Why Are My Garage Door Sensors Not Lighting Up

If you’ve noticed that your garage door sensors haven’t been lighting up when you open the door and ask yourself, why are my garage door sensors not lighting up? Read on to find out the answer to why your sensor might not be working and what you can do about it! This post discusses common issues with garage doors, how to test them, and what fixes are available for the most common problems.

Why Are My Garage Door Sensors Not Lighting Up

Common Reasons Why Garage Door Sensors Not Lighting Up

There are several common reasons why your garage door sensors might not be lighting up. Here are some issues that may happen if you find that the sensors on your garage door aren’t working.

Malfunctioning photocell :

If your garage door is not working, it may be because the photocell is not working. This is often caused by dirt and dust accumulating over time, gradually blocking its response towards infrared light.

The photocell is a part of the garage door opener that helps it open and close the door. To test if the photocell is working, unplug the garage door opener and set a timer for 10 minutes. Then plug the outlet back in and drive up to the gate. If it does not open immediately after 10 minutes, replace the photocell with a new one.

Malfunctioning Safety Eyes :

Safety eyes are installed on your garage door to prevent it from closing when something obstructs its paths, like a pet or children. However, if the light stays on even after you have gone past the safety eye and attempted to close the door, it means that either the sensor was not installed properly or there is an issue with the wiring along with the door. In either case, it is best to call for a professional to perform the repairs on your safety eyes.

Malfunctioning Receiver & Control board :

If your garage door opener’s receiver and control board are not working, you may hear an unusual noise coming from your garage door. In this case, you will not be able to open or close the door.

The garage opener needs two parts, the receiver and the control board, to work. To test if they are working, unplug the garage opener from the power outlet. If it continues running, that means the parts need to be replaced with new ones that have the same voltage rating as the old ones.

Unplug the Power Outlet

Sensor Wires Come Off Improperly From a Damaged Insulation Tape :

If either your photocell or safety eye wires come off from the insulation tape, it may cause damage to the cord itself. This is because when you drive up to the garage door and try to open it, electrical current will run down both cables, but as they will be disconnected at one end (the part that comes off from the tape), it will cause a short that might damage your garage door opener’s receiver.

To test if this is the issue, have someone hold their hand over the area where both wires come off from the insulation tape and ask them to stand in front of the open sensor for around 5 seconds while you try to open the door. If the door does not open, it probably means that the wires are coming off from the insulation tape, and an electrician should be contacted to fix it.

Garage Door Sensor Is Damaged :

Garage doors are subject to continuous stress and motion throughout the day because they have to withstand all kinds of weather conditions while being used repeatedly. The sensors are also subjected to stress as they are used repeatedly, and this may cause the sensors to break.

For example, if you find that your garage door sensor light does not come on even when you pull up in front of the garage door, but it comes on after tapping on the sensor itself a few times or if one or more of your photocells are broken, it may be time to call for a replacement and put in an order with a garage door repair company.

Garage Door Sensor Light Does Not Come on

Broken Torsion Spring :

If your lights are not working on the sensor, but manually, when you open or close the garage door, do they come on? If so, it means that there is nothing wrong with your sensor or photocell, but rather, there is a problem with the garage door opener’s torsion spring.

To check if it is indeed your torsion spring that is broken, grab the door and try to open it manually. If you can do so, but when you hit the button to close it, it does not move, then you should call for a replacement.

Malfunctioning Safety Eye Wires :

If your sensors do not light up when you pull up to the garage door and try to open it, there is a possibility that one or both of the wires are damaged. To check if this is the case, feel with your hands at where the wire comes out from its cover and feel for any unusual bends or cuts. If you find any, it means that the wires have been cut or squished and will need to be replaced with new ones along with a garage door opener replacement kit.

Things To Consider When Garage Door Sensors Not Lighting Up

Check to See if the Sensor Is Broken or Loose :

If you know that the sensor is not actually broken, but it’s just loose, then you should fix this first. Just by making sure that all of the connections are in place and tight will do, and if not, you can ask for assistance from an expert or a professional to help out.

Check on the Photo-eye (Sensor) Wires :

If you know that the photo-eye (sensor) is working properly, then it is time for you to check on the wires. Just like what was stated above, if there are any damages in them, such as electrical short or loose connections, it will be best if you get a replacement immediately to not cause any further damages on the rest of the parts.

Check the Wiring :

It is also possible that the wires may have connections with other cables nearby, and if it gets tangled, this can cause the wires to rise or lower down. This is why you need to check on your wiring first, make sure that they are still properly coiled and attached to your door opener, and if there is a problem, you will need to contact an expert immediately.

Check the Wiring

Check the Power Cord Is Plugged in Properly :

Be sure to check on your power cord, make sure that it is plugged in properly, and have no loose parts. If you have any problems with this, then you can call for a replacement immediately.

Make Sure It’s Not Too Dark Outside for the Sensors to Work :

This next step may sound a bit strange, but it can actually make sense. If you know that the sensors are working properly, but when it is dusk, something might be wrong with your sensor. Most sensors are only designed to work at night, so if there is too much light, this can cause the unit to malfunction, and therefore, you need to get a replacement as soon as possible.

Check if Something Is Blocking the Light :

Another thing that you need to check out, in this case, is whether or not there are any obstacles in between your sensor and your laser. Again, this will get rid of all of the uncertainties when it comes to deciding whether or not what you have is actually broken or not.

Make Sure Your Remote Control Isn’t Interfering With the Garage Door Sensors :

If you know that your remote control is not working, but the sensors are, then it might be a problem with the frequency. And if this is the case, it will be best for you to check whether or not there is any other frequency button for your garage door opener and change it immediately.

Reset the Opener by Turning Off Power :

Another good way to detect what is wrong with your sensors is by turning off the power. If your sensors are still not working after you turn off the power, it will be best to call for a replacement immediately.

Turning Off the Power


If you find yourself in a situation where your sensors are not working and become frustrated thinking, why are my garage door sensors not lighting up, then please don’t give up hope. There is likely an easy solution to the problem, and we can help! You may just need to replace one of your old sensors or re-calibrate them for optimum performance. 

We know that it’s frustrating when something like this happens, but you can fix the problem by detecting the possible reasons. You can also help professionals troubleshoot this issue and fix the problem as soon as possible! 

You may read also: How to Turn Your Garage Door into a Wall

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