All Projects and Incentives

Install Motion Detectors on Outdoor Lighting

About this Project

Save Money and Keep Burglars Away

On when you need them, off when you don’t — that’s the beauty of outdoor lighting controlled by motion detectors.  And they can be a great deterrent for thieves. They’re a more efficient choice than timers or photosensors because the light is on only when it’s needed.  Plus, timers need frequent resetting, and with photosensors, the light is on all night.  If you need all-night light, opt for an ENERGY STAR-qualified outdoor fixture with an LED and a built-in photosensor.

Photo Credit: Jaromir Urbanek, 123RF


Choose the right fixture (LED bulbs, please!), prep for the new light, rewire and mount the fixture, position the sensor, set the controls, test the light, and voila you’re done! If you’re not handy around the house, consider hiring an electrician or check out these resources:

The Family Handyman’s Guide on How to Choose and Install Motion Sensor Lightening and DIY Outdoor Lightening Tips for Beginners.


Motion-sensor lights are a great dis-incentive for burglars.

Motion detector light fixtures cost $10 to $150, depending on the type, features, and style. Compared to leaving an incandescent flood light on all night, an LED motion-sensor lights can save $100 or more, plus with their long life, you’ll rarely have to change a bulb.

Have a suggestion for a green project that we should add? Tell us about it