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10 Best Motion Sensor Lights

We round up the 10 best motion sensor lights to provide style and safety to your home and yard.

Our editors and experts handpick every product we feature. We may earn a commission from your purchases.

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Motion sensor light on a wallWojciech Kozielczyk/Getty Images

Buying Motion Sensor Lights

As the sun goes down, motion sensor lights automatically turn on when movement is detected. Using outdoor motion sensor lights is not only important for shining a ring of security around your home and yard, they’re energy-efficient and add a glimmering ambiance to your landscaping.

Some of the illuminating features to consider when selecting motion sensor lights include method of power (hardwired, solar or battery), sensor range by feet, brightness, energy efficiency and DIY quotient (ease of installation). Check out our picks for the best motion sensor lighting for backyards, porches, patios, stairs, paths and driveways, taking into account your particular needs.

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Best All-Around

When designing a motion-activated lighting scheme for your home’s perimeter, the LeonLite LEC Security Lights cover all the bases. The dual-head light rotates 180 degrees, letting you direct the beam to any part of your property (up to a distance of 70 feet). Manually switch the lamp on and off or set the built-in photocell to work its magic, automatically lighting up at dusk and going out at dawn.

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Best Budget

No splurging required: The Mr. Beams Wireless Outdoor Spotlight provides high-value visibility at a bargain price. Specs include a 200-lumen output, a reflective face that spreads the light across a wide coverage area and an auto sensor shut-off that prolongs battery life. If that weren’t enough savings for you, Mr. Beams motion lighting installs easily in less than five minutes, so there’s no expensive electrician’s bill to pay.

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Best Decorative

A brilliant example for any backyard, the stand-out Vaxcel Dorado Bronze Motion Sensor Dusk to Dawn Farmhouse Barn Outdoor Wall Light keeps your outdoor living space stylishly well-lit. When evening turns to night, the lamp automatically dims to a soft, warm glow that lasts until sunrise. Head to bed untroubled, for any movement detected triggers a bright-light response to discourage would-be intruders.

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Best Porch, Deck or Patio

Entertain in Technicolor with the Suneng Power Solar Porch Light Outdoor Color Change. Bathe your patio, deck, yard or front porch with mood lighting — get the greens of summer, the reds of autumn, the blues of winter and the purples of spring all-year-round. This solar-powered fixture comes with three lighting modes and seven color changes (including white).

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Best for Paths and Stairs

Installing uplights and downlights in your yard achieves a dramatic effect while casting light on potential tripping hazards like footpaths, walkways, borders and steps. The Baxia Technology Solar Motion Sensor Lights come in packs of four to scatter in the dark shadows and light your way.

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Best Heavy-Duty

If you live in a part of the country that experiences four seasons, you’ll want a motion sensor light built to withstand extreme weather and temperatures. The Westinghouse Solar Motion Sensor Wall Lights is that product. The weather-resistant and heatproof plastic housing provides maximum protection against the elements. When the dual-motion and wide-sensor pick up movement, it fires up rain or shine. These lights are made for the outdoors.

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Best Easy-Install

Why be a glutton for punishment when the two-pack of LITOM 30 LEDs Solar Motion Sensor Landscape Spotlights can be installed simply by staking them into the ground? Waterproof and adjustable to a 90-degree lighting angle, they can be used as path lights or mounted on the side of your house or garage.

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Best High-Tech

Get smart with the Philips Hue Outdoor Motion Sensor, a wireless device that works with Alexa, Apple HomeKit and Google Assistant (the Hue Hub is required, sold separately). Set it up anywhere security matters. The large viewing angle and detection range will pick up motion and turn on outdoor and indoor lights so it looks like you are home even when you’re not. Genius!

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Best Solar

Go ahead and throw shade, the Sunforce 80 LED Solar Motion Light comes with a solar panel that doesn’t need direct sunlight to charge. It generates electricity even in cloudy or overcast conditions through its “thin-film solar panel” technology. Easily detecting motion up to 30 feet away and within a 180-degree-wide zone, the 80 LED energy-efficient bulb pumps out 900 lumens of brightness.

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Best Bulb Only

Go old-school with Sengled Smartsense Outdoor LED Motion Sensor Bulbs that simply screw right into your home’s existing light fixtures. These bulbs light automatically when they perceive motion using infrared waves that radiate from moving objects like people, animals and cars. LED rated to last for up to 15,000 hours, they’re also equipped with a dusk-to-dawn sensor so they won’t turn on in the daytime.

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Toni DeBella
Toni DeBella is a culture and lifestyle writer, reviews expert and DIY enthusiast covering everything from pests to painting to pool cabanas. Based in a medieval hill town in central Italy, when Toni isn’t documenting her travels around Europe, she’s tending her garden or honing her clay-court tennis game.