For Expert Help Call 1-800-624-4488

Security Lights & Outdoor Sensor Lights

Outdoor Sensor Lights

Outdoor security lights don't need to run 24/7. While you can set them on a timer, the change of seasons and daylight savings schedule will have you constantly making updates. That's why many LED security lights have built in sensors to turn the lights on when you need them and off when you don't. There are two types of sensors on our security lights, motion sensors and photocells. A fixture can have one or both.

  • Motion Sensors: LED security lights with motion sensors turn on the lights when you're driving up to the garage, walking to your front door, or checking the side of the house to give you extra visibility without needing to flip a switch. They can also get the attention of intruders, or give you peace of mind that the clattering at the back door was caused by raccoons and not a would-be burglar. Motion detector lights are a beneficial upgrade for homes and businesses.
  • Photocell: Dusk to dawn security lights keep your perimeter lit at night. The built-in photocell is an energy saving way to make sure your fixtures aren't on in the middle of the day. However, there are some things you should consider before buying a fixture with a photocell built in. If your fixture is pointed south, you shouldn't get a built in photocell. The opposite is true for anyone in the southern hemisphere: don't use a built in photocell for fixtures pointing north. This exposes the photocell to the most direct sunlight, which can burn out the components and cause the photocell to burn out prematurely. In this case, it's better to buy a security light fixture and connect it to a compatible photocell mounted remotely.

When a fixture has both sensors, a photocell and a motion detector, both conditions need to be met for the lights to turn on. The LED security light will only turn on if motion is detected and it’s dark enough for the photocell to turn the light on. If the motion detector senses motion, but it is still light outside, the fixture will not turn on. While a security light fixture with just a photocell will turn on at night, one with a motion sensor as well must also detect motion before it will turn on.

Detection Range

The detection range tells you in what area the sensor can detect movement. Most motion sensors require line of sight, so these fixtures work best in open areas not blocked by trees, columns, or other interferences. A motion light with 180 degree detection zone is able to detect motion on either side. Any fixtures with a narrower view don't have as much visibility directly to the side. You or another person would need to be closer to the fixture when approaching from the side than approaching from the front for the light to trigger on. The number of feet detection range tells you how far the sensor can detect movement. If you're primarily wanting security lights for visibility unlocking the front door, you don't need as much range as someone wanting the lights to turn on as they pull into the driveway.

If you're not sure which outdoor security light to use for your home or business, give our lighting experts a call at 1-800-624-4488 during our normal business hours. One of our account managers will be happy to walk you through everything you need to keep your exterior well-lit year 'round while saving money in the process.