Garage door sensors are one of the most important parts of the garage door opening system that ensure its safe operation. Since the sensors are a critical component, multiple factors can lead to their malfunctioning. So, as a knowledgeable homeowner, understanding the functions can help you in properly maintaining your wireless garage door sensor. On that note, direct sunlight is one potential challenge that can interfere with the sensors working. If sunlight shining on your garage doors is your concern, then check out this guide to understand the matter in depth.

How Does a Garage Door Safety Sensor Work?

So, exactly how is a garage door sensor supposed to prevent the door from crushing anything that crosses its path? In a bona fide mechanical garage door, the sensor is an electrical device that sends an infrared beam to nearby objects.

Both sides of your garage door are equipped with two sensors that are the core of the automatic opener system. These two units constantly send infrared signals to each other for proper functioning. 

Once the infrared signals are transmitted between sending and receiving sensors, the electricity flows to the opener motor. Hence, by receiving the signal, the opener motor opens or closes your garage door. In case there is an interruption in the flow of electricity to the opener motor or sensors, your garage door will act up. caution that the interference with the infrared beam may cause a malfunction in your system. If the receiver on the garage door sees an interruption in the infrared beam signal or when an object interrupts it, it triggers the door to reverse away from whatever interrupted it. 

Garage Sensors and Light Interference

Generally, an infrared signal system is not only safe but also efficient and effective. Since infrared energy is also a part of the light spectrum, any distortion with this energy can cause an issue in operation.

Sunlight contains a mixture of different forms of light. Not only does it contain infrared light, but light types with higher energy than infrared are part of it. Therefore, sunlight can interrupt the infrared signaling system of the garage door sensors. So, it translates into a problem in the operation of your screen doors even if the sensors are clean and pure from unsafe conditions. Helpfully, even if your new garage door sensors are acting up because of the sunlight, the issue is unlikely to last long.

One reason for that is that garage door sensors use focused infrared beams. A perfect angle of the sun in the sky is important to cause any interference regardless of how scorching the sunlight is. 

Additional Complications

Light interference will last for a few minutes if your home does not sit at just the right angle for sunlight to hinder sensors’ working. Moreover, that will only happen on a few days of the year. Nevertheless, some other factors can enhance the sunlight interference with your sensors. 

Cobwebs and dust are one of the major variables on your sensors. Sometimes, dust or cobwebs aid in catching and directing sunlight toward your garage door’s sensors. Hence, even if your garage door sensors do not lie at a right angle, dirt will make them susceptible to malfunctioning. Notably, dirt and dust alone can interfere with your garage door sensors if no sunlight is in action.

Source of Heat

You should understand that repeated exposure to sunlight on your garage door sensors can cause permanent damage. Since sunlight is a blend of light and heat energy, long-lasting exposures to it can cause overheating of sensors. Due to this, your garage door opener can stop working permanently. Moreover, garage door sensors use convex lenses for a focused infrared beam. So, these lenses can also direct light from the sun on the electronic components of the opener system. Hence, convex lenses in sensors will work similarly to a magnifying glass to initiate a fire that could lead to safety issues.

What to Do if the Garage Door Sensor Is Blinking Red?

The garage door sensor lights indicate specific problems with the connection system. The red light shows that the sensors are out of alignment. If you observe red lights, you should inspect the bracket or fix a screw on the sensor blinking red. When the light stops blinking, the problem is fixed.

Is There Any Universal Garage Door Sensor?

Typically, all modern garage door sensors employ the same operational mechanism. That’s why all garage door sensors serve the same purpose. So, they must be universal, right? Well, they may or may not. Some garage doors contain a sensor of a specific brand. It means these garage door sensors can also have varying and proprietary connection cables. So, such sensors are not universal. However, if the garage door does not rely on a specific sensor connection type, then it will be a universal one. 

Why Are My Lights on Garage Door Sensors Yellow?

The yellow light on the garage door sensors means that your safety reverse sensors are out of alignment. Therefore, your garage doors will not close until you fix them. You can fix the issue by cleaning the lenses of both sensors. Moreover, adjusting each sensor for an appropriate alignment will be helpful.

How to Protect Garage Door Sensors From Sunlight?

Protecting your garage door sensors from sunlight is a task that you can do yourself regardless of how tight your budget is. Cardboard toilet paper roll is one of the simplest solutions to the issue, offering a productive shield against sunlight.

You can cut a short section of the cardboard roll, place it on the ‘eye’ of the sensor, and fix it in place using tape. Besides, a short section of a PVC pipe can be equally effective in protecting your sensors from the sunlight. 

Concluding on Wireless Garage Door Sensor

Does sunlight affect garage door sensors? Well, yes. Sunlight can affect their functioning since garage door sensors use infrared signal systems. When you use garage door openers, make sure you equip the doors with safety sensors and keep a check on their functioning. Even if you are shielding your sensors from sunlight, you should ensure the sensor shield is not too long. By doing so, you can prevent accidental damage to vehicles and residences.