The 8 Best Outdoor Motion Sensor Lights of 2022

Baxia Technology’s 28 LED solar lights are our top choice.

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House with outdoor lights

Getty

Too much artificial light at night is linked to a number of environmental issues.

Plants and animals rely on the natural rhythm of day and night to help control their reproduction, sleep, and migratory patterns as well as for protection from predators. Urban light pollution from outdoor sources like parking lots and roadways as well as residences and office buildings interferes with these vital biological activities. Leaving the lights on also increases carbon emissions. In the United States, about 15 million tons of carbon are emitted annually to power outdoor residential lighting alone.

Installing motion sensor lighting at home saves money and energy, and helps solve some of the issues associated with keeping the lights on all the time. They’re also a low-cost option for deterring trespassers.

Here are some of the best models of outdoor sensor lights:

Best Overall: Baxia Technology 28 LED Solar Motion Sensor Security Wall Lights

5
Baxia Technology 28 LED Solar Motion Sensor Security Wall Lights

Amazon

This four-pack of wireless solar-powered motion sensor lights offer efficient lighting at an economical price, making them our top overall choice. Charging up in just eight hours of daylight ensures that they’ll be ready to glow when nightfall comes. They have an automatic shut-off that keeps the lights off when there's sunlight, to conserve the battery.

The waterproof and heatproof housing protects the 28 LEDs from extreme elements. They detect motion up to 5 meters away at an angle of 120 degrees. That makes them ideal for lighting residential walkways, driveways, patios, and gardens. They’re also available in a two or four pack with 100 LEDs for spaces that require more illumination.

Best Budget: LITOM Original Solar Lights Outdoor

4.8
LITOM Original Solar Lights Outdoor

Walmart

This budget-friendly option from a world leader in solar lighting is equipped with high-powered LEDs and the latest energy management chip technology. It’s easy to install, waterproof, and features a 270-degree angle that can reach up to 200 square feet.

Choose from three working modes to create different usage scenarios to illuminate front doors, garages, decks, or porches. However, the main downside of any solar light is that you may not get a full charge on cloudy days.

Best Floodlight: Leonlite Dual Head 20-Watt LED Dusk to Dawn Outdoor Security Flood Light with Motion Sensor

Leonlite Dual Head 20-Watt LED Dusk to Dawn Outdoor Security Flood Light with Motion Sensor

Walmart

Ready to replace your halogen-powered floodlight? Save up to 86.7% on energy costs by saying goodbye to your 150-watt halogen fixture and hello to this LED option. That’s an estimated $715 over the product’s lifespan.

Customize this ETL-certified product to your lighting needs by choosing from auto, dusk-to-down, or manual operation mode. The dual-head security light features a 180-degree detection angle and 70-foot-long detection distance making it suitable for residential and commercial use. This option is hard-wired.

Best Smart: Philips Hue Outdoor Sensor

Philips Hue Outdoor Sensor

Amazon

Alexa, turn on the motion-sensor light! These easy-to-install, wireless motion-sensor lights brighten up the “smart” home experience. Sync multiple lights together and connect them to the Phillips Hue app and control them from anywhere. It's also compatible with Apple HomeKit.

They offer an impressive detection range, are weatherproof, and can also be used as indoor lighting. Mountable on flat walls, outer corner of a wall or post, or a pole. They're powered by 2 AA batteries, and come with a two year warranty.

Best with Security Camera: Ring HD Motion-Activated Floodlight Camera

HD Motion-Activated Floodlight Camera

The Home Depot

Ring is an industry leader known for innovative ideas about security, such as a doorbell camera. Ring's motion-activated outdoor recorder monitors your home in 1080 HD video with infrared night vision with Live View.

Connect it with Alexa to enable alerts whenever motion is detected and talk to visitors through compatible devices like your phone, tablet, or computer. Two LED lamps are attached to the camera along with a 110-decibel alarm. Ring's light and camera combo does need to be hardwired, so it's an installation job that may require a professional electrician. It can be mounted on either a wall or from a ceiling.

Best LED: LEPOWER 3000LM LED Motion Sensor Light

LEPOWER 3000LM LED Motion Sensor Light

Amazon

Powered by Samsung LED lamp beads, this hardwired security light source has 45% higher motion sensing range than similar options. Customize the sensing range from 0 to 72 feet and the lighting time from 0 to 10 minutes to meet your needs.

The optical filter lens is easy on the eyes, by offering better illumination and softer light beams. It goes easy on the wallet by saving more than 80% on an electric bill compared to its 140-watt halogen counterparts.

Best Wireless: Aootek LED Solar Lights with Wide Angle Illumination

Aootek LED Solar Lights with Wide Angle Illumination

Amazon

Powered by a 2200mAh capacity lithium-ion battery, this wireless motion sensor lamp can be installed anywhere. No batteries are required as it’s recharged by solar panels with about 20.5% efficiency values.

It’s 48 LED Lights makes it one brightest LED options on the market. It detects movement up to 26 feet with a 120-angle. Choose from three operation modes for customizing how bright and long you want light to shine on your driveway, walkway, or yard once activated.

Best for Steps: Mr Beams MB532 Motion-Sensing Step/Stair Light

Mr Beams MB532 Motion-Sensing Step/Stair Light

Amazon

If you're looking to illuminate a stairway, these compact lights can fit neatly onto the riser or the sides of a staircase. They have 35 Lumen LED lights, and are powered by C batteries. They come in a two pack, so you'll have a light for each side of the step, but they're also useful in hallways, entryways, porches, and decks. These lights are waterproof, so they could also be used as a bathroom nightlight.

When mounting lights at the foot-level of stairs, the sensors of lights on a higher step will trigger as you go up. If you want light at the top of the steps before you go down, be sure to mount lights at the top landing. Otherwise, the steps below you won't be illuminated until after you descend.

Final Verdict

There are energy efficient outdoor lighting options for just about any situation. If you’re looking for a durable, wireless, solar option, Baxia Technology makes a great all-around, affordable choice.

Want enhanced security? Let Ring’s floodlight-camera combo be your eye in the night sky.

What to Consider When Shopping for Motion Sensor Lights

Power Source

Motion sensor lights are powered three different ways: built-in solar panels, batteries, or hard wired to your home's electrical system.

We like that solar lights are easy to install and run on clean energy, but you need to make sure that they're placed in a sunny spot in order to full charge. Battery-powered lights are also easy to install, but do require the extra work of changing the batteries periodically. Hard-wired lights have the most up-front installation considerations, because you'll have to access your home's circuits and you may want to hire a licensed electrician. The big advantage of hard-wired lights is that they have the reliable power source, unless the electricity goes out.

Lighting Area

Select a model that offers the appropriate type of light that adequately covers the square footage (typically 75 to 100 square feet) you want to brighten, like walkways to your front and back door, driveways, patios, decks, or hazardous locations like swimming pools and staircases. Some lights, like the Leonlite LED Outdoor Security Flood Light (our pick for Best Floodlight), allow you to adjust the angle of the light's beam, so you can angle it exactly where you want it to go.

Sensor Range

If you just want a light to be triggered when you're close enough to unlock a door, you may not need a very long sensor range. However, if you need you light when you're standing further away, it's a good idea to measure your desired distance and check it against the sensor range before you buy. Some lights even have customizable sensor ranges, like the LEPOWER 28W Security Lights.

Additional Features

There are many different features you can find when it comes to motion sensor lights, including different light temperatures, adjustable lighting intervals and brightness settings, and smart technology that can be powered from your phone. It's a good idea to pick what features are most important to you before you shop, to help narrow down the selection.

Why Trust Treehugger?

Heidi Wachter has been writing about climate and the environment for over a decade. She also owns a 100 year old house and has spent countless hours finding eco-friendly and money-saving options for upgrading its fixtures.