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How to Adjust the Timer on a Light Sensor

Kenneth Crawford

Light sensors use a photo electric beam to turn on the outside lights when an object passes in front of its range. The light is factory set to stay on for a specified time period before turning off again. Sometimes the factory setting is either too short or too long. Adjusting the timer on a light sensor requires accessing the control panel and using the testing function. Although there are many manufacturers of light sensors, the adjusting methods are similar.

  1. Place a step ladder under the motion light sensor so you can reach the bottom of the unit. Remove the control box cover on the bottom of the light assembly. Some secure with screw requiring a Phillips screwdriver, while others have snap clips you unsnap with your fingers.

  2. Look for a test button on the control board and flip it to the test position. Some units do not have a test button. Mark the point where the "Dusk" dial and "Range" dial are pointing with a pencil. Turn the "Dusk" dial to "Light" and the "Range" dial to the "Max" setting. This enables you to test the time delay during daylight.

  3. Find the "Time" knob on your light sensor. The knob is usually a small white knob with a slot for a flat-head screwdriver. The words "Time Delay" or "Time" might be stamped above or below the knob.

  4. Turn the knob in small increments counterclockwise to increase the time the light stays on or clockwise to decrease the time. Some time knobs have marks with the minute numbers, while others might have a graduating scale mark.

  5. Move in front of the light sensor until the light turns on. Wait until the light turns off and determine if you want to make more adjustments. Once adjustments are complete, move the test button out of the testing mode. If you do not have a test button, turn the "Range" and "Dusk" dials to the original settings indicated by the pencil mark. Place the cover back onto the light sensor and secure with the screws or clips.