Why do I want motion detector lights?
Indoor or outdoor, motion sensor lights provide security, convenience, and energy efficiency. There may be one main reason you’re looking for motion-activated lighting, or you may want to take advantage of all the benefits. Your primary reason will help you figure out the answers to other questions, like what type of bulb to get.
For security, you might want an outdoor motion sensor lights that’s surprise an intruders and scare them off. On the other hand, a motion light that makes sure you don’t get tripped up on your way into the house can be less powerful.
What type of lightbulb should I get?
Many outdoor motion sensor lights use LED to help save on electricity and minimize the chance of fire from a traditional, incandescent bulb that gets hot while in use.
The downside is that LED security lights are often dimmer, which can be a deal breaker if you want to illuminate a big area or startle trespassers. Incandescent light bulbs use more energy and need to be replaced more often, but they tend to be much brighter.
Because you’re looking for motion sensor lighting, you should have less worry about incandescent lights heating up from being left on too long.
How much area should my motion detector lights cover?
The amount of coverage provided by a motion light is determined by the motion sensor range and the brightness of the light bulbs. If you’re looking to light up a small area like the front porch, you may only need a motion sensor with a range of a few feet.
But if you want to illuminate a larger area like an entire backyard, you might want LED security lights with a range of 70 feet or more. You can also power up the reach of your motion light with bright bulbs that use more lumens. Small areas can get by with as little as 42 lumens, while floodlights can produce up to 3,400.
What type of power source is best?
You can get motion sensor light fixtures that are hardwired, battery powered, or solar powered. The benefit of lights that use battery power or a solar panel is that you don’t have to install them near an electrical outlet. But solar panels need to be affixed where they’ll get enough sunlight for a full charge.
The drawbacks with battery and solar power are that your security can be compromised due to a dead battery or a cloudy day. You also sacrifice brightness with those power sources, as the brightest lights tend to use hardwiring.
If you do go with hardwired motion lights, be sure to plan ahead in case you need to run wires through walls or secure extension cords.
Can I add motion sensor lights to my security system?
You should be able to add motion sensor lights to an existing home security system. Contact your security provider to find out if motion sensor lights are available. If the company you use doesn’t offer motion lights, find out if the system is compatible with any third-party motion sensor lights.
The benefit of having motion lights integrated into your security system is the convenience of mobile alerts when the lights are activated. Plus, if you have security cameras, the lights can help you get better footage in low-light situations.
Do motion sensor lights deter burglars?
Motion lights deter nighttime burglars for these reasons:
- Burglars won’t have the cover of darkness to approach the house.
- Sometimes it’s hard to tell if someone turned on the light manually.
- If anyone inside the home (or even a neighbor) also saw the light come on, there’s a good chance they’ll look for suspicious activity.
- The motion light might set off a secondary, furry alarm that wakes up the family with barking.
Still, if a burglar knows the house is empty and that neighbors don’t have a good view, they might take the risk anyway, or they might come back during the day when the lights don’t affect your security. This is why it’s important to use other security measures like locks, security systems, and security cameras to fortify your home against intruders.