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Garage Door Sensor Yellow Light? (Explained)

Our cars are one of our most valued possessions that allows us to commute and travel to far away distances in comfort. Therefore, we try to keep our cars safe and protected in our homes by sheltering them in our garages.

However, we need to make sure that the components that make the garage function are operating perfectly as well in order to ensure security of our cars.

What does yellow light mean on garage door sensor?

Yellow lights on your garage door sensor means that the safety reverse sensors in the garage door are out of alignment or being obstructed by something which is causing the signal to not pass through and thus your garage door will not close until the issue has been resolved.

Garage door sensors are devices that control the opening and closing of the garage door using infrared signals. These sensors are located on each side of the garage door a few inches above the ground.

These sensors flashes an infrared beam from one side of the door to another to check whether there are any obstacles and close if there are none.

These sensors act as a safety measure in order to prevent the garage door from closing if there are people or obstacles in the way when you press the remote.

The opening and closing of the garage door depends on the signal received by the infrared beam – if the door doesn’t open or close and you notice a yellow light on the sensor – that means the sensor is malfunctioning.

Liftmaster, Chamberlain, Craftsman are popular manufacturers of garage doors and sensors which give off yellow lights when encountered with the following issues:

Dirt or debris on the sensor lens:

If dirt or debris is smudging the sensor lens, then the sensor cannot send or receive infrared beams and thus cause the yellow light to light up.

An easy solution to this issue is to use a paper-towel and cleaners like Windex to rub and clean the lens. Doing so will allow the sensor to send and receive infrared beams again – and the yellow light will turn off.

Sensors out of alignment:

Even if your sensors are clean, if they are not lined up to each other – your garage door will not close and the yellow light will light up.

In order for the sensors to send and receive infrared lights, the sensors need to be pointing to each other at the same height and at an exact angle facing each other.

This can often be fixed by manually re-aligning them and tightening any loose brackets holding the sensor.

Damaged sensor wires:

If the lenses are clean and well aligned but the yellow light still persists, then there could be any damaged wiring that is failing to send the signal back to the garage door motor.

Carefully look for any loose or damaged wiring and take help from an electrician to fix the wiring.

Why is one garage door sensor green and the other yellow?

The issues that cause the one door sensor to be green and the other to be yellow are detailed below:

Sensors out of line:

A garage door has two sensors, one responsible for sending the infrared beam where the other receives the signal to open or close the door.

The transmitter sensor has a yellow LED and the receiver has a green LED which causes a solid illumination when they are working, if no illumination is seen – there is an issue with either or both of the sensors.

Wires disconnected or withered:

If the sensors are properly aligned but the door still doesn’t work, then there could be a problem with the wiring. Start by checking the wires in both of the sensors and see if there are any disconnected wires hanging off.

Wires withered due to the sensors being old can also cause poor connection in the wires. For damaged wires, contact an electrician to get the wirings fixed.

Sensors gone bad:

After the first two diagnoses, if the problem still persists then it means that either or both of your sensors have gone bad. The reason could be wear-tear, exposure to harsh sunlight or simply old age.

In any case, you need to buy a new sensor to replace the bad one and you could install it yourself or call an electrician to do it for you.

How to fix garage door sensor yellow light?

There are several issues that cause the sensor to light up yellow. The solution for each issue has been discussed thoroughly below:

Cleaning the sensor lens:

The sensor might not be able to transmit or receive signal due to dirt, debris, cobwebs or other obstacles stuck in the sensors – which is causing them to show yellow light and prevent the garage door from opening.

In order to get rid of this issue, you need to take a paper-towel or cotton fabric will work as well and wet it with a cleaning fluid before rubbing the sensor lens.

Once the lens is cleaned, the yellow light will turn off and the garage door will function properly again.

Tightening the brackets holding the sensor:

If the sensors are clean, that means there is another issue causing the sensor to show yellow light.

One of those issues could be that the sensors are not inline with each other which is causing the receiver to not receive the signal from the transmitter.

To fix this issue, you need to manually re-adjust the sensor to be perfectly aligned to each other and tighten the brackets that are holding the sensor in place.

Replace old and damaged wires with new ones:

If the sensor is both clean and aligned, examine its wires for any loose connection or check if any wires are damaged. Faulty wiring could be another reason why the garage door isn’t working even if the sensors are in perfect shape.

Buy and install new sensors:

If nothing works, then it is highly likely that your sensors are damaged or have gone bad – this could be due to many reasons such as harsh sunlight, physical damage or simply worn out from long use.

In that case, you need to replace the old sensor with new ones which you can do yourself or with the help of an electrician.

What color should the lights be on garage door sensors?

Garage doors manufactured by Liftmaster, Chamberlain, Craftsman all have similar LED lights on their door sensors.

One of the sensors is the transmitter and another is the receiver – both have an LED embedded in them and should always be lit when they are attached to a power supply.

The transmitter sensor has an LED that will only light up yellow and the receiver will only light up green when they are both functioning without any issues.

Seeing no lights would mean there is a problem with the power source and seeing other colored lights would mean that the sensors are facing some issues.

How do I reset my garage door sensors?

After you’re done troubleshooting and unable to find a solution, you can try one of these three methods to bypass your garage door sensor:

Hold the garage door button:

Your garage door has a button installed next to the door wall, you need to press and hold that button and wait for the garage door to close. Keep holding the garage door button until the door is closed.

While holding the button, the sensors would be disabled and allow you to use the door while bypassing the sensor.

Manually open the garage door:

You may close the door by holding the wall button, but for opening it or even closing it – you may consider choosing the manual process.

To do so, first pull the cord that is connected to the motor attached to the ceiling – this would disconnect the door from the chain responsible for opening and closing the door. Next, you can open and close the door by lifting or pulling the door down.

Change the placement of the sensors:

The previous steps let you temporarily open or close the garage doors but stopping at that point would make it a very inefficient to open and close the doors.

Therefore, the next thing to do is to remove the sensors and wires connected to them from both sides of the garage door and place them directly facing each other.

Doing so will let you use the remote to control the opening and closing of the garage door like it used to.

Final Thoughts

The display of yellow lights on your garage door sensor indicates that the safety reverse sensors are out of alignment or are obstructed by something, preventing the signal from passing through. As a result, your garage door will not shut until the problem is fixed.