Garage door openers are simple tech inventions, in theory. All they are supposed to do is get your garage door to open and close without getting your hands dirty–and maybe also light the way. Unfortunately, tech is only really good if it’s working without a hitch.
What do you do if your garage door opener’s light keeps staying on? This issue is usually caused by your garage door’s light button on your remote, or by a small problem on your garage door’s circuit board. Both are relatively easy fixes.
This pesky little problem is more of a nuisance than anything else, but that doesn’t mean that you should ignore it. This article will help you understand what’s going on with your garage door opener and how you can fix it in a snap.
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Why Is My Garage Door Light Staying On?
It goes without saying that garage door lights shouldn’t be a constant thing. The general idea of a garage door light is to provide a little illumination while you park your car or get out of your garage. It shouldn’t stay on 24/7, and keeping them on can end up burning out your light’s bulb.
For the most part, garage door lights that don’t turn off are caused by one of two things:
- Pressing The Wrong Button On Your Remote
- Low Batteries In Your Remote
- A Circuitry Issue In Your Garage Door’s Equipment
A quick diagnostic is all you need in order to figure out your fix. Heres what every homeowner should know before they get too aggravated.
Doing Your Diagnostic
Since there are really only two reasons why a garage door might stay open, it’s easy enough to figure out what you will need to do to fix things. The diagnostic itself requires only two pieces of equipment: your garage door remote and some batteries.
When Should You Not Worry About Your Garage Door Light?
If you have a new garage door, then seeing a “laggy light” might take you by surprise. In these cases, you probably should worry. The average garage door light is set up to stay on for approximately four minutes, so if yours shuts off around or prior to that time, it’s actually fairly standard.
You should be more concerned about a garage door light that just doesn’t shut off at all, turns on at random, or takes hours to shut off. This is indicative of an electrical failure.
Step One: Diagnosing Your Garage Door Remote
The fastest and easiest fixes come from a garage door remote-related issue, so let’s tackle that possibility first. To do this, follow these steps below:
- Press your garage door remote’s light button. It’s a simple task, but it’s a good one to try. You’d be surprised how often a press made in error causes the lights to seemingly stay on without reason. If the light goes off, this was the issue all along.
- If you have a specialty “prolonged light” button on your remote, press that one too. If your issue isn’t fixed and your remote has a button that keeps the light on for longer periods of time, try that button as well. This can be a similar root cause.
- If your setup has a motion sensor that keeps lights on, turn the motion sensor off. It’s a simple mistake, but it is surprisingly common. Most homeowners aren’t used to motion-sensing garage door lights quite yet, which makes this command an afterthought to many.
- Next, replace the batteries in your garage door remote. Believe it or not, batteries that are in the process of going bad can send faulty signals to your garage door. This will often manifest as a light that won’t turn on, lights that flicker, or a remote that needs multiple presses to work.
Step Two: Diagnosing The Circuit Board
If you’ve followed through with the diagnostic process with little to show for it so far, don’t worry. This just means that you’ve managed to narrow down the source of the problem to the circuit board. This means that you can figure out what needs to be done. Here’s how:
- Before you try to move any of the wires, disconnect the power from your garage door. A connected wire is a dangerous wire, even if it’s off. Reset your door timer to the fastest setting, so you can spend less time waiting for the light to turn off.
- Disconnect door controls from the wire. You don’t want to have to constantly see your doors dancing around during this.
- Give your circuit board a reboot. Circuit boards get wonky from time to time. Sometimes, a quick refresh is all you need to make your garage light turn off once more. Just give your circuit board two minutes before restoring power, then test it again. If the lights go off, it’s a wiring issue or a door control problem.
If the light continues to stay on, remove power from the circuit again. This suggests that the issue you’re facing has to deal with the logic board rather than the control itself. This may require professional replacement.
Once you know what caused your problem, you can start fixing it.
Watching For Wiring Issues
Wiring tends to be the most common non-remote issue that could force a garage door light to stay on. Thankfully, it can be fairly easy to see which wire needs replacing. Just follow these steps below:
- Check the circuit board’s surroundings for signs of environmental damage. Did your garage recently flood or have a leak in the ceiling? If so, you might see water marks or rust marks near the circuit board. Water damage can harm garage door boards irreparably. Replacing your circuit board can fix this.
- Look for frayed wiring on the circuit board or nearby. Over time, wiring can become loose and frayed regardless of how well you keep up your garage. If you notice frayed wiring, wrapping it up or replacing the wire can fix your garage door light.
- Search for rust on wires. Rusty wires are rare, but they’re still highly problematic and risky. If you notice rust, it’s a sign that you’ve been dealing with a faulty wire setup for a while.
- Take a look at wires that are connected to lighting, and just replace those. If all else fails, the easiest way to make sure your garage door works well is to just replace the wires with a clear connection to the lighting setup. Most door kits will have the wiring spots labeled or obviously connected to lighting, which makes this an easy option.
When To Get A Replacement?
If your garage door has been giving you nonstop grief or has shown serious signs of advanced wear, a quick fix is not enough to make your door workable. Serious problems, especially when it comes to matters of wiring, can pose a risk to your home as well as interrupt operation.
Any time you see a frayed wire or severe rust, you should pause for a moment. These kinds of issues can create conditions that increase the risk of an electrical fire and should be taken seriously. It only takes a single errant spark to make your garage door light on fire!
When you see serious rust, heavily frayed wires, or anything else that could be interpreted as a fire hazard, it’s better to replace your control board and garage door setup. It may seem extreme, but it’s better for your home’s overall safety.
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