Garage Door Opener Light Not Working? Here's Why...

Garage Door Opener Light Not Working? Here's Why...

Chamberlain garage door opener light bulb circuit board cover

The garage door opener light has become a convenience you rely on every day. Being able to pull into your garage and have courtesy light for 5 minutes allows you to see where you are walking as you enter your home. When that light doesn’t shine, you notice right away. Let's take a look at a few reasons why your garage door opener light may not be working.

If you are looking for the perfect light bulb for the garage, Genie Company has released a new LED light bulb built specifically for garage door openers. This bulb is designed to reduce interference with your vehicle remote remote so the range is not affected as well as provide up to 25,000 hours of use and includes a 3 year warranty. It is the perfect light bulb for a garage door opener.

Genie Garage Door Opener LED Light Bulb

 
 

1. CFL Light Bulb Base Is Too Wide for Opener Light Socket

 
Base is too wide on CFL light bulb... this prevents the bulb from making a good connection in the light socket

Base is too wide on CFL light bulb... this prevents the bulb from making a good connection in the 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. Genie Company has released their new LED light bulb (featured above) for garage door openers that is compatible with all brands and helps to reduce interference caused by regular LED light bulbs. It also has a tapered base which allows it to make good contact in the light socket.

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 problem since the introduction of CFL and LED energy efficient light bulbs.

2. Light Bulb Needs to Be Replaced in Garage Door Opener

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. We have observed brand new light bulbs that don’t work right out of the box. Many are surprised by this, but we aren’t. 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, try using a rough service incandescent light bulb. They feature a thicker filament that is designed to withstand the vibration from a garage door opener motor. These light bulbs can be purchased online or at your local home center. They are still a regular incandescent light bulb so they are not designed to last as long as the Genie LED garage door light bulb. It is still a good alternative to the regular light bulb with a thinner filament.

PRO TIP- If you are using traditional incandescent light bulbs in your garage door opener, do not install a light bulb higher than 75 watts. Most openers will say you can use a 100 watt light bulb but that much heat can melt your plastic light cover.

3. Brass Contacts in Opener Light Socket Are Smashed

 
Brass contacts in garage door opener light bulb socket

Brass contacts in garage door opener light bulb socket

 

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! 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. If this doesn’t work, move to the next step.

4. Opener Light Bulb Socket Is Bad

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.

5. Circuit Board Needs to Be Replaced in Opener

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 opener 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.

Light Doesn't Activate on Garage Door Opener When You Cross Safety Sensor Beam

Chamberlain Group products which include the LiftMaster, Chamberlain, & Sears Craftsman line of garage door openers have a feature where the opener light will turn on if you cross the safety sensor beam shooting across the opening of your garage door. This is a feature that is exclusive to Chamberlain Group openers.

If your light no longer activates when crossing the safety sensor beam, then you most likely have an issue in your circuit board. There isn't much you can do other than replacing the complete circuit board. We have had many customers who have chosen to continue to use their opener with this feature not working because everything else was working properly, including the door reversing when the safety sensor beam is crossed. 

LED Light Bulb Compatibility with Garage Door Openers

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 having 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 Genie LED Light Bulb that is designed to reduce interference with your opener remotes. The bulb is vibration and shatter resistant and designed to hold up in cold damp environments. Its rated to generate 800 lumens of light for an estimated 25,000 hours.

Many manufacturers have released compatibility charts to show which light bulbs are approved for your specific garage door opener. Below are the compatibility charts for Genie and LiftMaster.

Click link below to view PDF:

Genie LED light bulb compatibility

LiftMaster LED Bulb Compatibility

Genie Recalls Screw Drive Garage Door Openers

Genie Recalls Screw Drive Garage Door Openers

Different Types of Garage Door Rollers

Different Types of Garage Door Rollers