Orange/Red Light On Powerline Adapter (How To Fix)

This can be a problem that appears sometimes with some brands of powerline adapter. Normally, the idea state of the LEDs on a pair of powerline adapters to indicate proper function is three solid green lights on both adapters (indicating power, pairing and data transfer are all present).

Normally, just having one of these 3 LEDs not being on would indicate a problem or lack of connection/internet. But with some brands, the LEDs might turn orange or red to indicate a fault.

The main reasons for this orange/red light are usually:

  • The adapters are not paired
  • There is no internet service
  • There is signal loss due to interference.
  • One or both of the wall sockets is faulty.
  • The adapters are broken.

Let’s cover each of these issues, together with potential fixes, in the following sections.

Step #1 – Check Your Internet Service

This is the very first thing to check – sometimes your router light will also be orange because your entire internet service is down, leading to orange lights on your adapters as well as they’re not receiving an internet connection any more.

Check with other devices connecting direct to the router to make sure your service is online. You can also check on Downdetector for more news of outages in your area or for your provider.

Step #2 – Pair The Adapters If Needed

Probably not very often, but in some cases, the lights on some adapters may be orange/red if they’re not paired yet. Rather than the “pair” light just not being on, it may flash red or orange indicating the adapters are not connected.

In this case, you just need to sync the adapters as follows:

  • Plug both adapters in, either next to each other or in different wall sockets.
  • Press and hold the pair button for a few seconds on one adapter until the LED starts blinking.
  • Within 2 minutes, press and hold the pair button on the other adapter until the LED starts blinking.
  • Wait up to 1 minute for the adapters to “find” each other. A solid green pair light on both adapters indicates they’ve been coupled.

Pairing Adapters – Quick Video Demo



Step #3 – Check The Adapters Are Compatible

With two adapters of the same brand and model, pairing is normally easy and quick, and sometimes even happens without you needing to do anything.

However, another thing to check for is that the adapters are compatible with each other. This is a complex issue, but sometimes adapters of different brands/models will work, and sometimes they won’t. It’s a bit of a lottery; see our guide here on cross compatibility. But trying to use incompatible adapters might be another reason the LEDs turn orange/red.

Although it’s a much more rare issue, you should also check that the adapters are compatible with your internet service. Honestly, this should very rarely be an issue nowadays. But in some cases, your router might either block the devices as it sees them as “unapproved”, or might only work with bespoke adapters/”homeplugs” supplied by your provider.

You’ll have to check with your ISP regarding this, but I’ve never personally run into any problems using adapters with any router or service. There might be very rare issues though.

Step #4 – Move The Adapters Around

Another reason for an orange/red light can be that the adapters may have lost connection despite being successfully paired previously.

Assuming you’ve ruled out an internet service outage as above, and you’ve only just installed them, it might be because they can’t communicate in those particular wall sockets you’ve installed them in.

Powerline adapters and house circuitry can sometimes be temperamental in this way. Firstly, try pairing them in adjacent wall sockets right next to each other. Then try moving the adapters around and testing them in different wall sockets and rooms and you might find they work fine in some outlets but not in others.

Another thing to bear in mind is you cannot always use powerline adapters across different phases/legs/loops/rings within a residence. Sometimes they work, but sometimes they don’t and you might have to keep trying them in different places before you get them to connect.

Also be aware using them in garages or other detached external buildings, since this can also sometimes lead to a poor or non-existent signal which may also causes the lights to turn orange/red. The theoretical maximum range of powerline across wiring is 100m or 238 ft.

Step #4 – Check For & Remove Interference

If you had successfully paired the adapters and they were working fine, but they suddenly stop working and you get this orange/red light, then it could be a signal loss between the adapters.

Assuming your main internet service is still working, this can be due the house wiring as covered above, but also interference from nearby devices breaking the signal between the adapters.

Move the adapters away from any high power consumption devices such as washers, dryers, fridges, electric tools, etc, to try and fix this issue.

See here for my troubleshooting guide for powerline adapters for more things to try as well to restore a good connection.

Step #5 – Factory Reset The Adapters

Another more rare possible reason why the adapter light could be red is there’s some kind of firmware fault/bug/corruption within the adapter and it needs fully resetting to clear it out and start over.

You’ve got hard and soft reset options for this:

  • Soft reset/disconnect – Just repeat the pairing process on each adapter, pressing and holding the button on each to “uncouple” them, and then unplug and plug them back in and try pairing them up again.
  • Hard/factory reset – Depending on the model, either hold the pair/reset button for 10-20 seconds, or push a pin into the reset hole for 10-20 seconds, until all the LEDs blink or go out. The leave them a few minutes to re-initialize, and try pairing them again.

See my guide on disconnecting/resetting powerline adapters for more detailed steps.

If you’re still getting this problem even after fully factory resetting the adapters, then it’s possible they’re corrupted/broken internally, and may need replacing. See the powerline page for some more models.

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