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Decorative Motion Detector Outdoor Lights

Benefits Of Outdoor Motion Sensor Lights

Motion Activated Outdoor Decorative Lighting

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:

Looking for comprehensive security packages for your home? Check out our recommended providers:

Floodlights And Motion Lights For Increased Safety

It can be hard to see well or move comfortably around the outside of your home when the sun goes down. Installing the right security lights can help you navigate the dark with ease but adds several security benefits as well.

Well-lit walkways, decks and patios can make approaching visitors visible to both you and any surveillance cameras surrounding your property. With a host of outdoor motion lights and security floodlight options available, would-be intruders might think twice before getting the wrong idea.

The Best Decorative Motion

  • Motion detection range: 40 feet
  • Power: hardwired

If you want your motion-sensor lights to have a more decorative look than traditional models, this set of two industrial farmhouse-style lanterns is a nice alternative. The integrated dusk to dawn lighting mode keeps the lanterns lit at 25% brightness when dusk falls, and turns them up to 100% brightness when motion is detected within 40 feet. At dawn, the lights sensors deactivate to conserve power. If you want full illumination on a temporary basis, the manual override setting keeps the lights on for eight hours, then automatically turns them off at dawn. The housing is weather- and rust-resistant, and the seeded glass offers a unique design upgrade. Due to the variable brightness options, only dimmable incandescent light bulbs should be used with these lanterns to prevent flickering.

Helpful review: These lights are awesome! I ordered 2 for my front porch, liked them so much I ordered 2 more for the back of the house. Even the electrician commented about how nice they were. Lights stay low until motion is detected & then they become very bright. Very sensitive to motion. The bulbs are replaced from the bottom so no more climbing up a ladder to take the top off to change the bulb. Very nicely constructed. Lights up the yard quite far from the house.

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Where To Put Motion Lights

Ideally, its best to mount motion sensing lights six to 10 feet above the ground and positioned so that most movement will occur across the sensitivity zone, rather than directly toward the detector. This project walks you through the installation for hard-wired lights, so youll have to take into account access to electrical outlets or wires. There are wireless options available too. One key advantage of hard-wired lights is that youll have a steady, reliable source of power and wont have to worry about changing batteries or having ample sunlight to charge solar-powered lights.

Baxia Technology Solar Motion Sensor Lights: Best Path Lights

Heath Zenith Decorative Outdoor Wall Light with Motion Sensor

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Baxias motion sensor lights are an ideal option for path lights because they come in a two-pack. This allows you to line a path or steps at regular intervals for full lighting coverage. While you can also mount them higher up on a wall, we think these lights are perfect for paths.

While you can’t reposition the lights like on our top two picks, the top-mounted solar panels make for reliable nighttime lighting without fussy wiring. The integrated passive infrared sensor spots heat sources like a warm body, so these lights won’t trigger when falling leaves drift past them.

We like that these lights are so affordable, about $13 apiece , though you need to buy four at a time since they don’t come in smaller packs. They also have some of the best weatherproof ratings of any light on our list. These lights are water resistant and can withstand both extreme cold and extreme heat. Best of all, they come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

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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 youre looking for motion sensor lighting, you should have less worry about incandescent lights heating up from being left on too long.

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
  • How bright the light will be when it kicks on
  • The options you have for powering your outdoor lights
  • How the light will look outside
  • How easy the installation process is and how much time youll need to devote to installation
  • What type of bulb the light will have and how often youll need to change it

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How Much Weatherproofing Do I Need

In order to deflect raindrops and protect the electrical components inside, a motion sensor light should have an ingress protection rating of IP44 or higher. If the rating is lower, the light needs an enclosure for outdoor operation.

What is an ingress protection rating?

Ingress protection ratings define how well a device prevents solids and liquids from making their way inside a product’s casing where they can damage sensitive components. Every IP rating uses two digits to express this with the first digit signifying solids and the second meaning liquids . Higher numbers mean greater resistance.1

  • Solids ratings range from 06.
  • Liquids ratings range from 08.
  • An X in either field means it’s untested in that category.

For example, an IP68 rating totally protects against dust and full immersion in water.

What Type Of Power Source Is Best

Installing a Secure Home Motion Activated Outdoor Wall Light

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 dont have to install them near an electrical outlet. But solar panels need to be affixed where theyll 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.

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Best Smart: Philips Hue Outdoor Sensor


  • Works with existing outdoor light fixtures

  • Integrates well with other smart-home devices

  • Requires Hue bulbs

  • No built-in lighting

The Philips Hue Dusk-to-Dawn motion sensor is a smart motion detector that can turn your existing outdoor light fixtures into motion-controlled lighting. It works by replacing the bulbs in your exterior light fixtures with Hue smart bulbs and then setting up the Philips Hue Dusk-to-Dawn sensor. The smart bulbs will then turn on whenever the Hue sensor detects motion. This system allows you to connect multiple sensors to cover various parts of the exterior of your home, and you can also set the sensors to activate smart outlets and other smart devices.

The downside is that this is just a sensor, not an all-in-one motion-sensing light. This model isnt what youre looking for if you just want to attach a motion-sensing light to your wall and call it a day. However, its an excellent option if youre into smart home gear. It comes with many mounting options, so you can install it flush on a wall, a corner, or even on a freestanding pole, and it allows you to activate any compatible smart lights. With Hue, you can have more than a motion-sensing light for security. You can turn on all outdoor and indoor lights or even activate a smart speaker with a warning message.

Price at time of publish:$50

Flush Mount Motion Sensor Outdoor Lighting 4 Results

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Best Floodlights: Sansi 45w Motion Sensor Outdoor Floodlight

Home Depot

  • Enough light to illuminate a yard or driveway

  • Independently adjustable lights

  • Too bright for some applications

The two most important things to look for in a floodlight are brightness and the ability to direct the light exactly where you need it. The SANSI 6000LM Super Bright Security Light puts out an impressive 6,000 lumens, enough to flood your entire yard and driveway with light. It includes two arrays with three super-bright LEDs, and you can position each ray independently. You can rotate the lights up, down, in, or out to cover your property without bothering the neighbors.

This motion-sensing floodlight has a massive detection distance of up to 72 feet, and its able to sense motion in a 180-degree range. It features many adjustment options, including leaving the lights on for between 10 seconds and 10 minutes after each activation. If you need some extra security, the dusk-to-dawn mode keeps the lights on all night. The light also has an IP65 rating, which means its certified to stand up to the heaviest of rains.

Price at time of publish:$50

Dimensions: 10.2 x 6.1 x 4.8 inches | Range: 72 feet | Detection Angle: 180 degrees | Wattage: 45 watts | Power Source: AC

The Best Smart Motion

14"  Weathered Bronze Decorative Security Wall Light Motion Sensor ...
  • Motion detection range: up to 70 feet

includes a two-head light fixture that offers 2,000 lumens of brightness, a motion sensor, and a bridge that allows you to connect the lights to other Ring accessories like smart doorbells and cameras. The system is compatible with Alexa-enabled devices, allowing you to activate lighting remotely from your phone or by using voice commands. Notifications and settings like the lights motion sensitivity can be adjusted via the Ring app, where you can also change the lights schedule and adjust the stay-on duration anywhere from 30 seconds to five minutes. The weather-resistant housing is available in black and white, and the two heads are angle-adjustable to provide 180 degrees of illumination.

Helpful review: The light is very bright, which I like. Great app features, which include setting specific times you want the light to be on or off, as well as how long the light stays on when you have it set to come on when it detects motion . Installation was a cinch .

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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. Thats 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.

Special Security Light Features

The selection of security floodlights and spotlights at Ace ensures you have your pick of the right lights for your set-up, with special features like:

  • Dusk to Dawn lighting designed to turn on and off when its most needed.
  • Motion-sensing ability to turn on when movement is detected.
  • Motion-sensing lights with automatic turn-offs after no motion is detected for specified intervals.
  • Weather and UV resistant lenses for greater durability in the elements.
  • Wi-Fi capabilities to better integrate your security lighting with a smart home system.
  • Energy-saving, solar-power options that can be installed wherever theres direct sunlight.

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Best Wireless: Lepower Solar Security Light 1000lm


  • Bright for a battery-powered light

  • Solar panel cord isnt very long

  • Range seems shorter than advertised

  • Only stays on up to two minutes in Auto mode

The LEPOWER Solar Security Light 1000LM is exceptionally bright for a solar-powered security light, and its battery-powered, so its a perfect fit wherever electricity isnt available. The remote solar panel makes it a lot easier to keep the battery charged, and it has all the functionality and features of a more expensive hard-wired security light.

The problem with most solar security lights is that its challenging to keep them charged, but LEPOWER solved that problem. Instead of a built-in solar panel, this security light includes a separate panel with a 15-foot cord. While the cord isnt very long, it allows you to mount the light where it needs to be, like under the eaves of your roof, and place the solar panel up on the roof where it will get the most sun. In automatic mode, the light stays on only for a maximum of 2 minutes, but you have the option of always-on mode, which can keep the lights on for 90 minutes when fully charged.

Price at time of publish:$45

Dimensions: 10 x 8.5 x 4.8 inches | Range: 72 feet | Detection Angle: 180 degrees | Wattage: 4.4 watts | Power Source: Battery, solar

The 8 Best Outdoor Motion Sensor Lights Of 2022

How to Install Outdoor Motion Lights

Our favorite is the LEONITE LED Motion Sensor Flood Light

We independently research, test, review, and recommend the bestproductslearn more about our process. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

The Spruce / Chloe Jeong

Outdoor security lights with motion sensing can help keep your home safe from intruders, and they also provide light exactly where you need it, when you need it, during the darkest hours of the night.

The main purpose of motion sensor lights is to protect your home, which is why you should mount security sensors near points of entry, says Edward Jones, a home lighting expert and founder of HomeCareHow. You should also equip any high traffic area with motion sensors. This will not only protect your home from intruders, but also prevent slip and fall accidents.

We researched and tested lighting options for ease of use and installation, brightness, and detection range and angle to find the best models for various scenarios. Our favorite, the LEONITE LED Motion Sensor Flood Light, is exceptionally easy to install and set up and lets you adjust the sensors, lights, detection range, and the amount of time the light stays on.

Here are the best outdoor motion sensor lights.

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Sengled Smartsense: Best Motion Sensor Light Bulb

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These Sengled Smartsense motion sensor lightbulbs are an excellent option for folks with existing flood light fixtures. Because they screw into a standard light socket, they’re a breeze to install. Since you don’t need to replace a light fixture, these bulbs are an affordable way to get motion detection lighting.

At 1,200 lumens apiece, these are some of the brightest motion sensor lights on our list, allowing them to outshine all but our top pickthough it’s easily brighter than the LeonLite if you put both bulbs in the same fixture.

While these bulbs are affordable, they’re only effective when you put them in the right type of light fixturesince the motion detector is on the tip of the light bulbs. If you don’t have a downward-facing light fixture or an adjustable flood light, they won’t spot motion as people approach.

Shop Security Lights At Ace Hardware

Extend the hours you can use your outdoor space and ensure you have reliable outdoor illumination for safety with security lights from Ace Hardware. Shop landscape and deck lighting, flush-mounted lights and more for a comprehensive outdoor lighting system, as well as security cameras for your home safety setup.

Need help? Call 1-866-290-5334

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Barn Light Motion Sensor Outdoor Lighting 2 Results

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How Much Area Should My Motion Detector Lights Cover

allen + roth 39479, 39508 Castine Motion Activated Decorative Security ...

The amount of coverage provided by a motion light is determined by the motion sensor range and the brightness of the light bulbs. If youre 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.

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