Can Sunlight Affect My Garage Door Sensor?

A brief guide on what can confuse your sensor and how to fix it.


August 26,2020

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A mechanical garage door is a convenient way for a vehicle to enter and exit the home. Couple that with sensors and it becomes a work of modern innovation. But let’s remember, a garage door sensor is a  safety feature  before anything else, with its sole purpose being to sense when an object is near the ground. This prevents the door from shutting on any person, animal, or object. 

However, there may be times when a garage door sensor is negatively affected by something external. To fully understand, let’s examine just how the sensor works. 

How a Garage Door Sensor Works 

Knowing how a garage  door sensor works  allows a homeowner to be watchful for what might affect it.  When the device detects any person or object in the path of a closing garage door, it signals the motor to stop the downward action and switch the motion into reverse to stop the obstacle being crushed. The sensors are located low on each side of the garage door, and the two beams meet when performing a connection. Should something block the beam, they set the garage doors into a reverse motion to keep the door from hitting or crushing the object. 

Sunlight and Garage Door Sensors 

Garage door sensors use infrared light. The sun also carries infrared light which, you guessed it, is more powerful than the light of the sensors.  If the light of the sun surpasses the infrared sensors light, the sensors might not be able to signal one another. This is why a garage door might stop closing if strong sunlight is shining on the eye of a garage door sensor. Now that you know what can cause this, you as a homeowner can look for ways to alleviate the issue, such as the following: 

  1. Putting small pieces of cardboard, like a toilet paper tube,  around the sensor will block much of the sunlight, just be sure to avoid blocking the actual sensor. However, if you’d like to go a different route, sun shields are a similar, more visually appealing choice that are made specifically for garage door sensors. 

  2. Moving the sensors further into the garage and out of the sunlight is another solution, and another possible fix is switching the sides of the sensors. One of them transmits and the other receives. Thus, switching them might fix the problem.

If after troubleshooting with these suggestions you’re still unable to fix your sensor, we recommend seeking guidance from a professional technician. This will save you time, reduce stress, and can ultimately bring you closer to finding a solution. 

Find Out More About Home Safety with Brinks Home Security ™  

Garage door safety is ultimately a component of home safety. You rely on these sensors to secure and protect some of your most important valuables, like a car. 

At Brinks Home, we offer  home security solutions.  We carry  door and window sensors  which can trigger an alarm when the door or window is opened. We often consider our door and window sensors to be the workhorse of any home security system. They might be small, but their multi-year battery life and sharp sensing are ready to protect and monitor the entry points in your home.  Contact us  to learn more about our home security solutions. You’ll also receive a free quote on any product you’re interested in. 

 Lauren Slade is a Dallas based writer and editor.

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