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How To Reset Outdoor Motion Sensor Lights?
Nov 19, 2018


How to reset outdoor motion sensor lights?

Imagine being able to control street lights with your mobile phone. This isn't a prank, but an eco-friendly solution now in place in parts of China.


LED streetlight

The (I must add) responsible denizens there have put in place a system called Dial4Light that lets cell phone users turn on the street lamps only when someone actually needs illumination. We won't suggest this for streets like Harlem or the dodgier parts of Asia since it's so easily subject to abuse.


Much like your very own on/off switch at home, this one requires you to dial up the lights, with a 15-minute grace period before it gets pitch black again. And the best bit, a reported cost savings of 25 percent in power bills for the the towns, not to mention everyone doing their bit to reduce their carbon footprint. Just don't leave home without your phone.


Okay, first of all, this is legit, not a hack. And secondly, it only works in China. In a few villages. I know, it’s a shame, and I got your hopes up for nothing. The system, called Dial4Light, is designed to save energy by only turning streetlights on when somebody actually needs them. If you’re out and about at night, all you have to do is dial a number, enter a code for your street, and the lights will come on for 15 minutes. The system is completely free, and cut electricity bills by an impressive 25%.

street lighting

Interestingly, a BBC video report on the Dial4Light shows that there is apparently a billing system already in place, it’s just not in use. In some ways, billing people individually for turning on streetlights makes sense: if everyone else is sleeping, why should they be footing the bill for your 2am street hockey games?

Resetting Outside Security Light

What I’d like to see would be streetlights that operate on the same basic principle, except using Bluetooth instead of a phone call. All you’d have to do is carry your cell phone with you, and whenever a streetlight detected a Bluetooth signal, it would turn on. That way, you’d have light where you wanted it, when you wanted it, without any waste of electricity or excess light pollution.



LED streetlights are advocated as a means for reducing carbon emissions. According to one estimate, converting all American light fixtures to LEDs would halve the amount of energy used for lighting in the country.



One of the biggest and most important parts of a security system is the motion detector lights. These are designed to come on and light up when detecting that someone or something is moving around in the area. But it’s important that they’re adjusted the right way. If they aren’t sensitive enough they may not come on when needed — and if they’re too sensitive they could come on too frequently. 


For example, a homeowner doesn’t really want to have their motion detector light come on every time a rabbit hops through their yard or a bird flies by their window.


But they definitely want it to come on when someone walks up on the porch — or if there’s a bear trying to get into their trash cans — and that means giving the detector enough sensitivity to catch those things. Eventually a motion detector light may need to be reset, too. There can be a number of reasons for that to happen, and when or if it does the goal is to get it working quickly again so it can continue to help the homeowner be protected. Fortunately, it’s generally not hard to reset motion sensor lights, and most homeowners can reset their lights easily in just a few minutes.


Why Would a Motion Detector Light Need Reset?

With any security system there can be occasional glitches. These can include needing to reset a motion detector light, and there are several reasons the light may need to be reset. These can include:


*faulty sensors

*bad bulbs

*electrical surges

*power outages


There may be other reasons, as well, and it’s valuable for a homeowner to take a careful look at what’s causing the issue. Having the right troubleshooting can matter, as can replacing any motion detector lights that can’t be reset or repaired successfully.



Motion detector lights feature a motion sensor that's sensitive to electrical surges or power blinks. Occasionally, after a power blink, the motion sensor light will remain in the on or off position. While it's logical to think that the light fixture is broken, sometimes all that's required to get it working properly again is for the motion sensor to be reset. Resetting the motion sensor only takes a few minutes, requires no tools, and anybody can do it.

led street lighting

Sensor light won't turn on

Motion sensor lights have an annoying track record of inconsistency. If yours no longer function as desired, they may not need to be replaced, but they do need to be reset. Follow these simple troubleshooting tips.Motion sensor lights are a must for any home security system, but sometimes they get out of whack, turning on and off inappropriately. That’s especially common after power outages.


Are your sensor lights a little wacky sometimes? I don’t know about you but sometimes it takes a miracle to get them to work right. Often, our lights would stay on and not auto shut off like they should.


I figured out why and thought this might be helpful to others who are thinking “what the heck” when it comes to your sensor lights.


Most lights that have sensors have a sensitivity switch, which can often cause your lights to stay on when something as tiny as a bug flys by.


This wasn’t my case, however. Just thought we would do process of elimination if you’re trying to trouble shoot.


The reason our sensor lights would stay on and not shut off is pretty simple. If you somehow turn the switch off and then on within 3 seconds of each other it triggers an “auto-on” within the electrical and the light actually stays on.


In order to reset the settings so that it’s auto off-on like a good light sensor should be, you need to do one thing: turn off the light switch for AT LEAST 10 seconds before turning it back on. This will reset it so that it can resume its light sensor duties.

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