Motion activated night lights have been used as an initial measure to stop potential intruders for years. Thanks to improvements in technology, these types of lights have become more dependable and are designed with more features.
What are the best motion sensor night lights? It is important that the unit uses LED lighting, which allows for reducing energy consumption and chances of fire. Another essential factor is the number of lumens it produces as this determines how bright the light will be. The device should be weather and water-resistant so that you could install it outdoors. The unit should have a wide range and be able to detect motion far from where it is installed. When it comes to a power source, solar models should be definitely preferred. Not only will they help you save money, but they will also monitor your area even with a power outage. We believe that LITOM motion activated night lights fit these criteria best.
In this guide, we will take a closer look at TOP-6 motion activated night lights, how they work, and answer some of the common questions consumers have about these products. The guide elaborates on different types of sensors — tomographic, ultrasonic, passive infrared, microwave and combined — analyzing their strong and weak points. You will also find a comprehensive review of the more important features that you should consider in order to find the best option that fits your needs. A comparison chart will facilitate your choice.
What You Will Learn From This Guide:
- How do motion sensor lights work?
- What are the types of motion sensor lights?
- What to look for when buying a motion sensor light
- TOP-6 best motion sensor lights
How Do Motion Activated Night Lights Work?
The primary component is the small electronic sensor typically located on the bottom of the unit. This electronic eye detects the heat waves, infrared waves of moving objects. Warmer objects, such as animals, people, and vehicles are more likely to trigger the sensor than a leaf that is blowing in the wind.
Once motion is detected, the sensor will cause the lights to turn on. The lights will remain on from 1 to 20 minutes, depending on the setting. If movement is no longer detected, the sensor will turn the lights off. The field of view for most units is around 240 degrees with a range of 40 ft. or more.
What Are the Types of Motion Sensor Lights?
These devices are available with different types of sensors. The main types are tomographic, ultrasonic, passive infrared, microwave and combined. Here is a rundown of each type and how they differ from each other.
Tomographic sensors produce radio waves that cover large areas and can even work through walls and large objects. If the radio waves are disrupted, the sensor will trigger the security lights. The downside of this type of sensor is that they are very expensive. Due to their high price tag, these types of sensor are usually found in areas where commercial-level security is needed, such as in warehouses and storage facilities.
Ultrasonic sensors are either passive or active. Passive models listen for sounds such as the sound of breaking glass or the sound of metal hitting metal. Active ultrasonic sensors generate ultrasonic sound waves that reflect off of objects and can determine if an object is moving.
Passive models are expensive and are prone to trigger the lights to come on erroneously. Active models are typically more dependable but can unsettle animals.
Passive Infrared (PIR)
Passive infrared sensors detect the IR radiation that is emitted by all warm-blooded animals. Once the sensor IR radiation, it will trigger the lights to come on. These types of motion sensors are cost-effective and have a very long life span.
Motion lights that use microwave sensors are very sensitive and use microwave pulses to detect moving objects. However, there are several drawbacks to using this type of motion sensing light.
The microwaves used to detect movement can extend beyond the area you want to monitor, causing the lights to activate erroneously. These types of sensors also use a large amount of power and use On and Off cycles to reduce the amount of power consumed. If a potential burglar was to discover the cycle, they could slip past the sensor without triggering it.
Combined models use dual sensors to detect motion, such as a PIR sensor and a microwave sensor. If both sensors detect motion, the lights will be activated. If only one sensor detects motion, the lights will remain off. While this dual sensor configuration is great for helping to prevent false alarms, it increases the chance that someone could slip past the sensors.
Along with the different types of sensors, these devices are designed to be used indoors, outdoors, or both. When you start your shopping adventure for your next motion activated night light, be mindful of your intended use for the light.
What to Look for When Buying a Motion Detector Night Light
There are a lot of available options on the market. In this section, we will review some of the more important features that you should consider in order to find the best option that fits your needs.
Type of Lighting. While many of the newer models use LED lighting to reduce energy consumption and chances of fire, there are still some models available on the market that use incandescent lights.
While incandescent lighting may be brighter, they also use more electricity than LED lighting and produce high levels of heat. When shopping for your next motion detector night light, look for a model that uses LED lighting.
Brightness. Along with the type of light used, look for the number of lumens the light produces. The brightness of a light is measured in lumens, the higher the lumens, the brighter the light.
Todays LED outdoor/indoor motion sensor lights can be as low as 42 lumens or as high as 3,400 lumens. Consider the area you want the light to cover and make sure the model you are considering offers enough light for the area.
Usage. By usage, we mean where do you plan on using the light, indoors or outdoors? There are indoor motion sensor lights that are not weather resistant. However, some units feature a rugged housing that is water resistant and can handle different types of weather.
Additionally, there are some models that can be used indoors or outdoors. These might be a good option for areas that may be covered but the local climate is prone to severe weather. If you are wanting a unit to use outside, look for a model that is designed for outdoor use.
Range. Another important feature to consider is the range. Some models have very short ranges of only a few feet while others can detect motion up to 100 ft away.
The intended purpose of the light will have a huge impact on the range you need. If you simply want to light a small area, such as your doorway, a short range would be ideal. However, if you want to cover your backyard, you may want to look for a model with a long range.
Type of Power Source. These devices can be powered in a few different ways.
- Hardwired units are powered by your homes power supply. While units that use this type of power source may reduce the need to change batteries or clean solar panels, they can be a hassle to install if you need to run new wiring to the unit.
- Battery powered units avoid the need to run new wiring by using regular alkaline batteries. The batteries will typically last about a year based on an average of 10 activations per day. The downfall to battery operated motion sensor night lights is that if you live in a high traffic area, you will need to change your batteries more often.
- Solar powered units bridge the gap between battery-powered and hardwired units. A solar pack is designed into the light which charges the built-in batteries. These types of units are easy to install and will monitor your area even with a power outage. The drawbacks to solar units are they need to have plenty of sunlight to fully charge and typically cost more than the other models we discussed.
TOP-6 Best Motion Sensor Night Lights
Below, you will find 6 best models at a price ranging from $15 to $50. We believe that these items could make good options for your home or business. Each unit was selected based on the most reliable information available, reports from consumers that have actually used these products. All these models have their own advantages: some units have very bright lights while others are solar-powered and cost-efficient.
LITOM 30-LED Solar Motion Sensor Night Light
This model uses 30 LED lights on each unit that provides a coverage area of 215 square feet. The lights will activate for 30 seconds once motion is detected. If the unit still detects movement during the 30 second period, it will extend the length of time the lights remain on. The LITOM wireless motion sensor night lights come with four units for extra coverage.
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LITOM: Check the current price
Mr Beams Outdoor Motion Sensor Night Light
The Mr. Beams MB-723 comes with three battery-powered units. Each unit can sense motion up to 9 feet away and emits 20 lumens of light for 30 seconds and uses four AA batteries per unit. The units can be mounted on just about any surface with the use of double-sided tape.
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Mr Beams: Check the current price
Defiant LED Motion Sensor Night Light
Our next model from Defiant features two 180 degrees LED spotlights with a 180-degree motion detection sensor that has a range of 40 ft. The lights can be adjusted without the need for tools and produce 1100 lumens of light.
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Defiant: Check the current price
Homezone LED Motion Sensor Security Light
The Home Zone Mark 3 unit has a 240-degree field of view for motion detection and a range of up to 50 ft. The dual flood light design produces 2500 lumens of light and can be independently adjusted. The lights can be adjusted to turn on for 5 seconds and up to 7 minutes. They can also be overridden to stay on continuously for up to 6 hours.
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Homezone: Check the current price
Heath Zenith Motion Sensor Night Light
This Heath/Zenith unit uses two 120w flood lights and features a motion sensor that has a field of view of 150 degrees and a range of 70 ft and uses a pulse-count sensor.
The unit can be adjusted to turn on for 1, 5, or 10 minutes once motion has been detected. This feature can be overridden so the light can burn for as long as you want with the use of a motion sensor night light switch.
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Heath Zenith: Check the current price
A-Zone 800-Lumen Outdoor Motion Sensor Night Light
This solar-powered motion activated night light is equipped with 8 LEDs that produce 800 lumens of light. Powered by solar panels, there is no need to worry about changing batteries or running new wiring for hardwired units. The PIR sensors have a field of view of 120 degrees and range of up to 26 ft.
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A-Zone: Check the current price
Comparison Chart of Motion Sensor Night Light Effectiveness
Ideal for small areas
1100-lumen LED lights
240-degree angle viewing area
Durable aluminum base
Which motion activated night lights are the best?
Of the 6 units that we reviewed, the LITOM model would have to be our top pick. It provided the largest field of view of all the models we reviewed and had the fewest negative consumer reports.
Do they work during the day?
Some units to have an override feature that allows you to turn the lights on when you want to. However, most motion sensor lights will not activate during the hours of daylight.
How long do motion activated night lights stay on?
For units that cannot be adjusted, the average time the light remains on after being triggered is about 30 seconds. However, if they continue to detect motion, they will typically adjust and remain on longer. Adjustable units can be set to remain on for as little as 5 seconds or as long as 7 to 10 minutes.
Do they deter a crime?
Yes. With proper placement, these devices can help to deter potential crimes such as burglaries. If a burglar feels that there is a chance that they could be seen, they are more likely to not attempt a robbery.
Why is my motion sensor night light flashing?
A flickering unit is usually caused by a poor connection between the bulb or LEDs and the light fixture, bad bulbs or LEDs, or a problem with the circuit itself.
A quality unit can provide both security and peace of mind. They are low maintenance, typically easy to install, and are the first line of defense against potential buglers.
We hope that this guide has provided you with plenty of useful information and that it helps you choose the motion sensor light unit that best suits your needs. Until next time, be safe, happy shopping and good luck.