Snow makes motion sensor turn on

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Is it normal for falling snow to make a motion sensor turn the light on, or do I just have a crappy sensor? It stayed on almost all night from the falling snow until I finally shut it off completely. I just bought and installed this unit a few weeks ago, so it's going back to the store if it's just this particular brand or model. I bought this thing to save electricity, not waste more.
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Mike Ryan wrote:

Does it have a sensitivity adjustment? If so, adjust it. If not, you could get one that does.
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wrote:

There are 2 adjustments. Distance and Time. I know the time only affects how long it stays on.
I dont believe the distance one would be considered sensitivity, but I will try changing it. The manual is not very useful or detailed.
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Distance = sensitivity.
The snow may not be causing the light to come on. Motion detectors work by detecting a change in heat, and since snow is the same temperature as the air, or very nearly so, something else is causing the light to go on. Maybe gusts of wind are picking up warm(er) air from near a window or door, or the sensor can "see" across the street and it is picking up cars. As someone else stated, motion sensors are much more sensitive in the winter than the summer. In the summer it may appear that it is not working at all, if you want to detect a person. (the body temperature being close to that of the ambient air)
Keep in mind too, that motion sensors are most sensitive when the motion they're looking for is -across- their field of view. If the motion is towards or away from the detector, it isn't nearly as sensitive.
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It always worked good until last night. There are no cars, this is a rural area and it's pointed into my back yard on my shed. Normally the only time it went on was when I walked up to the shed, but a few times I saw it go on from my cat or from wild animals. I know that's normal, and I have the time set to only about one minute of on time. Last night I could not sleep because it stayed on for hours until I finally got dressed and went out into the cold to shut the darn thing off. It was snowing heavily. I do agree they more sensitive in winter. Last week we had severe cold and it did not come on at all when I went to the shed to grab firewood. Thats the main reason for this light, so I can see what I am doing when I go for firewood at night. I also noticed that when it was extremely cold, that switching the switch on and off quickly did NOT keep the thing lit like it's supposed to do. I know it was pissing me off because I was trying to stack some wood and the light kept going off. I even thought at that time that I may have to install the second light so it's just on a switch so I can keep it turned on when I want it. The fixture is made for TWO bulbs. I only have a bulb in one of them. I dont need two. I dont see why I cant run a switched wire directly to the second one, and disconnect it from the sensor. That "stay on" feature dont work very well. But then I'm pretty much back to where I was in the first place, I have to make an extra trip back to the shed to shut off the light after all the firewood is hauled in the house. If I shut off the light before I leave with the wood, I am likely to trip on something and fall on my butt like I used to do before I installed the light.
I'm starting to think these lights are not as good as the advertising for them. They are not very reliable.... Now that the snow stopped I cant really mess with the adjustment so the snow dont activate it.... If it wasn't so darn far to dig, I think I'd just run extra wires to the shed and put a 3 way switch in the house, and take this toy back to the store.
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Even those used in banks fail so it is possible this one's time is up & just needs to be replaced.
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Mike Ryan wrote:

I'm only familiar with the kind that have three controls, one of which is sensitivity.
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wrote:

I've never seen one with three. What's the 3rd one called?
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Mike Ryan wrote:

Hmmm...trying to remember. One sets the amount of time the light is on. One sets the ambient light level for operation. Guess the third one is the "sensitivity"...but, as others have indicated, that may be a distance-based adjustment. The units I'm thinking of are up at the cottage...about 300 miles away. :)
I know there's one there that is "tender" when the wind blows because there's a large plant below it and a flag on the corner of the house. I haven't chosen to go up the ladder and fiddle with it. I just turn it off.
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wrote:

They must be very sensitive.
Mine is only good for about 15 feet.

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mm wrote:

;)
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They work by sensing motion and thermal changes, so during storms they can act erratic

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Let's look at the facts here. You have a MOTION detector. The snow was moving. The conclusion is . . . . . .
Next summer, we'll discuss high winds and tree branches with lots of leaves on them.
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they are also much more sensitive in severe cold, like normally cars driving down street no problem, at 20 degrees its lights on///////////
I finally removed my sensors put my lights on a photocell with timer.
at loeast its reliable and racoons dont set it off
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wrote:

And the remedy is to stop the snow from moving.

Oh, goody.
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wrote:

Any idea where I can buy a remote snow stopper? <lol>

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wrote:

X-10?
When I received and read my previous post, both sentences sounded sarcastic towards Edwin. Neither were meant to be.
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Nah, I got a chuckle out of them.
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Mike Ryan wrote:

My motion activated lights are reliable. They have a sensitiviy adjustment and yours should also. I turn them off when I don't want them on especially in the summer when they attract too many bugs.
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Lawrence wrote:

it kinda depends on the area being monitored, I concluded that after lots of expermintation and finally trashing my detector lights
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