Your garage door is something you use pretty often, and it’s easy to take for granted; until it stops working, that is.
Now you’re faced with the problem of being unable to access your car or other items until it’s been fixed.
This problem is often accompanied by a blinking light on your door opener.
So if you’ve noticed a blinking light and your door isn’t working, you’re in the right place!
This article will cover all the reasons why this problem occurs and give you easy-to-follow instructions on how to resolve it so you can restore your now sorely missed garage door back to working order.
Why Is Your Garage Door Light Blinking?
For most common garage door models, the blinking light doesn’t give us much information other than letting us know there is a problem, so it’s up to us to diagnose and fix the error.
So let’s start by walking through all the main issues that will cause your garage light to start blinking.
1. The Door is Locked
Most common brands of garage door mechanisms have a safety lock feature that will help to keep the door shut, even when the remote is being used.
While this is great for home security and protection, if you turn the lock on by accident and forget to disengage it before trying to open the door, then the door will not open and the light will blink to let you know it cannot open.
You’ll need to manually disengage the locking feature before the light stops blinking, but the exact method to follow may differ from model to model.
2. A Wiring Issue
Garage doors use sensors to detect motion underneath the garage door and should anything get in the way of the sensors; it will then reverse the door to ensure nothing gets crushed underneath it.
Sometimes there may be a wiring problem, such as a bad connection or a severed wire, meaning the sensing circuit is incomplete.
When this happens, the door will continuously blink and not close because it cannot be sure it’s safe to close.
So you’ll need to check the wiring systems and fix any issues before the sensors can operate and allow the door to close.
3. Sensors Are Not Aligned
Sensor alignment on a garage door is crucial as it allows the mechanism to get a complete picture of what’s happening under the door and know whether it’s safe to close or not.
Sometimes these sensors may be misaligned or get knocked out of alignment, which will cause the door lights to blink ten times, letting you know there is a sensor alignment problem.
You’ll need to manually adjust the sensors to be perfectly aligned.
Once they’re in position, the light on your door opener will stay on continuously and the blinking should stop.
4. Dirty Sensors
Garages can be pretty dirty, so sometimes the sensor may become covered in dirt or dust, which impedes its ability to function.
When the sensors are dirty, they will also cause the blinking light problem; the good news is you can simply clean them off yourself to fix the problem.
5. A Power Supply Issue
Garage door openers require a consistent supply of power to function.
When power or voltage fluctuations are detected, it may cause the lights to blink.
Check the power supply system, including the wall outlet and circuit breaker, to ensure that power can be adequately supplied to the door.
6. A Remote Control Issue
The door opener will respond to instructions sent to it from the remote, allowing you to open the door without needing to physically press the wall button.
However, if it’s an issue with the remote control, such as a button breaking or the battery running out, the light will continue blinking.
You’ll need to inspect and fix the remote to rectify this problem.
Sometimes the motor or electronics, combined with hot ambient weather, may combine to make the door opener overheat.
When this happens, the lights will blink or completely turn off to warn you of an issue and protect itself from damage.
How To Fix a Garage Door Blinking Lights?
As you can see, the potential causes of this problem are quite varied, making it difficult to diagnose the problem accurately.
So in order to make things easier, we’ve compiled a step-by-step guide you can follow to get this issue fixed once and for all.
1. Unlock the Door
The most common reason your garage door lights might be blinking is because the door lock is engaged.
The exact method you use to disable the locking feature may vary depending on your specific door make and manufacturer, so please refer to your user manual as needed, as the steps listed here are general guides.
Start by locating your garage door opener to access the lock switch, most commonly located on the wall control unit.
There may also be a lock switch on your garage door’s remote.
Locate the lock button, usually indicated by a padlock symbol.
On your garage door remote, there may be an on/off toggle switch.
Depending on your model, you can toggle the lock function off or hold the button down for a few seconds.
You should notice the light stop flashing.
Then test your garage door to make sure it opens.
Note that this has now disabled the locking feature, and you should continue to be mindful of your home’s safety.
Don’t forget to relock it at night!
2. Fix Any Wiring Issues
Wiring issues are another common cause of blinking lights, so we’ll need to thoroughly inspect the system and fix any wiring problems to make the light stop flashing.
- As with any electronic device, it’s critical to start by turning the power off when dealing with wiring. You can either unplug the door opener from the electrical outlet or turn it off at the circuit breaker.
- Next, inspect the wires and look for noticeable damage, such as burn marks, loose or disconnected control wires, or any breaks in the wiring, such as them being chewed through.
- Check everything, including the wall switch, the sensors, and the light fixture.
- Should any problems be found, they will need to be repaired or replaced accordingly.
- Once the control wires have been fixed, you can test them with a multimeter to check they are functioning correctly.
- Re-connect the power supply to the garage door and test that it is working before proceeding.
3. Re-align the Sensors
While this may seem complicated, don’t worry, it’s a pretty easy job and can be completed in just a few minutes.
- Start by locating the sensors, you will usually find them around the bottom of the garage door tracks, and there should be two sensors in total, one on each side of the door.
- You can tell if they are not aligned by checking the LED; when they are aligned, both green lights will be solid. If they are blinking, it means the alignment is off, and they will need to be adjusted.
- To adjust the sensor, you need to loosen the wingnut that keeps them fixed against the bracket. But be careful, make sure you just loosen them slightly; you don’t need to remove the wingnut completely.
- Slightly move the sensor along the track until you get a solid green light, indicating they are now in alignment.
- Once you’re happy with this alignment, re-tighten the wingnut to secure it.
4. Clean the Sensors
Sometimes the opener lights may still be flashing, but it’s not the alignment that’s the problem; some dirt or debris may have gotten on the sensor.
Once again, you should turn off the power before proceeding; otherwise, you may accidentally trigger the garage door opener as you clean them.
Compressed air works well at removing any loose debris.
But if there’s anything stuck on there, you can gently wipe the sensors down with a clean, lint-free cloth.
If something is very stubbornly stuck, you can also use a mild detergent; just be sure to avoid any chemical solvent, as it may damage the safety sensor.
5. Check and Fix the Power Supply
Double-check that the door opener is plugged in and the associated circuit breaker is turned on.
If there are still power fluctuations causing the lights to flash, it may be an issue with the electronic system of the opener.
In this case, you should contact your garage door manufacturer’s customer support service to have a trained technician inspect and fix the door.
6. Check and Fix the Remote
If you are trying to control the door using the remote and it’s triggering the blinking lights, we’ll need to check the remote is working correctly, as this may be causing garage door problems.
- While it might seem obvious, the first thing to check is the batteries. If they are empty, you must insert fresh new batteries.
- Try standing closer to the door opener, as most remotes have limited range and might not work from very far away.
- You may also need to re-program the remote. This process involves essentially resetting the remote and returning it to its factory default setting. The exact method of how you do this will change dramatically depending on which model of garage door you have.
- If this doesn’t work, then your garage door remote may be defective, in which case you will need to contact your manufacturer for a replacement remote. Alternatively, you can often buy generic door remotes from a local parts supplier.
While relatively rare, if your garage is unusually hot, it may cause problems with your garage door mechanism.
There are several steps you can take to help manage or reduce the heat of your garage, which in turn will allow the door opener to be kept cooler.
You can insulate your garage better, install an air conditioning unit or keep a fan in the doorway to allow air to circulate thoroughly.
By reducing the overheating of the door opener, you can often restore its functionality to normal.