Garage door sensor eyes were introduced in the early 1990s. They were designed to add an extra layer is safety to the garage door system. Today’s garage door opener feature to safety features, force sensors and the safety eye sensors.
The force sensor is adjustable manually for the up and down force or some of the more resent models have a digital calibration mode. The opener force settings will determine how much resistance the opener will accept going up or down before the opener stops or reverses. In some cases damage or injury can still occurred prior to the force sensor being triggered.
The addition of sensor eyes added a preemptive layer of safety by where if the two sensor eye are obstructed the door will reverse prior to the door making contact with anything thus avoiding potential damage or injury. If the sensor eyes are obstructed or misaligned the door if already closing will stop and reverse. When this safety mechanism is engaged both Genie garage door openers and Liftmaster opener will deactivate the wireless capability of the garage door opener. Meaning your remotes and key pads will not work. Liftmaster/Chamberlain products will alert you to sensor eye issue by the lights on the opener motor flashing when you try to activate the door opener. They will blink 4 to 5 times, if you do not have working light bulbs you will hear the opener make a clicking sound 4 to 5 times.
If this happens to you the first thing to do is to check that there is nothing under the garage door or anything blocking either sensor eye. If you have found nothing in the way, look at both sensor eyes, both should have a solid LED light on. For Liftmaster/Chamberlain products one eye will have an amber colored light which is the sending eye and if it is wired properly and the opener is plugged in will always be on, even the eyes are not making contact. The other eye, which is the receiving eye, has a green LED light and will blink if not making contact with the sending eye. Genie opener generally have a red LED on both, sometime one will be green and the receiving eye will blink or turn off. The eye send out a 1” to 2” wide been depending on the width of the door. To all align simply adjust eh both eye until both LEDs on solid and not flashing or off. Ones aligned move your sending eye just a little bit and see to the light stays solid. You should have some play so when the door shakes if does not make the sensor eyes break contact. If you barely move the eye back on it losses contact you should adjust the eye forward slightly. Do the same to for in the up and down direction.
If you follow these steps and are unable to get both eye to light up there may be a bad sensor eye or a issue with the wiring. You can over ride this feature so that you can close the door. To do this go to your wall button that is in the back of your garage door and press and hold the wall button until the door is full closed and stops, then release. Some openers you will have to press the button then the lights on the opener motor will start flashing then you will press the wall button a 2nd time and hold until the door closes.