I purchased a deluxe motion activated light for my porch. I assumed that there would be an override feature to bypass the motion sensor for manual operation; after a few days and nights of various trials with switching on-off patterns, I resorted the manufacturer's help line. Unfortunately, the answer was, "If it is not in the instruction manual, then it is not an available feature." And I was further advised not to attempt to bypass the motion detector, or I would burn out the circuitry. Please, is there something I can do/modify to set this into a manual mode? I do want the photocell to continue to control dusk-to-dawn, just constant on throughout the night, unless I choose to return to motion detector operation (not a necessary option). I do want to keep this on a switched circuit (single fixture control). I can remove the motion sensor entirely if that is the most appropriate means. I have not seen this simpler feature available in the deluxe, ultra bright twin light system (yet, anyway) otherwise I would have simply purchased a new light. I do have smaller, single outdoor LED lamps, but not the double lamp with it's broad illumination. Thank you for any help.

  • 4
    There's not much to go on in your question. Can you post the manufacturer and model info? Also a photo of the circuit board may help.
    – TomG
    Jan 25, 2014 at 16:34
  • If you are saying that you just want to be able to switch it on and off manually, I think you should be able to figure out whether that's doable. Try to find out what type of voltage and the number of volts being used by the LEDs. If they are 120 volt AC, then you just have to connect the incoming power directly to the LEDs and bypass the circuit board. BUT, I've never done this. This is just what I would try.
    – getterdun
    Jan 27, 2014 at 6:06
  • 1
    If you're really paranoid, you can use a 3-way switch with one traveler going directly to the LED and the other going through the motion sensor first before going to the LED. This way there's no power going to the line side of the motion sensor when it's being bypassed. No idea if or how any of this would impact the circuitry.
    – BMitch
    May 10, 2014 at 15:10

3 Answers 3


I've done this. I have a great solution.

Simply take the hot circuit to the sensor and to the light switch and run them in parallel. The only downfall is that you won't be able to turn the light off when the sensor has control. But I haven't found this to be a problem.


All motion detectors have an override mode. Typically this is done by either flipping the wall switch off/on in a certain pattern, or by a switch on the motion head. Thing is, when you put it in override mode every one I have seen reverts back to motion after the next night/day cycle. I have NEVER seen a motion detector that has a permanent manual override mode.

  • I don't know whether it's "all", but certainly it's "most". I'm not sure whether mine reverts after a day or not; I've never had it turned off that long and reverting would actually be what I'd want it to do so I have no reason to investigate.
    – keshlam
    Sep 8, 2014 at 21:43
  • I've never seen a motion detector without one of some sort or another. Sep 9, 2014 at 0:18
  • I'm agreeing, just recognizing that "never seen" doesn't imply "doesn't exist." All it takes is one counterexample. And I've seen motion detectors separate from light fixtures which may not have that feature built into them.
    – keshlam
    Sep 9, 2014 at 1:48

When there's a TEST switch position in a typical motion light, putting the switch to TEST turns the light on. Then just turn off the switch in the house. Whether this would work in a dusk-to-dawn light, I don't know. Hope this helps.

  • A test switch or function on a motion detector does not simply turn the light on. It puts it into a state where it works off motion but only stays on for approx 30 seconds at a time. May 11, 2014 at 17:39
  • 1
    It won't, motion sensors do not like being downstream of switches because they need power to remember what day vs. night looks like in this location. If you switch them off they fall back on defaults, which performs poorly in many locations. Oct 12, 2017 at 20:21

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