The new options for DIY lighting fixtures have become pretty exciting. Once, motion lights for safety were considered a luxury upgrade. They required a trained electrician and a sizeable investment. However, with the latest technology, any handy homeowner can install these useful fixtures themselves.

Motion lights offer several advantages – safety is the primary benefit. Providing safety lighting helps keep children safe when playing outdoors. They can also help you see better when you come home from work or when doing any late-night chores.

Motion sensor flood lights discourage intruders on your property and can scare off thieves looking for a quick smash and grab in your driveway.

Choosing Motion Sensor Flood Lights

The best choice for most homeowners is to install motion sensor flood lights wherever there are existing fixtures.

Before shopping, take a look at your property and decide which areas need flood light coverage. We recommend providing flood light coverage at every exterior door to your home.

Depending on the size of your home, you may also want separate lights for the driveway and garage door.

This may seem like overkill but remember that these are only activated when they detect movement. You can also adjust them to shut off after a few minutes so your home doesn’t end up looking like an airport landing strip.

Tips for Installing Your Motion Sensor Lights

When installing motion sensor lights in place of existing fixtures, you’ll only need a few tools for the job.

  1. Turn off the switch to the fixture, then shut off the power to the fixture at the electrical panel. Use a voltage meter to test the wires to ensure the power is off.

  2. Remove the bulb from the old fixture. Then, remove the screws from the wall plate supporting the fixture. Remove the fixture.

  3. If your new fixture includes a new wall plate, you may have to remove the old plate and affix the new one. Especially if your new fixture is substantially larger or has a different configuration. This may require drilling new pilot holes for the mounting screws.

  4. Using the manufacturer's instructions, mount the base of the new fixture on the wall plate.

  5. Attach the mounting strap to the new fixture. This holds it in place so you comfortably wire the fixture without mounting it.

  6. You’ll find three wires in the junction box and in the fixture – black, white, and a ground wire. Connect the matching color wires using wire connectors. Seal these securely using electrical tape and place them carefully into the junction box.

  7. In older homes, you may need to use your voltage meter to find which wires are live and which aren’t.

  8. Use a Philips screwdriver to mount the new fixture onto the wall plate. Apply silicone caulk around the wall plate where it meets the exterior wall to prevent rain from seeping into the fixture and junction box.

  9. Return power to the fixture and test the new light. Then, adjust the angle of the flood light for the best coverage.

Timers and sensitivity settings can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, so follow the instructions included to fine tune your outdoor motion-activated floodlight to your preferences.

Tips for Installing a Motion Sensor to an Existing Light Fixture

Installing a motion sensor to an existing outdoor light is even easier. There are two hassle-free ways to turn add a motion detector to your outdoor floods:

1. Purchase bulbs with built-in motion detectors

These bulbs are relatively inexpensive and provide the quickest and easiest way to install motion lights for safety or security reasons.

Choose from flood lights or gentle illumination. They’re flexible enough to turn any fixture into a motion activated light. Use them outdoors for security or indoors to save on electricity.

2. Install a bulb adapter that contains a motion sensor

If you’re already stocked up on a flood light you really like, there’s no reason not to use the whole case. If you want to use the lamps you already have, you can purchase a socket adapter that includes a motion detector in the base.

They look a bit more obvious than bulbs with built-in detectors, but they’re also equally affordable. Best of all, you don’t have to discard them if the bulb itself fails.

As stated above, the new technology for home DIY projects is really exciting. But home improvements like these depend on using existing fixtures and junction boxes.

If you need light fixtures added where there is no convenient junction box, make an appointment today with the team at Mr. Sparky in Pleasantville. We’ll install your motion light fixtures wherever required to keep you, your family, and your home safe.