Best Weather-resistant Motion Sensor Lights to Secure Your House at Nighttime
Review & Comparison, Last Update April 7, 2017
Coming back home in the evening and looking for keys in the dark is neither convenient nor safe thing to do. Enhance your family’s comfort and add security to your place by purchasing one of the best motion sensor lights that we’ve carefully handpicked for you....Read more...Read less
Motion sensor lights are the devices used mainly for illuminating outdoor areas at nighttime. What differs them from other lights is their built-in motion sensor which turns the light on only when it detects some movements within its angle and distance range, providing safety for you and low energy consumption for your budget.
The first thing to consider before buying a device is its light flux since it determines how well the chosen area will be illuminated. If you plan to install sensor lights on your patio or at the front door, medium brightness will be enough. However, illumination of a bigger area such as a yard or a garden requires a much brighter device. You might also be interested in units with a dim mode that emit the minimum amount of light (still enough to illuminate the complete darkness) and switch to the full brightness mode automatically when a movement is registered.
Since the main purpose of installing motion light devices is motion detection, the sensor features (an angle and distance range) should be taken into account too. Commonly, the angle of 180 degrees is considered to be the widest and hence, the most efficient one for illuminating big areas. If your patio or porch isn't that big, however, you could pick the light with a narrower angle. The distance range will tell you how big the area the light will illuminate. Today, motion sensor lights with adjustable features become more and more popular with consumers.
Finally, pay attention to the usability features of the lights:
Knowing the power supply, you will be able to find a suitable installation site for the light. Thus, if there's no power outlet next to the entrance door, you could choose either a solar motion light or a battery-powered one. The latter don't limit you in options and can be mounted literally anywhere.
Weatherproof features are crucial, especially if the light is to be installed in places with no roof eaves.
Adjustable light direction feature will come useful for those who, for any reason, cannot install several lights but would like to illuminate two or more areas.
If you need to illuminate different outdoor areas but don’t have an opportunity to install several lights, the Home Zone 64321 will become the best solution for you. It boasts two adjustable heads that can be set in two different directions. We feel the need to point out that each of the heads can be turned to the left/ right, as well as downward/ upward, allowing you to fix it at any position. Additionally, the light flux making 2137 lumens ensures really bright illumination of any area no matter where you eventually decide to install it. By the way, the device can be located both vertically and horizontally, so any surface, be it a wall, an eave, or a fence, is suitable for its installation.
All You Need for Convenience
Besides adjustable heads, this model also features an adjustable sensor that can be tilted in different directions. Taking into account 180° angle and 32.8-foot distance range of this motion light, you'll hardly need any other illumination equipment in your yard, even if it is not small.
Everything is Under Your Control
The Home Zone 64321 can be controlled manually with a special dial on a sensor. You can set the light to work either continuously or in a motion lighting mode, keeping it on only for a certain period of time after a movement has been registered (5 sec-7 min). What else we liked about the Home Zone 64321 is that it can be scheduled to light up at the time when you get back from work, etc. The light controls are pretty simple and intuitive.
Designed to Last You a Lifetime
It's worth saying a few words about the bulbs installed in these lights. According to the manufacturer, the bulbs they use serve for 22 years on average. Agree, that's a lot. You will need neither to bother to replace them nor think of using an alternative light source.
Home Zone 64321 LED Motion Floodlight
Sunforce 82080 Fully weather resistant
Sunforce 82080 Fully weather resistant
A Well-thought Design
Solar lights are probably the most favored solution by many users worldwide owing to their eco-friendly features and ability to work without being bound to an electricity grid. The only problem users may encounter with solar lights is finding the right installation site for them so that they would face up to the sun. If you've got the same kind of problem, consider the Sunforce LED solar motion sensor light comprising two units, one of which you can set anywhere on a wall and the other one on the roof. The distance between the two should be no bigger than 15 feet. To ensure that the light operates smoothly under any weather conditions, its casing is sealed and resistant to dust, moisture, and the sun. The installation is also very simple and quick. A couple of screws is all you need to fix it in place.
All you need to control the work of the Sunforce LED lights is three switches located on the main unit. The first one, placed behind the sensor, is aimed at switching the device on/off or choosing an automatic mode. Two other control buttons are neatly arranged on the rear of the sensor. There you can change the distance within a 30-foot range by choosing L, M, or H option. As for the time settings, the Sunforce LED can be programmed to stay on during a certain period of time adjustable within the range of 30-120 seconds. On top of that, you can change sensor's position to control a preferable direction.
Energy of the Sun
A solar panel of the lights runs on three rechargeable batteries included in the box. One day in the sun gives the light about 900 lumens of brightness, enough to keep it on during the night. The batteries, however, can be charged manually. Convenient if you live in the region where it often rains.
For a hassle-free assembly of the main unit, it is recommended to install a mounting bar first and only then position the sensor.
The hallmark of the Swiftly Done Solar Outdoor LED Light is simplicity of use and maintenance. Owing to a self-adhesive tape at the back of the base, this light can be mounted on any surface swiftly and tools-free, so even your child could do it easily. The advantage of self-adhesive mounting is obvious, you don’t need to drill holes in the walls and it's easy to change the installation location of the motion sensor light in the future. The downside is, the tape might lose its stickiness over the time. If this happens, you will still be able to keep using it fixing it to the wall with a couple of screws. Besides simple installation, the Swiftly Done Solar Outdoor LED Light doesn’t require any power source but the sun. You only need to set it in the open area where the light will be exposed to the sun rays.
Great for Small Areas
The maximum brightness of 80 lumens of the device, obviously, will not be enough to illuminate your entire yard, but it will surely suffice to light up a small area, like a porch, patio or near the entrance door. Thanks to the dim mode, this motion sensor light always emits a small amount of light to dispel the darkness, even when it's still and no motion is detected. Once the device registers a movement, it automatically lights up bright and after the movement stops, it switches back to the dim mode 10 seconds later.
Turn the Key to Light Up
Taking a closer look at the light, you'll see that it doesn't have any buttons. So, is there any way to control it? Well, yes, there is, although you will not need to. The light is activated with a small key (included in the box), once you enable it, it will stay on until you decide to switch it off.
Small but Powerful
Don’t let the small size make you doubt the effectiveness of this solar panel. At the 0.44-Watt power, it accumulates a sufficient amount of energy to run for 12 hours. According to the manufacturer, the bulbs here will last for about 50,000 hours of operation, while the panel itself is backed with a 5-year warranty. A quality product you won't regret!
Swiftly Done Bright Solar Power Outdoor LED Light 1080P HD REVIEW
While reviewing the Heath/Zenith SL-5316-WH-C motion sensor we were pleasantly surprised with its performance characteristics, considering a fairly low price. The sensor boasts a wide-angle motion detection within a 240-degree radius and can catch the slightest movements, keeping your house secure and protected against burglary and break-ins. The lighting range is also impressive and when compared to the peers, twice as big, making 70 feet in a regular mode and 100 feet in a boost mode.
Controls Are Close at Hand
The Heath/Zenith SL-5316-WH-C comes with intuitive and straightforward controls. At the bottom of the sensor, you'll find a dial and a couple switches for adjusting the distance range and lightning modes manually. The range can be varied within a 100-foot area. Speaking of the modes, you can set the sensor light to work either in a test mode, keeping the light on throughout the day and night, or in an auto mode intended for the nighttime use. In the latter mode, it's possible to adjust the operation time of the light, choosing the length of 1, 5 or 20 minutes. You could control it manually too; to do so, however, you'd need to get an additional switch.
Keep in Mind
No matter how good your motion sensor is, chances are it can give false signals sometimes. To prevent this, it's important that it is located further away from the objects that may interfere with the sensitivity of the light. So, it's recommended to install motion sensor lights away from air conditioners, heating vents and other home appliances reflecting the light.
How to Wire
Look into this scheme to connect the sensor and lights properly. If you're not sure you can manage the installation yourself, it's better to address an electrician for assistance.
If you’re looking for a universal motion sensor light that could be installed anywhere, the Fulcrum 20031-101 can be the right solution. Battery-powered, the unit provides consumers with multiple installation options. You don't need to look for a fixture with a power outlet nearby, neither do you need to worry about the power outage. The Fulcrum 20031-101 will keep your place lit under all conditions. The assembly of the light is also simple. Given the fact that the mounting bar comes already pre-drilled, you will only need to fix it to a wall with a couple of screws. The Fulcrum 20031-101 can be mounted in the open area, on eaves, and on the roof due to its weatherproof features, so, if you need the motion light to install on a patio or elsewhere in your yard, this is a safe choice to go.
Batteries Aren't Good? Who Said That?
The Fulcrum 20031-101 works off 4 C batteries (included). Although some might be skeptical about the effectiveness of batteries, according to customers, the light can easily last for a year or so before the batteries replacement is needed. Not as quick as you'd think.
As Easy as Anything
Ease of use is one more feature we’d like to point out. Once you install the device and trigger it, it will work automatically. The operation radius of the light is average and makes effective 25 feet within 100° viewing angle. After the device detects a movement, the light stays on for another 30 seconds and then, automatically switches off, unless the object remains in the active area. Due to the photocell technology, the Fulcrum 20031-101 activates only when dark. A great product.
Take Control Over the Active Area of Operation
Thanks to the adjustable head, you can change an active operation area of the motion light yourself, when it is needed.
A: The intended use of the sensor lights is to light the outdoor areas around your house at nighttime and keep your place secure. Therefore, it’s best if these lights are installed somewhere close to the entrance door and in shaded places.
Q: What is the difference between active-motion and passive-motion sensor lights?
A: Active sensors are the appliances that emit microwave/ infrared/ ultrasonic radiation to detect objects approaching your house as soon as they get into the active angle/ distance range. In turn, passive-motion lights react only to a heat-emitting source. Although the former type is considered more sensitive, it is prone to false signals and can react even to a mouse running close to your house.
Q: What surface (wall, eave, roof) can I attach the light to?
A: This will depend on the design of the motion light. As a rule, manufacturers specify the light mount type on the box or in the manual. However, even if the instructions tell you to install the light on a wall, in most cases you will still be able to mount it on other surfaces, like, for example, on a roof, in the yard, on a tree or elsewhere. Consider the viewing angle to learn your options. The bigger this angle is, the wider the operation coverage you will get.
Q: My sensor light keeps working during the daytime too. What should I do?
A: Try to reset it or switch it off, wait for a few minutes and turn it on again. If this doesn't help, check the troubleshooting section in a user’s guide or address a seller/ manufacturer for assistance.
Q: I want to choose a solar light model. Will it work properly at night if the weather is cloudy during a day?
A: Yes, it will. Even if the weather is cloudy, the sun still emits energy, so the battery gets charged anyway. The only thing to keep in mind is that if the battery doesn’t get a sufficient charge, the light will be dimmer than the normal one.
Q: Is it possible to change color temperature in such devices?
A: No, this option isn’t adjustable. If you want your sensor light to feature some specific color temperature, pay attention to this feature before buying an appliance.
Q: Do motion sensor lights boast a remote control function?
A: Not all, but some of them do. If you are going to install a motion sensor far from your house (near the gates, for example), spend a bit more time to find a model with a remote control function for better usability.