How to Adjust Leviton Motion Sensor – Step-by-step Guide

Leviton is a brand that has continued to churn out premium quality products to meet the security needs of its customers around the world. In this article, we will show you how to adjust Leviton motion sensor and how to repair it if there is a problem.

How to Adjust Leviton Motion Sensor
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The Leviton motion sensor is an occupancy sensor. You will get to learn more about occupancy sensors in the course of the article.

Occupancy sensors help control light via ultrasonic, infrared, tomographic, microwave, and camera-based sensors. You have to carefully adjust the sensor’s field-of-view to trigger only the right type of motion. For instance, it will be improper for the occupancy sensor in your office to detect movement outside the office door.

That being said, tomographic motion detectors can detect movement through obstructions such as trees and walls. Yet, they are not easily triggered by movements outside the field of view, unlike microwave sensors. The truth is, it almost impossible to rightly place sensors. For this reason, most sensors are equipped with delay timers to correct the abnormalities.

A user can set a delay timer to a maximum of 15 minutes. What this means is the fact that your motion sensor won’t detect any movement or switch on the lights while the delay time has not elapsed.

Why Do Some Motion Sensor Lights Stay on Continuously?

Motion sensor lights stay on continuously for the following reasons:

i. Light issue

ii. Incorrect settings

Light Issue

More often than not, your motion sensors are working fine. It is usually their LED lights that have issues. In this case, the issue is that the motion detector lights fail to turn on or off. Other times, they may be flickering.

Some sophisticated sensors are able to reduce lighting, thanks to their dimming technology. This helps to get rid of potential disruptions coming from adjacent spaces. If your light is off and someone re-enters a room, the sensors will switch on the light once it detects any motion.

But then, some security systems can automatically turn off your lights when your room is not occupied. Then you have to turn on the lights when you re-enter the room manually. This saves you lots of energy in the long run. So, it is understandable why occupancy sensors are generally more expensive than traditional sensors.

Even the most sophisticated motion sensor lights will die eventually. In fact, some new lights may start to flicker just within a day of purchase.

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Incorrect Settings

Apart from the LED lights having issues, the settings of your motion sensor may be the culprit. Because of the operating mechanism of most motion detectors, they are supposed to be triggered when there is a drop in the heat intensity around their field-of-view.

But then, if a motion sensor is not correctly installed or the settings are incorrect, it may not work.

A motion detector light is fitted with a sensor that reacts to power blinks or electrical surges. Once a motion detector light blinks, it remains on its on/off state. So, logically, you may think that its fixture is damaged. But by simply resetting the motion sensor, the issue can be resolved.

The great thing about resetting motion sensors is that they take only a couple of minutes, need no electrical tools, and just about anyone can get the job done.

How to Fix a Bad Motion Sensor Light

To fix a motion sensor light that has gone bad, do the following:

i. Change the default motion sensor settings

ii. Reposition the motion sensor

iii. Adjust the range of the sensor

iv. Turn on the animal immunity mode

v. Check the angular range of your sensor

Change the Default Motion Sensor Settings

Most security cameras are equipped with motion sensors that have test modes. With these settings, you can troubleshoot your security cameras and know what the issue is right. Once that is done, you can then reset them.

Reposition the Motion Sensor

Apart from changing the default settings, you can also reposition your motion sensor to ensure it is facing the right direction. To do this, open your security camera and check its motion sensor to see the direction it is facing.

It may be that the sensor is being triggered by an object or structure around such a tree, block, or leave. So, simply change the direction of the sensor to cover the areas you desire. Once there is no interference, the problem might be solved.

Adjust the Range of the Sensor

Most motion sensors are set to the highest range, even though that’s not exactly right. If your motion sensor is placed like that, then the chances are high that it is detecting things far from the areas you desire.

In light of the above, you have to reduce your motion sensor range so that you won’t get false positive triggers, which may turn off your LED lights. But then, be careful not to reduce it excessively such that it won’t cover the desired areas.

Turn on the Animal Immunity Mode

If you breed livestock or have pets in your property, you may want to activate your device’s animal immunity mode. However, note that only modem motion detector lights come with this feature.

When this mode is enabled, the device won’t be triggered when there is an animal in its field-of-view. But then, you have to know how to adjust the sensor’s range accurately for it not to be triggered by pets.

Check the Angular Range of Your Sensor

Apart from the distance range on a motion sensor, its angular range can also be the source of its problem. All motion sensor is designed to operate at an angle of 180 to 360 degrees, depending on the peculiarity of a property.

However, motion detectors may be developed with higher angular ranges, which makes them detect movements that are not necessary. To prevent this from happening, simply conceal both sides of the device with electrical tape. This way, it won’t be able to view objects at an extended angle or something above its range.

If you follow these instructions carefully, you will not only be able to detect the problem with your motion sensor, but also fix it.

Motion sensors are designed to function efficiently by detecting movement around their field-of-view. They are supposed to automatically come on when they notice any movement and go off after a few minutes of no movement.

However, some motion sensor lights stay on continuously, which may make one wonder if they are functioning properly. This makes skeptics query their reliability. The thing is, the problem is either with the light or the motion sensor or not with both. The problem is called false flashing.


Reset the Motion Sensor Light

Put off your circuit breaker for about 30 seconds and then switch it on again. The circuit breaker powers the device. This simple action will reset your sensor regardless of the type. However, bore that some motion sensors need to be switched off for over an hour before they will automatically reset.

Put on your light switch, then put it off and switch it on again. This simple action will reset your motion detector if it is operated via wall switches.

Your light switch should be put on and off quickly for about five times. Once you have done that, the light won’t go off for some time. Then put off your light switch for a few seconds and put it on again. This time around, the light remains off while the sensor would have been reset.

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How Do Leviton Occupancy Sensors Work?

The Leviton motion sensor is an indoor occupancy sensor that automatically takes control of ventilation systems, lights, and other home appliances when it notices a change in physical properties like sound, light, and heat.

Occupancy sensors make use of microwave, ultrasonic, infrared, and other detection technologies. They are incorporated into PIR sensors, smart meters, and room keycards. The great thing about occupancy sensors is that they save energy, comply with security regulations, and offer automated controls.

That being said, you have to know that the occupancy sensor is quite different from vacancy sensors, even though they work alike. The major difference between the two is that you must manually turn on your light before a vacancy sensor works. However, it will automatically go off once it no longer detects any motion after some time.

Video: Adjusting Your Leviton Motion Sensors

Check out this question and answer series on everything about the Leviton Motion Sensor adjustments…

What are the Different Types of Occupancy Sensors

There are several types of occupancy sensors, which will look at one-by-one:

i. PIR occupancy sensors

ii. Environmental occupancy sensors

iii. Ultrasonic occupancy sensors

iv. Microwave occupancy sensors

v. Special occupancy sensors

PIR Occupancy Sensors

How Does a PIR Occupancy Sensor Work?

Once there is a temperature difference while a PIR sensor is measuring infrared waves, it understands that there is movement around its field-of-view and automatically turns on. PIR sensors are equipped with pyroelectric sensors to detect a change in temperature when an object or person comes under its field-of-view.

Environmental Occupancy Sensors

What is an Environmental Occupancy Sensor

These sensors are designed to detect changes in humidity, temperature, and carbon dioxide present in any environment where they are installed.

Ultrasonic Occupancy Sensors

How Does an Ultrasonic Occupancy Sensor

The Doppler shift principle is the mechanism behind the operation of an ultrasonic sensor. This device will look for reflected sound wave patterns after sending high-frequency waves to an area. An occupancy exists if the wave patterns are continually changing. It also means that the light load is switched on.

On the flip side, no occupancy exists if the sensor’s reflected wave patterns do not change after some time.

Microwave Occupancy Sensors

What is a Microwave Occupancy Sensor?

A microwave occupancy sensor is just like the ultrasonic sensor because they both work on the same principle. High-frequency waves are sent by microwave sensors to detect reflected patterns. A constantly changing reflected pattern means that occupancy is present.

A similar reflected pattern after some time means that occupancy is absent, and the light load is turned off. Microwave sensors are known for their high detection range and sensitivity. In fact, no other sensors type can compete with them when it comes to those features.

Special Occupancy Sensors

How Does a Special Occupancy Sensor Work?

When special occupancy sensors do not detect any movement in a room, they assume the place is vacant and so there is no need for lighting. In such instances, your motion sensor lights remain off, thus saving you a lot of energy.

Keycard slots, smart meters, door-operated switch, and audio detectors are examples of special sensors. A keycard slot is a technology used in most hotels to know if a room has an occupant. It requires a guest to slides their keycard into a door slot to put on the thermostats and lights.

Furthermore, smart meters detect the level of power consumption in different vacant and occupied states. The thing with occupancy sensors is that they cannot be used outdoors.

Occupancy sensors like the Leviton motion sensor are also known as “presence sensors” because they detect movements in a room. Apart from Leviton, other brands that make occupancy sensors include Philips, Pixelview, Ecoamicatechs Sirius, and Lumimotion.

Some of these occupancy sensors detect motion and also tell the direction of movement and process images. Pixelview is an occupancy sensor camera that works just like a Leviton motion sensor.

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What is the Difference between Occupancy Sensors and Motion Sensors?

An occupancy sensor is designed to detect the presence of animals or humans in a monitored environment, while a motion sensor detects any moving body. Also, the former generates signals whether a body is moving or not, while the latter can only pick up movement signals. Some occupancy sensors can detect a body’s presence by the changes in heat, sound, weight, and dielectric constant of an environment.

The Working Principle of Capacitive Occupancy Sensors

In a capacitive occupancy sensor, a capacitance is placed between the earth and the test plate. This is designated as C1. When someone goes towards the test plate’s location, two other capacitors are built: one between the body and the plate (designated as Ca) and another capacitor between the earth and body (designated as Cb).

From the above expression, if the resultant capacitor between the earth and plate is designated as ΔC, the equation becomes.

C = C1 + ΔC

As a conductive sensor with enormous dielectric constant, the human body forms a capacitance to its environment, which depends on several factors like the nature of cloth or material, the size of the body, and even the weather condition.

The capacitance is designed to change when there is a movement of bodies in its target region. It is the capacitance that helps the sensor to differentiate between stationary objects and moving objects. All bodies, whether mobile or not, form some amount of capacitive coupling relative to each other.

What is an Optoelectronic Motion Sensor?

Optoelectronic motion sensors are a type of intrusion sensor. They rely on the optical length of electromagnetic radiation, which has a wavelength of about 0.4 to 21 µm. Optoelectronic motion sensors can cover a distance of 100 meters and can detect the movement of just about any living thing.

The visible or non-visible light spectrum is the operational principle behind optoelectronic motion sensors. The light spectrum emanates from a body in motion into an empty surrounding. It is believed that the light is radiated from an external source, which is later reflected, or the moving body generates it via natural emission.

For this process to be possible, an active sensor and a passive sensor must be present. The former could be infrared light, electric lamp or sunlight, while the latter needs mid or high infrared-emitting bodies. These detectors make use of optical contrasts to recognize and detect moving bodies.

Optoelectronic motion sensors come in handy when you want to know whether a body is static or mobile. However, they are not able to differentiate a mobile body from another. Also, optoelectronic motion sensors are not designed for measuring the distance or velocity of moving bodies.

These motion sensors are majorly used in security systems and energy management systems. For the latter, they help to turn on/off the light. In addition, optoelectronic motion sensors are used for designing “smart homes,” so you can control several home appliances via one switch. This is sometimes called home automation. You can control your cooling fans, air conditioners, and stereo players.

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What Happens if a Motion Sensor Light is Covered?

A motion sensor won’t detect movements if it is covered. A major issue most motion sensor light users face is when their lights unnecessarily detect movements. It could be just a leaf or a neighbor in the field-of-view of the light. To prevent this from happening, you can cover parts of the motion sensor light with electric tape.

Simply begin by concealing the edges of your sensor, so that it won’t detect movements from those areas. Electric tapes are quite different from paper tape. For one, they last longer and are waterproof. Do not use paper tape for this job; otherwise, you will have to be replacing it now and then.

Different motion sensor lights come with different ranges. For instance, the original Mini Spotlight sensor light can detect motion from about 35 feet away. It can view moving bodies at a maximum angle of 180 degrees, which means that anything that’s 180 degrees of its installation point will be detected.

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How Do You Fix a Leviton Occupancy Sensor Light?

To fix a Leviton occupancy sensor light, take it far away from any drying vent, air conditioner, or heat vent. The heat generated by these home appliances will make your Leviton light stay on continuously.

The next step is to position your Leviton motion sensor far away from structures like shrubs, trees, and cars. If you start driving your car or the wind blows the leaves on your tree, the motion detector will be triggered, and your light may remain on for as long as the movements continue.

Reset your Leviton motion sensor light to remove it from manual operation. Turn off its light switch and leave it like that for at least three seconds. Then put on the light, and your Leviton light would have automatically reset.

Ensure that your Leviton light is placed on a stable surface, which does not move at all. This way, false triggers will not be created. Also, confirm if your motion sensor light is not facing the road because moving vehicles can create false triggers.

To fix your motion sensor that’s always on is to check its time switch to see it is on “Test” mode. If that is the case, make the switch to a preset time setting. It is the test mode that is causing your device to stay on continuously.

Just like every other motion sensor lights, the Leviton light observes the variations in temperature due to the movements of objects around the detector’s field-of-view. If your device is functioning properly, you will feel secure, especially at night.

How Do You Troubleshoot Leviton Motion Sensor Lights?

To troubleshoot a Leviton occupancy sensor, remove the screws that were used to fasten it to its fixture. Then tilt it upwards or rotate it. Once you have successfully installed the motion sensor in the right location, fasten the screws, set its toggle switch beneath the motion sensor, and test its position.

Move towards the area under surveillance and check if the light turns on. Then tilt your sensor up, so that its detection zone will be expanded. On the flip side, tilt the Leviton motion sensor downwards if you want to contract the detection zone.

Fine-tune the Leviton motion sensor detection range using its sensitivity dial. Start by raising it to the highest sensitivity level and then turning it down if you want to reduce the range.

Finally, remove the switch from its test position after completing all adjustments.

Also, if you will like for your Leviton motion sensor to see objects in its front, cover its edges with electric tape.

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Final Words

Leviton motion sensor is an occupancy sensor. From time to time, you will need to adjust its ranges for better detection. While this is a technical task, you won’t break a sweat from doing it, thanks to how we have simplified the process.


How to Adjust Leviton Motion Sensor – Related FAQs


Does a Motion Sensor Switch Need a Neutral?

A motion sensor light switch needs a neutral for powering the sensor and timer. The switch cannot work without one neutral and one hot. The good thing is that any neutral will work since every neutral is joined at a terminal box. The neutral powers occupancy sensors and dimmers independently.

Motion sensor light switches draw the power it needs to function from a neutral conductor and hot conductor, which are also known as grounded and ungrounded conductors, respectively. The load is controlled by a separate conductor.


Can an Ultrasonic Sensor Detect Water?

An ultrasonic sensor is designed to calculate the depth of water by taking the surface of the water and the transceiver into consideration. Short ultrasonic pulses are transmitted from the sensor to enable the detection of the travel time of the pulse to and from the water. When the distance of the pulse is removed from the tank’s total depth, the water depth is determined.

An ultrasonic sensor also detects non-contact water levels. This type of sensor is quite difficult to use, but once you gain mastery, the applications it offers will be worth the effort.


Which Sensor is Used in Infrared Thermometer?

An infrared temperature sensor is used in an infrared thermometer. This sensor uses a contact-type system in measuring temperature. Apart from thermometers, contact-type temperature measurement is employed in resistance temperature detectors (RTDs), and thermocouples. Infrared thermometers have a simple design and easy-to-use features like the IR detector and interface output component.

Radiation filtering is possible with the optical component of this thermometer and it comes with a single wavelength band, which allows for the calculation of temperature. In this calculation, the preset emissivity and sensor output come to play.


Are Leviton Occupancy Sensors Required by Code?

Leviton occupancy sensors are required by the revision of the energy code of IECC in 2018. So, offices, break rooms, lobbies, and even warehouses are mandated to have them. In 2015, the permitted auto-off time of occupancy sensors was 30 minutes, but it was reduced by 10 minutes in 2018. The Open Plan Office Control code was also introduced in 2018 to regulate how occupancy sensors are used in an office environment.

High-end occupancy sensors like Leviton are designed with the IECC regulations in mind.


What is the Difference between Sensor and Transducer?

The major difference between sensors and transducers is their output signals. Although both sensors and transducers help to detect variations energy within an environment, the former gives an output signal in the same mode it received it, while the latter will convert the output signal an electrical signal.

A sensor measures physical qualities like temperature, sound and light and transmit an easy to understand signal. A transducer, on the other hand, measures the same qualities, but converts them to another format. This is why transducers are also called energy converters.


How Does a Bad Electrical Circuit Cause Flickering of a Motion Sensor Light?

A bad electrical circuit may cause a motion sensor light to flicker when there is no movement around the device’s field-of-view. While this issue is not directly related to the motion sensor itself, you have to resolve it before it can function properly. An electrician can troubleshoot the electrical circuit and make repairs if needed.

Another reason why motion sensor lights flicker is because of the wrong connection of the diode and bulb. So, you have to check if anything is affecting the connection or if the mode of connection is done according to the recommendations of the manufacturers.

Can IR Sensor Detect Temperature?

IR sensors can detect the temperature of a body that’s within a wavelength of 700 nm to 14,000 nm. This type of sensor can detect temperature changes because infrared energy given off by a body in motion is directly proportional to its temperature. Infrared sensors focus infrared energy on a photodetector, which converts it into an electrical signal.

A plastic opening in the sensor is the channel in which the infrared energy is transmitted through. Infrared sensors do not wear even though they are usually exposed to temperature variations.