Sun coming through the clouds

Genie Safe-T-Beam® Sunlight Interference Solutions

Genie Safe-T-Beam safety sensors are designed to keep you and your family safe while operating your Genie garage door opener.  Understanding how the safety sensors work will help you to troubleshoot and easily identify any issues that may arise.

Safe-T-Beams are intended to be mounted low on each side of the garage door and use an invisible infrared beam to communicate between the two sensors.  When the beam is broken and an obstruction is sensed, your Genie garage door opener will automatically reverse.  This prevents any object (or person!) from getting accidentally hit by the garage door. 

On the rare occasion that an issue occurs, the Genie safety sensors are self-diagnostic, meaning the sensors will blink a certain number of times to identify what the issue could be.  See the chart below. 


If there is no physical obstruction that can be located, and the sensor blinks 3 times, you may be experiencing sunlight interference. Sunlight carries infrared light, just like safety sensors do.  This can cause an issue because the sun’s rays may interfere with the sensor’s infrared light and the sensors might not be able to signal one another.  This is why a garage door may stop closing if strong sunlight is shining on the eye of the sensor. 


Below are some solutions to solve sunlight interference issues:

Solution 1: Move the green sensor to the shady side of the garage

One safety sensor has a green LED light, and one has a red LED light.  The green LED sensor should be positioned out of direct sunlight.  You can position the safety beams further away from the door opening to avoid sunlight, but not further off the wall (the sensors must be aligned to maintain the infrared beam) or more than 6” off the floor.  See the below image.


Solution 2: For multiple garage doors, make sure the sensors don’t interfere with each other by setting the red LED sensors back-to-back or the green LED sensors back-to-back

If you have multiple sets of safety sensors installed, crosstalk can be a potential issue.  The red LED sensor is the transmitting sensor, while the green LED sensor is the receiving sensor.  If the signals cross between different garage doors, interference can occur.  This is why the red LED sensors should be installed back-to-back or the green LED sensors should be back-to-back to prevent signals from crossing.  See the below image.



Solution 3: Update your outdated safety sensor

If you have an older safety sensor, you may want to update it to the newest version 2 of the Genie Safe-T-Beam (Model GSTB).  This model has a lens that helps to protect it from sunlight interference. It is an easy upgrade that will only take a few minutes.  These sensors will work with any Genie branded garage door opener made since 1993 that utlizies required safety beams.  See the below image for a comparison of the older version versus the newer version of Safe-T-Beams. 

Solution 4: Build a shade for your green LED safety sensor

Another option to prevent sunlight interference with your safety sensors is to build a box around the green LED sensor lens or tape a piece of cardboard to the top of the sensor.  You could also place a toilet paper tube around the sensor.  Building a shade around the green LED sensor will prevent any sunlight from entering the sensor eye.  Make sure to avoid blocking the actual sensor. 


To learn more about Safe-T-Beams, check out this article:

For additional assistance, please reach out to our customer service line at 1-800-354-3643.


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Thanks for having this troubleshooting tip here I upgraded to the new version of the sensors due to one of the old ones broke over 20 years old and the garage will not go down three blinking lights I had to put the two red transmitters side by side on the two doors problem solved. I originally just removed and replaced how the old ones were wired.

Roland L Garcia

@Scott – Please contact our customer service at 1-800-354-3643 for assistance.

Heather Rothacher

I got two new sensors and I short wired them so they are close together and not affected by the sunlight. I’m still getting the three red flashes. Anything else I can try? I will note the green LED is on but light, the red is strong but flashing. Could this be something internally in the unit? Garage opener works fine from the wall switch and remotes to open, only closes when I hold the wall switch.


@ Roman – This could mean that the Safe-T-Beam needs replaced, or has a wiring issue. You can contact our customer service at 1-800-354-3643 and we can do some troubleshooting.

Heather Rothacher

What if sensors keep blinking (red x3) even when garage door is closed (no sunlight) and there are no obstructions between the sensors?


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