I had the same problem. The sensor uses the load as a drain for the sensing
circuit. With filament bulbs, the current is too small to light them. Put a
small tungsten bulb in parallel. Experiment to find the smallest wattage
Note: Do not use CFLs. They produce EMI that trips the motion sensor.
On Tue, 5 Apr 2016 08:42:08 -0500, Mark Lloyd wrote:
The problem I had was inside. The sensor is in a wall 'box', and is
line-of-sight to the interior lights. CFL will come on okay, but constantly
re-triggers the sensor.
Outside installs usually block the light from load to sensor, because it
usually also contains an ambient light sensor to prevent daytime duty.
The one I described is outside. Maybe that explains the difference.
I do have some inside motion sensor lights. These depend on current flow
through the bulbs (2-wire switch) and will not work properly with CFL or
This is not the first time this topic has appared on this newsgroup.
Apparently the LED bulbs dont draw enough current to make the sensor
work properly. I would assume they now make motion sensor fixtures made
*FOR* LED lights, or there would be a lot of complaints and lack of
sales. But I'm only guessing this has been done (or will soon be done).
Until then, the older fixtures must have at least one "regular" bulb
I'm no fan of motion sensor lights. I think they waste a lot of
electricity. On my farm, they would turn on and off all the time. My
barn cats, wild critters, swaying trees from wind, rain and snow, and
everything else that moved, made them turn on. If I adjusted them to
less sensitive, then they did not turn on when I walked toward them
until I was real close, and still went on from animals and so on. I just
got rid of all of them over time.
I know where there is one in town that turns on everytime a car drives
past that building on the road, on a fairly busy street. Who needs that,
and why waste electricity like that....
Either way, I'm sure they must have some newer fixtures that work with
LED, and the older ones will need to be replaced, but no matter what, I
wont install them again. There is one place on my farm where I had to go
to the barn at night and would trip on steps, if I was not real careful
or had a flashlight. I solved that by putting a light on another
building ahead of the barn, with a switch outside (on the other
building), which lights up the place with the steps. But since then, I
bought a solar powered light which lights up that area every night. But
if it was a real cloudy day and the solar light did not charge up well,
I still have the switched light.
On Monday, April 4, 2016 at 11:50:30 PM UTC-4, Mike Duffy wrote:
Except that typically you can't just use the smallest wattage that works
because you need sufficient wattage for the lighting application. But
if you have 4 of them, you could put one 100W regular bult, three 100W LED.
How that looks, IDK in all cases, but I've done it with CFL, that can
have the same issue and it looked OK.
On 2/24/2017 10:04 AM, email@example.com wrote:
Depends on how the led is constructed and the design of the
I tried several different brands of LED's and motion sensors.
Most combinations don't work.
Some work fine.
Some work initially, but develop flashing issues later.
One thing to look for is a motion sensor that has THREE input wires
so it can get power without going thru the led. Some fake it
by using the safety ground instead of neutral. It's hard to tell
by looking at the box in the store. Those that say they are LED
compatible, often, but not always, worked for me. Motion sensors
with relays work best.
In one case, I used a Y-adapter so I could put a 4W incandescent
night light in parallel with the LED bulb. Been working great.
Bad news is that increases the power consumption by 50%, but
for seldom used lights, it's a reasonable tradeoff. The money
you save on a FREE garage sale motion sensor will buy a lot
On 02/24/2017 12:04 PM, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
I've seen that happen with CFLs too. When "off" the switch isn't quite
off. It allows a small current through (actually 120V, but more than
just a little load drops it to almost 0) the load. A capacitor in the
light (CFL ballast or LED current regulator) can charge slowly and then
discharge causing the light to come on briefly.
It would stay off if you could add a little resistive load to the
switch. That happens if you put in one little incandescent bulb.
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