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  • Writer's pictureDIYTechnician

DIY Motion Detector Security Lights. Are they worth the money?

Installing these nice and bright LED's can be a game changer. I highly recommend them due to their power consumption efficiency and their added security effect. By increasing the visibility around your house, you are increasing your security presence. The bad guys don't want to be seen. This can be just a first step in increasing your home security presence. These modern day do-it-yourself lights are very easy to install if you have any kind of mechanical or electrical inclination at all. I will say, if you are at all unsure about any wiring when performing any of this, be sure to hire a certified electrician. I've installed a variety of these types of lights and would say I'm now somewhat of an expert on these. Here are some lights I've recently installed and are listed in no particular order.

Defiant Brand Motion Detecting Security Light

These DEFIANT brand motion security lights are incredibly easy to install. They were around $50 each at Home Depot. They really made this install very simple and they are so bright that it hurts your eyes to look directly at them. I was very pleased with the ease of installation as well as the results and functionality of them. These exceed the status quo and they serve their purpose well. Be sure to turn off the power to the circuit before working on any of this. A voltage tester is always a good thing to have around. Just a reminder to check the batteries and on/off function of your voltage tester before using and relying on it. After you get your old outdoor light off the wall and unwired, you'll need to also remove the threaded piece of flat bar/sheet metal bracket as the new LED motion sensor light has it's own unique piece with an inset threaded center oriface that needs to be installed. The same original two screws can typically be used if need be. If the old ones are worn than be sure to replace them. A lot of times they make these screws stainless steel whereas a lot of times in the past they were galvanized. Even though they are galvanized they still get corroded and sometimes very bad.

Once you get the bracket and back plastic holder plate installed be sure the wiring is run through hole. Now the next step is the one that I really like. There's only one screw for the ground wire but then there's some set screws for the black and white wires. This one is well worth the money.

Here's a paid amazon link to one:

This is the easiest installation I've ever done due to the easy configuration of these lights. I am not getting any kickbacks from plugging these lights but come easy to install. The main thing, safety wise, is to turn off your power so you don't shock the heck out of yourself. The wiring configuration on this is pretty standard. White to white, black to black and then of course ground to ground.

"As Seen On TV" Bionic Solar Powered Motion Detecting LED Spotlight [Bionic LED Spotlight Set Up]

This one was available at Lowe's and was on sale. Honestly, after testing it all out for my application in my current place of living, I would not buy this one again. I feel a little somewhat ripped off. It just didn't do what I expected. It didn't shine as far in the dark or stay on as long as I'd like. I installed this light during the winter time and it worked pretty good at first but it won't work optimally if it's not exposed to California type sunlight. If you live or install this in a climate that is mostly overcast or rainy for most of the year, you are likely to be disappointed. These are decent summertime lights but somewhat ineffective for the most part during the wintertime months. Not to hate on this too much because I'm sure there places in the world where this light will work wonders. When compared to this LED's hardwired non-solar counterparts, there is no comparison. I would recommend a larger battery and larger panel if you really wanted to get some solar LED action in not so sunny areas.

COSTCO Home Zone Brand Security LED Light Hardwired 3000 Lumens [DIY LED Motion Security Light]

On the shelf right now is this "DIY COSTCO Home Zone Brand Security LED Light Hardwired 3000 Lumens [DIY LED Motion Security Light]" for only $20.00. You can't beat it. I'm not paid to sell this or sponsored but a good deal is a good deal and I must pass this along. This is sooo bright, you'll love it. You won't be disappointed with this sucker. Great buy for a nice and bright, easy to install, security light. For me this installation boiled down to a few steps and are as follows:

1. Turn off the power at breaker (double check with voltage tester)

2. Unbolt and unwire the old crusty existing light

3. Unbox new one and read the directions

4. Wire it up. I wired this one up white to white, black to black, ground to ground

5. Select desired settings for sensitivity, sun/moon/or just all nighttime

Here's an amazon paid link to it (I make a super tiny amount if you use this link):

Home Zone Motion Activated Security Light:

That's it. Super easy. If unsure on how to do any of this or if you have different wiring configurations, get ahold of a certified electrician. While these are geared towards your doityourself (DIY) for my fellow DIY technicians, if you have a weird or different wiring configuration make sure you have a certified pro to install this for you. Another safe option is a good Handyman (much like myself) and hire it out. It's a fairly easy job IF you know how to do this kind of stuff safely. Don't attempt this is you are questioning what you are doing because this could result in catastrophic results if you don't get it right.

Mr. BEAMS Brand Battery Powered Solar Motion Detecting Security Light Usage & Review

nboxing and Testing Out of this BEAMS Brand Battery Powered Solar Motion Detecting Security Light. I install and lightly mount (just for test purposes) before permanently mounting this little "C" battery cell light. The batteries do not come with this and it seems to work pretty good. It boasts 80 lumens and claims to be able to last for a year on three C batteries. I was very pleased with the ease of battery installation and also being able to easily mount this thing. In order to install the batteries all you need to do is unscrew the top (where the light and motion sensor reside) and twist. After using this light and having it installed during winter, I don't think I'd buy this one again. While it works fine right out of the box, don't expect this to hold up to the 1 year battery life that the packaging promises. Not even close. This would be a good indoor bedroom or reading light but not an outdoor security light by itself. If you have numerous of them lined up together than I think it would be more effective than just this one little 80 lumen light. Again, maybe a good one for either an indoor mud room or an entry way.

Here's a paid amazon link to one:

Mr. Beams MB310 Wireless LED Mini Spotlight with Motion Sensor and Photocell, Small, 80-Lumens, Brown:

Utilitec Motion-Activated Solar Powered Bright LED House and Yard Lights

Thumbs down. Stay away from these. Since making this video and having used these for a couple weeks now, they really are nothing to brag about. As a matter of fact, I wouldn't buy these again (just as a recommendation to you). The "Utilitec Motion-Activated Solar Powered Bright LED House and Yard Lights [Utilitec Solar LED]" video shows you the unboxing but what it doesn't show is longer term usage and these things do NOT hold up especially during dreary or overcast days, almost no light. Major buyer's remorse.


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