I already had 3 outdoor lights on my property, which I am changing to PIR sensor lights. Yesterday, I changed the two at the end of the run and all worked great. This morning I changed the last light at the beginning of the run.

Now I have changed the first light in the run, the last two are staying on all the time? Any ideas... if not ill just take it down and try again but thought I'd seek ideas first.

(Interestingly I was expecting 2 pairs of wires coming into the first light as I had seen in the second light, but its only one pair. I assume they have run two separate lines to one switch inside, but that just confused me even more)

  • 1
    The route that cables/wires take is usually to the closest to farthest, but it can take almost any route. Cost and ease and timing of constructing the circuit are usually the only factors. First light might have been added after the first two. Never assume.
    – crip659
    Apr 14, 2022 at 11:52
  • Some pictures of the wiring in each of the fixtures, along with a drawing, labeling them all so we know which is which, would help.
    – FreeMan
    Apr 14, 2022 at 12:09
  • Is the area well shaded? A quality PIR has a photosensor so it doesn't turn on during the day. It ships with reasonable defaults for daytime lux vs nighttime lux. If the location is well-shaded or well-lit, the lux levels may be out of gamut. The unit will need 24 hours to "learn" what the brightest and dimmest levels are, so it can calibrate for day vs night there. However cutting power to it may wipe its memory and make it start over. Apr 14, 2022 at 20:03

2 Answers 2


Some sensor lights have "modes" that you control via the power switch. For example I have one where you turn power off for 10 or more seconds, then on/off/on rapidly and and it will stay on forever, ignoring its sensors. Flipping your breaker may have put it in "normal" mode or may have done something else. Look at the manual.

  • This sounds like it could be the reason the OP's solution "just worked".
    – FreeMan
    Apr 15, 2022 at 11:42

Well like most things I should of spent more time on google first.... I just turned the breaker off and on again and everything started working correctly. (I had flipped the switch a number of times inside and apparently sometimes you need to reset it)

Thanks to those that answered.

  • Is it a GFCI/AFCI/Combo breaker? Often these do need to be turned off/on to reset them.
    – FreeMan
    Apr 14, 2022 at 18:23
  • Yes, GFCI or AFCI breakers would be likely to trip if repairing the circuit while energized. It is wholly insufficient as worker protection, though. Notably it will NOT detect if you're being shocked between hot and neutral. Apr 14, 2022 at 20:32

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