affect Motion Sensors?

Do Motion Sensors Work In Daylight?
A Motion Sensor

Sunlight affects motion sensors tracking infrared radiations. Furthermore, it causes miscalculations and false alarms. Thus, don’t place the device in areas where sunlight from windows can confuse it.

Moreover, such a position compromises the motion sensor’s detection abilities, meaning an intruder can walk directly toward it.

Garage door sensors are most affected by this positioning as they depend on infrared light to form connections. As a result, sunlight interferes with these connections, triggering the alarm.

Remember, the sunlight has infrared light of high strength that puts out the sensor lights. So, strong sunlight on the detector overrides its light and disrupts infrared signals, packing a lot of heat.

As a result, the device falls victim to heat warping and other sunlight-related damage.

The motion sensor’s components in the infrared sensor stop receiving signals with heat damage. So, some of its features become inactive.

Also, homeowners sometimes do not detect sensor disruptions and damage until the device stops working.

Therefore, avoid sun-related wear and tear with safety practices and motion sensor inspections. They include

  • Move the Sensors

Sometimes, moving the detectors back into the garage door frame is a straightforward solution. Also, gauge whether the sunlight shines on the garage during the day. Then, move the devices out of the path where the sun shines longest to reduce interference.

  • Change Sides

Switching the motion detector’s location is another quick fix to preventing sunlight interference. Moreover, since one device transmits and the other receives signals, changing the latter to the other side moves it out of the sun’s light.

This strategy works best for automated garage door motion detectors and is less pressure for exterior remote sensors and pressure sensors.

  • Purchase Sun Shades

Generally, sun shields and shades for garage door sensors are available in various colors and styles to accommodate different garages. You can get them through online retailers.

In addition, the accessories are affordable and offer easy installation while extending the life and range of your infrared detectors.

  • Build a Shade Box

Motion detectors need to transmit signals to each other to operate optimally. Hence, building a customized wood or cardboard shade box is a straightforward yet effective solution.

Also, adjust the shade box’s dimensions to avoid disrupting the garage door’s movement.

  • Replace Damaged Garage Door Sensors

Sometimes, your garage door motion sensors stop working due to weather, hardware malfunction, sunlight, or other issues.

Therefore, get professionals to test your device and verify whether it receives energy and sends infrared signals correctly.

Why Does My Motion Sensor Light Come On During the Day?

Motion sensors have a daytime on-and-off switch on the LED’s side, allowing you to choose whether the light will come on during the day.

Further, LEDs with motion sensor G2, unlike those with motion sensors, have a photosensor, allowing you to determine when the device’s light goes off.

When you switch off the sensor, the daylight sensor is activated, preventing the bulb from turning on. As a result, you save power during the day.

Then, when you turn the switch on, the bulb turns on after detecting motion during the day.

Security lighting is an affordable criminal deterrent for your property and home. In addition, it is an automated system that uses a timer or a motion sensor to control the lights.

However, sometimes a light can malfunction and remain on even after activating the daylight saving feature. So, learning the fundamental troubleshooting tricks below is necessary.

  • Toggle the power switch on and off to reset the motion sensor. Then, readjust it to your liking.
  • Check around the sensor to ensure it does not have something stuck, causing it to trigger the light consistently.
  • Wipe the sensors and lights with a soft, damp cloth to remove dust and debris. Otherwise, the fixture could register these particles and stay on during the day.
  • Shut off the breaker powering the light. However, only use this alternative if the breaker does not power vital appliances in the home.
  • Switch out the bulb and ensure its wattage matches the system recommendations. You do not want a bright light that aids a criminal’s visibility.
  • Finally, replace the fixture or reinstall the light, as you may have a faulty security system.

How Do You Test a Motion Sensor Light During the Day?

A motion sensor light turns on when the detector identifies movement in the designated area. Further, although motion lights are outdoor fixtures, you can use them inside your home.

The light remains on until the detected movement stops. But sometimes the unit may be faulty and remain on during the day.

Here is a straightforward procedure for testing the sensor for optimal functioning.

  • Adjust the switch to the “Test Mode.” Usually, this switch is often at the sensor’s bottom.
  • Set the sensory button on “medium,” often the halfway adjustment. The dial is also at the bottom of the sensor.
  • Walk in the light’s detection zone, especially to the farthest point you want the sensor activated. The lights should go off after four seconds when the motion stops.
  • Reposition the lamps as needed to have the lights where you want them. Further, keep the bulbs facing away from the sensor for more accurate results. Otherwise, they will go on and off during your testing.
  • Adjust the sensory dial until you achieve your preferred motion sensitivity setting.
  • Re-adjust the switch out of test mode once you’re satisfied with the settings.

Here’s How to Test the Motion Sensor:

Where Should You Place a Motion Sensor?

Smart motion sensors are among the most efficient and versatile devices in home safety technology. However, we have a few best practices: where to position the unit and to set it to guarantee superior security and convenience.

But first, let’s examine what motion sensors are and how they work. This way, you’ll quickly determine where to place it for the best result.

Motion sensors detect movement around your facility and trigger an alarm or lights in response. For instance, the devices automatically turn on the lights when a person enters a room.

In addition, motion detectors send alerts when intruders attempt to enter the house. They ultimately provide home and property owners peace of mind and help the home operate smoothly and efficiently.

Most motion sensors use passive infrared technology. They detect infrared energy from humans and animals as body heat. Hence, the devices notice increases in temperature and alert the system’s control panel.

You can also program passive infrared motion detectors to ignore minor temperature changes. This way, you keep pets and playing children from accidentally triggering the alarm.

Interestingly, motion sensors are not the only types of smart sensors that homeowners can invest in. We have other smart sensors making your home more secure and efficient, such as

  • Light Sensors. These detectors read the sunlight amount your home receives and automate the lighting features on security systems.
  • Smoke Detectors. These gadgets detect fires within the home, and you can program them to send alerts to your smartphone and other connected devices.
  • Temperature Sensors. These units monitor the temperature in the home, allowing more efficient control. As a result, you save energy and reduce your utility expenses.
  • Air Quality Sensors. These units detect carbon monoxide and other contaminants in the air and alert you when the levels are too high.
  • Water Leak Sensors. These detectors prevent water damage in a facility by sending smartphone alerts when they detect water leaks.

Let’s examine the recommended areas for setting up your motion sensors for optimal functionality.

1. High Traffic Areas

These are locations where the flooring wears down because everyone walks through them. Moreover, the spots are perfect for motion sensors, as intruders have to go through them to access the home.

2. Six to Eight Feet Up

The motion sensor should have a bird’s eye view of the space for efficiency. But remember, placing it too high leads to blind spots. Thus, consider six to eight feet up on the wall or the ceiling and ensure it has a 360-degree viewing angle.

3. Corners

Consider where you’d get a good photograph of a large space or room and place the motion detector. The location gives you the broadest room view, minimizing blind spots.

4. Basements

Unfortunately, basement doors and windows are prime entry points for burglars and intruders. In addition, the motion sensors work best in the basement as they have wide spaces with fewer barriers and do not heat up like garages.

Further, basements are perfect spots for flood sensors. The devices can detect moisture on the floor and trigger the alarm. This way, you can take action before too much water damage happens.

5. Over a Doorway

Position motion sensors over the doorway like pranksters place water buckets to drop on unsuspecting victims. The intruder won’t know they are being watched until they hear the alarm.

6. Behind Your Valuables

You can catch burglars red-handed by positioning motion sensors behind valuables. This way, the devices are blind to movement unless the intruder moves the items and reveals themselves to the detector, triggering an alarm.

7. On the Alcohol Cabinet

You want to ensure your teens are safe when you leave for a business trip or a date night. Especially when you cannot physically monitor your alcohol cabinet or wine cellar. So, position a motion sensor that tips off when someone moves or opens the cabinet door.

Interestingly, we also have poor placement options for motion detectors. Furthermore, placing them in the wrong locations leads to blind spots and false alarms. These spots include

1. Garages, Attics, Patios, and Sunrooms

Remember, motion detectors use their infrared beams to detect high temperatures. Hence, avoid placing them in non-climate-controlled spaces that heat up, like attics, garages, sunrooms, and patios.

Consider alternative solutions, like glass break sensors, door, and window detectors, or a security camera.

2. Across Doors

Although experts recommend placing motion detectors across from doors, the positioning depends on your home’s layout.

Also, passive infrared sensors cannot see through walls. S0, positioning the devices across from a doorway in confined areas limits their detection scope.

3. Behind Large Furniture

These fixtures create shadows or blind spots as they stick far from the wall. Therefore, the motion sensor will not detect movement on the other side.

Further, avoid positioning motion detectors on walls near bulky entertainment centers and wardrobes.

4. Near a Heat Source

Passive infrared motion sensors work by detecting sudden temperature changes. Therefore, positioning them near heating vents, ovens, light fixtures, or radiators is a recipe for false alarms.

However, most modern windows are insulated to block sudden temperature rise from direct sunlight. But avoid using motion detectors near these areas if you have older windows that heat up from the sun.

5. In Direct Sunlight

Miscalculations occur when sunlight heats the motion sensor, especially if it tracks infrared radiation. Prevent this occurrence by keeping the device from direct contact with the sun.

6. Stairs

Generally, the alarm goes off as your pet climbs the stairs since it appears bigger as it approaches the detector. Thus, avoid placing motion sensors on stairs if you have pets that can falsely trigger the alarm. 

The motion sensor’s location substantially impacts how well it performs. Here is a summary of the best practices when determining the placement.

  • Use motion detectors in climate-controlled rooms. 
  • Position them where intruders are most likely to enter.
  • Place the devices at least six to eight feet off the ground.
  • Ensure no obstruction blocks the sensor’s line of sight.
  • Keep the gadgets away from radiators, air vents, and other heat sources.
  • Align the motion detectors, so intruders walk across the sensor rather than toward its range.

What Are the 3 Settings On a Motion Sensor Light?

Motion sensor lights have three primary settings: Sensitivity, lux, and timer. These adjustment features determine how sensitive the detector’s light is to motion, what darkness level turns it on, and how long it remains on after detecting motion.

1. Sensitivity

This adjustment controls the motion detector’s sensitivity to movement. Hence, the higher the sensitivity level, the more sensitive the gadget will be to motion.

Moreover, the light turns on more easily and turns off almost immediately when a person leaves the targeted area.

Conversely, the lower the device’s sensitivity, the less sensitive it is to motion. Therefore, the detector’s light does not turn on quickly, only when someone is within the sensor’s surroundings.

You can identify the adjustment by looking at the icon SEN on the motion sensor. Then, control it by adjusting to the plus or minus sign to determine the distance and how big the object should be to activate the gadget.

2. Lux

This setting determines the darkness level needed to turn the light on. Further, the higher the lux, the darker the targeted area should be before the light goes on.

This aspect is crucial if you only want the sensor’s light to turn on in extremely dark conditions.

But remember, this adjustment can result in the detector’s light not turning on, especially with small amounts of light.

Also, the lower the lux, the less dark the targeted area should be for the light to go on. It is beneficial when you want the sensor’s light to turn on in less dark conditions.

Look for the setting with a picture of the sun and moon to identify the feature. Moving toward the sun turns the light on when it is less dark, while moving toward the moon activates the light only when it is dark.

3. Timer

This setting controls how long the detector’s light remains on after detecting motion. Further, the higher the timer adjustment, the longer the light stays on. 

In addition, this aspect is beneficial when you want the light to remain on long after someone leaves the targeted area. However, this adjustment can keep the light on all night, especially when someone is moving around the home.

On the other hand, the lower the timer setting, the shorter the light stays. It works best when you want the light to go off after a short time when someone leaves the targeted area.

Look for the motion sensor’s plus and minus signs to identify the timer setting. Moving toward the plus sign gives you more time, whereas moving toward the minus one gives less.

Below is a summary of how to adjust the motion detector using the above settings.

  • Step One: Move the Lux setting to day mode using the sun icon, and put the time on the minimum.
  • Step Two: Switch on the light controlling the sensor.
  • Step Three: Move the sensor in your desired direction, depending on your target area.
  • Step Four: Walk past the sensor to test the locations you want it to monitor.
  • Step Five: Adjust the sensor upward or downward and side-to-side to get the best angle and view.
  • Step Six: Adjust the lux setting to the moon icon and let it time out. Then, slowly adjust the setting to the sun icon once the surrounding darkens. This way, it activates once it reaches full light.
  • Step Seven: Adjust the time setting by moving the time icon to the plus or minus.

What Does Dusk To Dawn Mean On a Motion Sensor?

This phrase is the time between sunset and sunrise when homes need exterior lighting. Further, the motion sensor lighting comes on at sunset and goes off at daybreak, thanks to an external or internal detector.

Most homeowners use this security light to illuminate all entryways during the night. But some prefer a motion sensor to activate the light when something or someone moves in the targeted location.

A dusk-to-dawn adjustment is possible with multiple landscape lighting methods, including step lighting and pathways.

Further, using outside lights alongside motion and light detectors makes good sense if you want to enhance your home’s security. 

You can get light fixtures for posts, ceilings, and walls with stylish options to complement your facility’s architectural elements. In addition, go for high-quality dusk-to-dawn lighting options and choose low-voltage lighting to illuminate your compound all night without high utility bills.

This way, you will never have to stress about turning off the sensor’s light when daylight saving time starts and ends.

Lastly, dusk-to-dawn lights are activated on and off by the light level reaching the light detector. Further, they go on after the sun sets (dusk) and turn off when it rises (dawn), providing maximum security all night.

How Many Years Does a Motion Sensor Light Last?

You can expect your well-built, sturdy, motion-activating lighting system to last 15 years. Moreover, indoor systems should last longer as they are not exposed to weather elements.

Further, passive infrared sensors are 92% effective. But they lose effectiveness when monitoring locations where people sit for long.

In addition, a few aspects compromise the device’s functionality, despite its long life. Check them out to determine the most suitable motion sensor maintenance strategies.

  • A Limited Detection Range

Most passive infrared detectors have a 180-degree range going out 30 feet. Moreover, advanced models have 360-degree views, and you can mount them on the ceiling, expecting more effective motion assessment.

We also have larger motion detectors ranging up to 100 feet.

Depending on your sensor’s positioning and the size of your space, there may be undetected motions. This may lead to incorrect occupancy data for an office or building.

  • Not Showing Intruder’s Specific Location in a Room

These sensors only show something or someone in the targeted area, not where they are. The result is binary: there is no one here, or yes, someone is present.

Moreover, the technology is not always fine enough to detect how many are in a room or where they are. For example, you may notice someone in the shared office room, but you do not know if they are using the printer or the coffee machine.

Passive infrared sensors also struggle to notice a person if they sit in one place for a long time. Thus, they are less accurate for evaluating workplace occupancy patterns.

  • Not Detecting Passive Occupancy

Most occupancy sensors only capture active occupancy. They cannot tell when a person is merely using a space but not occupying it. Moreover, the devices cannot track 50% of space utilization due to passive occupancy.

However, advanced AI-powered technology lets you capture and identify people in rooms. They also detect commonly used objects by people to passively occupy space, such as laptops, clothing, and backpacks.

  • Low or unstable voltage  

Ensure the voltage routed to the passive infrared sensor is stable and at the correct level. Otherwise, the sensors can quickly fail or be incorrectly triggered if it is too low or unstable.

  • Bugs or Wind 

Bugs and other animals trigger passive infrared sensors, generating incorrect attendance data or causing false alarms.

Also, powerful wind penetrates the sensor’s mechanism, causing issues with its ability to detect movement properly.

How Do I Know If My Motion Sensor Is Working?

The best way to know if your sensor is working is by performing a walk test. The procedure comprises the following.

  • Remove the detector’s cover by identifying and pressing the rectangle button at its bottom.
  • Confirm that you see the red LED.
  • Leave the gadget’s field of view for 30 seconds or wait for the red LED to go off.
  • Walk across the sensor’s view and check whether the LED illuminates after detecting movement. Also, walking across the sensor, instead of directly towards it, is advisable for a better examination.

The sensor repeats this process of waiting 30 seconds and lights up after detecting movement. Then, it says on test mode for three minutes.

Repeat the above step of dismantling the front cover if additional testing is necessary.

Finally, the red LED light does not go on during everyday use, regardless of whether the sensor detects motion. It’s only visible when testing the gadget to conserve battery power.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How Do I Install Motion Sensors in My House?

Although the installation process differs based on the motion sensor type, we have some general steps guaranteeing a successful project.

  • First, open the motion detector and ensure you have everything you need for the process, including the batteries.
  • Select a suitable location for the device, either outdoor or indoor.
  • Attach the mounting bracket, ensuring it is steady and stable.
  • Sync the motion detector to your smart home hub, smartphone, or other gadgets.
  • Adjust the sensor’s settings and develop your preferred automation schedules.
  • Clean the device every few months to guarantee efficient working.

Generally, motion detectors are a simple and cost-effective approach to your home’s safety. In addition, they improve the facility’s security while reducing the energy consumed daily.

Therefore, consider getting one for your property and enjoy more efficiency and maximum convenience. Just follow the above tips and instructions.

Why Do I Need Motion Sensor Lights?

Motion detector lights are an excellent addition to your household or facility. You can use them to ensure your property is energy efficient and protected.

More benefits include

1. Detecting Leaks and Changes in Water Temperature.

Motion sensors can detect water leaks and sudden water temperature changes. This way, you prevent flooding and other water damage scenarios in your house.

Place the devices underneath sinks, dishwashers, and other appliances susceptible to leaking. Then, pair your detector to your smart devices to receive alerts as soon as they detect triggers.

2. Protect Doors, Windows, and Entryways.

Motion sensors protect your doors, windows, and other entryways from intrusion and potential break-ins. Mount the gadgets near these entry points and connect them to your tablet or smartphone.

As a result, you get alerts when someone attempts to enter the house.

3. Monitoring Your Home for Broken Glass

Motion detectors secure and protect your property by monitoring the target area for glass breaking. They pick up the sound of breaking glass and trigger the alarm, alerting you of the intrusion.

4. Limit Access to Certain Parts of the House

Motion detectors are perfect for restricting certain house areas. They detect motion in designated rooms and alert you of unwanted activity.

Place the motion sensor in the desired location and pair it to internet-connected devices like smartphones.

5. Turn Lights On or Off Automatically.

Installing a motion sensor light improves the home’s security and promotes energy savings. The device automatically goes on and off when someone enters or leaves an area. Therefore, you don’t have to stress about forgetting to adjust the light switches.

Finally, these gadgets are an added security feature in your home that turns on after detecting suspicious activity.

  • Why Are My Motion Sensor Lights Not Turning Off?

Sometimes, the detector’s lights do not turn off because one may have inadvertently switched it to manual override mode.

This mode keeps the lights lit regardless of whether the sensor detects motion.

So, turn off the power switch and give it ten seconds before turning it back on. Then, wait for five minutes, and the system automatically returns to automatic mode.

Alternatively, the sensor at the light assembly may be pointed at an item that frequently moves, such as the fan blades of an air conditioner or a branch.

Also, the system turns on the lights when the motion sensor detects temperature changes. Therefore, ensure it does not point to a window with an air conditioning or heating unit.

Lastly, the detector may trigger the lights if the light system is attached to a moving object, such as a tree.

  • Why Are My Motion Sensor Lights Not Turning On?

The sensor lights may not turn on if the power switch is in the “OFF” position. So, turn on the switch and allow five minutes for the device to switch to automatic mode.

Also, the sensor may have an adjustment problem preventing the lights from turning on. Here, locate the detector’s sensitivity button on the control panel and wait until when you want the light to go on.

The sensitivity knob is on the far left of the three control knobs. Rotate the sensor control knob counterclockwise until the lights illuminate.

In addition, examine the sensor’s position as it may face a light source like a streetlight or a neighbor’s porch light. Then, position it away from the light source.

  • Why Do My Motion Sensor Lights Activate Inadvertently?

The detector’s lights activate inadvertently when it is mounted above the lights. Further, the light’s heat triggers the sensor to turn its lights on. Hence, place the device below the lights for more accurate reactions.

Also, the lights may attract flying insects which may trigger the lights. So, reduce the device’s sensitivity by turning the sensitivity knob counterclockwise.

Finally, if you installed the motion sensor, check whether you mounted the wiring in a dedicated circuit. Or contact the professional who mounted the unit.

The system could be overloaded if it does not have a dedicated circuit.

  • Why Do My Motion Sensor Lights Quickly Turn Off?

While some motion sensor light problems come from foreign light sources, this issue is from the system’s lights.

The lights may shine off reflective surfaces and bounce back to the detector. Then, the device mistakes the system lights for sunlight and turns the lights off.

Solve the problem by adjusting the sensor’s photocell control knob, which is the middle button on the control panel.

Turn the knob counterclockwise in small increments until the sensor works properly. Also, move the device away from the reflective surface.


Motion detector lights are always better than traditional lights, which burn through your wallet and energy. Further, understanding your family’s needs and habits is the most suitable indicator of what motion sensor light features benefit you most.

These features include the dusk-to-dawn setting, which regulates the light depending on whether it’s night or daytime. For instance, the motion sensor lights automatically remain on at night. Then, they’ll automatically go off in the morning.

Interestingly, although the detector lights will be off for the better part of the day, they automatically go on when the motion sensor detects movement. Thus, you save energy while still enjoying maximum security.

The article above contains more information on this setting and other adjustments making it easier to alter the motion detector’s light for your specific requirements.

Will Motion Sensors Work In Daylight

Motion detectors work during the day, depending on your device settings. But this aspect bothers homeowners keen on keeping their energy bills low.

Thankfully, the device has an adjustment that allows the sensor light to remain off during the day. Even better, you can set the sensor to activate lights when it detects movement in the surrounding location. Therefore, your motion detector will optimally serve as a security feature while lowering electricity consumption.

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