How To Make Automatic House Lights Stay On (DIY Guide)

Automatic house lights are essential security must-have with a motion-induced turn-on feature that deters intruders and alerts you when someone is in the vicinity. At times though, you want the lights to stay on, like during garden gatherings and parties. Worry no more, as keeping these automatic house lights on is an easy-peasy task.

Here’s a DIY guide on how you can make automatic house lights stay on:

  1. Check your house light’s manual.
  2. Prepare the materials.
  3. Activate the motion sensor and wait for it to turn off.
  4. Cut a strip of tape.
  5. Cover the motion sensor.
  6. Turn the switch on and off quickly.

When the auto-on feature of house lights is temporarily unnecessary, setting it to manual mode need not be very complicated. With common household materials, you’ll surely have a lit party (pun intended), hassle-free! Read on to find out how.

motion sensored porch light

1. Check Your House Light’s Manual

Before doing anything, look for your house light’s manual first. It’s essential to check whether your automatic house light indeed lacks a manual override function.

More recent models of automatic lights come with this feature, enabling you to turn off the motion sensor and keep your house lights on when required.

The TOPGREENER In-Wall PIR Motion Sensor Light Switch (available on has what you need if you want to do away with the entire DIY process. Should you wish to keep the lights on for prolonged periods without disruption, doing so would just be a click away.

However, if you have the less sophisticated model installed in your house, there’s no need to fret, as switching your house lights to manual mode is actually relatively easy.

2. Get an Electrical Tape and a Pair of Scissors

Tricking your house lights to stay on only requires basic materials usually available at home.

Typically, all you need to keep your house lights on are electrical tape and a pair of scissors. A ladder may also be necessary if the motion sensor isn’t readily accessible.

Masking tapes and clear tapes don’t have the adequate opacity you need, while, although opaque, duct tapes can potentially damage your motion sensor as they may be overly sticky. This consideration makes electrical tapes the best option. It’s also an insulator, so there’s your added layer of safety!

As the entire process involves cutting and climbing, it would be best to have someone else assist you. This may be a two-man job, but it’s also a quick one, so no worries.

3. Activate the Motion Sensor and Wait for It To Turn Off

When you have all your materials, the next step is to activate the motion sensor. You can do this by simply moving an object within its detectable range. Merely waving your hand in front of the sensor also works.

Moving while on top of a ladder may be dangerous, though, so depending on the motion sensor’s detection range, someone from a distance can also do this task for you for safety purposes.

Once you see the light automatically turns on, patiently wait for it to turn off before moving on to step 4.

motion sensored porch light sensor focused

4. Cut a Strip of Tape

If you’re the one standing on top of the ladder, it’s best to ask someone else to cut a strip of tape and hand it over to you. Using a pair of scissors in a relatively unstable spot is unsafe, thus, not advisable.

Take note that the length of the strip just needs to be a little over enough to cover the motion sensor.

A slightly longer strip makes the tape resilient to strong winds compared to that which is just exactly the size of the sensor.

If the strip is too long, though, the excessive length may be too noticeable and cause damage to the overall aesthetic of the house lights. Balance is key!

5. Cover the Motion Sensor

Use the strip of tape to cover the motion sensor.

This step is tricky, though, as you must successfully do so without causing detectable motion leading to the lights getting automatically turned on again.

It may take some trial and error to get this done, but the main principle is to sneak the strip close enough to the sensor but outside its line of sight.

If the lights turn on in the process, you’ll have to go back to step 4.

Additionally, ensure the tape is correctly mounted on the sensor such that it doesn’t easily detach with strong winds or vibrations. The key here would be investing in good electrical tape.

6. Turn the Switch Off and on Quickly

After covering the motion sensor, turn the switch off and then back on immediately. This trick would enable you to finally take control of your light without it having to detect any movement.

If you’re standing on top of a ladder, carefully go down and check whether you have successfully made your automatic house light stay on. You can do this by going away from the detector view and waiting for a few minutes to see if the light stays on.

It’s also best to have this done by someone already on the ground, though! You won’t want to climb back to the sensor if the trick fails the first time. Consider doing this on the weekend when other family members or friends are likely to be freely available to assist you.

If this doesn’t work, chances are the sensor wasn’t fully covered yet. If this is the case, simply adjust the length of the tape strip, and you’ll be good to go.


As much as house lights with motion detectors bring added security to your home, the automated feature can be a nuisance on some occasions. The good thing is you don’t have to sweat to remove it temporarily. If possible, get a friend or family member to help you.

Some house lights have a built-in manual function. If it doesn’t have this feature, though, grab an electrical tape and a pair of scissors from your toolbox. After activating the motion sensor, cover the sensor with type, quickly turn it off, then on — and there go your makeshift manual house lights!


I'm Rob, the founder of I’m a Marine Corps vet with a master’s degree in Information Systems and have been working in the technology field for over a decade.

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