Why My Garage Door Won’t Close When Sun Shines On The Sensor?

Garage doors are often used as a security measure for the home. They provide protection from intruders by keeping unwanted visitors out.

You may have noticed that your garage door won’t close when it is sunny outside. This is because the sensor on the door cannot detect the light, which stops the door from closing.

There are a few things you can do to fix this problem. The first option would be to adjust your sensor to detect light from all angles by turning it around or adjusting its position.

Another option would be to replace your sensor with a newer model, which can detect light from all angles. But first, let’s figure out the cause before we replace the sensor.

When direct sunlight hits the garage door safety eye, it obstructs the light beam, and while it won’t obstruct the light beam from opening, it won’t close unless you hold down the wall button.

So, adding a sun shield to your garage door safety eye is the best solution to this problem.

Can Sunlight Exposure Affect Garage Door Sensors?

Can Sunlight Exposure Affect Garage Door Sensors

The purpose of a garage door sensor is to detect when an object is near the ground, not to do anything else. Therefore, the door cannot hit persons, animals, or other objects.

Nonetheless, there may be times when an external factor negatively affects a garage door sensor. Therefore, to fully understand how the sensor works, let’s look at how it works.

How a Garage Door Sensor Works?

When homeowners understand how a garage door sensor works, they can watch out for things that might affect it.

To prevent the garage door from crushing any objects or people in its path, the device detects any person or object and instructs the motor to reverse the downward motion.

Each sensor is located low on the garage door, and when the two beams meet, the garage door opens. Then, to prevent the garage doors from hitting or crushing something blocking the beam, they reverse the garage doors.

Light Interference

Light Interference

It is generally efficient and effective to use an infrared system. However, there is an issue because infrared energy belongs to the light spectrum.

The signal flow between two infrared sensors can be interrupted by sunlight because sunlight contains all types of light, including light with higher energy than infrared light.

In other words, even when the garage door sensors are clean, and there are no unsafe conditions, the garage door may not work. So, although you may experience interference from the sun from time to time, it probably won’t last for very long.

Infrared beams are focused on garage door sensors, so that is why they detect garage doors. It is, therefore, necessary for the sun to be at the perfect angle in the sky for interference to occur.

Additionally, you may not experience any problems with your garage door until you leave your home at just the right time one day, causing you to think that your garage door is malfunctioning.

Additional Complications

Additional Complications

Likely, sunlight interference will only be a problem for a few minutes out of a few days per year unless your home is at precisely the right angle. Sensors are susceptible to sunlight interference for a variety of reasons.

However, other variables may increase the likelihood of this problem occurring. Several variables can affect your sensors, among them dust and cobwebs.

For example, you may notice that dust or cobwebs can sometimes deflect sunlight toward the sensors on your garage door.

The sensors will still have problems as long as they are dirty, even if they would be appropriately angled otherwise.

It is possible for dust and dirt on garage door sensors to interfere with infrared signals without sunlight, regardless of whether sunlight is present.

Sunlight and Garage Door Sensors | What Can Be Done To Fix It

Sunlight and Garage Door Sensors | What Can Be Done To Fix It

An infrared sensor is used to detect garage doors. It is also known that the sun emits infrared light that is more powerful than the light emitted by sensors.

During the day, the sunlight might overwhelm the light from the infrared sensors, making it impossible for the sensors to communicate.

When strong sunlight shines on a garage door sensor, it may cause the door to stop closing. As a homeowner, you can look for ways to alleviate the issue based on what causes it, such as:

Option #1

One solution is to move the sensors further into the garage and out of the sunlight, and another is to switch the sensors’ sides.

During transmission, one of them transmits while the other receives. So, it may be possible to fix the problem by switching them.

Option #2

It is possible to block much of the sunlight by placing small items around the sensor, such as a toilet paper tube; just make sure to avoid blocking the actual sensor.

You can also choose sun shields made specifically for garage door sensors if you prefer a more visually appealing option.

Do-it-Yourself Solution

Do-it-Yourself Solution

You can easily protect your garage door’s sensors from the sun even if you’re on a budget. In addition, it is possible to shield yourself from the sun with something as simple as a cardboard toilet paper roll.

It only takes a few minutes to tape the tube on the sensor’s “eye” by cutting a short tube section. You can also use short pieces of it as an alternative to using PVC pipe.

Ensure that the sensor’s lens is in the center of the shield when installing it. In this case, the shield could redirect the infrared signal, causing the signal to be interrupted.

You should also avoid making the sensor shield too long, so you don’t run into it when you walk into and out of your garage.

A Source of Heat

A Source of Heat

The repeated exposure of your garage door’s sensors to direct sunlight could cause more than temporary inconveniences.

In addition to containing heat energy, sunlight could also overheat your sensors and cause them to permanently cease working.

Due to the convex lenses used in garage door sensors, the sun’s light will be focused on the electronic components.

This phenomenon could, over time, lead to problems that you’ll need to deal with, similar to starting a fire with a magnifying glass.

Safety Is Vital

It is not uncommon for homeowners to become so frustrated with their garage door sensors that they override them. However, there is a setting on most garage door openers that allows you to override the sensors manually.

As a result, once you press the correct button, your garage door will open and close without stopping. Nevertheless, you should always remember that the sensors exist solely for your safety.

Because garage doors close with a lot of force and are quite heavy, sensors became mandatory. In other words, if someone is in the path of a garage door, they may suffer serious injury.

To resolve this problem, it is best to try one of the other fixes listed above. It is possible to override the sensors if they do not work.

Professional Option

A purpose-made sensor shield can solve your sunlight interference problems more permanently. In addition, sensor shields are attached using wing nuts, so they are less likely to come off over time.

As well as providing a more professional appearance, purpose-made shields are perfect for well-kept garages. As an added benefit, the shields are made of heavy-gauge metal, so they will last for a long time to come.

The shields in these types are also thinner than those made by do-it-yourselfers. Signal redirection is, therefore, not a problem with purpose-made shields since they are designed to fit perfectly.

Other Workarounds

Trying other temporary workarounds to correct the problem can be helpful if you’re in a hurry. For example, with a piece of paper or your hand, you can shield one of the sensors.

Using this technique, the garage door could open and normally close if the other sensor is not in direct sunlight.

You can also wait a few minutes for the sun to move to a new position in the sky if this doesn’t work. The sensors normally work after a few minutes, depending on the sun’s angle.

Final Words

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

We recommend seeking professional assistance if you still have trouble fixing your sensor after troubleshooting with these suggestions. Doing this will save you time, reduce stress, and lead you to a solution more quickly.

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