Stopping a trespasser in their tracks couldn’t be easier or faster than with the right motion sensor light. Depending on the brand you choose they have a wide range and the brightness of the spotlight is somewhat blinding to an intruder. Not only this but motion sensing lights are a much more affordable option to leaving a light on outside of your house.
Many people choose to install multiple motion activated lights in a bid to prevent break ins and yes they actually do help.
There are so many different models on the market so in the following post I’ll do my best to highlight the pros and cons of the best outdoor motion sensor lights.
How Do Motion Sensors Work?
Using built in technologies such as passive infrared, vibration sensing and ultra sonic waves to name a few motion is detected which triggers the light to turn on. A sensor light may use one or multiple technologies to detect motion.
Basically, when triggered the flood light will light up the surrounding area and anything that is in the path.
Best Outdoor Motion Sensing Lights Available Online
Mr Beams MB360 Wireless LED Spotlight with Motion Sensor and Photocell
5 used from $ 13.99
- Extremely bright LED with minimum power consumption, 140 Lumens
- Motion sensor turns LED spotlight on and off automatically
- Features a weatherproof design for durability
- Simple wireless installation in minutes
- Provides 350 square feet of coverage, battery operated
In terms of value for money Mr Beams is a hugely popular and highly rated LED sensor spotlight. Battery powered makes installing and setting up this sensor a walk in the park.
The spotlight itself is very bright at 140 lumens and although battery operated is reasonably low power consumption. With the ability to detect motion up to 30 feet away in the dark, this sensor will also automatically turn off within 30 seconds after the motion stops.
Durable, the sensor is weatherproof with a watertight seal for any rainy conditions. Although battery operated, as they are LED bulbs, you can expect the batteries to last roughly 1 year before they need replacing. This is based on an average use of 8-10 daily activations.
The LED spotlight provides 140 lumens of light for bright light around your home and yard. Expect about 1 year of light on each set of batteries with average use of 8-10 activations a day. The adjustable head allows you to focus the light wherever you need it to increase safety.
Using smart Photocell technology the sensor will not activate during daylight hours- further saving the battery life.
- Easy to install
- LED bulbs for bright spotlights
- Photocell technology for only night time activation
- Batteries last up to 1 year
- Some issues with weatherproof seals leaking
Available in white or dark brown the Mr Beams lights can be bought as a single item, 2 pack, 3 pack or 4 pack. These make for a very affordable way to secure the outside perimeter of your home.
RAB Lighting STL360H Super Stealth 360 Sensor
- Senses 180 degree out + 360 degree down for total detection
- Scanning LED's
- Radio frequency immunity; 6000 volt surge protection
- 1000 watt switching capacity
- Pre-wired and pre-assembled on CU4 universal EZ plate; protected manual override with auto reset; can be wired in parallel
RAB Super Stealth are one of the most sturdy, durable and industrial strength flood lights to purchase. With a 60 foot detection area, the sensor can detect motion 180 degrees out and 360 degrees down.
In addition to this wide range, there are also secondary sensors in the model behind and below the lights.
With an immunity to radio frequency interference as well as 6000 volt surge protection, this spotlight can withstand just about anything.
This light system comes pre-wired and pre-assembled on a CU4 universal EZ plate. Protected with a manual override and auto reset which can also be wired in parallel to it.
The shielded bell flood lights can handle up to 150 watt maximum strength but please note you need to purchase the lamps separately.
Using photoelectric control this means the sensor deactivates during daylight hours which decreases the energy consumption.
Advanced detection technologies have been incorporated into the design which works to minimize false triggers. There is also an inbuilt evening timer that can be used to keep the lights on anywhere from 1-8 hours after dusk.
Although the name implies they are stealth lights, they are actually quite bulky and not easily hidden. So if you are looking for something discreet this may not be the right choice for you.
- Very bright floodlight
- Excellent sensor coverage
- Dual bulb light
20W Dual-Head Motion-Activated LED Outdoor Security Light
- UPGRADED TRIPLE OPERATIOIN MODES: ON TIME, AUTO and Dusk to Dawn combined together. ON TIME allows manual control of the light. Auto mode allows your light to be lux active while be motion active as well, provide much more applicable ways to use. Dusk to dawn features lighting up at dawn and lighting off at dusk.
- DLC & ETL QUALIFIED: 84% energy and costs saving by replacing your 120W halogen fixture with our 20W LED lamp, save $550 during its long lifespan.
- LASTING AND DURABLE: 50,000 hours lifespan, durable and reliable performance, reduce frequency of replacement and maintenance.
- 5 YEAR UNLIMITED WARRANTY: Ideally lasts 10 times longer than traditional halogen security light. Protected by seller 5 Year unlimited warranty, your satisfaction is 100% guaranteed.
- IMPROVED OUTLOOKING: Stainless dual ultra-bright LED light heads with IP65 waterproof and 180° rotation capability. Updated adjust knob for increased position fixing ability. Newly designed mount base for much easier attachment to junction box.
If you are looking to cover an extensive area then dual headed lights are the best choice. With a 180 degree lighting and sensing angle these lights cover a huge space and can detect motion up to 70 feet away.
Using an auto dusk to dawn technology as well as a manual control you can set the light to only be active in the dark hours. This is great for reducing power consumption over the course of its use.
With a 50,000 hour lifespan this product is durable and reliable with low maintenance. The LED lights are IP65 waterproof rotational capabilities allow for wide coverage and high security. Weatherproof and corrosion resistant this is a solid outdoor camera that is designed to last.
The light emitted from these spotlights is crisp and very bright at 1600 lumens which is more or less a 120 watt bulb.
Included with the purchase is a 5 year warranty which is roughly 50,000 hours of use. In addition the light means the DLC qualifications making it eligible for energy saving rebates, depending on your state.
- Bright flood light
- Eligible for energy saving rebates
- 5 year warranty
- Weatherproof IP65 rating
- Auto control of light
- Available in dual or triple head lights
- Requires hardwire installation which may mean you need to hire a professional
Available in bronze or white, the dual headed lights are great motion sensor spotlights that are designed to last and backed by an extensive warranty.
1byone Wireless Home Security Driveway Alarm
1 used from $ 25.00
- Reliable Range - Communication range of up to 100m/328ft (the distance from the sensors to the receiver/alarm/chime) and detection range of the infrared sensor of approximately 5-8m/16-26ft to keep you informed and safe.
- User-Friendly - The alarm in the receiver has a ring volume up to 100dB, 3 mode choices (Sound/LED Flash/Sound and LED Flash) and 3 alert choices (High Volume Chime/Low Volume Chime/Alarm)
- Dependable Technology - Our sensor uses a state-of-the-art passive-infrared (PIR) to detect any movement within the detection zone. Perfect for long or hidden driveways to allow you just a little extra warning before guests (or intruders) arrive.
- Expandable - If you have more than one driveway or area you would like to monitor, you can expand this system with multiple sensors and receivers
- Power Supply - Both 3 x 1.5V type C batteries and the AC power adapter (not included) can be used for the receiver, but don't use them simultaneously in case the host would be burned
The 1byone wireless driveway alarm presents a great security measure for those with long driveways. With the option to add on motion sensors they are discreet and can easily go unnoticed. The unit offers three chime options to alert you of intruders and the speaker is roughly the size of a baby monitor.
With the ability to add up to six sensors the alarm can cover many different areas in one go. With a communication range of up to 328 feet (distance from sensor to the alarm receiver) and an infrared sensor of 16-26 feet. This is great for installing a few different sensors to track the intruder coming up the driveway.
The alert choices are low, medium and high and there are also flashing lights to pair into the mix. Combinations can be Sound/LED, Flash/Sound and LED Flash.
Using state of the art passive infrared technology these sensors will pick up on any intruder to your property.
This model does not have a spotlight feature nor external sounds so the intruder most likely won’t be startled or deterred.
- Multiple sensors
- Long range
- Sound and light alerts
- No spotlight
The 1byone wireless driveway alarm uses motion detection to alert you of an intruder in the way of an alarm and or flashing LED lights. This system does not have an outdoor speaker or floodlight to startle or stop intruders but is a good monitoring device for extra security around the home.
Mr. Beams MB572 Wireless Battery-Powered Motion Sensing LED Path Lights
- Motion Sensor Activated: Each Path Light instantly turns on when it detects motion from up to 15 feet away, Battery Life: 1 Year (50 hours) or more on Alkaline batteries, LED Color: Neutral White (4000K)
- Easy to Install: No wires = quick and easy installation in less than 5 minutes; no electrician required, Dimensions: 13.3" H x 3" W x 3" D
- Energy Efficient: Our quality LED never needs to be replaced. It's so efficient; you will get more than 50 hours of light on one set of batteries
- Bright LED: The bright, powerful LED provides 35 lumens of light. Special design allows light to reflect off housing to direct light downward, Durable, Weather Resistant: Tight seals and UV resistant material allow the Mr Beams® Path Lights to work in all weather conditions
- Multipurpose: Perfect for path lighting, night-time walking, deck stair lighting, and hallway lighting, Auto Shut Off: Mr Beams Path Lights turn off automatically after 20 or 60 seconds (2 options) of no motion, conserving battery life
Mr Beams Battery Powered Path Lights are another good item for home security although more so for the use of safe passage to your door. These look good along the garden pathway but won’t have the same deterrent effect as the other spotlight sensors.
Motion sensor activated they will automatically turn on from up to 12 feet away. The light from these is a neutral downward light at around 35 lumens from LED lights, making them ideal for steps and walkways.
Battery operated, these will last 1 year or 50 hours and even more when alkaline batteries are used. Durable and weather resistant, these lights have tight seals and UV resistant material making them well suited to all weather conditions.
As they are battery operated installing these is as easy as they come. They also have an automatic shut off feature, after 20 second or 60 seconds (two options) within any motion within their range. This further extends the battery life.
- Easy to install
- Motion activated
- Automatic shut off feature at either 20 or 60 seconds
- Not exactly a burglar deterrent
Sold as a 2 pack or 6 pack, the Mr Beams Battery Powered Path Lights are a great addition to your home walkway. In addition to the automatic light sensor there is an optional GlowMode which emits a constant soft light until motion triggers full brightness.
High Power 1000Lumen Solar Motion LED Flood Light
- ACTUAL BRIGHT LIGHT - Over 1,000 Lumen Super bright Solar Motion Flood Light. 10 Watts of LED floodlight power. Ability to brighten up a driveway, backyard. Works great as a security light. Use around the house or business for security.
- MOTION AND LIGHT SENSOR BUILT IN-2018 Models Now with 4 Modes! Use easy chain to adjust. Base light can go from 10% power to full brightness when motion is detected. Adjust Sensing Distance of 0-5 Meters down to 10 lux. Stays bright for 30 seconds. Three Intelligent Modes: Bright / DIM / Recharge. Bright: motion activates for lighting when motion is detected; DIM: 10% lighting for saving power when no motion; Off/Recharge: automatically turns off in daylight and goes into recharge mode
- EASY INSTALLATION AND ADJUSTABLE - Easily install the flood light and solar panel anywhere in minutes, no need to hire an electrician. Direct mount onto wall or other surface. Solar Panel and LED are mounted separate to get the correct angle. Adjust the angle as needed to position the light. Includes 3.5 meter cable.
- LONG LIFE BATTERY - Premium super-size 8000mah battery has the power to stay on longer and run for years and years. Lithium Ion Battery for best performance. Battery can be changed without replacing unit.
- QUALITY AND WARRANTY - CE and ROHS certified. High quality Aluminum and Hard plastic construction. IP65 Outdoor waterproof.
The Solar High Power Flood Light emits an super bright 1,000 lumen light which really does light up the area adequately. Using 10 watts of floodlight power your whole driveway or backyard will be illuminated.
With four different modes which can easily be adjusted through the use of a chain. The light can be adjusted to sense distances up to 16 feet away. Once on, the floodlight will remain bright for 30 seconds.
Run purely by a solar panel installing this is relatively quick and easy to do. Included with the purchase is a 12 foot cable which gives you the ability to adjust the positioning of the solar panel and floodlight as needed.
There are three intelligent modes – bright, dim and recharge. Bright means the motion activates lights when motion is detected. Dim means 10% lighting for saving power when there is no motion and recharge means it automatically turns off in daylight to recharge.
This product comes with CE and ROHS certifications, it is a high quality aluminum product that has a hard plastic construction and IP65 outdoor waterproof rating.
- Reliable, durable and long lasting
- Three intelligent modes
- IP65 weatherproof rating
- CE and ROHS certified
The Solar High Power Flood Light is a top rated, high quality flood light that although expensive is really just a one off cost. The solar panel is reliable and can be placed up to 12 foot away from the floodlight via the cable that’s included with the purchase.
Sunforce 82156 60-LED Solar Motion Light
- Features amorphous solar panel with 15 ft. (4.5m) of wire, 60 LED solar motion light, 1 x Lithium-ion rechargeable battery, and mounting hardware
- Fully weather resistant and can be mounted almost anywhere
- Amorphous solar panel charges in all daylight conditions, does not need direct sunlight
- Detection distance: 30 feet, detection range: 180 degrees
- Lumen output: 850
The Sunforce LED Solar Motion Light features an amorphous solar panel, 15 foot cable, 60 LED solar light and a lithium-ion rechargeable battery. With a lumen output of 850 this is a bright light.
The sensor has a 30 foot detection distance as well as 180 degrees range offering good coverage of your outdoor area.
Installing this is relatively easy, all the mounting hardware required is included. Weather resistant this spotlight can be mounted almost anywhere. The solar panel will recharge in daylight conditions and does not require direct sunlight.
Easy to adjust to your personal preferences you can choose how dark it needs to be before the light activates as well as how long it remains activated for once tripped.
- 850 lumens makes for a bright light
- Solar powered
- Easy to install
- Short battery life
The Sunforce LED Solar Motion Light is another solar powered spotlight that has great customer reviews and is reliable. Significantly cheaper than other solar panel spotlights this doesn’t quite match the same quality as the previous reviewed product. It does, however, present excellent value for this price.
Milex LED Spotlight 360 Degree Wireless Weatherproof Motion Detector Lamps (Black)
- Motion-activated: auto on/off for hands-free convenience and safety. Adjustable head rotates to aim the light where needed.
- LED floodlight technology: ultra-bright, glare-free, ultra-wide coverage.
- Perfect for doorways, porches, garages, sheds, fences, decks and backyards
- Easy installation: installs in minutes using only 2-screws, no wiring necessary.
- Weatherproof: sealed for protection against moisture
The Milex LED Spotlight is a motion activated, automatic on/off that has an adjustable head that can easily rotate to where the light is needed.
Using LED floodlight technology these lights are ultra bright, glare free and have a very wide coverage area. Weatherproof and sealed this spotlight can be installed just about anywhere. No wiring is needed either, making the process much fast with just 2 screws.
Battery operated and no wires means installing it is easy as is changing or moving around to a different location around the home.
Once activated the light stays on for about 30 seconds unless motion is still detected, then it will remain on and illuminated. Bright when activated this does light up a large surface area.
- Easy to install
- Bright light
- Battery operated
The Milex LED Spotlight is a good entry level motion activated sensor light that is very affordable.
9. Heath/Zenith HZ-4133-OR Shaker Cove Mission-Style 150-Degree Motion-Sensing Decorative Security Light
Heath/Zenith HZ-4133-OR Shaker Cove Mission-Style 150-Degree Motion-Sensing Decorative Security Light
- Motion activated nighttime lighting which detects motion up to 30 feet away.
- Oil rubbed bronze metal construction weather resistant finish with Clear seeded glass.
- Uses one 60-watt max medium base incandescent bulb (not included).
- 2 year warranty.
- Dimensions: 4.4"w x 6.6"d x 11.1"h.
Increasing the security around your home doesn’t need to de-tract from the stylish look of it. With the Heath Zenith Decorative Security Light you can install motion sensor outdoor lights that are inconspicuous, stylish and functional.
Although this light does require hardwiring it does offer a solid 30 foot detection range. The light bulb is 60 watt which is bright but not floodlight strength.
With a 150 degree motion sensor, this covers a wide range of surface area around your home. This brand is trusted and well known, not only in the USA but worldwide.
The design can be configured as a carriage light, lantern or a coach light which provides even more options for use.
Photocell technology means the light will only activate during night time hours which saves your energy.
- Stylish and inconspicous
- Long range of motion detection
- Available in different colors and light configurations
Hardwired which makes the installation a little more difficult
Energy star certified, the Heath Zenith Decorative Security Light is available in rubbed bronze or silver and comes with a two year limited warranty.
First Alert PIR725 Motion Sensing Motion Activated Light Socket
3 used from $ 17.60
- Screws into any existing indoor light socket
- Ideal for both day and night conditions
- Works with incandescent bulbs up to 100 watts and compact fluorescent bulbs up to 50 watts
- Designed for indoor use only
- Offers 360-degree motion detection
The First Alert Motion Sensing Light Socket is a simple and effect device than can be fitted to exisiting light sockets.
Affordable, this can be useful in both day and night conditions. It works with incandescent bulbs up to 100 watts as well as compact fluorescent bulbs up to 50 watts.
Designed only for indoor use, this could work with an undercover outdoor area although not advised. Due to the design, the motion sensor can detect moving 360 degrees and up to 12 feet away.
Many people choose to use this inside their home such as in the kitchen, bathrooms and linen room due to the handsfree, automatic approach.
- Complete coverage at 360 degrees
- Easy to install- screws into exisiting light sockets
- Limited to indoor use
The First Alert Motion Sensing Light Socket is a great entry level, affordable motion sensor light that is for indoor use. With 360 degree coverage, this is a great addition to the home.
Types of Motion Sensors
As mentioned there are many different technologies to detect motion and movement which then activates the spotlight. Let’s take a look at the most popular methods.
Passive Infrared (PIR)
This technology detects body heat as infrared energy, this is the most widely used motion detection method. With a combination of a few the heat and movement of any surrounding areas from your home can work together to create a grid like area.
This provides excellent coverage to intruders. The other thing to consider is that these sensors can and will activate in the presence of an animal such as a dog.
Microwave Energy (MW)
By emitting microwave pulses these will measure the reflection properties of a moving object. This then is interpreted by the sensor and activates the sensor for the light. This technology allows for even more coverage than infrared sensors but can be sensitive to electrical interference
Dual Technology Motion Sensors
While sensor technology is great there are many that are overly sensitive, such as a plant or shrub blowing in the wind. In order to reduce false alarms there are some high tech motion sensors that combine a few different technologies such as a PIR and MW sensor.
So how is this more accurate? Well with both of these technologies, both of the sensors need to be triggered before the spotlight activates. Two ‘eyes’ are always better than one. Although, this does not mean false alarms are stopped entirely.
Area Reflective Type
Through LED and infrared lights, reflective rays measure distances from objects within a given area. If the sensor detects something new or different, ie. a person, within this zone it will activate the flood light.
Similar to microwaves, ultrasonic waves are emitted in pulses which can then measure reflection from a moving object. If it is foreign or new then the sensor activates.
Vibration sensors detect vibration within the area. Using a small mass on the top of a level if this is tripped the light will activate.
Motion Sensor Light Placement
To prevent criminal activity around your home then using a motion sensor light is a must have security measure for your home. Very cost effective, these stand alone lights are and an effective instrument to prevent burglars. However, knowing where to place them around your home is important to further enhance the effectiveness and security.
With that in mind, these are what I consider the four most important places for motion sensors:
1. Walkways Around The Property
Motion sensors around the walkways of your home will deter any potential burglars but can also be very beneficial for family members and guests. Walkways that lead to entrances are very important, increase your home security and protect your family and guests from slips and trips.
2. All Home Entrances
As well as main walkways to your home, installing motion sensors in all main entrances is also recommended, even the ones you think unnecessary. Criminals look for easy points of entrance whether thats via a backdoor or windows.
3. Open Areas and Swimming Pools
Although criminals may not want to steal things from your garden or pool toys, they will try to find an escape route once they are caught out by a spotlight around the home. Lighting up the garden or pool area is a great way to ensure criminals don’t just hide out in a dark space while waiting for the light to go out.
4. Inside the Garage
Now, you may be thinking why on Earth is that a good location for a motion sensor. Well, considering most of us store pretty valuable items in there it can be a wise choice. How many times have you left the garage door up without realising? Or, if you have side access to the garage, this is a common entry point for thieves- the spotlight will no doubt catch them off guard and most likely startle them. The other thing, and arguably what I prefer is that anytime I walk into my garage, there’s no fumbling for light switches – I can find what it is I need at any time.
Different motion detection sensors will offer different ranges but as a rule of thumb the majority can reach 50 to 80 feet. With that in mind you can determine where is the best place to position the sensor light.
Choke points are areas that you have no choice but to walk through. These are relatively easy to locate around the home and an intruder has no chance of evading it.
Finally, motion sensors work the best when a person or thieve walks parallel to it as opposed to directly toward it. Something to consider when choosing to position your sensor light.
Motion Sensor Errors
Like every piece of technology, outdoor motion sensors are not 100% error proof. False alarms do occur and for many different reasons. this could be a result of electrical issues, power surges, low battery, animals, insects and the list goes on.
The best way to minimize any false alarms is to following the installation instructions precisely. In the event of something going wrong, most will come with a warranty or offer advice on what to do.
Having the best outdoor motion sensor light will enhance your home security immensely. They are an affordable and effective method to deter thieves from entering your home. With many different models on the market, choosing the best one can be confusing. I hope through this post you are now equipped with the knowledge to make an informed decision.