Energy use in both residential and commercial buildings is a major talking point regarding climate change and its mitigation. Although heating and air conditioning systems top the energy usage list, lighting comes in second. The National Academies Press had projected lighting would constitute 18 and 25 percent of energy usage by the end of 2006 in residential and commercial structures, respectively.
Such studies have prompted the adoption and implementation of smart lighting techniques in many American households. One of such ways is the installation and use of motion sensor light bulbs. You can access a wide range of these motion-activated bulbs. The variety can range from the indoor and outdoor motion sensitive models, to the LED and light sensor bulbs.
This review and guide for buying the best motion sensor light bulbs for 2017 aims to simplify your work. It will help you sieve through the tons of options you would get when you search for the LED motion sensitive lights online. After going through my best picks below, you should free to check them on different stores like Walmart, Home Depot and Lowes.
Table of Contents
- List of the Top Motion Sensor Lights
- How Do Motion Sensor Light Bulbs Work?
- Types of Motion Sensitive LED Bulbs
- Intended Location of Use – Where Can You Install Motion Activated Night Light?
- Energy Usage – LED or Incandescent Light Bulbs?
- Final Take – What Makes a Motion Sensor Light Bulb Great?
List of the Top Motion Sensor Lights
- Sengled Smartsense LED Security Floodlight with Built-In Motion Detector
- Mr Beams MB360 Wireless LED Spotlight
- First Alert PIR725 Motion Sensing Motion Activated Light
- Beams MB980 Wireless LED Ceiling Light
- Amertac – Westek 73092CC LED Night Light
- OxyLED OxySense T-02
- iRainy E27 5W LED Infrared Motion Sensor PIR
Sengled Smartsense LED Security Floodlight
This floodlight by Sengled rides on an intelligent motion detecting algorithm. The algorithm minimizes many false triggers and only activates the light when it detects motion within its detection range. In that line of thought, it is worth noting the bulb has a 30-foot and 100-degree detection range and angle, respectively.
Since this bulb uses the passive sensor technology through its integrated passive infrared sensor, it lights up when it detects infrared heat in its detection area. Practically, this Singled motion sensor bulb is worth considering based on its usage experience. That experience ranges from its easy installation and through its average life expectancy of over 25,000 hours of usage.
In particular, despite being an 11.5W bulb, it pumps out a brightness level as a 90W floodlight. Such a large difference in wattage rating is an important factor for this motion detector floodlight regarding energy usage. That is, the bulb uses less energy hence a low electricity bill at the end of the month.
After purchasing a bulb, the next step is to install it. In the case of the Smartsense bulb from Sengled, requires a simple set-up process. With no extra fixtures or wires needed, you can screw the bulb into most motion sensor light bulb sockets.
When buying this Sengled floodlight, you would want to know about any possible downside. In this case, you will have to contend with a few flickering when the bulb turns on after it detects motion. However, that is a con you could overcome given its performance when it finally turns on.
Mr Beams MB360 Wireless LED Spotlight
The MB360 is one of the reliable options when you want to light up an outdoor space whenever necessary. That is the case based on its industrious design that delivers durability. Notably, this Spotlight by Mr Beams is battery-powered. In the same light of durability, the alkaline battery can last up 12 months depending on usage.
For most people, wireless LED spotlights are suitable for gardens and pathways. Since such areas are exposed to rain and high humidity levels, the chances of internal parts of the bulb could start rusting after a year or so. As such, you may consider installing it on a position that is less exposed to rusting conditions. The move will boost longevity given the spotlight already has tight seals and ultraviolet resistant materials.
Installing this motion sensor spot light is simple. You only need to screw the base onto a surface of your choice. Further, you can adjust the focus area of the light beam thanks to its adjustable joints. Its 140-lumen composition would be sufficient to produce enough bright light given it is only a 2W spotlight.
First Alert PIR725 Motion Sensing Motion Activated Light
The 725 model of the First Alert PIR is a light fixture you should pick if you want the freedom to experiment with different bulbs. Since it acts as a bridge between the socket and a bulb, it pegs its usability on easy installation. Afterward, you will have the option to use either 100-watts incandescent bulbs or up to 50 watts fluorescent bulb.
Unlike the Mr Beams MB360, which can tolerate harsh outdoor conditions, this motion sensing light socket is designed for indoor use only. This requirement could be a limitation, but you can easily overlook it once you install the socket given its capability and reliability to detect motion in a 360-degree angle.
There are a couple of things you would want to keep in mind regarding this socket. The two things are its susceptibility to motion and duration to turn off. Once installed, the socket can detect motion within a range of 12 feet in both day and night light. Turning on in daylight could be a caveat in itself given the fact some homeowners would prefer automatic turning on when it is dark.
Notably, this socket will automatically turn off the bulb when you leave a room. However, the waiting period is 4 minutes. In comparison to other motion sensor bulbs that average less than 1 minute, the 4-minute delay is long. Regardless of that waiting duration, you can still find it suitable in particular application situations.
Mr. Beams MB980 Wireless LED Ceiling Light
Installing the common bulbs in all the rooms, sheds, closets, basement, staircases, and pathways seem like a good idea. After all, the bulbs will light up all those areas hence ensuring safety and ease of access. However, the major shortcoming for the traditional bulbs is the need for manual switching on and off.
The Mr. Beams MB980 LED bulb comes in to solve that problem. When you walk towards a storage room, this 100-lumen bulb will detect your motion from 20 feet away and light up. In turn, its 30-second timer of no motion to shut off also comes in handy in saving battery life.
Besides storage rooms, the 100 lumens the bulb packs are enough to produce enough brightness for pantries, porches, backyards, closets, and stairways. If you opt to buy this bulb model from eBay, Home Depot, or Walmart, you will have an easy installation process. Afterward, this LED light will serve you up to 50,000 hours.
Amertac – Westek 73092CC
This motion sensor light from Amertac-Westek brings together the different factors you would expect from bulbs using this technology. The LED bulb present compatibility, has a light sensor, and a nice design. Each of these features plays a part in making the 73092CC LED night light a worthy choice for your hallway, bathroom, or bedroom.
Installing the bulb is super easy and can plug into most light sockets because of its compatibility. Once you get it into place, you will enjoy an energy-efficient LED bulb especially if you the one with an inbuilt battery. The battery charges during the day via solar for usage during the night.
Regarding motion sensing, this indoor motion sensor light bulb can detect your movement from 25 feet away. The detection also covers a zone of 100-degree wide. Further, the bulb has a light sensor that prevents it from turning on in daylight. Once you leave the detection range, this Amertac-Westek will turn off after 90 seconds.
OxyLED OxySense T-02
If your aim is to have a motion detecting bulb that only lights up when it detects motion in the darkness, then the OxyLED OxySense T-02 is a reasonable pick. Noteworthy, the bulb only takes 15 seconds to turn off when it detects no motion. Its automatic sensing range is 3 meters hence can avoid accidental lighting up.
Just like the top bulb options listed above, installing this light should be a breeze. The installation will prove essential in various indoor spaces like baby rooms, cabinets, and closets. With about 100 lumens, this bulb will be bright enough to light up an area.
As mentioned, this LED bulb only turns on in darkness. Based on that, it might not work as you expect if you install two of them close to each. The light from one of the bulbs could be enough to prevent the other one from lighting up. From the user perspective, that could be a malfunction since each should turn on provided it detects your motion.
iRainy E27 5W LED
If you are looking for quality in a motion activated night light, then you should for the iRainy E27 5W LED Infrared Motion Sensor PIR. The quality shows through features like its automatic PIR motion detection, brightness level, and impressive color saturation in the light it produces.
This iRainy LED bulb uses only 5 watts per hour making it energy efficient and long lasting. In comparison, it only uses 20 percent of the power the traditional incandescent bulbs consume. At the same time, the impressive quality of light it produces makes it suitable for installation and use in many areas. Such areas include home and hotel hallways, exhibition halls, office stairs, and shopping centers.
The practicality to use the iRainy E27 in the mentioned areas arises from its 450 lumens. After detecting motion within a range of 5-6 meters in the dark, it will automatically light up and produce enough light for a clear vision.
After screwing in this bulb at your preferred spot, you may notice repeated lighting up and off every few seconds. The question that quickly pops in the mind is, what should you do when a LED motion sensor keeps turning on and off? In the case of this iRainy model, the cause could be a nearby animal or person. The other cause for such an unwanted or accidental lighting may be an installation position near a heat source. As such, ensure that you install this bulb away from heat-emitting appliances since it uses the PIR motion detection technology.
After going through my top picks above, you may have noted several options that can work for you. At this point, making that final choice may turn out confusing. However, I am going to guide you through the step.
The process involves the following questions and aspects:
- Understanding how motion sensor lights work
- Which types of motion sensor light bulbs exist?
- Intended location of use
- Energy usage
How Do Motion Sensor Light Bulbs Work?
Buying the best and most suitable product requires you to understand how it works. The same approach applies to finding out how motion sensor lights operate for both indoor and outdoor use. These light bulbs have sensors. In some, the sensors send out some form of energy while monitoring the reflection frequency rate and pattern. Whenever an object or person crosses the path of the energy, it will interfere with the reflection hence make the sensor complete a circuit for the light to turn on.
In other cases, the sensors only detect infrared energy. Such sensors are sensitive to heat hence a change in temperature within its detection range will prompt it to trigger the light to turn on. In both cases, the detection range varies depending on the bulb model.
Types of Motion Sensitive LED Bulbs
As already mentioned, the two main types of motion detector light bulbs arise from the way they operate. Noteworthy, bulbs that employ the passive infrared energy (PIR) detection approach are the most common. Such bulbs only scan the area within their range for any temperature changes. This means they can trigger the lights to turn on when your pet crosses the detection area. Further, some of these bulbs allow programming to ignore heat emitted by small animals and insects as well as small temperature changes.
The other approach that motion sensitive lights use is to actively send energy and wait for the bounce rates. Moving people and animals will cause irregular bouncing of the high-frequency infrared light, sound waves, and microwaves. In turn, the change will lead to the light automatically switching on.
Intended Location of Use – Where Can You Install Motion Activated Night Light?
After reading this review and guide on buying the best motion sensitive light bulbs, it is important to know where to install them. You can use the bulbs indoors or outdoors based on what you want to achieve.
For indoor usage, the LED bulbs should be helpful in walk-in closets, bathroom, dining room, staircases, and basement areas. In return, you will enjoy convenience, safety, and energy efficiency. That would be the case because the bulbs light up upon detecting your motion to ensure you see your surrounding and help you avoid tripping. Further, the automatic turning off will save you from having to switch off the lights when not using them.
Motion sensor flood light bulbs are best suited for outdoor usage. Their benefits are two-fold. On one hand, the bulbs will switch on when you arrive at your house at night hence ensuring easy access. When in the house, the LED motion sensor bulbs will deter intruders by lighting up in the case of any motion. As such, they can enhance your security level.
When considering the location of use, it is important to consider the design and build of the LED bulb. For outdoor usage where the light bulb will encounter harsh weather conditions, the Mr Beams MB360 can be a good pick. On the other hand, a motion sensor bulb like the iRainy E27 is a promising option for indoor spaces. Its design is also another plus especially if you want to install it on visible hallways.
Energy Usage – LED or Incandescent Light Bulbs?
Why switch to motion sensor LED bulbs when my compact florescent bulbs are in good condition? This is the question you might be asking. The answer boils down to energy efficiency keeping in mind how the bulbs simplify the implementation of a smart lighting system. In the same line of thought, this should be the right time to replace your incandescent light bulbs because of their high energy usage.
Once you install the bulbs, you will worry no more about switching them on and off. The LED bulbs light up upon detecting motion and switch off when you remain still or leave. That model of operation ensures minimal energy waste, which leads to many benefits since the bulbs automatically turn off when you leave a room.
When compared to traditional 90W incandescent light bulbs, these LED motion sensing bulbs only 10 percent of that energy to produce a similar brightness level. Further, you can base your choice of a motion detector light on its energy usage since the available options also vary in that aspect.
Final Take – What Makes a Motion Sensor Light Bulb Great?
After reading this guide, the motion sensitive bulb you decide to buy may still depend on your preferences. However, there are clear features that make a motion sensor bulb great. These features are reliability in turning on and off as expected, compatibility with existing light fixtures and sockets, and durability.
Making the right choice will allow you to enjoy the benefits of installing motion sensor light bulbs. Lighting up when you need them and turning off when you leave the roof proves that these bulbs bring convenience. In doing so, you will keep your electricity bill at an all time low. When installed outside, these bulbs can prevent intruders hence enhance your security.