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Security Tips

Don't let burglars lurk around your house in the dark undetected.

Why Outdoor Motion Sensor Lights?

Burglars don’t like light but leaving lights on all day and night, signals that you’re probably not home and this can attract them. Instead, outdoor motion sensor lights are simple, inexpensive and effective at helping to deter burglars for a few reasons:

  • Automatically shines light on burglars when they approach in the dark and draws attention to be seen by witnesses or security cameras.
  • Some light fixtures have an automatic ‘dusk to dawn’ mode that will automatically make your property brighter when it gets dark regardless if you are at home or not. The best versions of this feature will increase lighting intensity when motion is detected to give you the best of both worlds: constant illumination when dark plus responsive lighting.
  • Makes burglars may wonder if someone inside has noticed them and if the house is occupied.
  • Shows burglars that you are more security conscious that others so your house is riskier for them and may have other countermeasures.

Installation & Selection Tips

  • A minimum, cover all entry points especially the back patio door.
  • Aim to have coverage around the entire perimeter of your house so there are no dark zones. 
  • LED lamps are preferred because they have the longest lifespan, light to full intensity instantly and use the least amount of energy. 
  • Use high lumen units for better illumination. Fixture style and lamp type can affect illumination too. 
  • Motion sensitivity and coverage area can be adjusted but sensor capability varies widely from model to model.
  • Choose models that sense darkness so the lights onlytrigger at night when there is motion to better simulate presence
  • When aiming floodlights, be careful not to disturb your neighbours
  • Buy from a retailer that permits returns so if the fixture does not trigger or illuminate they way you need, you can try something else.

Dedicated Lighting Options

Image of 180 Degree LED Blade Motion Security Light

Wired Security Floodlight Fixtures

Maximum illumination & security look

Wired floodlights provide the most intense & widest coverage lighting optimized for security. After testing many designs, the best performing was the Defiant (Heath Zenith) 180 Degree LED Blade Motion Security Light. The motion sensor is reliable and highly adjustable. It is high quality, relatively attractive and is the easiest to install. Lighting is very powerful, spread evenly, and the light colour is pleasant.  As a bonus, the LED array is long lasting and elegantly fades on & off. Great for covering doorways. Click for video.

Image of a decorative motion sensing ligtht fixture

Wired Decorative Fixtures

A balance between security & elegance

There are many styles and sizes to choose from to match your preference. These appear to be regular fixtures but are motion activated. We recommend downward facing styles that cast fewer shadows and using LED bulbs is preferred. Sensor performance and adjustability may vary quite a bit between makes and models. Home Depot and other home improvement centres carry a wide selection.

Image of solar powered motion activiated floodlight kit

Solar Powered Floodlight Kit

Good illumination without needing wiring

These are useful to light locations where there is no existing fixture to replace and is difficult to run new electrical wiring. These are inexpensive and easy to install. The solar panel recharges internal batteries so the illumination is less intense and the rechargeable batteries will need replacement eventually. Costco sells a SunForce 2-pack kit.

Image of Sengled Motion Floodlight Bulb

Floodlight Conversion Bulbs

Add motion to an existing floodlight fixture

If you have an existing floodlight fixture installed but only want to simply add motion detection capability, this screw-in is an alternative. Lighting is not be as bright or as spread as other options, the sensor’s adjustment is very limited and it does not detect darkness. Home Depot sells one from Sengled.

Internet Video Lights

These are pricier but provide enhanced, integrated and interactive security features.
See our CCTV Security Surveillance System section for more on video in general.

Similar to an Internet Video Doorbell, Internet Video Lights integrate a wireless internet camera, motion detection, siren and two-way communication into an outdoor motion sensor light fixture. This is a good interactive enhancement to your wired system and Internet Video Doorbell to expand your interactive coverage especially for your backyard patio door - a favourite area for burglars. Any unexpected activity here is highly suspect so interactive coverage for this area is particularly valuable.

Ring Floodlight Cam

Tested and installed

Ring Floodlight Cam image

This floodlight cam shares the same features as the Ring Video Doorbell Pro with the following key differences. No doorbell button (obviously). Addition of 2 LED flood lights that are motion sensor activated and a loud 110db siren that you can activate remotely. The build quality of this floodlight is top-drawer. If motion is detected, the lights come on (if it is dark out), get notified on your device(s), see who is there, speak and/or listen and optionally trigger the siren or just call the police if it is an intruder, wherever you are. This is a highly recommended companion to the Ring Video Doorbell Pro for all-around interactive protection that is easy to use by all family members.

Watch how a Ring Floodlight Cam helped catch a burglar!

INSTALLATION: This is designed to replace an existing outdoor light fixture or connect to a new 120V junction box. If you have an existing fixture, remove it and connect this in its place then add it to the Ring app. Installation is straightforward for anyone who is handy. If you would like someone to professionally supply/install and service this and live in the Greater Toronto Area, SafeTech can help.