Motion sensor security lights (or motion detection lights) have 2 uses:
Another advantage of using a motion sensor light is that besides keeping your home safe and illuminated, it will lower your energy bill. One of the greatest features is that you can set up the motion sensor light so that it only lights up when it senses movement. There’s no need to remember to turn the outside lights off before going to bed or after leaving a room. The sensor will automatically shut the lights off after a specific period of time.
Outdoor motion sensor detection lights are used to illuminate areas around your house (such as a driveway, a shed, an alley or an area in your back yard) and indoor lights are use to provide light inside your home (such as a laundry room or a garage).
The motion sensor detects heat that radiates from moving objects, such as people and animals. When heat is detected, the sensor electronically turns the light on. The light will stay on for the period of time specified by you (usually between 1 and 5 minutes) and the sensor will then shut the light off, as long as there is no more movement.
Most motion detecting lights also come with a photocell, a sensor that reacts to light. The photocell is responsible for deactivating the light during daytime.
Lower cost motion sensor lights can sense movement for up to 30 feet and have a field of view of 120 to 180 degree. On the other hand, higher end light sensors can detect movement for up to 60 feet and have a field of view of 180 degree out plus 360 degree down for total detection.
Motion light sensors also operate as conventional lights. Simply push a button or flip a switch and the light will stay on, regardless of whether it senses movement or not.
The most common problem associated with motion detecting lights is false triggers. This happens when the light goes on, when it should not. Examples include the motion detector being triggered by passing bikes, cars or blowing leaves.
In order to address this issue, decrease the range of motion detection and limit the sensor’s field of view – if your specific fixture has these features. If not, you can at least narrow the field of view by applying some tape on the sensor.
Another option (which I recommend), is getting a more expensive motion light sensor (around $90). These higher end motion senor lights will not only allow you to adjusting the range of motion and the field of view, but they also have a more temperature-sensitive sensor that will drastically reduce false triggers.
Each brand has different installation procedures so make sure you read the instructions for your specific light. However, there are some general rules that apply to all installations.
Note: if you have a wireless motion sensor light, the installation is very easy since there’s no need to connect any wires. Simply attach the light to the wall using the screws provided.