5 Best Outdoor Motion Sensor Lights

Author: Reece Thompson | Updated on December 24, 2018

Outdoor motion sensor lights have improved significantly in the last decade and it makes financial sense to invest in at least one or two outdoor lights for a number of reasons. We highlight our 3 favourite ones, before detailing the pros and cons below.

The primary purpose is to alight the path that you're taking as you approach a property and to serve as a deterrent to any would be trespassers on your property. On this page, our list of the best ones focus on the security aspect.

It's important to find lights that best meet your budget and your specific property needs. So we'll group them into different types i.e. hardwired, battery powered and solar. This will enable you to decide which ones are within your personal budgets.

Ranking Table

1. Hardwired Outdoor Motion Sensor Lights

Sansi LED Lights

Our Rating (4/5)
SANSI Outdoor Light

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  • Manufacturer: Sansi
  • Weight: 898 grams
  • Dimensions: 28.5 x 21 x 13.8 cm
  • Power: Hardwired

This 36 watt light comes with 8 large LED bulbs that will provide 3600 lumen brightness.

Despite it coming with 3 setting options, the motion sensor mode is what we need this one for and it can be set to 1 minute, 5 minutes or 10 minutes once it has been activated.

This LED security light is designed to be wall mounted, so you shouldn't put it behind shrubbery or behind the eaves in the roof.


  • Very bright at 1800 lumens
  • 18W LED bulb means that it is cost effective
  • Comes with a 5 year guarantee


  • More expensive than the other types
  • Needs to be hard wire installed

2. Battery Operated Motion Sensor

Mr. Beams Spotlight

Our Rating (5/5)
Mr Beams Spotlight

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We have 3 of these installed in our home

  • Manufacturer: Mr Beams
  • Weight: 240 grams
  • Dimensions: 16.5 x 8.9 x 11.2 cm
  • Power: Battery Powered

This is really easy to install and comes supplied with 3 screws and plugs. Despite it only offering 200 lumens, we find the fairly narrow beam of light is perfect for smaller areas. Once activated, the light comes on for five seconds before switching off.

The PIR sensor is also very good, but it did seem to come on all the time during a recent storm that we had lots of windy weather.

We've had this installed for eight months now and it still seems to be in good condition. No water damage means that it's functioning perfectly.


  • Small and discrete
  • Battery power will give 1 year of operation
  • No wiring needed


  • 200 lumens isn't the brightest
  • Not the best in low light and dusk

3. Solar Powered Motion Security Light

MPow 102 LED Solar

Our Rating (4.5/5)
outdoor solar security light

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  • Manufacturer: MPow
  • Weight: 417 g
  • Dimensions: 30.8 x 11.5 x 5.5 cm
  • Power: Solar Powered

For a solar powered light, the illumination from this item is very strong and lights up an area the size of a small garden. It comes supplied with four screws and plugs and can be put up within minutes.

It offers 3 modes: Medium light, dim light and sensor mode. For the purposes of what we want, the sensor mode is what we chose.

Note that the manufacturer offers the same design in a 52 LED lights mode, but it makes a huge difference to opt for the 102 LED lights for not much more spend. We would advise that you go for more LEDS.


  • Lights up a large area
  • 120° Wide Angle Sensor
  • No wires and no batteries needed


  • To get the best out of it, have it south facing
  • No warranty with the product

Why Should You Install Outdoor Security Lighting?

Personal and Home security are one of the last things we think about when kitting out where we live, but it offers an added layer of warmth in the mind.

The key objective is to act as a deterrent to would be intruders. Whether that is keeping the light on, having a dog to bark at any passers-by or having CCTV installed, we all have our own way of keeping our home secure.

The most cost effective way of adding that extra layer of security is by installing a motion sensor security light. The benefits are:

  • It only comes on when motion is detected
  • Cost effective and saves money on electricity
  • Can provide illumination to footpaths and driveways
  • Modern sets are small and discrete in design
  • Can let you see who is approaching your home in darker months

What types of outdoor lighting are there?

Motion Sensor Lights

Passive infrared sensors (PIR) measure infrared heat from objects that fall within its sensor. These can either be hardwired or battery operated.

Solar Lights

Solar lights do the same job as regular PIR lights, but are powered using solar cells. In effect, the cell batteries are charged up throughout the say by the sun and is used to alight moving objects during the hours of darkness. This is a very cost effective way of having outdoor security lights.

LED Lights

LED lights can be expensive to buy initially, but in the long term they use less electricity and power due to their efficiency. In the long term, they are a cost effective way of powering your lights.

Halogen Lights

Traditionally, this is type of bulb that was used to light up an area outside, but it is the most costly. They have lots of lumens to light up a wide area, but they are not the most cost effective.

Where should I put outdoor security lights?

The lighting of an area should be visible to the eye and in a useful location. For example, there’s no need for a light to shine on the back pond as the koi fish will cause the lights to come on unnecessarily!

You also don’t want to blast thousands of lumens on to your neighbours back garden, so be wise as to where you place the direction of the lights so as not to annoy your neighbour.

If you live in the countryside, it might be a wise idea to not have the sensor next to trees either. Any friendly visitors such as birds or squirrels could initiate the sensor to switch the lights on.

The most ideal areas include:

  • Front door entrances
  • Garage door area
  • Front driveway of the house.

And finally, note that outdoor lights are best placed at least 2 metres from floor level to get the most out of the light radiation.

Some homeowners also like to place the lighting slightly behind a bush or a growth to give a nice ambient feel to the light that comes on.

To see other reviews in the security section, please click here.