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Outdoor exterior light with motion sensor. No matter what we try to do, we can not get the motion sensor to work properly. The light stays on all the time, and we are going through light bulbs quickly as a result. Also, bugs are accumulating at the front door for the light. This is the second Hampton Bay light fixture for outside we bought. Thought maybe the first fixture had a defect. Other homes in our neighborhood have their outdoor light working correctly. The homes in our subdivisin were built in the late 1960's, and the electrical wiring is just Romex with no conduit. Just two wires, black (hot) and white (grounded), no bare or green (grounding) wire.

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Thank you for contacting Fixya. This is Anil.

I understand that the motion sensor is not working on your outdoor exterior light. Let me try to help you with it.

Things You'll Need: An electrical meter

Step 1

Find your sensor. Interior lights have sensors on the switches and exterior lights have sensors directly on the light. Look at your sensor and make sure nothing is blocking it.

Step 2

Electrical Meter
Once you have established nothing is blocking the sensor remove the light or switch (depending on where the sensor is at) and using an electrical meter determine whether there is electricity running to the box. If there is no power the breaker may be tripped. If power is there that means your sensor has gone bad.

Step 3
If the sensor is bad you need to go to your local electrical supply store and buy a new sensor, if the sensor is on the light). If the sensor is on the switch you will have to go buy a new switch.

Step 4
For light sensors: The sensor will have an incoming power wire and an outgoing power wire. The incoming wire needs to be hooked to the wire coming from your breaker panel. The outgoing needs to be hooked to the hot wire (which is usually black or red) for the light.
For switch sensors: Depending on the type of switch the wiring process is different. Your best bet would be to take the switch with you to the store and find a switch like it. In which case wiring instructions will be in the box.

Tips & Warnings

A single pole switch will have two gold screws and a green screw
A three way switch will have two gold screws , a black screw and a green screw
A four way switch will have 4 gold screw and a green screw
This will help you decide what type of switch to buy
Be sure the power is off before working on your light or switch

I believe the above resolution should resolve the issue, however, if you need anymore assistance, please feel free to contact us. We will be glad to help you. I also request you click on Accept so that I get the credit.

Thank you. Have a Great Day.


Posted on Jul 20, 2010


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Copy following link for wiring illustrations:
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