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Best for Stairs:
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Best Street Lamp Style:
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Best Smart Lights:
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Best for Extra Brightness:
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It can be fun to dream about how you want to decorate the inside of your house or what you want to do with your landscaping, but there’s one practical home accessory you definitely don’t want to overlook: outdoor lights. According to Global Security Experts Inc., outdoor motion sensor lights can deter criminal activity on your property by calling attention to the would-be crime or startling the perpetrator so they leave. Aside from home security benefits, motion lights can also help you safely navigate your own property when it gets dark.
Moreover, motion sensor lights are cost-effective because they’re only meant to turn on when they sense the movement of animals, humans, and cars within a specific range. This varies depending on the lighting brand and is often adjustable. When they’re not in use, they conserve battery life or electrical usage.
There are many types of outdoor lights, including solar-powered, battery-operated, and hard-wired options. You can also buy special outdoor lights to illuminate stairwells or paths for added safety.
Best Outdoor Sensor Lights
Ahead, learn more about some of the best-rated outdoor motion sensor lights, so you can find the ones that are right for you and your home.
Best LED: Lepower Outdoor LED Security Lights
Not only are LED lights super bright, but they’re also cost-effective. According to the manufacturer, these Lepower lights can save you more than 80% on your electricity bill when compared to traditional halogen light bulbs. Their motion sensors turn on with movement up to 72 feet away and have 180-degree detection. Plus, each of the three lights can be adjusted to cover every angle. More than 11,000 buyers give this motion light system five stars on Amazon.
Best Solar-Powered: Hmcity Outdoor Solar Lights
This two-pack of solar-powered motion sensor lights has nearly 25,000 five-star reviews on Amazon. Multiple shoppers mention liking the low-profile of the device—it’s not an eyesore—and rave about the brightness of the little lights. Many also appreciate how easy it is to install them because they’re wireless. If you live in a place with plenty of sun, these are a great option.
Best Halogen: Lutec 180-Degree Two-Head Motion-Activated Flood Lights
Halogen flood lights use light bulbs and are wired to your house for a more permanent security solution. They’re easily customized to fit your lighting needs, with options for expanding the detection range from 20 to 70 feet and choosing how long the light stays on after sensing motion. While the 180-degree detection on this device does pick up movement from people, animals, and cars, it isn’t so sensitive that it will flick on and off all night. “Bought this after my old light kept getting activated every time a gnat flew by, attracting thousands more insects and keeping the light on all night,” one buyer wrote, adding that the Lutec light solved this annoying issue.
Buy It: Lutec 180-Degree Two-Head Motion-Activated Flood Lights ($35, Amazon)
Best Battery-Powered: Mr. Beams Wireless Spotlight
The biggest benefit to battery-powered motion sensor lights is that you never have to worry about them shutting off due to loss of power or lack of sunshine like you do with halogen or solar-powered lights. The second-biggest benefit is that battery-powered lights are wireless and easy for most anyone to install just about anywhere. This spotlight covers 600 square feet and can detect motion from up to 30 feet away. It automatically turns on when movement is detected and shuts off to save battery power when it’s not needed. The manufacturer claims that on average its lights stay powered for a year on a single set of batteries.
Best Stake: Better Homes & Gardens Solar Motion Sensor LED Spotlight
If you need to illuminate the path to your front door or around your driveway, or if you just want to help people avoid landscaping hazards while in your yard at night, consider these solar-powered stake lights. At night, they activate with a low-grade power setting to brighten walkways, and when they detect motion, they get about 20 times brighter. You can also detach the stake and mount the light to a wall if you prefer.
Buy It: Better Homes & Gardens Solar Motion Sensor LED Spotlight ($15, Walmart)
Best for Stairs: Mr. Beams Wireless Motion-Sensing LED Step/Stair Lights
You can install these small, weatherproof, battery-operated lights practically anywhere (including indoors). When it’s dark outside, you don’t want to be wondering where the steps are, and these small lights affix along stairwells so you never have to worry about tripping. They come with a “glow mode,” which keeps the light on at a low level all evening without harming the battery life. When motion is detected within 15 feet, the light brightens then shuts off after a set amount of time (20 to 60 seconds, depending on preference). Best of all, the manufacturer says one set of batteries can power the light for about a year on average. So you can install them and basically forget about them.
Buy It: Mr. Beams Wireless Motion-Sensing LED Step/Stair Lights ($20, Amazon)
Best Street Lamp Style: Hyper Tough Motion Sensor Solar Street Light
Street lamp-style lighting is often used for safety in parks, on streets, and for commercial buildings. If your home is particularly large and there’s not a lot of nearby industrial lighting, you might want to opt for something as powerful as this DIY street light from Hyper Tough. It’s solar-powered and can detect motion from up to 26 feet away. Once it senses movement, it’ll stay on for 30 seconds with its bright 5000 lumens of power. Many Walmart shoppers confirm it’s a seriously bright outdoor lighting solution.
Best Smart Lights: Ring Smart Lighting Outdoor Motion Sensor Security Light
Smart technology is everywhere, even in flood lights. Ring, the company behind the popular smart doorbell camera, also sells smart outdoor motion sensor lights. They’re hardwired to your home and connect with Ring’s doorbells and cameras. Plus, you can turn them on via Alexa voice commands. You can also use the Ring app to change the motion detector settings and get notifications when your light turns on, so you can see if anything important is happening outside. More than 2,500 buyers give this system five stars on Amazon.
Buy It: Ring Smart Lighting Outdoor Motion Sensor Security Light ($90, Amazon)
Most Stylish: Verron Motion Sensor Outdoor Light
Let’s face it, motion sensor lights aren’t always the prettiest addition to a home. But since they’re somewhat of a security necessity, their visual appeal isn’t as important as their functionality. However, with these lantern-style fixtures, you can get all the security and safety without sacrificing your home’s curb appeal. The aluminum sconces look great and can detect motion from up to 40 feet away and 220 degrees around. And they’re compatible with most standard light bulbs, so it’s easy to replace burnt-out bulbs.
Best for Brightness: Amico Three-Head LED Security Lights
If you want an outdoor motion sensor light that excels at illumination, you’re going to want LED lights, and you’re going to want them to be extra bright. Amico’s three-headed lighting system delivers on both fronts. These LED lights have a 5,000 Kelvin brightness output, which is so bright it’s called “daylight white.” It’s especially useful for homes without a lot of nearby industrial lighting. “We live out in farm and rural areas where street lights do not exist. Great light so far!” says one reviewer.