Every home has dark spots around the outside of their home. The areas that need special attention are the entry points, mainly the entrance doors. You may choose an outdoor light that requires that you manually turn it on and off. These type however don’t provide lighting on your trip into the home without first turning them on. There is an option to install lighting that is controlled by photocells, that turn the light on when it gets dark, or timers, that turn the light on at a set time every night. But to help safeguard your home against unwanted visitors or to have light only when you walk up to your door or a predetermined area of the outside of your home, a motion-sensor light might be the better choice.
Motion-sensor lights are triggered by motion, not how light or dark it outside. They are triggered by a sensing device that detects motion and that activates the lights to turn on. These are great theft detours since thieves don’t like to be in the spotlight, rather they tend to want to sneak in inconspicuously. As someone approaches the home, the sensor picks up their movement and on goes the light, startling any intruder, which should cause them to think someone is home and rethink breaking in.
Positioning the motion-sensor light is critical for the effectiveness of its security function. If the light is attached to the home low enough for a burglar to unscrew the bulbs or disable it, it will not be an effective deterrent. Be sure that is installed high enough that a ladder must be used. The motion-sensor light should also have two bulbs to ensure the light works if one bulb burns out.
Outdoor lighting is a great way to help you find your keys without fumbling for them in the dark. But what about the dark home you’ll have to enter once inside? Don’t fear! There is also a solution for that. It’s called indoor security lighting kits. They work by being placed next to windows, doors, or walk areas that someone will likely be traveling. The window option can be set up so if someone breaks a window in you home by a security light kit, the sensor will turn on the lights, again, startling the intruder. Like I said, it can also be a great aid in turning on lights for you in your home when your hands are full, maybe with groceries.
Since outdoor motion-sensor lights are located outdoors and subject to the weather’s elements, they should be listed for damp locations and installed together with weatherproof boxes so they are unaffected by rain, sleet, snow, or other adverse conditions. If replacing an existing light, be sure that a gasket is used to make it rain tight and I’d also encourage the use of silicone caulk to seal the fixture to the wall that it is being mounted on. Be sure to plug any unused holes or opening in the box, light fixture assembly, or cracks between the light and wall.
When adding or replacing a light fixture, be sure to turn off the power to the feeder wire before attempting to perform the work. Safety should be the first thing on your mind when working with electrical circuits.
Here is one more tip when installing this type of lighting. Before screwing in the light bulb, a weatherproof floodlight bulb, install a weatherproof gasket washer over the screw end of the light bulb. This protects the light socket from water damage from the weather.