Motion Sensor Lights: Outdoor Security Lighting for Your Home and Business

Motion sensor lights use electronic “eyes” to keep on the lookout for unwanted visitors, letting you rest at ease. Chances are that you’re already familiar with them- most suburban houses have had infrared sensors in their garage lights for decades, and the experience of turning a light on by walking past a sensor is something that most adults and children are familiar with. Despite their widespread familiarity, however, lights that can sense motion do not necessarily get used as often as they should. In many cases, home or business owners opt for traditional lighting fixtures in scenarios where a motion-sensing light would be more appropriate.

How Do Motion Sensitive Lights Work?

The overwhelming majority of motion-sensitive lights on the market today use a passive infrared sensor to detect changes in the amount of infrared radiation in the direction or area where the sensor is aimed. Anything that emits heat creates an infrared radiation signature– humans, animals, even inanimate objects like cars. Infrared radiation is just another component of the spectrum of light, but one that’s beyond the range of the human eye. Sensors, however, can detect infrared radiation; when someone steps into the area being “watched” by the infrared detector on your motion sensor light, the radiation signature gets elevated above the “background” level. When a motion sensor light picks up an infrared-emitting object in its view, it triggers the light to turn on, illuminating the area.

Where Should Motion Sensor Lights Be Used?

Motion sensitive lights are ideal for securing the outside of your home or business. They are best installed in positions where the sensor can “see” what you want them to guard. For example, if you want to be aware of people approaching the front or back door of your home, you should install your motion sensor light so that the infrared sensor is pointed towards the path someone would have to take to get to your door. Pathways are popular and ideal places to install motion sensor lights, especially pathways that aren’t typically traveled by the public– a walkway around the back of your home or business, for example, should have motion sensor lights pointed at it so that you can be made aware of any visitors using the path (whether they’re welcome or not!).

What Advantages Do Motion Sensing Lights Have Over Other Security Lights?

Because they are only on when someone, or something, triggers their illumination sensor, installing motion sensor lights instead of an always-on lighting fixture can save you money on your electric bill. Also, the fact that motion sensing security lights suddenly turn on when triggered means that they only illuminate areas when the sensor indicates that something is happening- which draws attention that area, especially if it’s not normally well-lit.

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