Best Outdoor Motion Sensor Lights
No one wants to think about the possibility that their home might be targeted for a burglary or intrusion in the middle of the night. Installing outdoor security lights with motion sensor detection can instantly scare away a thief before they get to your front door. Outdoor motion sensor lights can also help you be more aware as a homeowner, prevent injuries, and scare away animals.
With so many options, it can be difficult to choose the right outdoor motion sensor lights for your home. That’s where the This Old House Reviews Team comes in. Our complete guide to outdoor motion lights will help you determine which products provide the best home security for your property.
Top 3 Outdoor Motion Sensor Lights
It’s never been easier to find powerful, energy efficient, and motion-activated lights online. Here are three of our favorite models.
1. Hyperikon LED Security Light
Pros & Cons
✔ Waterproofing and temperature testing mean that the light is safe to use in even extreme temperatures or during storms
✔ 1,800 lumens cast a powerful light when the motion sensor is triggered
✔ Can detect motion up to 40 feet away from the sensor
✘ Some reviews complain that the dual heads are poorly attached and are difficult to move and readjust
✘ Some reviewers claim that the LED lights are low quality and burned out sooner than expected
The Hyperikon LED outdoor light is an IP65 waterproof floodlight that produces some of the most powerful outdoor lighting in the industry, and it’s a green option. With 1,800 lumen bulbs and a motion sensor that can detect movement up to 40 feet, the Hyperikon provides excellent protection and detection for a single home. The light’s dual-headed design extends the light’s functionality even further, and each head has a cap range of motion of 350 degrees, allowing you to adjust the light to put more motion detection where you need it.
One of the biggest benefits of the Hyperikon LED light is that it’s suitable for all temperatures. The light has been tested in temperatures as low as -22 degrees Fahrenheit and as high as 120 degrees Fahrenheit. If you live in a very rainy part of the country, you’ll love the light’s IP65 rating, which confirms that the light is dust-tight and can withstand even the harshest weather situations.
2. Heath Zenith Motion-Sensing Security Light
Pros & Cons
✔ Energy Star compliant design saves energy
✔ Gorgeous brushed bronze design melds well with any type of home exterior
✔ The 150-degree motion sensor will detect anything in your yard or on your front porch
✘ Not IP65 rated, which means it may be less waterproof than competitors
✘ Shorter motion detection area
The Heath Zenith Motion-Sensing Security Light may be great for customers looking for a more stylish way to protect their home. The oil-rubbed bronze design and lantern style can blend well with any type of home decor and aesthetic and the finishing protects the interior light and helps the security light to withstand moderate weather conditions.
While the Heath Zenith Security Light does offer a great design, its functionality is equally as powerful. The light can detect motion up to 30 feet and the lantern features a 150-degree motion sensor, which makes it perfect for both small front door areas and large, open backyard spaces.
The Heath Zenith Security Light uses one 60 watt bulb, which isn’t included with the security light itself. The Heath Zenith light is also one of the only options we’ve seen that’s Energy Star certified, which means that it can be more cost-effective and better for the environment than competing security lights. Additionally, the light has been built with a photocell that determines the difference between night and day and will only activate during the evening hours.
3. Ring Floodlight Camera
Pros & Cons
✔ Includes a video camera that syncs with the Ring home security system
✔ 1,800 lumens provides your yard with powerful lighting
✔ Is able to sound a loud 110 decibel alarm remotely
✘ Cannot access all special features if you don’t have a Ring Alarm security system or an Alexa home assistant
✘ May not be as useful for homeowner who don’t value smart home compatibility
If you’re familiar with Amazon, you might already have a Ring home security system for your property. But did you know that the company also offers a wide range of additional accessories that can enhance your home security?
The Ring Floodlight Camera doubles as both a security camera and an outdoor motion detection light. The light streams the exterior of your home when activated in 1080HD and illuminates your yard with 1,800 lumens, which is one of the more powerful lights we’ve seen. In addition to video and lighting, the Ring Floodlight can also sound a loud alarm remotely.
Read more: Ring Security System Review
What to Consider Before Buying an Outdoor Motion Sensor Light
Picking the ideal outdoor motion sensor light is not always easy. With hundreds of lighting options available online, choosing the right product can be tough. Here are a few factors to consider before choosing the best outdoor lighting option for you.
- The range that each outdoor motion sensor light can detect movement (larger yards may require more sensors or sensors with a wider range)
- How bright the light will be when it kicks on
- The options you have for powering your outdoor lights (some lights may need a direct power connection, while motion-activated LED lights and LED bulbs often use a small batter for power)
- How the light will look outside
- How easy the installation process is and how much time you’ll need to devote to installation
- What type of bulb the light will have and how often you’ll need to change it
Benefits of Outdoor Motion Sensor Lights
When you want to make the outside area of your home or business as safe as possible, one of the best options on the market is outdoor motion sensor lights. These lights provide increased safety from falls, give you more flexibility when performing outdoor tasks like taking out the garbage, and can deter potential intruders.
There are several reasons that both homeowners and business owners add outdoor motion sensor lights to the outside of their property, including:
- Enhanced safety—Outdoor lights that come with motion sensors will automatically turn on when someone passes by them. This means fewer slips and falls, plus an easier time moving around objects that could lead to an injury.
- Crime deterrence—Outdoor security lights put a literal spotlight on potential intruders’ activity, which is often enough to get them to leave and not return.
- Animal prevention—Deer can cause problems in your garden and other damage around your property. Lights with motion detection provide a humane and harmless way to scare animals away from dusk to dawn.
- Improved lighting in dark areas—By adding simple outdoor motion sensor lights, stairways and backyards can become easily lit without permanently installed lighting fixtures.
- Affordability—By only having a light turn on when it’s essential, the cost of the light is minimal. Outdoor motion sensor lights are on for very short periods of time, which can extend their energy efficiency. Because there are no ongoing battery expenses with these lights, installing solar lights outdoors can be an even more affordable way to light your property.
Looking for comprehensive security packages for your home? Check out our recommended providers:
Frequently Asked Questions About Outdoor Motion Sensor Lights
How do motion sensor lights work?
Once motion sensor lights are installed, they only turn on when triggered due to the motion sensor on the front of the light. When some type of movement passes in front of the light, it triggers the light to turn on. Most lights won’t trigger during the day, so you’ll likely only have light at night.
What lightbulb is best for outdoor motion sensor lights?
The actual light bulb and wattage that’s best for an outdoor motion sensor light will depend on the outdoor motion sensor light you go with. When it comes to the type of bulb, most experts recommend that you use LED lights. White and bright LED lights use very little battery power, which allows them to last longer.
Do motion sensor lights deter burglars?
Most burglars choose to target homes during the night, when they believe that the family isn’t home or is asleep and won’t notice their activity. Adding outdoor motion sensor lights makes it much more difficult for the burglar to remain hidden. When the light is triggered, burglars may leave the property in fear of being caught.
How much area should my motion sensor light cover?
Outdoor motion sensor lights can cover a wide range of spaces; some may only illuminate a small space, such as a stairwell, while others have a much wider range, illuminating larger spaces like your backyard. For the most effective coverage, outdoor motion sensor lights should cover between 75 and 100 square feet of the area when lit.
Can my motion sensor lights work year round?
Yes, motion sensor lights work in all seasons and can help you detect burglars no matter the layout of your home or yard. If you live in an area that regularly experiences extreme temperatures (like the South in the summer), you may want to pay special attention to the temperatures the light has been tested in to ensure that it won’t be hindered by the temperature.
Our Rating Methodology
The This Old House Reviews Team backs up our home security recommendations with a detailed rating methodology that we use to objectively score each provider. Our research includes analyzing product specifications, reviewing service and plan information, speaking with customer service representatives, and analyzing customer reviews. We then score the provider against our review standards for system options, special features, installation options, connectivity and smart-home automation features, pricing, contract terms, warranty, usability, availability of a trial period, and trustworthiness to arrive at a final score out of 100.
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