I replaced old halogen lights with new LED bulbs. Now they seem to stay on a little. They look dim, like a very low wattage bulb. Is that normal? Or do I need to change the sensor/switch? It only has one switch, which turns all the lights on and off.

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    Some security lights will bleed power through the lamps to run the security sensor, it's such a small amount of current that it's not enough to light an incandescent, but it can be enough for some low level of light from LED's (or sometimes, it will make them flash). If you install a switch to turn them off during the day, that would keep them from lighting, or can could just replace the security lights entirely with more modern LED lights.
    – Johnny
    Jun 13, 2016 at 19:54

1 Answer 1


This is common with older security sensors. (The sensor needs a small amount of power to function. To avoid wiring a neutral wire, they are wired in series with the bulbs, and power themselves by leaking a small amount of current through the bulbs - halogen bulbs don't mind this.)

The simplest solution is to replace just one of the bulbs with incandescent or halogen. it can be of a lower wattage. The rest of the lights can remain LED.

The harder option is to replace the sensor/switch with a modern type, however this will require a neutral wire at the switch. (In this situation, the sensor gets its own power from hot+neutral, and does not need to leak any power through the bulbs.) This will save between $2 and $7 per year by using less power.

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