View Full Version : Motion Sensing Light--sensitivity

brian Rupnow
10-29-2014, 06:55 PM
Question--My house is about 30 years old, and has a couple of floodlights in the driveway that are operated by a motion sensor. I keep them turned off because they are always turning on and off--everytime the wind blows and my hedge quivers a bit, or a chipmunk runs across the lawn. Is there any ways to dumb these things down a little, so they only come on if something big like a car comes in my driveway or my friendly neighbourhood burglar sneaks up the drive? I like the security feature it gives, but the constant on and off makes them more of a nuisance than an asset.

10-29-2014, 07:12 PM
All new setups have a sensitivity switch that is customer adjustable. Is your floodlight as old as the house...doubt it. If it doesn't have said sensitivity switch I would purchase a new light, they are cheap as dirt and will solve the problem. If you're determined to fiddle with yours then a few pieces of tape over the sensor may dumb the unit down...maybe.


10-29-2014, 07:21 PM
As mentioned, many newer ones are adjustable. You can also choose ones with a 90, 120, or 180 degree cone of sensitivity. The sensor on one I have also swivels to point at the desired area. Dennis

10-29-2014, 07:44 PM
I had one of those and I ended up putting a piece of black electrical tape over part of the sensor window. I had to adjust it several times to get it right.

Bob Fisher
10-29-2014, 08:21 PM
I bought an LED motion sensitive fixture for over the garage door for about $50. Don't really care how often it turns on and off. Damned thing is so bright you can hardly look at it. I am well on my way to turning the entire house into LED lighting. Only the shop lighting holding me back now. Costco had a 4ft shop light for $39, would cost about $500 to finish the job. Having a hard time with that one. Bob.

10-29-2014, 09:46 PM
I wonder if re-aiming the sensor would be effective in doing what you want.

Sometimes I find it's useful to look at a part with a flashlight to discover hidden features. Usually I'm trying to figure out how to disassemble a model locomotive, but sometimes the manufacturer has hidden something useful like the sensitivity knob.


10-29-2014, 11:19 PM
It is possible to limit sensitivity and limit the angle of sensing. I had lots of raccoons at my previous house so I did both. I mounted a 2" length of 1/2" PVC pipe over the sensor to limit the sensed area, and put thin strips of tape over the sensor to limit sensitivity. I was after two-legged critters and this worked great. The sensors have amazing viewing angles.

brian Rupnow
10-30-2014, 09:03 AM
My light is in a difficult spot to get at, and as near as I can tell has no sensitivity adjustment. I will buy a new one with an adjustable pot and install it. Thank you all for your replies.---Brian

A.K. Boomer
10-30-2014, 09:41 AM
I would check it first - sometimes the adjustments are not in plain sight, I replaced a very old one on my house and it had both the sensitivity adjustments and the time delays...

11-06-2014, 07:53 PM
I had one with the same problem the OP mentioned and finally replaced it with a LED unit from Costco. I like it so much that I bought two more and put them on two other sides of the house. They only go on when I want them to based on the way I set the adjustments and only for as long as I want them to.

11-07-2014, 01:09 AM
Walmart $12