How to Add a Motion Sensor to Existing Outdoor Light (DIY)

Working in security, I have seen many new devices, and one of my favorite innovations was always motion sensors for security cameras. You don’t need an expert to connect these two devices. Only a few simple tools are needed to get started. The following steps will suffice.

1. Required Tools

A few tools are necessary to install a motion sensor. Usually, a kit with the necessary parts comes with a motion sensor.

We recommend that you have a motion sensor switch that can withstand rough weather. Once you have the parts ready, a screwdriver is necessary. The type of screwdriver needed depends on the screws included.

motion sensor switch

There is no single type of outdoor motion detection kit. The existing box or outdoor light must contain a screw hole for inserting your screw and mounting. Usually, it comes with a fixture to put over the screw that is plastic, so it avoids rust and looks nicer.

2. Disconnect Electricity

Make sure to turn off the power to avoid any electrical accidents. This may be an obvious step, which is why people often forget about it.

Once the power is off, you need to remove the lights from the device just in case; this will make installing it easier, so you don’t apply too much pressure and break the light.

light device

You need to choose the best place to install the motion detector. We recommend above-door entryways, but just far enough from windows so you don’t get kept up at night with all the foot traffic if you are in a busy area.

If the outdoor light does not include the necessary screw holes, a drill will be necessary to drill the sensor and light on.

3. Connect the Motion Detector

You can now screw or drill depending on the integration of the light from the motion detector into the holes provided in the light fixture. The light fixture wires must be used, as they must plug into the motion detector. (1)

motion detector

4. Connecting the Wires

Connect the black wire from the motion detector to the black wire from the light fixture. Perform the same step with the red wire from the detector and the Light Fixture.  These wires are the main wires. Some neutral cables may not be compatible with each other. Cables of the same color are usually compatible.

The black and red wires of the device are also connected to the same colored wires of the household. Connect the motion detector to the Light Fixture, and connect the Light Fixture to the house wires.

Then, connect the black wire from the Light Fixture to the black wire from the household located in an outlet. The red wire from the Light Fixture connects to the red wire from the house at this exact location.

connecting wires

To complete this step, the sensitivity must be adjusted. There is no one way to adjust the sensitivity for all occasions. No one wants the outdoor light to turn on with any motion. One or more tests still need to be done to find the best sensitivity setting.

5. Test the Device

Once this step is complete, the Light Fixture cover has to fit. It would be best if you connected the motion detector to the Light Fixture. These two devices must plug into the main power cable of the house.

It is helpful to remember that the motion sensor also saves a lot of electricity costs. Some estimates claim it can save more than $30 annually in Electricity by incorporating a motion sensor. It is not only a device that can improve home security but also improve electric use.

Wrapping Up

Incorporating a motion sensor can be very simple by performing the above steps. A motion sensor saves electricity costs and provides a little more protection in the home. Sometimes it is also possible to modify the precise time the light can be on.

The existing outdoor light can provide the functionality to suit the specifications of each family. Many people prefer to incorporate a motion sensor in lights inside the home.

This may require the same procedure as mentioned above. One way or another, the family can have a more intelligent home with a few simple to-do installation steps.

(1) light fixture –

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