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.
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.
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
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.
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.
How is it acting now that the snow has stopped?
I've been through several that keep coming on once temperatures drop
beyond a certain point..... i.e. they work during summer months, but
tend to stay on during winter.
Spent the big bucks on replacement sensors of a different brand (and
type?), but still having the problem.
Mike Ryan wrote:
changing it. The manual is not very useful or detailed.
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
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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