There are many options available on the market, ranging from the basic night lights meant to illuminate your path from the garage to the front door, to pro-level floodlight security systems that can be combined with camera surveillance and other protection methods.
Keep reading for the best motion sensor light options and an in-depth buyer’s guide.
Best Motion Sensor Light Reviews
BAXIA TECHNOLOGY BX-SL-101 Solar Lights Outdoor 28 LED Wireless Waterproof Security Solar Motion Sensor Lights, (400LM,4 Packs)
Aootek Solar lights outdoor 182 Leds 2500Lm Solar motion sensor lights IP65 Waterpro of with Wide Anglefor Patio Garden Garage Yard Front Door(2pack)
LEPOWER 1500LM Solar Lights Outdoor, LED Motion Sensor Security Light, 6000K, IP65 Waterproof, Adjustable Head Flood Light with 2 Modes Automatic and Permanent on, for Entryways, Patio, Yard (White)
1. Baxia Technology Solar Lights
If you need nighttime illumination of your front porch, driveway, or a dark stairwell, you might want to opt for a smaller and more economical set of lights. That’s where the Baxia Technology Solar Outdoor Lights come in. This model has sufficient power for basic illumination of small areas around the house. However, if you need to cover a large backyard, you would be better off with something brighter.
The Baxia Technology Solar Outdoor Lights is an affordable way to introduce some basic and low-cost night lights around your property. A light assembly offers 400 Lumens of light, enough to light your path from the garage to the front door. It has 28 LED lights, arranged in four rows of seven, as well as a built-in motion sensor and a solar panel. You get 4 of them in an order.
The motion sensor works at distances of up to 10 feet, putting this model firmly in the family use category. Nonetheless, its working angle is a pretty respectable 120°. The solar panel on top of the unit is made of polysilicon and can fully charge the 1,200 mAh onboard Li-ion battery in 8 hours, provided there’s enough sunshine.
To increase the longevity of this wireless model, Baxia Technology has left the dim mode out, leaving only a full on/off mode. When the sensor picks up motion, the lights will stay on for 30 seconds, enough to leisurely reach the front door or ascend the stairs.
The Solar Outdoor Lights are rated IP65 waterproof and can work in low temperatures. They are also heat-resistant, making them great for places with significant temperature fluctuations. They’re wireless, easy to install and require ample sunshine to work properly.
What’s to like about the Baxia Technology Solar Lights
The compact Baxia Technology lights are self-sufficient, wireless, and easy to install anywhere. They offer a decent level of brightness and can recharge the batteries relatively quickly on a sunny day.
What’s not to like about the Baxia Technology Solar Lights
On the downside, the light is not nearly bright enough to illuminate larger areas, and rainy or overcast weather might leave you without working night lights.
- Affordable 4-pack
- Low maintenance
- Not suitable for large areas
- No backup power
2. Aootek LED Solar Lights
Good night light systems should, in addition to reliability and ample power, have the ability to work in different modes. If you’re on the hunt for a versatile and adjustable lighting system for your home, you might want to check out the Aootek LED Solar Lights. This solar-powered model offers more than enough light for an average house.
The Aootek LED Solar Lights comes as a pack of two. Each light assembly has 48 LED lights, strategically positioned for 180° illumination. Each of them is bright enough to serve more than lighting the garage to the front door, but also your backyard or outdoor patio.
Each assembly is equipped with a PIR motion detection sensor that can pick up motion at distances of up to 26 feet and 120° angle. The monocrystalline solar panel on top is connected to a 2,200 mAh Li-ion battery and can convert up to 19% of sunshine into electricity.
This model has three modes of operation. The Bright Long Light mode turns the light on when it gets dark and keeps them on until the battery runs out. The Dim Light Sensor mode turns on the light at a dimmer setting when it gets dark. When the sensor picks up motion, the lights go into the “bright” mode for a period of 30 seconds. The Sensor mode keeps the lights off and turns them on only when the motion detector is activated.
The Aootek LED Solar Lights is rated IP65 waterproof and heatproof. The package also contains the installation tools and a user’s manual.
What’s to like about the Aootek LED Solar Lights
This model has three programmable operation modes, superb illumination angle, and an efficient solar panel. Also, it is water and heatproof.
What’s not to like about the Aootek LED Solar Lights
The Achilles heel of this model is its dependency on fair weather for the energy supply.
- Bright lights
- Three operation modes
- Wide illumination angle
- Efficient solar panel
- Depends on fair weather for energy supply
3. LePower Solar LED Security Light
Flood lights are designed for larger outdoor areas and the LePower Solar LED Security Light is an affordable and highly adjustable example.
The LePower Solar LED Security Light is two-headed and independently adjustable. This allows you to cover larger areas. Each head is equipped with eight LED lights with a combined brightness of 1,500 Lumens. Both heads are connected to a single 3,000 mAh Li-ion battery.
The solar panel comes in a separate unit that’s equipped with a 15-ft. cord. This is so that you can better position the solar panel elsewhere from the light assembly, though it’s supposed to work in rainy and overcast conditions. The motion sensor can be set to work at 20 ft., 33 ft., and 49 ft. ranges, while the maximum detection angle is 180°.
This model has auto and permanent-on modes. The former only turns the lights on when the sensor picks up movement. The waterproof rating is IP65, with the color temperature is 6,000-6,500K.
What’s to like about the LePower Solar LED Security Light
This floodlight offers plenty of brightness, two operation modes, three motion sensor settings, as well as a pair of fully adjustable light heads. It is also environmentally friendly.
What’s not to like about the LePower Solar LED Security Light
There isn’t a backup power source or alternative way of charging the battery.
- 3,000 lumens in all
- Independent heads
- IP65 waterproof rating
- Outboard solar panel
- Sole reliance on solar power
When buying a motion sensor light system, there are many things to consider. First, you should decide on the type of bulbs, which nowadays means LEDs or otherwise. Next, you should take the motion detector’s range and power source into consideration.
Aside from these, the best motion sensor light has to be durable and weather-resistant. Finally, you should set a budget that’s commensurate to your needs.
Type of Bulb
Night lights come with many types of bulbs, mostly LEDs and standard bulbs. However, some systems also use energy-saving bulbs and even smart bulbs. Here’s a word or two on each type.
Standard light bulbs
Standard light bulbs are the least efficient of the bunch, drawing more power and giving comparably poor results.
Energy-saving light bulbs
Some manufacturers install these in an effort to improve the efficiency of their systems. However, the tradeoff is that they’re seriously underpowered when compared to the rest.
Smart light bulbs
Smart light bulbs feature Bluetooth for remote control. They are a good option if you don’t need much light and want the ability to program them from inside the house.
LEDs are the most popular option. They’re now relatively affordable which contributes to their widespread use in both standard night lights and flood lights.
Motion Detection Range
The range is the maximum distance that a sensor can pick up motion. As a rule, motion sensors can only work up to a certain range and angle (90° to 180°). Some models allow you to decrease the range.
The sensors on night lights usually work up to 20 feet. On the other hand, security flood lights may be equipped with sensors that work up to 50 or more feet.
You should pick a motion detection range that suits your purpose. For example, if you have a tiny front yard, you won’t need a powerful motion detector, lest it might even pick up vehicles driving past your street. However, if you want to protect a large yard from trespassers and potential thieves, go for the rangiest sensor.
Of course, you can always opt to buy a system without a motion sensor and pair it with a superior aftermarket model.
There are two main options here – solar power and electricity. Here are the pros and cons of each approach.
Solar-powered models are environmentally friendly and free to operate. Also, many of them are wireless and have high-capacity Li-ion batteries rated for tens of thousands of work hours (assuming LED lights). The biggest potential problem with solar power is that the sun is needed to recharge the batteries. Typically, they can’t be plugged into a wall outlet as a second power source, not even just to recharge the battery.
Electric lights are reliable and independent of weather. Of course, they require more work to install but they’re also cheaper and available in much higher brightness than solar lights. The cables can be potentially hazardous as even the best-built cable jacket will degrade over time in the elements.
When buying a night light or flood light, make sure to check the system’s durability before purchasing. There are several things you want to pay attention to. They include waterproof and temperature ratings, hours rating (if the system runs on batteries), and quality of construction.
Since the lights will typically be installed outside, they need to be at least water-resistant. Ideally, they should have either IP65 or IP67 waterproof rating. Models that are rated IP67 can withstand rain, snow, and damp weather for prolonged periods of time.
Since the outdoor temperature can vary dramatically between the seasons, it is good to have a system that can withstand both the winter cold and the summer heat. Always check if the model you want to buy has the right temperature ratings for your climate.
All batteries have a limited capacity. For solar LED lights, the rated hours are usually in tens of thousands of hours. More is better but it might also cost more or the light might not be as bright. These are the things that a manufacturer can play with to increase or decrease this rating.
Quality of materials and build
Since the system will be continuously exposed to the elements, it needs to be made of sturdy and resilient materials. Always inspect the build quality and the materials used before making the purchase.
Finally, the price of the motion sensor light should play a role in your decision. First, set an initial budget and make a list of features the system has to have. Select several options that have all or most of the key features on your list and compare them to your budget. If the selected models cost more, consider increasing the budget or modifying your list.
How to Reset Outdoor Motion Sensor Light?
If your night light remains stuck in off or on after a power cut, you can reset it in minutes without any tools. Here’s how it’s done.
- Locate the system’s power switch and turn the system off.
- Wait for around 30 seconds (note that some lights may require as much as 60 minutes to reset) and turn it back on.
- Turn the light switch on and off several times to make sure the system went back to normal.
If this doesn’t work, consult the user manual or contact the vendor or manufacturer.
How to Install Motion Sensor Light?
Installation of a new motion sensor light is in most cases simple and quick, especially with solar-powered lights. However, if you’ve bought an electrical light, here are the basic installation steps. Note that the steps might vary from manufacturer to manufacturer and always consult the user manual before installing the new lights.
- First, turn the circuit breaker off. Test the wires before proceeding to step 2.
- Follow the user manual and connect the wires as specified.
- Once the wires are properly connected, screw the fixture of the reflector into place. Make sure the electrical box is properly sealed. If needed, seal it with silicone or another adhesive.
- Adjust the motion detector and lights to your liking.
How to Wire a Motion Sensor to an Existing Light?
The simplest way to go about this one is to replace the existing light bulb with one that has a motion detector.
You can also buy a two-piece system consisting of a USB power adapter and a motion-sensing camera. Screw the adapter into the power outlet as if it were a standard light bulb. Then, connect the camera to the USB socket and position it.
Alternatively, you could add a screw-in sensor switch. First, unscrew the light bulb. Screw the motion sensor in and screw the light bulb onto the adapter.
How to Program Motion Sensor Light Switch?
Motion sensor light systems usually come with controls at the bottom. Typically, you will be able to set the working mode, light intensity, the stay-on time when the sensor picks up motion, and the range of the sensor.
Some systems also have Bluetooth sensors and can be programmed via proprietary mobile apps. To make the most of the app, consult the user manual or contact the manufacturer. However, the app should be easy to navigate and programming the lights shouldn’t take you more than a couple of minutes.
How to Trick a Motion Sensor to Stay On?
Sometimes, instead of tricking the sensor to stay off, you might need to trick it into staying on. This might happen with systems that don’t have a “permanent on” setting.
In order to keep the light continuously on, you might want to install a small, battery-powered fan several inches in front of the sensor. That way, the sensor will continuously pick up motion and keep the lights on.
The time has come to wrap up the best motion sensor light review. If you’re looking for a system with powerful floodlights, then the LePower and Hyperikon models might be interesting to you. The former boasts 1,500 lumens of brightness, high quality solar panels, and IP67 waterproof rating. The latter has 1,800 lumens of brightness, exceptional adjustability options, and can work in extreme weather.
If you’re looking for an intermediate option, the Litom and Aootek systems might be your best options. The Litom model offers 550 Lumens, IP67 waterproof rating, and Li-ion batteries rated at 30,000 hours. The Aootek model has an exceptional motion sensor, three different working modes, and IP65 waterproof rating.
Finally, if you’re looking for some basic night lights, the Baxia Technology option might be the right one for you. It offers 400 Lumens of brightness per unit, IP65 waterproof rating, and a respectable 120° of motion sensor angle.