I have a motion sensor in the ceiling to turn the lights on, it turns them on ok but won't turn them off until you turn the power off. Only just started

  • 1
    Has anyone messed with the settings?
    – JACK
    Oct 20, 2019 at 14:43
  • How old is the sensor? Could it be dust covering it? Have had experience with motion sensors not lasting... could you change it without changing the whole fixture?
    – Steve
    Oct 20, 2019 at 14:58
  • 2
    This sounds like mis-set expectations. Under which conditions do you expect it to turn off? is it possible you're just not giving it enough time? Oct 20, 2019 at 15:02
  • What make and model is the sensor? Oct 20, 2019 at 16:01
  • 1
    I have seen this with for 2 reasons the first is spiders, sometimes behind the white plastic piece, the 2nd cheap sensitively adjustment potentiometers, try noting their position and them move it from the current position to the ccw limit then Cw limit then back to the original position and see if it works for a while. These are the most common issues I have found other than power spikes that make the sensor think you have forced it on.
    – Ed Beal
    Oct 20, 2019 at 22:38

1 Answer 1


From your question I can make two assumptions:

1) It worked appropriately for a period of time (week, a month or longer).

2) There are very few settings, possibly one for duration and maybe one for sensitivity.

If neither of those are true, bring it back to the store and get a different unit.

If they are both true, try changing the sensitivity to a lower (less sensitive) setting and the duration to a longer setting. This will help to troubleshoot the unit and indicate whether there is some unknown motion that was too small to trip it previously but has become more significant. I had one in a hallway that tripped when the furnace came on and blew the tips of some flowers in a vase. If there weren't any flowers or they became dry, the motion sensor worked great but if there were fresh flowers it would trip (only when the furnace came on) - that almost drove me crazy!

I'm also assuming that you don't have a dog, cat, mouse, ferret, bat, bird, etc. that is running/flying through the room when you aren't looking.

If that doesn't take care of it, then replace the unit. You didn't say how you were using it either, but if it was to turn the light on when you entered the room (the switch is across the room) you might consider getting a motion sensor integrated into the switch rather than the ceiling. They tend to be a little higher quality, have better settings and easier to put in without a ladder.

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