View Full Version : Reliable motion sensitive outdoor floodlight for low cost?

Brian Kent
02-06-2014, 2:54 PM
Are there any motion sensitive outdoor floodlights that are reliable? I have one up too high to experiment with that only lasted a couple of months. I want to get an under $50 flood, put it at step stool height, and hope it lasts a couple of years. If so I will consider it an expendable item and switch it out when needed. Big box preferred so I don't have to mess with shipping.

Robert Delhommer Sr
02-06-2014, 3:12 PM
Forget the junk from Lowe's, in the last year I have changed out mine 3 times. Junk.:mad:

Mike Henderson
02-06-2014, 3:55 PM
I have one I bought from HD and it's been working fine for maybe three years. Don't remember the brand. It's a "slow on" - the light comes on slowly, rather than all at once.

I have several others that have been working for about ten years. Had to change a couple of bulbs but the electronics are fine. Don't know the brand - they came with the house when we bought it. They're all "fast on".


Ken Fitzgerald
02-06-2014, 5:53 PM
I bought a couple at HD a few years ago. They weren't the cheapest ones but they weren't expensive. Other than replacing one bulb, I haven't had a problem with them.

Rich Engelhardt
02-06-2014, 6:36 PM
Mine has been going since - jeeze let's see - about 1987.
Oddly, it's the only light fixture we have that doesn't burn out bulbs at a record pace.

Since 1987, I believe I've only replaced the bulbs twice.

I like to use electrical stuff from Menards or Home Depot and avoid the Lowes Utilitech trash for our rentals.
We usually use a $20 or so fixture.

Brian Elfert
02-06-2014, 7:28 PM
I have a $20 Home Depot fixture that has been going strong for over 12 years now. Still on the original bulbs too. I believe it is a Heath Zenith.

Lee Schierer
02-06-2014, 8:12 PM
I have three motion sensor flood lights that have been working for over 15 years. Most still have the original halogen lamps. They were installed by a professional electrician, but I suspect most electrical wholesale places would sell you what you want. Mine are mounted too high and the snow is too deep to get up by them to see what brand they are.

Ty Williams
02-07-2014, 1:33 AM
With the stuff available direct to the consumer today:

1) Reliable
2) Motion sensing
3) Low cost

Pick any 1.5.

The cheap motion sensing lights are very unreliable. The cheap well made lights aren't motion sensing and aren't actually *THAT* well made. The reliable motion sensing lights are expensive and not actually that reliable. Your best bet is a non-motion-sensing light. In interviews with security experts, cops, and ex-criminals I've read over the last year, the consensus is that motion sensing lights don't deter crime because they flick on so often everyone ignores them and the crims know they'll just turn back off in a few seconds anyway. Constant-on light, on the other hand, does seem to work because it makes the crims feel like they don't have a way to be unobserved. Something like a mid-priced RAB fixture with a pair Sylvania Ultra HD LED PAR30 lamps in it would be reliable, fairly bright, and only consume about 32 watts.

Dave Anderson NH
02-07-2014, 9:18 AM
Consider another option Brian. I had 3 which I had to change out since they were also high up on the front of the garage and were constantly buffeted by the wind. The halogen tubes were also breaking due to temperature extremes and they gave a lot of false starts due to both the wind/vibration and wildlife wandering through the yard. Last year I replaced the latest one with an LED flood (non motion detecting) which uses something like 6-8 watts and gives plenty of light. I am entirely satisfied with it and there have been no more problems. It is a dawn to dusk light and cost less to run than the halogen flood it replaced. It wasn't cheap, around $60-75 if I remember correctly.

Brian Elfert
02-07-2014, 10:41 AM
I have both a dawn to dusk low wattage fluorescent light and a brighter motion activated light at my house. The fluorescent is 13 watts and is a pin type bulb, not a CFL. It works even in the -20F overnight weather we have been having. LED wasn't really an option when I put in the fluorescent about 6 or 7 years ago.

Richard Wagner
02-08-2014, 7:50 AM
I have four mounted around the house that have been there for many years. Each one facilitates two lamps and are somewhat "programmable". One is set to change at sunrise and sun set (light sensitive) and once on stays on all night. The others are all set to switch on/off based on activity within the range/direction specified by the set up.

I don't recall how much they cost because they have been there so very long. But they could not have been "expensive" or I would not have them. I bought them at Ace Hardware.

Art Mann
02-08-2014, 8:10 AM
I bought two motion sensitive flood lights from Heath/Zenith and both failed within a few days. I called customer service twice and both times I talked to someone who wasn't very polite and didn't know the first thing about the product. For those reasons, I would not recommend that brand.

Brian Elfert
02-08-2014, 12:03 PM
The original motion sensing light on my garage died after a year or two and I think it was Heath Zenith also. (Strange thing is my other motion sensing light from Heath Zenith is still working after 12+ years.) I finally replaced it after not working for 10 years just this past month. Since it is only motion sensing I decided to go with a cheap $20 halogen instead of LED. I looked for a made in the USA motion sensing light and they cost $200 to $300 so I went with an import instead. I would have paid maybe $40 to $50 for a USA made one, but not ten times as much.

Brian Kent
02-13-2014, 6:01 PM

I went with the Dusk to Dawn rather than motion sensor. $19.95 = $87 once I add the junction box, floodlight bulbs, outdoor cord, and a power strip with more outlets since mine was full. A couple of hours work. Plug it in. Cover up the light sensor. No light. Frustrated. I do woodwork for fun, lighting because it is necessary. bummed.

Rick Moyer
02-13-2014, 7:12 PM
You asked for a motion sensitive and went with a dusk to dawn, and I am wondering why? I feel the MS vs. D2D is so you don't have to have it on all night. I would like motion sensitive lights around the house to ward of intruders, but the ones I have had before were less than satisfactory. I don't want them on all night, though. Still waiting for a consensus favorable recommendation.

Brian Kent
02-13-2014, 7:24 PM
Thank you, all of you, for being Ventees. I returned the unit, got another won, and it works fine. In addition to that, I replaced the bulb on my already installed motion sensitive unit. So for contrast I have 500 watt halogen motion sensitive unit, and a dusk to dawn unit with 2 fluorescent floods at 23 watts each. I'll let you know how they compare in us and how they hold up :)

Brian Kent
02-14-2014, 12:52 AM
First Night Report - Motion Sensor Light with new bulb - doesn't work already.

Dusk to dawn - two 23 watt floods light up the whole driveway and walkway to the house.

Kev Williams
02-14-2014, 8:22 PM
How about a different tack on this...

Because of someone who will remain unnamed the wife and I know, she bought us a Samsung Security camera system. Was $200-something with 4 cameras (with night vision) and it's own computer with a 500 gig hard drive. Records whenever and however you want by time, motion, resolution, frames per second, etc... I can view the cameras on any computer at home on the network, and it's computer has it's own web address so it's essentially a web-cam system; anywhere there's a computer with internet I can see what my camera's are seeing. With all 4 cameras recording 24/7 in medium resolution/ 5 frames per second speed, from October thru December it only used 120 gigs of harddrive space. Took a couple of screen shots of my monitor a few minutes ago, it's getting dusk so a couple of the cams are in night mode already. (and yeah, I need to take my xmas lights down!) ;)

A couple of "Smile, you're on WEBCAM!" signs are almost as good as floodlights!

And FWIW, my back porch has a motion-detector with a pair of 75w floods my dad put up probably 20 years ago, still works just fine?
and FWIW part 2, my neighbor had motion detector lights on his garage, which is next to MY garage. All that light succeeded in doing was to make it easier for the thieves to see what they could steal from my truck!

I love the security cams :)