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Outdoor Lights Not Working [5 Reasons & Solutions]

It can be frustrating when your fancy outdoor lights aren’t working. There are a lot of different types of outdoor lights. Some with sensors, some with solar panels, and some are simple lights. But all of them can have similar problems when they aren’t working.

Why are your outdoor lights not working?

Well, there can be many different scenarios where your lights are not working. Your lights might have burnt out. Or there might be a problem with the GFCI plug. The light switch might be broken. Or there is a simple problem with the circuit breaker. the power outage might tamper with the astronomical timer. 

Now to fix your outdoor lights, we’ve given solutions under specific problems. 

Thus, we hope you like it. 

Why is My Outdoor Light Not Turning On?

When it comes to the safety of your home, outdoor lights play a very important role. On top of that, outdoor lights make sure your beautiful house looks beautiful even at night. You and your kids will not fall over objects in the driveway. 

Outdoor lights need to be repaired or changed most of the time when they are not functioning. But few things can state a proper solution to the problem. Outdoor lights are often found on the front. Also, in the back porch, driveway, back patios, and garage entrance. 

Most of the time Stormers and heavy rainfall cause damage to outdoor lights. Water is a conductive material and the minerals can cause damage to the circuit board. Also, short-circuit the wires. Which can even start a fire. So you should look deep into the problem for safety. 

Light Has Burnt Out

Bulbs burn out is the most common scenario of outdoor lights not working. Most of the time a simple bulb replacement can fix all the problems. 

So before you dive deep in search of deeper problems. Take a look at the bulbs to see if it is burnt out or not.  Also, install the bulbs as per the instructions. That will ensure the bulb will work. 


Burnt-out bulbs need simple replacement. But do check the voltage of the socket and the power of the new light bulb you buy. 

If the bulb is high up, use a ladder to reach the socket. Remove the shade or cover of the light and install the bulb inside the socket. Do check the type of socket you use before purchasing a bulb. This will save you from a second trip to the store. 

GFCI Has Tripped

GFCI stands for ground fault circuit interrupter. It shuts off electric power in the event of a ground fault.

Electric cables for outdoors runs through the ground usually. It can break down in time, water can get in touch with the wire when there is a heavy downpour or a storm. 

If there has been such an issue the GFCI has cut electrical power to the outdoor lights. Which is preventing the lights from not working. 


Locate the GFCI plug for the outdoor lights to fix the problem. You must reset the GFCI plug in order for the lights to turn on. Press and hold the reset button until it bolts. 

If the GFCI does not reset, there is a chance that the outlet has problems. The best would be to call your electrician and get the plug changed. 

If this happens, you can cover up the plugs with bubble wrap. This will make sure water does not get inside the plug. 

Circuit Breaker Has Tripped

If the light is still out after taking a look at the GFCI plug. Check if the circuit breaker in the electric panel is working or not. 

The circuit breaker will not work if there is a problem with the connection. Many issues can occur. Such as; moisture, worn-out, dry rot, rodent damage. If the wires get in touch it will cause a short circuit in the electrical panel. Using outdoors is preferable over indoor wires

Any of these issues can cause the circuit breaker tripping issue. 


To solve this, you need to locate the electrical panel. Often you will find the electrical panel in the garage, utility room, or basement. Identify the wire which connects the lights to the power. Check the circuit breaker which connects with that wire. 

Open the panel door and see if any breaker is on or off. If any of the breakers are off, turn it on. 

Area Has A Power Outage

If you live in a place where storms are very common then power outage is very common for you. And power outages can cause your outdoor light not to work. 

Outdoors light will turn off in a power outage. Which will turn on the astronomical timer on the battery. The astronomical timer remembers the time when the outdoor lights need to turn on. If the power goes away for hours, it will run out the batteries. 

This can keep your outdoor lights off even when power will come back.


If there has been a recent power outage. Go and check if the astronomical timer is still running. If the batteries have run out, replace them with new ones. Also, do set the timer back again. Because there will be a reset when you start it again. 

This should get your lights running again. 

Light Switch Has Fault

If your outdoor lights are not connected by a plug easily, there must be a direct connection. And the switch plays an important role in order for them to turn on. 

If there is no problem with the GFCI, circuit breaker, bulb, or wiring. Then there must be a problem with the switch.


Remove the cover and check the wire connections with the switch. There will be one black wire and one red wire for one connection. Each wire should attach with a separate screw on each side of the switch. 

Make sure power isn’t running through the wires before you touch the wires. If the black screw attaches with a screw then attach the red screw with the opposite screw. This should make the switch work. 


Question: Can you protect outdoor lights from rain?

Answer: Yes you can. The best way to protect them is to use solar lights. These do not need any wiring. 

Questions: Why are your outdoor lights not turning off?

Answer: The astronomical times need a reset. The timer is not functioning. Or there might be a direct connection due to poor wiring. 

Question: Why does outdoor light not work after changing the bulb?

Answer:  If the new lights have sensors make sure you turned them on. Or there might be a defect with the sensors on the lights. 

Take Away

That’s everything we had about your outdoor light not working. We hope this will help you to fix them. 

Do take help from professionals if the problems are not solved. 

Good luck with fixing your lights!