The correct outdoor lighting can provide you with an excellent peace of mind while heightening your security. They’re also great for illuminating walkways and your backyard when you go out after dark. If you get the correct type, your motion sensor lights can keep your electricity usage low while they warn you of any potential trespassers in your yard or garden. However, there are dozens of styles, sizes, price points, and brands available. This can make it challenging to pick out the best one, unless you have examples of quality products to compare.
This is where this guide comes in. I’ve done the research for you, and I’ve picked out motion sensor lights that fit any budget and design aesthetic. You can take a look at the reviews and see which one suits your needs the best. They’re also an easy way to compare products from reputable brands. The short buying guide will help point you in the right direction if you’re not sure what you’re looking for when you shop, and it’ll help you narrow down your choices to the best one for your yard.
Outdoor lighting is nice to have whether you live in a suburban or rural area because it adds a relatively cost-effective security layer to your home or business.
1. URPOWER Solar Motion-Sensor Lights – Top Pick
These motion sensor lights will charge on just four to six hours of direct sunlight. Once they reach a full charge, they have internal batteries that can hold enough power to cast a very brightly illuminated circle that lasts up to 30 seconds after it detects movements as long as the movement is within 10-feet of the sensors. It’s a great idea for your front door if you dread coming home after dark and trying not to trip as you come into the house. You get a four-pack of motion sensor lights in each order, and this is more than enough to light up your path to your door.
The internal circuit diagram is a unique design feature on this motion sensor light, and it has negative and positive pole directions on the bottom of the LEDs to ensure they all light up. It comes outfitted with eight LED lights per light, and you get the same level of brightness each time they come on. These lights have an IP64 waterproof rating, and they’re also heatproof to ensure they don’t get hot to the touch. They’re suitable to be outside in almost any type of weather, and you get a 120° sensing angle with them to ensure they go off.
- Stays on for a decent amount of time
- Four pack of lights per order
- Eight LEDs per light
- IP64 waterproof rating
- Heatproof design
- 120° sensing angle
- 10-foot range
- No dim setting
2. Ring Smart Lighting Sensor Light – Step-Up Pick
If you want to light up the full entrance of your home with plenty of lumens, this motion sensor light is a great pick. Our step-up pick is a 2,000 lumen outdoor light from Ring. The light comes directly from the Ring Bridge, and this is a wireless hub that lets the lights communicate to and connect with other Ring devices. So, you can quickly and easily connect them to doorbells, lights, and security cameras to create a network that covers your entire home. It has a single motion sensor light on it that offers an impressive 70-foot range so you can light up your yard or garden.
You get two security lights when you order this motion sensor light, and they have a color temperature right around 3,500K. You can integrate this motion sensor light with your Amazon Alexa Smart Home system to allow you to use voice control. However, you will have to hardwire the light right to your actual home’s electrical system for them to work correctly. You can choose from three styles and two colors when you order, and this allows you to tailor your pick to suit your needs. You can put up customized settings and get notifications each time they go off to keep your whole home safe and secure.
- 2,000 lumens
- Connect to other Ring devices
- Two colors available
- Integrates with Amazon Alexa Smart Home system
- Customized settings available
- Voice activation available
- 3,500K temperature
- Need to hardware it
3. Lineway LED Flush Mount Light – Mid-End Budget Pick
If you regularly use your backyard to carry larger objects though like lumber, oversized packages, soil, or DIY materials, this motion sensor light is a flush-mounted option that is a great way to light up your path. The light will mount to your porch’s ceiling where it stays out of sight from most people and out of your way as you come and go. This makes it easier to carry objects through your entryway without damaging your lights. You do need to hardwire this light to your electrical system in your home for it to work correctly.
This hardwiring allows you to control it with a switch, and it has a sensor range that extends out 18-feet. When it comes on, you’ll get 1,200 lumens of brightness, and the color of the light is between 6,000 and 6,500K. You can choose from four operating modes with it, including dim mode, dark mode, night mode, and daytime mode. You can program it to shut off automatically after a set time of no motion detection, and you can set three different ranges between 9 and 18-feet. It has LED technology that means it draws low power to help save on electricity costs, and the lights can work for up to 30,000 hours.
- Three motion sensor ranges
- Four lighting modes
- LED technology
- Runs up to 30,000 hours
- Easy to operate
- Out of the way design
- Can be tricky to set the range
4. Sengled Motion Sensor Flood Lights – Bargain Budget Pick
Adding a motion sensor light to the exterior of your house can increase your security factor, convenience, and save energy at the same time. You can use these motion sensor light bulbs in any standard fixture you like, and they give you an impressive 1,500 lumens of light. The color temperature is right around 3,000K so it won’t be extremely harsh, and it has a 23-foot range for motion detection. They can easily illuminate the front or back of your home without a problem, and they come with dusk-to-dawn photocell sensors that switch them off during the day and back on at night.
You can cycle through several mode choices with these motion sensor lights, including an automatic on/off mode or an always on mode that will keep the light on during the dark hours whether or not it detects motion. They use only 14.5-watts of energy to run, and this can save you up to 80% on your electricity bill. The light will stay on for 90 seconds after it doesn’t detect motion anymore, and this product comes UL Wet List certified. It can come into direct contact with water without any damage because it has waterproof seals to protect the internal pieces from damage.
- 23-foot range
- Several modes available
- Low energy consumption
- Waterproof design
- 1,5000 lumens
- 3,000K color temperature
- UL Wet List certified
- Challenging to switch modes
5. LEONLITE LED Security Light – Best for Wet Environments
If you’re after an industrial-level motion sensor light, try this option. They work well on the side, front, or back of your home, and they have a highly sensitive motion detector sensor that has a 180° detection angle with a range of 70 feet. You get dual high-powered lights with a color temperature that you can adjust between 3,000K and 5,000K. This is warm white or daylight-style lighting, and the daylight is much brighter. It puts out an impressive 1,800 lumens when it switches on, and it has a dusk-to-dawn sensor on it that’ll switch it off when it gets light out and back on when it gets dark.
The automatic function helps to reduce energy costs because you won’t have to worry about manually switching it on or off, and you can also opt out of this mode and manually control the light to brighten up your garden layout.
This motion sensor light also comes with a waterproof rating of IP65, and this will protect your lights against all types of weather conditions, including snow, sleet, rain, and humidity. It comes with a 50,000-hour lifespan, and this reduces how often you have to swap them out. It’s a 20-watt light that lowers your energy costs, and it’s an ETL listed product that meets all of the necessary requirements. You get a longer five-year warranty from the date of purchase with this light.
- 1,800 lumens
- Two light color options
- 5-year warranty
- 50,000-hour lifespan
- ETL listed
- Waterproof design
- Manual or automatic mode
- Body is thinner plastic
6. TOBUSA Motion Sensor Wall Lantern – Best for Suburban Homes
Tobusa’s motion sensor light has a high functionality while being very durable, and it looks nice when you install it on your home. You get a lantern-style light with this option, and it has a very durable black metal frame with glass panes that are very attractive. You’ll need an E26 bulb for it that puts out 999 lumens of light, so this is a slightly less bright option from the picks on the list. You also have to hardwire it to your home’s electrical system before flicking a switch and letting it work. It has a dusk-to-dawn sensor built into it, and you get a 40-foot motion range. So, the light will automatically go on and off.
There are two sensor technologies on this motion sensor light, and it automatically shuts off after two minutes of no movement. You also get a wide 220° view. There are two lighting modes on this model, including a manual one. The metal frame has a black matte finish on it to help seal out the elements and make it last longer with exposure to rain or water without rusting or corroding. It can also survive in freezing or scorching temperatures, and it’s pre-assembled to make it ready to go out of the box.
- Metal frame
- Glass panes
- Black matte coating
- Rust and corrosion-proof
- 220° viewing area
- 40-foot motion sensor range
- Uses a special bulb
7. Heath Zenith Decorative Security Light – Best for Garages
If you want a more stylish way to light up your patio or porch while increasing your security, this is a nice pick. You’ll get an oil-rubbed bronze design on it with a lantern style that can blend in well with virtually any decor. The finishing on this product protects the interior light while helping to secure it so it can survive exposure to different weather conditions without breaking or failing. It also has a power functionality to it, and it can easily detect motion for up to 30-feet. There is a 150° motion sensor on this model that works well for larger open spaces and a smaller doorway or entryway.
This motion sensor light runs with a 60-watt bulb, and you do have to buy this separately and install it to get your light up and running. However, it comes Energy-Star certified, and this makes it more cost-effective than some models on the list. This light also comes with a photocell built in, and this helps it tell the difference between dark and light so it automatically switches on and off during the evening hours. It won’t come on during the day.
- Has a 150° motion sensor
- Oil-rubbed bronze design
- Looks like a sleek lantern
- 30-foot motion detection radius
- Energy-Star certified product
- Photocells built in
- Sleek and stylish
- Can be challenging to install
8. Philips Hue Outdoor Sensor – Best for Backyards
If you’re someone who has a bigger backyard that you want to light up at night, this motion sensor light by Philips Hue is a solid choice. The sensor can easily trigger both indoor and outdoor lights when someone sets it off, and it works alongside the Apple Homekit. The larger detection field and wide range allows this light to spot any movement around your home, and you can easily sync multiple lights before connecting them using the Philips Hue app. In turn, you can control your lights from anywhere you have access to your smartphone and data.
This is a very durable motion sensor light that is resistant to all different types of weather, and it undergoes rigorous tests to ensure that it won’t fail with exposure to hot, cold, wet, or dry environments. You’ll use the app to configure your chosen outdoor settings and how sensitive it is to light and movement. You also get different mounting components when you order the kit that allows you to mount it in a variety of places, and the lens come specially designed to detect motion both long and short range. You can also add the Hue Hub for more personalization features.
- Can sync multiple lights
- Apple Homekit compatible
- Control through the Philips Hue app
- Link indoor and outdoor lights
- Short and long-range detection
- Different mounting components included
- Can add the optional Hue Hub
- Delay between motion detection and lighting up
9. Aootek Solar Lights – Best for Indoor Use
Aootke’s motion sensor light comes powered by a 2,200mAh capacity Lithium-Ion battery, and it’s a wireless model that you can quickly and easily install anywhere you please. It charges using solar energy, so you don’t have to worry about loading up any power sources, just like your solar garden lights. You get 48 LED lights to make it one of the brightest solar options available on the current market, and it has a 120° that detects movement up to 20 feet. You can choose from three operation modes to set how long and bright you want the light to work, including security mode, permanent on, and smart brightness control.
It has a newly upgraded motion sensor that is more sensitive to movement, and this ensures that it’ll go on when you need it to. Thai is a very energy-efficient model with PET laminated solar panels and LED lighting that saves you up to 20.5% over other types of lights. It has an IP65 waterproof rating to help it survive harsh weather conditions, and it also has a heatproof design so it doesn’t get hot with extended run times. It works well for pathways, gardens, lawns, porches, gutters, patios, or on the wall.
- 28 LEDs
- Solar powered
- 20-foot range
- 120° viewing range
- IP65 waterproof rating
- Easy to install with a wireless design
- May not all work on arrival
10. DrawGreen DG08 Motion Sensor Lights – Best for Walkways
The final motion sensor light on the list is a premium model that offers excellent light protection. It comes outfitted with advanced motion detection capabilities, and it has an adjustable detection range between 10 and 26-feet. This allows you to tailor it to avoid any stray tree limbs, and you get a solar-charging design with a replaceable Lithium-Ion battery when you order it. It has IC infrared motion detection on it, and you get an LED optics-grade lens that puts out a very bright and powerful light. The light is up to 1,400 lumens, and you get a durable aluminum alloy shell that resists different weather conditions without rusting or corroding.
You can remove the metal bracket for this motion sensor light and use it as a portable flashlight in a pinch, and the low-lighting mode can last for three days on a single charge. The high-light mode throws light up to 55 feet, and it features a PET solar panel that is very environmentally-friendly. It’s freeze and heat proof from -30°F to 120°F, and you get a 100% satisfaction guarantee with a 160-week free replacement offer from the date of purchase.
- 40 to 55 foot illumination
- Optics-grade PMMA lens
- 26-foot detection range
- IP66 waterproof rating
- 100-week replacement warranty
- Can rotate up to 360°
- 50,000 hour lifespan
- Has a longer charge time
Motion Sensor Light Buying Guide
When you start shopping for motion sensor lights, the first thing you’ll notice is there are a plethora of options available from dozens of suppliers. It’s easy to get overwhelmed and grab the first motion sensor light you see, but this is how you end up with a sub-par product that doesn’t perform as it should. This quick buyer’s guide will outline everything you need to know about shopping for these lights below.
How far does your motion sensor light detect movement? If you have a lot of maple trees, is it going to reach far enough out to accidentally set it off? Most lights will have this range listed right on their box or description to make it easy to see if this is the product for you or not. A popular range for most of the lights on the list starts at 10 feet and goes up to around 100 feet. Also, note your light’s detection angle because this will tell you how wide your lights will shine when they come on.
You can purchase lights that attach right to the side of your home or garage, or there are freestanding options available that go nicely along garden paths or out in your yard where people like to walk.
Most of the motion sensor lights today use LEDs for their light types because they’re a very bright and environmentally-friendly choice. They can also last for years and draw very little electricity when they flip on to save you money. They stay cool to the touch too. However, some lights still use incandescent bulbs, and others use fluorescent or halogen. If you have to choose, I recommend going for the LED lights because they are better overall in every category than the alternatives.
Wired, Battery, or Solar Power
What power source do you want your lights to have? Wired lights will give a continuous flow of power from your home, but you’ll need a professional to install them for you when you get them. Solar power is nice because it doesn’t cost you anything, but you have to get a decent amount of sunlight each day to charge the lights so they work when they need to. FInally, you have batteries. Battery-powered lights are easy to install, but you’ll have to make a point to routinely swap them out to keep your lights running.
The illumination period refers to how long the motion sensor lights will stay on after they stop detecting movement. Some lights have the option of setting how long this is, and other lights come with this built-in and you can’t adjust it. 20 seconds is one of the most popular times, but you can adjust it up to several minutes if you want to buy a model with this variable on it.
The goal with these lights is to find the ones that are going to light up the biggest areas and stay on for an acceptable amount of time for whatever it is that triggered them to move on.
Lumens are how people measure light intensity. If you have a 60-watt bulb, it can easily produce up to 800 lumens while a 100-watt bulb can have 1,600. This is a measurement companies put on the packaging so you can easily compare them side-by-side. If you have a large garden layout, you’ll most likely want more lumens so you don’t accidentally miss anything. Smaller areas can get away with lower lumens, but this will come down to personal preference.
Finally, a lot of motion sensor lights come with the ability to adjust the sensitivity levels. This is a great option to have if you live in an area with a lot of trees or small pest animals that could set them off. You can turn the sensitivity level up and down based on how often your lights switch on. Not all lights have this feature, so make sure to look for it if it’s something you have to have.
Motion Sensor Light Frequently Asked Questions
It’s common to have questions about motion sensor lights if you’ve never bought them before or if you’re trying to upgrade and it’s been a few years. We picked out a few questions for you below.
- What happens during a power outage or surge?
This depends on the type of motion sensor light you picked out. If you have a hardwired unit, a power surge or outage can cause them to go off unless they have battery backup until your power gets restored. If they’re solar or battery-powered units, they may flash on or stay on. You may also need to reset them when the power comes back on.
- Why should you clean your motion sensor lights?
You may not think that you have to clean your motion sensor lights ever, but you should really start scheduling it at least once a month. Allowing dirt, dust, or other gunk to cake up on them can interfere with how well they work, and it can cause them to malfunction.
- Can you test the motion sensor light?
Yes. All you have to do is walk into the field of view or range and see if the light goes on. If you have it set correctly and it’s working, you’ll see it switch on. It should go back off after the set amount of time when it doesn’t detect movement anymore.
Motion sensor lights are a must-have for many homeowners who want a relatively inexpensive way to increase their security and give themselves a better peace of mind. I’ve picked out 10 great options for you, and you can use the included reviews to compare them side-by-side. If you need help narrowing down your final choice, use the buyer’s guide to pick the best product to suit your wants and needs.
Jen is a master gardener, interior designer and home improvement expert. She has completed many home improvement, decor and remodeling projects with her family over the past 10 years on their 4,500 sf Victorian house. She is also a passionate farmer who keeps goats, chickens, turkeys cows and pigs on her farm, and an instructor for her community’s Organic and Sustainable Farming project.