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        Motion sensor lights won't go off Sign In/Join 
        Picture of GardenSprite
        posted
        The motion sensor lights installed at the corner of my father's house have been going on during the night and staying on for hours.

        Eventually they do go off, but not for several hours.

        Assuming that there isn't something fluttering or causing them to remain on, or that the squirrels aren't dancing or cavorting in front of the lights, what can I quickly check to see if I can fix the problem?

        Thanks for any suggestions.
         
        Posts: 1966 | Registered: Oct 06, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        Picture of Jaybee
        posted Hide Post
        Most of the motion lights have a switch on top for several different time settings - from just a couple of minutes to several hours. The only thing is the fact that the several hour on time-frame would have been what it's been doing all along. It's possible that a time switch set just on 'the edge' could change over time, but not very likely.

        So if it's always stayed on for hours, then it's probably that time switch. Just takes someone to climb up there and change the setting.

        It's also possible that the sensitivity is set too high. Then, before the light cycle can time out some small wind-blown movement will set it off all over again. Here too, to fix you must climb up to the light and readjust.


        Jaybee
         
        Posts: 10483 | Location: Knoxville, Tennessee | Registered: Sep 27, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        posted Hide Post
        I also had the same problem with a pair of lights purchased at a big box store (read inexpensive )after trying to adjust the switch several times, I gave up, figuring the problem was in the circuit board. So my choice was to buy another set of lights and face the same problem further down the road or just rewire the lights to bypass the board and work only with the off / on switch in the house.
        I rewired the lights.
        Having motion sensors is just really a gimmick, any thief knows that to bypass the motion sensor is to just stand to the side of the light and close to it. eventually they will go out and the bad guy can do what he wants. As far as being a deterrent to animals, they just ignore it
        Most people inside the house aren't even aware when the lights cycle, so what's the point of even having them ?
         
        Posts: 2589 | Location: florida | Registered: Sep 27, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        Picture of GardenSprite
        posted Hide Post
        Update: Apparently the electrician friend my father called earlier yesterday came over and fixed the problem without telling Dad, who said that the lights came on last night but went off shortly afterward. So, apparently, no more problem. He'll let me know if they're back to staying on for several hours again.

        That's actually fine if they're fixed, because I would have had to put the ladder in part of the front flower bed where the earth isn't firm, and I wasn't looking forward to finagling around that issue.

        But I appreciate the responses and am saving them in the event this happens again.

        Nona, having the lights is just a small element of protection to hopefully help my father. I understand there are limitations but what's a reasonable alternative?

        He can't care for a dog in his physical condition. My father's well armed but I would hope that he would never have to defend himself that way. The neighbors do look out for him, but they can't stay up all night.


        I also think that one of the abundant squirrels was the root of the problem. There's a walnut tree growing right next to the house (I've given up trying to get Dad to cut it down) and the squirrels use it as a thoroughfare to run laps across the roof. It wouldn't surprise me if they jumped on the lights and accidentally moved the switch.

        Thanks to both of you for your advice and opinions.
         
        Posts: 1966 | Registered: Oct 06, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        Picture of CommonwealthSparky
        posted Hide Post
        Just curious but about how old are the fixtures?


        Popeye only reached for the Spinach can as a last resort...
         
        Posts: 1583 | Location: Central Pennsylvania | Registered: Jun 02, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        Picture of GardenSprite
        posted Hide Post
        CS, I bought the fixtures last July or August, from Lowe's. Would there be codes on the boxes that help determine when they're manufactured? I can check the next time I visit Dad (in a few days).

        Were you thinking that age might have caused the switch to deteriorate?
         
        Posts: 1966 | Registered: Oct 06, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        Picture of CommonwealthSparky
        posted Hide Post
        There may well be a production code stamped that you would need to encrypt. Truth be told I was thinking along the lines of a much older fixture though. Age and weather will take its toll as you mentioned.
        As Jaybee mentioned ivy on a blustery evening will do the trick as well. We have such a set up around back but the run of -10° days of last February set said ivy up for a major cut back just recently completed. And much less false trips.

        This message has been edited. Last edited by: CommonwealthSparky,


        Popeye only reached for the Spinach can as a last resort...
         
        Posts: 1583 | Location: Central Pennsylvania | Registered: Jun 02, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        Picture of GardenSprite
        posted Hide Post
        CS, I could understand the effect of age and weather, especially where the lights in question are located. That said and as mentioned, there's some significant animal activity up and down the walnut tree that could probably affect the lights as well.

        Dad said there's been no problem since Saturday, when we believe it was fixed by his friend.

        There's no ivy in the area, or even on his property though. Interesting that your ivy set back over the winter. The abandoned house next door has ivy growing all the way up to the second story, and the portions that are exposed along the house are now dead. Even some of the ivy on the ground has died, but not to the extent of that on the house.

        Ivy is tough; I woundn't have thought frigid weather would be that hard on it.
         
        Posts: 1966 | Registered: Oct 06, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        Picture of CommonwealthSparky
        posted Hide Post
        We just gave the ivy a good trimming and with this weeks weather green growth is everywhere. Not the type of plant if you mind the acreage it will cover in time, that is for sure.
        We also have a resident opossum who on his nightly grub adventures trips the sensor. Not sure which is harder on the lawn, the grubs or Mr. P.


        Popeye only reached for the Spinach can as a last resort...
         
        Posts: 1583 | Location: Central Pennsylvania | Registered: Jun 02, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        Picture of GardenSprite
        posted Hide Post
        Ivy can certainly be aggressive, but I've found that vinca minor is worse and far more invasive. I'm sorry I ever let it grow freely. On the other hand, it would be a good substitute for lawn.

        As to the meandering 4 legged critters, be glad you don't have a family of raccoons brought out by mama raccoon for their nightly strolls. They'd use the lights to find ways to get into the garbage and into your house if possible. They're smart little buggers, and almost fearless too.
         
        Posts: 1966 | Registered: Oct 06, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        Picture of CommonwealthSparky
        posted Hide Post
        The ivy covers a block wall will a walkway running parallel with a slope. Typical Pennsylvania geography. And always has a small summer time snake as its resident bug catcher. And a prying mantis or two in late summer. And of course the neighbors mouser standing guard, well mostly sleeping on the job truth be told. All are welcome, the more the merrier.

        Did have last spring a raccoon family, mom & 4 kits or whatever the youngins are called. Never could get 'em all together for a photo. They sure could play havoc with sprinkling cans, just not content to stick a paw or two in, just tumble then about the property.

        This message has been edited. Last edited by: CommonwealthSparky,


        Popeye only reached for the Spinach can as a last resort...
         
        Posts: 1583 | Location: Central Pennsylvania | Registered: Jun 02, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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