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Overhaul Your Home’s Security with Motion Detector Lights

Learn all about motion detector lights, including best motion detector lights and how they work.

Are Motion Detector Lights Worth It?

Modern geothermal home with multiple outdoor light fixtures.

The more important use for a motion sensor light is its ability to light up large areas, thereby massively improving the efficacy of your security cameras. With motion detection, flood lights won’t be a constant irritating presence, only coming on when they are needed.

How Do Motion Detector Lights Work?

It’s a great way to keep lights off when no one is around but be wary of the fact that some materials (namely glass) aren’t transparent to infrared; if an intruder crossed your property by skirting around or entering a greenhouse, for instance, motion detector lights outdoors might miss this.

House at night with a bright porch light on.

Types of Motion Detector Light

Though all motion detector lights on the market will likely function via PIR technology, brands will market their lighting differently depending on their specific features.

LED Motion Sensor Light

Light-emitting diodes are used in most modern motion sensor lights. Low power consumption and a longer lifespan make them a great source of light indoors and out. Most options available nowadays will use LED, and we’d recommend looking for an LED option regardless of how you’re going to be using it. Check out some below.

LEONLIGHT LED Security LightYoutob Motion Sensor LED Ceiling LightUME 19w LED Flood Light
Best for outdoorsBest for indoorsBest for outdoors
HardwiredIP65 waterproof180° sensing angle and 70ft long sensing rangeHardwiredCeiling fixtureDay and Night modes90°-120° sensing angleHardwiredIP65 waterproof3 light time modes50ft sensing range
From $55.99From $23.99From $34.99

Solar Motion Sensor Light

HMCITY Solar LightsAlotSun Motion Sensor Solar Landscape SpotlightsMSG Solar Street Lights
Best for external wallsBest for gardenBest for yard/driveway
120 LED bulbsIP65 waterproof270° wide lighting angle, illuminates up 30m23 lighting modesLED bulbsIP68 waterproofFork shaped to be fit into the ground3 lighting modesLED bulbsWorks in -30℃-50℃ temperaturesStreet lamp shape for easy mounting or pole fixing
From $21.99From $26.99From $179

Wireless Motion Sensor Light

SOLLA Outdoor Motion Sensor LightPRIORARE Motion Sensor Closet LightYoutob Battery powered LED Ceiling Light
Best for customizationBest for indoorsBest for wet indoor and semi-open spaces
LED bulbsIP65 waterproofLong battery life (3x D-cell batteries)Customizable brightness, lighting time, and sensitivity rangeLED bulbsRechargeable battery using USB cableDiscreet and chicMagnetic strip for easy mounting on metal surfacesLED bulbsIP54 waterproofCordless battery powered (3x D-cell batteries)Ceiling fixture that can be mounted in wet spaces, like walk-in showers and bathrooms
From $39.99From $39.99From $19.99

Where To Use Motion Detector Lights

Motion Detector Lights Indoor

Installing motion detector lights indoors isn’t nearly as common as it is outdoors. After all, it would be pretty annoying to have a light come on and off when heading to the kitchen for a midnight snack. 

Smart lighting for the home is based more around the premise of voice control, so you can have lights come on and off without a physical switch (that way you won’t end up in pitch black darkness when you’re chilling on the sofa). 

A more common solution for inside the home is a night light, which uses a sensor to come on when it is dark. These are far more subtle, weaker lights, so won’t be a source of irritation.

Credit: Smart Home Solver

Motion Detector Lights Outdoor

Far more common is introducing motion detector lights outdoors as porch lights, entryway lights, and around the garden. This can be really useful—at night-time, you’ll know instantly should someone approach your home. 

A flood light can be useful if you have a particularly large driveway, or a gated section, since it will greatly maximize visibility for large areas.

Porch lights should be your priority when it comes to installing motion detector lights, since doors and entry points are the most vulnerable parts of the home. Combined with a porch camera or video doorbell, there’ll be no question as to who is attempting to gain access to your home. 

Credit: Peter Homer

For large driveways, motion-activated lights make it easier to safely park vehicles. Lighting up the exterior of your home may have some impact on deterring burglars, but you will be safer by considering exterior lighting an ‘additional’ part of your home security rather than a necessity.


Do motion lights deter burglars?

Where do you put motion sensor lights?

Outdoors locations, like porches, driveways, and on the side of the home, are the most beneficial places. Inside the home can be a nuisance, but they can be useful in lighting up spaces that aren’t regularly occupied, like walk-in closets, garages, greenhouses, and basements.

Do motion sensors use a lot of electricity?

How long do motion lights stay on?

This is entirely dependent on the product itself. Many will feature customizable settings or different lighting options, so that you can adjust how long you want them to stay on for once they detect motion.

Does a motion light need a switch?

No. Motion lights are ‘switched on’ by motion, which is generally detected through shifting infrared.