The 6 Best Outdoor Motion Sensor Lights to Buy in 2018

Shop for the best outdoor motion sensor lights on the market

Whether you’re looking to illuminate your driveway or swimming pool, motion sensor lighting is a must when it comes to security and safety on your property at night.

If you’re not in the know, movement triggers lights like these, so they work best in areas that don’t require continuous illumination. The trick to buying the best make and model for your household needs is knowing what’s available. 

The most popular types were designed to brighten the areas outside of garages and also...MORE doorways. Additional options are used to light up potentially dangerous spots such as walkways and stairways.

To help you navigate the large sea of lighting choices, we’ve identified the best six motion sensor lights based on their performance, features, and online reviews.

  • 01 of 06

    If you’re seeking the best overall value for your dollars, this LED option by Mr. Beams wins hands down.

    First off, since it's battery powered, it's a snap to install, virtually anywhere, including tricky spots like fences and trees. You'll need a screwdriver to get the job done using the included hardware.

    The handy spotlight emits 140 lumens when motion from up to 30 feet away triggers the sensor. No worries about inclement weather affecting function because a tight,...MORE weatherproof seal keeps the fixture protected.

    But, a few of the lights pros are also cons. While a set of fresh batteries should provide one year of light with up to 10 activations per day, heavy use will drain them quicker. Also, while the spotlight illuminates up to 400 square feet, don't expect it to be as bright as a hard-wired option that usually requires professional installation. However, since the latter can cost hundreds of dollars, this light is a particularly smart choice that costs less than $20.

  • 02 of 06

    Solar powered choices are the most energy efficient. They recharge during daylight hours so they can shine brightly at night when triggered. This one, sold in packs of two, stands above the rest according to satisfied, verified buyers because it’s able to charge fully in not so sunny places — like Seattle, for instance. Plus, since it doesn’t use electricity, it’s a cinch to install on most vertical surfaces using the included mounting hardware.

    For your convenience, the light comes with an...MORE on and off switch and embedded sensors with a 120-degree sensing angle that picks up motion up to 26 feet away.

    Need something to supplement the lighting around your pool or hot tub? This fixture is a good choice because it’s sealed with two layers of plastic that are both moisture and heat resistant. Just don't immerse the unit in the water.

    What’s not to love? There’s no dim mode. Also, the light needs to charge under direct sunlight for six to eight hours before using. 

  • 03 of 06

    This motion detecting LED by Sengled Smartsense is a weatherproof bulb suitable for wet locations. It was designed to turn any outdoor fixture with an E27 based into a security floodlight.

    To install, just screw the bulb into a socket—no apps, wires, or additional equipment is necessary. Afterward, it will light up for 90 seconds whenever it's 100-degree infrared sensor detects motion within a 30-foot range.

    Concerned about associated costs? This floodlight will help you rest easy with its...MORE super low energy consumption that's around 0.2 watts. Also, you can expect the eco-friendly bulb to last up to 25,000 hours.

  • 04 of 06

    Dual-headed activated sensor lights are considered the best choice for large outdoor areas because they have an 180-degree lighting and sensing angle. This model and make is a crowd favorite for three reasons. First, it emits up to 1600 lumens of bright, crisp light — that's roughly the equivalent of a 120 watt light bulb. Second, the maximum motion detecting range is adjustable up to 70 feet. Third, the illumination timing can be predetermined based on your needs.

    If you’re looking...MORE for something that’s both weather and corrosion resistant this light’s rugged housing was built to last. Even better, the light comes with a five year or 50,000-hour warranty. The light is also DLC QUALIFIED, making it eligible for an energy saving rebate in participating states.

    What’s the single catch? The light requires a hard-wired installation. For around $130 you can hire a professional installer at the time of purchase. 

    Continue to 5 of 6 below.
  • 05 of 06

    You don’t need tools or hardware to install these weather resistant, and battery powered stake lights. They were designed specifically to illuminate walkways and staircases with a housing design that reflects 35 lumens of neutral light downward.

    To install, simply add a set of C batteries and stick the pointy end into the ground. If you prefer to mount the fixture on a vertical surface, just remove the light from the stake before hanging.

    The lights sold in packs of two instantly turn on at...MORE night when motion is detected up to 15 feet away. There’s also an optional GlowMode setting that emits a constant soft light until motion triggers full brightness.

    While the LED bulb never needs replacing you can't say the same for the batteries. Expect to refresh them after 50 hours illumination. 

  • 06 of 06

    Add a dash of curb appeal to your entrance with this Energy Star certified Mission-style motion light. Its glass and metal construction has a water resistant finish that will keep the lantern functional and beautiful for years to come. Even better, its 150-degree motion sensor uses pulse-count technology that prevents false triggering by windy weather because it reads both movement and heat up to 30 feet. Not a fan of oil rubbed bronze? The light is also available with a silver finish. 

    The instal...MOREl and forget it light fixture saves energy by using a photocell that keeps it off during the day and motion activated at night with your choice of three auto modes for 1, 5 or 10 minutes of light. There’s also an override mode for dusk-to-dawn illumination via a wall switch.

    Unlike LED lighting and solar powered lighting this electric unit requires a hard-wired installation and a 60-watt incandescence bulb to operate. While connecting to a wall switch isn’t necessary for primary function, as we just mentioned in the previous paragraph, it’s a must if you want to keep the light on all night.

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