garage door opener light
Tips & Tricks

Why is the Garage Door Opener Light Not Working?

Not having light when accessing your garage can be stressful. Especially if it is dark outside and you need to get things out of your car. Fortunately resolving this issue is easier than you think.

Keep reading to find out why your garage door opener light is not working and how to fix it.

Why Won’t My Garage Door Opener Light Turn On?

Common Reasons your garage door opener light is not working;

The Light Bulb is damaged

If your garage door opener light is not working, the fix might be as simple as changing the light bulb. More and more products are being produced at a faster rate and that leads to reduced quality. The filaments in the light bulbs are getting thinner to reduce costs. Because light bulbs are so cheap, most people will trash the new bulb and grab another.

If your light bulbs are burning out too quickly, it could be due to vibration. You can find “rough service” light bulbs at your local home store that have a thicker filament. These bulbs are designed to have an extended life when used with garage door openers that have a lot of vibration.

If your opener has a lot of vibration, it probably has an AC motor versus a newer DC motor. AC motors are copper wound motors that been around for years, and they usually make a louder hum when operating.

Try using an LED light bulb that is specifically designed for garage door openers. Some garage door opener manufacturers who both manufacturer garage door openers now offer LED light bulbs made for their openers with similar specs.

They feature a 25,000-hour rating and are designed to withstand the vibration from a garage door opener motor. They are universally compatible with most garage door openers on the market and are specially designed to help eliminate or reduce interference with remotes commonly seen with many other LED light bulbs on the market.

Faulty Logic Board

In some case the light bulb socket will stop working when the logic board for the opener has failed or is failing. In this situation, the only option is to replace the logic board or the entire garage door opener.

Note: When replacing the light bulbs in your garage door opener always check to make sure you are using the proper wattage bulb. Using the proper wattage bulb will prevent the heat from the light bulb from damaging the garage door opener and form possibly causing a fire in your home.

Wrong bulb wattage

A sign that this could be the cause is when the light bulb works when first installed but then burns out very quickly. Another obvious sign that the wrong wattage light bulb is being used is when you see signs of melting or burning to the plastic around the light bulb socket, the light covers or the plastic opener housing.

Melting and burning of the plastic should not occur if the right wattage of light bulb is being used. Using the wrong wattage bulb will not only damage your garage door opener, but it is also a fire hazard to your home. 

Some of the newer style bulbs will not work in older garage door openers and some people believe these new style bulbs can actually interfere with the transmitter and receiver causing the opener remotes to not work properly.

Incomplete Electric Circuit

Another common cause of light bulb failure is if the brass tab in the bottom of the light bulb socket has been bent down too far and is not making contact and completing the electric circuit.

There are two brass contacts in the light bulb socket of a garage door opener. One contact runs down the side of the socket and the other is at the bottom. Over time, these brass contacts will flatten, causing the connection with the light bulb to be intermittent. This will result in the light bulb not working at all, or it may flicker from time to time.

WARNING! You need to unplug your garage door opener before trying this next step. Failure to do so may cause electrical shock. If your garage door opener is equipped with a battery backup, disconnect it.

You will need a small flathead screwdriver or a pair of needle nose pliers. First, remove the light bulb. Next, grab the brass contact at the bottom of the light socket and pull it outwards, so it will make a better connection with the tip of the light bulb. Screw the light bulb back in, plug the opener into the outlet and give it a try.

You can also bend the brass contact on the side toward the center of the socket. This will make the light bulb have a better connection with the brass contact. While looking down into the socket, make sure there is no corrosion.

If you see corrosion on the contact, take the end of your flathead screwdriver and scrap the contact to expose fresh metal. If this doesn’t work, move to the next step.

The CFL Light Bulb Base Is Too Wide for Opener Light Socket

Compact fluorescent light bulbs have a wider base than traditional incandescent light bulbs. The wide base will hit the light socket housing and prevent the light bulb from going all the way down and making a good connection with the brass contacts. This will cause the light bulb to flicker or not work at all.

The solution to this problem is to find a CFL or LED light bulb with a narrower base, or go back to using traditional incandescent light bulbs. There are some brands of CFL bulbs that have a base that tapers down to the threaded portion of the bulb. These seem to fit better and make a good connection. This has become a very common issue since the introduction of CFL and LED energy efficient light bulbs.

Another option is a garage door light bulb manufactured by Chamberlain or Genie Company. Both companies have release new LED light bulbs for garage door openers that are compatible with all brands, and they are designed to help reduce remote interference caused by regular LED light bulbs. They also have a tapered base which allows the light bulb to make good contact in the light socket.

The Opener Light Bulb Socket Is Faulty

A broken light bulb base will cause the light to not function. This could be the base of the bulb itself is broken off in the bulb socket, or the bulb socket itself being broken.  If bending the brass contacts in the light socket doesn’t resolve your lighting issue, you might have a bad light socket.

Unplug your garage door opener and plug it back in. If you hear the unit click, but the light doesn’t come on, then you most likely have a bad light socket. This is an inexpensive part that can be replaced by any homeowner.

WARNING! Unplug your garage door opener before trying this next step. Failure to do so may cause electrical shock. If your garage door opener is equipped with a battery backup, disconnect it.

Most garage door opener light sockets will pop straight out by pinching the tab that is holding it in the motor housing. After you have it out, you will see two wires. Disconnect both wires and install them on your new light socket.

The terminal ends on the power wires are different sizes, so they can’t be reinstalled incorrectly. They only go back one way. After reconnecting the wires, pop the light socket back into the motor housing, and you’re all done. This should solve your problem. If not, proceed to the next step.

The Circuit Board is Damaged

Unplug your garage door opener and plug it back in. When power is restored to the unit, it will click when the light bulb activates. The clicking noise you are looking for is the sound that comes from the relay on the circuit board.

If you do not hear a click coming from the motor housing, then the relay on the circuit board is bad. The circuit board on your garage door opener will have to be replaced if you want your light to function properly.

Some homeowners will continue using their garage door opener without a light due to the high cost of circuit board replacement. Many have used their openers for years after the light bulb relay went out. You can choose to replace the circuit board yourself or hire your local garage door company. This will have to be a decision only you can make.

The LED Light Bulb is not Compatible with the Garage Door Opener

LED light bulbs are gaining in popularity as pricing comes down. Many homeowners are slowly acquiring them as they retrofit existing lighting in their home. The garage door opener is no exception.

CFL and LED light bulbs can cause wireless interference with garage door opener remotes. This interference will reduce range and sometimes make the remote unusable. The electronics used in these light bulbs can emit frequencies that will interfere with remotes, keypads, and gateways connected to your system. If you are experiencing this problem, you can try a different brand of bulb or go back to using traditional incandescent light bulbs.

Another option is to try the new LED garage door light bulbs offered by the manufacturer. You can find them easily online by searching “garage door light bulb”. They are designed to reduce interference with your opener remotes. The bulbs are vibration and shatter resistant and designed to hold up in cold, damp environments. They are rated to generate 800 lumens of light for an estimated 25,000 hours.

Garage Door Light Troubleshooting

Checking to see why your garage door opener light won’t work is a simple process since most garage door light issues stem from environmental factors. You can fix most light problems by following these troubleshooting steps:

  • Consult your garage door manual to ensure you know how to navigate your garage door’s features properly.
  • Check to see if your light switch is enabled. You can find your light switch in your garage door’s side panel. If the light feature is engaged, simply turn it off.
  • Test your motion sensor’s light feature. You can turn it off from your control panel by selecting “Menu” > “Light Settings” > “Automatic Light” > “Motion Sensor,” which will disable the feature.
  • Sometimes, the door’s wiring is the problem. First, reset your light timer to its lowest setting. Disconnect the power from the unit, and the wiring from the opener. Reconnect the power after one and a half minutes, and the lights should come on.
  • If the lights turn off one and a half minutes after you complete this step, there is an issue with the wiring or control board.
  • If you aren’t comfortable with repairing the logic board wiring yourself or if none of the above steps fix the issue, call a professional for garage door service.

WARNING: Failure to unplug the opener may result in electric shock. Unplug the opener. If, there is a back-up battery, disconnect it.

Follow these instructions to see if you can fix the problem yourself.

  • If the light bulb has been replaced and the light is still not coming on, follow the steps below to pry out the contacts inside the light socket.
  • Take out the light bulb.
  • With a small flathead screwdriver, pry the two contacts inside the socket out so that they will make better contact with the bulb.
  • Put light bulb back in, if there is a second light, repeat above steps.
  • If there is a back-up battery, reconnect.
  • Plug the opener back in. Test the lights.

If the light is still not coming on, it could be the light socket or the logic board. To determine which one it is, follow the steps below.

  • Unplug the garage door opener, then immediately plug the opener back into the electrical outlet. Listen for the light relay on the logic board to click.
  • If you hear a click, replace the light socket
  • If you do not hear a click, replace the logic board.

Note: This does not apply to garage door openers that use a work light that is separate from the garage door opener.

Light Socket or Logic Board Testing

If the light is still not coming on, it could be the light socket or the logic board. To determine which one it is, follow the steps below.

  • Unplug the garage door opener, then immediately plug the opener back into the electrical outlet. Listen for the light relay on the logic board to click.
  • If you hear a click, replace the light socket
  • If you do not hear a click, replace the logic board.

NOTE: This does not apply to wall mounted garage door openers that use a work light that is separate from the garage door opener.

How to Fix a Garage Door Opener Light that is Not Working?

Below are some potential fixes to remedy the issue;

Replace The Bulb

Replacing the bulb on your garage door opener is one of the most effective methods of fixing the issue. Most of the time, owners run into this issue because they make use of energy savers and other options that are not compatible with the door opener.

So, if you’re also using an energy saver as the main source of light, try going with a standard light bulb and check the performance again. If you intend to use a standard incandescent rough service light bulb, try to keep the wattage at 75 watts or less.

Many garage door openers will state on the motor housing they are rated at 100 watts. 100-watt incandescent light bulbs will get so hot, they will melt the motor housing or light cover.

Note: If you are purchasing an LED light bulb to use in your garage door opener, do not install a light bulb higher than 60 watts. LED light bulbs greater than 60 watts used in a garage door opener will create interference with remotes.

Replace the Socket

The connection point in the socket is also a major cause of the light not working. Usually, the connection points are not meeting inside the fixture when you’re running into these issues.

So, you have to first remove the power from the main unit and then check the fixture for possible build-up and corrosion. If there is excessive build-up on the unit and the connection points are covered with rusted sections, it is time to shine them up.

Make sure to also check the connection points on the light bulb and then install the replacement after you’re sure that there are no obstructions between the two sections.

This will help you streamline the power to the bulb, and the garage door opener light not working problem will be fixed. Basic maintenance is necessary for every system, and it can’t be stressed enough for the devices that are installed in remote locations with multiple moving parts.

So, you will have to keep this system clean, or it will keep running into more errors down the road. Even if you’re not aware of the basic maintenance needs of the system, you will have to rely on a video guide or the instructions in the manual.

There is no point in relying on the door opener when you can’t educate yourself on basic maintenance. You’ll only be wasting your money that way, and the unit will keep running into more errors as you try to engage and disengage the garage door.

Set aside some time to learn the basic maintenance requirements of the system. Hopefully, that will be it as you’re trying to adjust the smart system.

Fix the Wiring

The next thing you need to check is the wiring installed in the system. Even if the connection points are clean and you’re using a compatible bulb in the system, the quality of the wiring can play a role in causing these issues.

So, you need to inspect all the wiring in the system for frayed sections or bent points. These sections interrupt the flow of power, and it is a good idea to replace damaged wiring when you’re not getting the desired performance.

Fix the Voltage

Measuring the voltage through the socket is also a good idea if you have access to a multimeter. However, you need to be very careful during this step, and if you have no prior experience, it is better to hire an expert.

Measuring the voltage will help you isolate the issue with the wiring or the main board on the system. If there is no voltage through the fixture, then you’ll be sure that the bulb is fine, and you have to inspect the power source.

Hire a professional to help you with these errors as it can become a bit complicated to manage the wiring connections. You might even end up electrocuting yourself in the process. So, be sure to hire an expert for this job and avoid doing it yourself.

Replace the Sensors

A more cost-effective solution to situations with garage door sensors not working is using third-party sensors and pairing them up with smart lights. This will give you more control over the lighting system in your garage, and they will come on when you’re parking your car in the garage.

So, if you don’t want to put any money into replacing the fixture and the board, try to get some smart lights and pair those up with smart motion sensors. That way, you won’t have to worry about the lighting in your garage.

Repair the Light Fixture

The condition of the light fixture is also a huge factor when you’re dealing with garage door lights not working. Even if the light fixture seems to be in good condition from the outside, you should check the connection points for the build-up and similar issues.

There is a decent chance that debris or dirt is blocking power from getting to the light bulb. So, try your luck with blowing some air into the fixture and then installing the bulb again.

This will fix the lights in most situations, but you can always try out a light fixture replacement if the bulb is not working after cleaning the connection points. It will be a costly, but you’re not left with many options here. So, just spare a few more bucks to get a compatible lighting fixture for your system.

If everything goes well, you will not have to go over any more solutions with this option, and it will perfectly match your requirements.

Restart Your Garage Door Opener Unit

Sometimes, you won’t have to go through any complex processes, and all your unit needs is a quick restart. There is no harm in testing out this method, and it has a decent chance of eliminating minor bugs in the system.

So, completely cut the power to the unit for around 30 seconds, and connect the power connections again. If the condition of the light fixture and the bulb is not poor, you will be able to get the desired performance from your garage door opener. Ideally, the problem will be fixed at this point, and you won’t have to bother with more solutions.

Reset The System

At this point, there is no harm in going through with the reset routine. It will not only help you get a better grasp of the situation, but you will also get a better response from the smart unit itself.

So, be sure to address the programming errors by resetting the system back to factory settings. It will barely take you 10 minutes to complete the reset routine. However, setting up the unit from scratch can be a bit more time-consuming. So, try to clear up your schedule a bit and then follow through with the setup one more time.

While programming errors don’t play a direct role in these issues with the light not turning on, it is still entirely possible that you’re dealing with an exceptional case. So, if you are not able to figure out the exact error with the unit even after going through all of these steps, just reset the unit.

You can also engage a local contractor to help with the situation. These experts are pretty experienced when it comes to adjusting smart home accessories. So, if you can’t seem to figure it out on your end, just ask the experts. They will make sure that you don’t have to deal with more errors.

The downside here is that you will have to spare a minimal hiring fee. So, be sure to have some cash on hand to pay these experts. This payment will surely yield results as you won’t have to waste hours of your time to try and fix the unit.

Replace the light bulb base

If the light bulb base is broken and you cannot remove it from the light bulb socket, first unplug the garage door opener from any power source including disconnecting the battery backup if one is present.

Next you can try to unscrew the light bulb base from the socket, but this may not be possible and you must be careful not to cut your hands on the broken bulb. In many instances, with the unit disconnected from all power sources use a pair of nettle nose pliers to unscrew the light bulb base from the light bulb socket being careful not to damage the light bulb socket.

Once the bulb is removed, install a new light bulb of the proper size and wattage and reconnect power to test the bulb. If the light bulb socket itself is damaged, then there is no simple repair as the socket base is connected to the garage door housing and in some cases directly to the logic board for the opener.

If the socket base is not a part of the logic board, you may be able to order a new cover that will include the light bulb socket base. If this part is available, you will be able to remove the old cover and disconnect the wires for the light bulb base(s) and install the new one.

Note: Do not attempt this repair without unplugging the opener from all power sources including the battery back if present. Care must also be taken not to damage any of the circuitry on the logic board for the garage door opener. If the light bulb socket is a part of the logic board, the only option would be to replace the logic board and the light bulb socket unit.

Fix the Logic Board

This is an easy fix, but caution must be used. First disconnect the garage door opener from all power sources including the battery backup if present. Next unscrew the light bulb from the socket.  Using your finger or a small screw driver gently pull the brass tab up very slightly. Feel with your finger to make sure the tab is not touching the bottom of the socket as this will cause a break in the circuit and the bulb will not work.

Finally screw the light bulb back into the socket, do not over tighten the bulb, and reconnect the opener to the power source. In many case the bulb will start working again as the cause was the tab was not making a connection and completing the circuit allowing the light bulb to work.

Change the Logic Board Board

The next thing you need to check is the response from the logic board. It is not that rare for the logic board on the Chamberlain unit to go bad. So, if you’re still dealing with Chamberlain garage door opener lights not working, try to check the condition of the logic board.

To check the functionality of the logic board, you will have to reconnect the Chamberlain unit to the power after temporarily removing it. A quick-clicking sound will go off, indicating the proper functionality of the light relay.

However, if you don’t hear any sound after the Chamberlain units are connected to power, then you’ll need to get yourself a logic board replacement. The logic board on your unit is not sending any input to the lights.

Sometimes, voltage issues are also caused by a damaged board installed on your unit. So, if you can’t find any frayed wiring and the unit seems to be in good shape, then the possibility of a defective board increases massively.

You need to change this defective board by installing a replacement, and that will get your system working again. However, this replacement won’t be cheap if you’re not sitting on a valid warranty for the garage door opener.

Fix Wiring Connections

Check the conditions of the wiring connection and secure any loose connection points for power interruptions. If you’ve recently installed the unit and the bulb is new, then there is a decent possibility that you’re in this situation with the wiring connections.

So, just check the condition of the wiring connections and replace any damaged sections or frayed sections. This will get the lights working again, and you can contact the Chamberlain official support to get the system working again.

Reach out to the the Garage Door Opener Manufacturer’s Customer Care Team

Lastly, you can always reach out to the official customer care team to get help on this issue. They will be more than happy to guide you on the intricate details of the system. So, if you have not been able to figure out the issue on your own, be sure to reach out.

There is simply no point in struggling with the system when you can’t seem to figure out the issue on your end. So, all that you need to do is to reach out to these professionals, and they will take it from here. Ensure you provide complete details on the issue along with all of the fixes you’ve tried so far. This will help them get a better grasp of the situation as they list more fixes for you to try.