Solar Powered, Hard Wired Or Battery Powered Motion Sensor Light

Feeling safe around the house, well that’s something everyone should fell. Who likes to walk around in the dark? No one … So you might be thinking that it’s time to add a light to light the back yard or the back door. What should we go with, what kind of Motion Sensor Light shall we go for?

Motion sensor lights also known as passive infrared detectors are devices that are capable of identifying infrared energy. Also known as pyroelectric detectors, these sensors are mainly located within lighting fixtures and security systems. Motion sensors are designed to detect things that emit infrared energy. When used in lighting fixtures, the motion sensor lights are able of detecting infrared energy. This information is then transformed into a command that automatically enables the fixtures to turn on and off. When used in security systems, they are capable of detecting movements through recognizing infrared energy. In turn, this activates the alarm.

How do motion sensors work?

Well, the working of motion detectors is quite simple. It all depends on the emission of infrared energy. Living things including human beings emit infrared energy from their bodies. The sensors are capable of detecting infrared energy with a wavelength of about 8 to 12 micrometers. This is a reasonable range for the detectors considering the fact that most humans emit infrared energy of between 9-10 micrometers. The infrared energy emitted by human beings depends on the temperature of the skin. Once the infrared energy is detected, the motion sensor lights initiate action in the respective device.


Types of motion sensor lights

Motion sensor lights have become quite common. There are three types of motion sensor lights. They include:

Battery powered motion sensor lights

As suggested by the name, this type of motion sensor lights run on a battery. These batteries can either be rechargeable batteries or replaceable batteries depending on the specific brand. The battery powered motion sensor lights are a good choice for small locations as compared to the other types. Unfortunately, this type of motion sensor lights has a limited functional duration. Once the battery runs dry, the whole system stops working until the replacement is done or the battery is recharged.

Solar powered motion sensor lights

Solar powered motion sensor lights are typically solar operated lights. This means that this system is solely powered by energy from the sun. The system is connected to solar panels where the sun’s energy is absorbed and stored in the system. These motion sensor light require a consistent supply of sunshine to keep them powered. Thus, the solar panels must be in the direct path of sun rays for effective and continuous functioning of the detectors.

Hard wired motion sensor lights

The final type of motion sensor lights is the hard-wired motion sensor lights. Also known as the electric powered motion sensor lights, these lights use electricity to perform their functions. They are required as the most user-friendly due to the little maintenance they demand. This high-performance motion sensor light system is easy to install with the sole requirement being electricity supply. This system requires more commitment in terms payment of electrical bills.

Solar powered versus hard-wired motion sensor lights

Although motion sensor lights are available in all three types, the battery powered motion sensor lights are not as common. The solar powered and the hard-wired motion sensor lights are the most common and the most talked about motion sensor lights. This can be largely attributed to the unique features each sensor type has and its effectiveness in its detection.

Below is a comparison between the solar powered and the hard-wired motion sensor lights.

Budget friendly

In this respect, the solar powered motion sensor lights take the lead as opposed to the hard-wired lights. The solar option is much cheaper in all aspects. The only cost incurred with this system is the initial purchase price of the solar panels and the installation cost. Once that has been settled, there are no further costs for operating the system. The solar motion sensor lights use natural energy to operate. This means that the energy is readily available and free of charge. Future costs may be incurred as a maintenance cost. On the other hand, hard-wired motion sensors are quite costly. Other than the purchase price and the installation costs, this system consumes a lot of electricity. This is an added cost on the electricity bill which requires monthly payments. More costs are added when it comes to the maintenance of the system.

User friendly

Both types of motion sensor lights are easy to install with very little work required. The solar motion sensor lights are simply connected to a solar panel that directs the sun’s energy to the system to power it. These solar panels are placed in strategic positions that allow them to maximumly absorb the sun’s energy. This system requires minimal maintenance. Once it is installed, it is smooth sailing all the way. However, the need for strategic positioning of the panels may cause frustration. Moreover, some areas may lack the motion sensors especially if their positioning goes not favor this system. With the hard wired system, the placement is not an issue. As long as there is sufficient electricity supply, the system can be placed anywhere. The amount of maintenance required is also minimal.


The hard-wired motion sensor lights are known to be more efficient and long lasting. This is because electricity provides enough power that keeps the system going. It also enables the system to render effective services. The life of the system can, however, be cut short in the occurrence of a power black out regardless of the reason. It is relaxing to know that this interruption, more often than not is in the hands of the system owner. Therefore, the loss of power can be controlled by the owner simply by paying the bills in due time. This is not the case for the solar powered motion sensor lights. This system solely depends on nature which is uncontrollable as well as unpredictable. The weather could go for days being cloudy or rainy. This will render the system inactive and useless.

Final thought

With safety seeming ever so elusive, it is time to take matters into your own hands. Installing a motion sensor light will go a long way in providing security. The type of motion sensor light to install depends on personal preference. Some may be willing to consider the price while others, the longevity of the system may be their prime concern. All in all, the selected system should be compatible with all factors that affect it. Consumer information such as compliments and complaints may help you. By knowing the pros and cons as well as the differences between each of the types, one can select the most effective motion sensor light to suit their needs.Solar powered motion sensor lights