Security Sensor Lights
Sensor lights can be purchased in two basic styles, each will have advantages and disadvantages. You can buy sensor lights with a light fitting combined or a separate sensor to control an existing light or lights. What are the pro's and con's.
Combination sensor and light.
- Easy to install, just replace your existing light.
- Cost effective.
- Limited to a small detection range.
- Some not suitable with energy saving bulbs.
- Licensed electrician to install
Security Sensor only
- No limit to where you would like to detect an area
- Can control more than one light point
- Licensed electrician to install
- Can be expensive to install
- Sensor units are more reliable
Motion sensors lights are used
- For security, scaring off intruders.
- For convenience, no more fumbling in the dark for switches or using a shoulder to bump the switch when both hands are full of groceries.
- To save electricity, no more forgetting to switch off lights, worrying about forgetting after having left the house, reminding the kids to remember to switch off.
All Senor lights above come in different color codes and are available in twin and single weatherproof units and can be installed for outdoor use.
Motion Security Sensor Detector Basics
Motion detectors need to automatically switch lights on and off. Like, some do not work well with compact fluorescent lamps (CFL). If CFLs are to be used, the motion detector should be stated by the manufacturer as being suitable for CFLs (or electronic ballasts).
Motion detectors can be
- Auto-on, auto-off.
- Manual-on, auto-off. This is good for indoor use, to avoid falsely triggering the light when walking past.
A manual override (both on and off) is also useful.
Motion Sensor Manual and InstructionsFor instructions to reset, test, trouble shooting guide, or operate you sensor please Read Manual Here.....
The number of minutes the lights switch on should be adjustable. Outdoor lights can typically be adjusted from 1 to 10 minutes. Indoor lights can go up to 30 or 60 minutes to avoid constant on/off cycles.
Detection angles can range from 90 to 360 degrees, depending on the model and expected usage. To avoid false triggering, some sensors have adjustable blinds to reduce the detection angle. Black sticky tape can also be used to cover part of the sensor.
Manufacturers claim anything from 1 to 30 metres for maximum detection ranges. Detection ranges or reaction time (switch on time) can get worse if the temperature drops. For cold climates, the minimum operating temperature of the sensor should be checked.
Motion Sensor Outdoor Security Lights, Porch Lights and Flood Lights
Motion sensor outdoor lights can look like normal porch and flood lights. They have standard sockets for incandescent and CFL bulbs, or quartz halogen lights.
Useful features include
- Adjustable sensor range/sensitivity to avoid false triggers from street traffic, wind-blown bushes or trees. Sometimes adjusting doesn't work and the bushes or trees need to be trimmed or cut down.
- Photocell to avoid switching on in daylight.
- Two brightness levels: timer-based medium brightness for general illumination (dusk to dawn or dusk plus 3 or 6 hours), high brightness when motion is detected to scare off intruders.
Solar Powered Motion Sensor Lights
Solar powered lights don't need wiring but most home units lack power/brightness. They can be useful for some small outdoor applications.
- Easy to install. No electrical wiring needed.
- Will work even if mains electricity supply is cut.
- Limited power and brightness, usually LEDs are used.
- Requires direct sunlight for the solar panel. Will not work well in shaded areas and during rainy weather or winter.
- Rechargeable batteries need to be changed every few years.
Home Motion Sensor Light Switches
For indoor use, the motion sensor isn't normally built into lamps. Instead motion sensors are built into
- Standard wall switches, hard-wired by the electrician to ceiling or wall lights.
- Standard wall sockets, for plug-in table lamps and night lights.
This is for maximum flexibility, because any existing lights can be used.
Some can be wired as 3-way switches, either with a manual switch (acting as a manual override) or with another sensor. This allows the light to be switched from two locations.
Some pass-through motion sensors don't need any wiring
- Plugging into wall sockets, and allowing other plugs to plug into their electrical socket.
- Screwing into lamp sockets, and allowing lamps to screw into their lamp socket.
As with outdoor sensors, photocells are used to stop the sensor from switching the lights on during daytime. However some rooms are relatively dark even in daylight, causing the sensor to switch the light on. In such situations the sensor should be placed in a brighter corner of the room, or a manual-on/auto-off switch can be used.
Battery-Powered LED Motion Sensor Lights
As with solar systems, battery-powered motion sensor lights use LEDs to maximize the limited electrical power available.
Many are small and light, palm-sized, easy to mount with just double-sided tape. They are suitable for closets, basements, garages and other low traffic areas.
Batteries should be AA or AAA for higher energy capacity. Small button or coin cell batteries will need more frequent replacement.
The Best Motion Sensor Light
There are a wide variety of motion sensors, suitable for different situations and requirements. Choosing the right sensor and lamp combination involves knowing the usage scenarios and wiring limitations.
Problem areas to look out for include
- Sensors that are too sensitive, switching on when not wanted.
- Sensors that are not sensitive enough, switching on too late.
- Unreliable switches, failing after a few weeks or months.
- Sensors that need to be manually reset after a electrical mains power cut and restoration.