This guide is intended to assist you in choosing the best motion sensor outdoor lighting for your home security needs. After reading the guide you should have a better idea of the available choices, their advantages and disadvantages.
If you are looking for the most economical and effective outdoor security lights, motion sensor outdoor lighting is you best bet. Motion sensor lights are a more effective deterrent than conventional models, because they surprise and frighten intruders when they come on unexpectedly. They also save energy by only being on when they are needed. The areas that need to be illuminated are usually the entrances to the property, the perimeter fencing or walls and the darkest areas of your yard. Most 50 Watt floodlights have an effective range of about 30 feet and you may need to install the lighting at some distance from your house to cover the desired areas. If you have convenient electrical outlets in remote areas of your yard then you should go for electric floodlights with either halogen bulbs or LEDs. If your electric hook-ups are far from the desired set up location, solar motion sensor floodlights will save you the costs of digging trenches and installing long wiring runs.
Solar floodlights are usually more expensive than electric models, but they have no operating costs. You will, therefore, save money over the long run. They also have a longer lifespan than electric units. The disadvantage of standard solar units is their limited energy storage capacity. This is not a problem for motion sensor outdoor lighting models. Because they only come on intermittently and only stay on for a limited period, the batteries usually have sufficient power for weeks of usage even during long cloudy periods. If you are concerned about running out of power, you could always install a simple battery back-up. To further reduce the draw on the battery, solar units should be equipped with LEDs. LEDs use far less energy than halogen bulbs, panels of about 80 powerful LEDs can produce a beam that is equivalent in brightness to a 50 Watt halogen bulb. Solar models have a panel that collects energy from the sun during the daytime. The solar panel is either built into the light fixture, or it is a separate unit that is connected to the light with a cable. If your lights need to be installed in a place that is shaded from the sun, you need to purchase solar fixtures that have a separate solar panel. The lights can then be installed in the shade, while the solar panel is set up in the sun.
It is sometimes advantageous to connect strategically placed remote motion sensors to your outdoor lighting system. The remote motion detectors need to be purchased independently, and they can be set up at a distance of up to 5,000 feet from the lights themselves. They are usually wireless devices, and when they detect movement they activate lights anywhere on the property through the use of programmed radio signals. Security companies use remote motion sensors to simultaneously trigger lighting, security cameras and alarms.