Why Sunlight Confuses Your Garage Door Opener’s Sensors

Garage door sensors (those little eyes on each side of the door frame near the ground that tell the door it’s safe to close) use light to communicate with each other; one sensor sends light to the other, which receives the signal. If that path is interrupted, say, by an object or a person, the garage door won’t close, because it thinks it’s not safe since something is in the way.

Sunlight can confuse these sensors, which typically use infrared light to communicate. UV light is much stronger than infrared, which is why on sunny days the UV light can cause the sensors to think something is blocking their communication. The garage door will open but it won’t close. Not only is this really annoying, but it can be a security risk for your home. Thankfully, there are a few easy fixes to stop the sun from messing with your garage door’s function.

Things You can do to Shade Your Sensors

  • Place a piece of cardboard, like a toilet paper roll, around the sensor to shade the eye. You could also use PVC pipe to do this.
  • Buy manufactured sensor shades for the eyes. (This is a more aesthetically pleasing option.)
  • If your home is sat at an angle where the sun is only hitting the sensor that receives the light signal, consider just switching which side of the door each sensor is on.
  • Take the lenses from a pair of UV resistant sunglasses and place on each sensor.

Just remember – with any of these fixes, never block the sensor’s eye, otherwise you’ll never get the door to close and it will just add to your frustration.

And you can always call us at EDH for any of your garage door opener repair or troubleshooting needs!


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Noisy Garage Doors—a Problem of the Past

Softening the sounds of an obnoxiously loud garage door is a common request from our El Dorado Hills customers. Most new garage doors are naturally more quiet, but there are a few tricks for reducing the clamor from an old door: tighten nuts and bolts, lubricate moving parts, and replace metal rollers with nylon.