Posts Tagged ‘Installation’

Tips for Setting Up Your Outdoor Motion Sensor Lights

A few good tips for setting up your outdoor motion sensor lights will help you to avoid some of the most common errors when placing and adjusting your motion sensor units. Safety and security are two very good reasons to install motion detector lights. They will help you get into your home when arriving after dark and give you a sense of security when you’re sleeping. This kind of comfort truly is priceless so all things considered, motion detectors are a really good investment.

Motion detector lighting can be used to illuminate a walkway or driveway. It can turn on lights either inside or outside. Installing Outdoor LightThey can deter a potential intruder who may be looking for an easy mark. If your home lights up like a Christmas tree when someone approaches, its most likely the culprit will just move on to an easier mark. Safety comes when there’s no need to get out of your car in the dark. Your approach is well lit and falls can be eliminated especially in inclement weather when slippery conditions exist. Installing motion detector lighting solves several problems with one easy fix.


Where To Install Motion Detector Lighting

Automatic lighting is normally used to illuminate a drive or walkway. Some will use this type of apparatus to light up a back yard. Other uses include turning on interior lights when dusk arrives. This application will give the appearance that someone is home when in fact you may be away on vacation or just out for an evening. Whatever the reason for your lighting here are a few easy tips for setting up your outdoor motion sensor lights.

Start by surveying just what you need to light up. Some will need a wide beam of light to include an entire backyard for example. Others will want a narrow long beam for lighting a walkway. Driveways may require a flood light and still another type would be a wall hung sconce light for walks and entrance ways.

Your lighting apparatus will have several adjustments that must be taken into consideration when purchasing the units. You’ll need to have some sort of plan laid out on paper and a list of how many lights and where they will be located. Another question to think about will be whether or not the unit will contain the sensor that operates it or will you need a remote sensor. The proper positioning of the sensor is imperative to a good functioning motion detector lighting system. Set up your lighting and place the sensors at their highest settings. Use the test switch to operate the lights during daylight hours. This will allow you to get the settings close enough to come out and fine tune everything when it’s dark. Almost all units have adjustable timers. Normally they can be adjusted from one minute to twenty minutes or more. Figure out how long it takes you to get to where you no longer need light from when you trigger the motion detector and that should be your setting.

If you have problems with your units picking up motion from a source you don’t want them to see, such as traffic going by or even trees blowing in the wind that can sometimes effect the operation. There are tricks to help like placing a small piece of tape over the very edge of the sensor’s eye. This can reduce the peripheral vision of the unit and block out say, road traffic or a flag waving in the vision field. This can also be accomplished with a black Sharpie to a fine degree. If you have exterior lighting that isn’t under an eave or somehow protected from the elements. Make sure these light fixtures are facing down. Although most units for exterior lighting are supposed to be sealed from the weather, there is a potential problem if they are tipped up and water collects in the socket.

These tips for setting up your outdoor motion sensor lights will hopefully get you the safety and peaceful nights you’re looking for from this type of a system. Your security matters and motion lights can help in a variety of ways.

The Ultimate Guide to Motion Sensor Lights for Your Home

Motion Sensor Security Light

For all those that love making improvements around the house from DIY projects to full blown remodeling with contractors and the whole nine yards I have written this guide to motion sensor lights for your home. You might be thinking that lighting isn’t a home improvement but it really is and it can make a huge difference in the way your house looks to others and how you get around it at night. Now everyone knows the importance and convenience of lighting and it is so ingrained in our modern lives that most of us don’t give it a second thought and wouldn’t know what to do without it. On the other hand there are those that not only know its importance but take advantage of it by using it for all the things that make lights great, like there beauty, convenience and security. These people utilize all types of lights around their homes that are specially designed for specific purposes and situation. For example accent lights for landscaping, security lights for porches and driveways and night lights for bedroom, bathrooms and hallways. Motion sensor lights also play a big part in making the most of these lighting situations in and around the home and that is where this article is going to help. In it you are going to find just about everything you will ever need to know about motion sensor lights. So hopefully no matter what question you have or what type of light you are looking to buy you can find the information you need here.

What is a Motion Sensor Light and How Does it Work

Motion Actived Door Bell

          A motion sensing light isn’t much different than any other light, other than it has a built in sensor that turns it on when it detects movement. Other common names include motion detecting and motion activated. Typically these types of lights are used for outdoor security purposes around homes and businesses or indoors as night lights or as occupancy sensors or motion sensor light switch for the main light in a specific room. Many of these lights come with several features that allow you to adjust the sensitivity of the motion sensing eye and the amount of time the light will stay on after being activated.
There are several different types of motion sensors and if you look around in your day to day routine you will start to notice all the places that use this technology. For example on garage door openers there are motion sensors that keep the door from closing if there is something in the way, or the automatic doors at stores like Walmart, or even little mom and pop store that have a bell that rings when someone passes through the door. These are two different types of sensors. The automatic door sensors work by sending out a simple form of radar that when blocked activates the door which explains the radar detector in your car seems to goes off for no reason. The ringing door bell works by producing a beam of light that shines across the door opening into a photosensor when the beam is broken the bell goes off. These examples are what are known as active sensors. They produce a type of energy whether it’s light, sound or microwaves that is released into the environment to detect any change.
Now most motion sensing lights use what are known as passive infrared detectors or pyroelectric sensors, PIR for short. These work a little differently than the active sensors. PIR detectors work by monitoring and detecting change in the amount of infrared energy in a given area which dictated by the field of view of the sensor eye. Now when it comes to trying to detect change in the infrared energy you have to be careful. If you set the sensor too sensitive you will be picking up thing like the heating up and cooling off of buildings, sidewalks or any other object that is heated by the sun during the day. So lucky for us the manufacturers of these lights set the sensitivity to a level that only actives the light when it detects a rapid change in infrared energy. And this explains why if you were to walk in front of a motion sensor light which would then be activated and stand there without moving eventually the light would turn off because it not detecting changes in infrared energy “movement”.

Where Do I Use Motion Sensor Lights?

Motion Detecting Porch Light

          This is a great question and the answer is just about any where you want. Some of the most common place were mentioned in the first paragraph but are worth repeating they include outdoors near driveways, sidewalks and on porches all places that people are frequently at after dark plus second as security lights to ward off unwanted visitors whether they are human or an animal pest. Indoors they are used in hallways, bathroom and even on stairs for stairway lighting but this is just the beginning any room in the house could be a good candidate. With all the different styles of lights that are now available there should be something that’s perfect for just about any place you can think of. Really the options are endless other location could be garages, sheds, tree houses for the kids, the back yard for night time activities or in the garden. Just remember the days of having to settle for tacky looking security style lights are long gone many of the new designs look great, like the classic porch light pictured at the right.

Resources for Choosing and Installing Motion Sensor Lights

Motion Senor Light Switch

To keep this article from being a small book I have broken it up into a few smaller articles to make it a little more manageable and easier to follow. The first article is on the Best Indoor Motion Sensor Lights, it gives you some great information on several different types of lights that can be used all over the inside of your home. The next few articles Exterior Motion Detector Lights, Wireless Outdoor Motion Sensor Lights, and Solar Motion detector Lights are all about different types of outdoor lights that you might find useful for a specific area around your home. And then there are the how to videos that can make installing your new lights a breeze even if you are not an electrician they include How to Install a Motion Sensor Light Switch and How to Install Outdoor Motion Sensor Lights.
To continue this project/guide next I will be working on answering some of the most common question people have about motion lights, from how to adjust there sensitivity to replacing the sensors. Hopefully it will be finished soon and I can call this project finished.