Low Voltage Motion Sensors

Low voltage motion sensors are a convenient and inexpensive method of providing outdoor security for many homeowners. Many come pre-wired and pre-assembled, ready to simply plug in and go. One of the most popular ways these devices are used is with a light fixture.

When objects move within an area of which the sensor is able to detect, the light automatically switches to on. As long as there is motion, the light stays on. After a pre-set number of minutes in which movement is no longer occurring, the light then switches back off.

Adjusting the Angle

Some low voltage motion sensors include wide-angle lenses that can “see" up to 75 percent more in all directions to which it is pointed than other types of motion detectors. Because these types of detectors cover more of an area, they will turn off and on more frequently due to the increased frequency of motion being detected.

To lower the frequency of these low voltage motion sensors going off and on, there several things you can do. First, you can try moving the sensor sensitivity control 1/8 of a turn until the desired amount of detection is determined.

This may take some trial and error, but you should be able to adjust the detector fairly quickly to pick up only those areas in which you want watched. You can also apply electrical tape to the lens areas of the lamp to block it from detecting certain unwanted areas.


Unless you are replacing regular lighting with lighting that incorporates low voltage motion sensors, you may want to employ the services of a professional electrician. Otherwise, the procedure is fairly simple.

First turn off the power going to the existing circuit at your home's breaker box. Take off and discard the old fixture and replace with new fixture, taking care to match up screw holes. If old screw holes remain, fill with silicone caulk to prevent rain from entering.

Connect fixture and house wires to the low voltage motion sensors by making sure you connect color to color, that is, black wires to black and white wires to white. House ground wires should be connected to the new junction box of the detector.

Insert and screw in the light bulbs for the low voltage motion sensors, keeping the bulbs at least one-half inch away from the sensors. Turn the power back on at your circuit breaker box and then at the wall switch. Test for appropriate detection sensitivity.

Low-Cost Security and Energy Saver

Low voltage motion can give you peace of mind along with providing light only when you need it. For instance, if you need to walk in the yard or driveway, the sensors detect your movement and provide the light you need to keep from tripping or falling down in the dark. They then go off automatically preventing you from having to remember to turn off a switch and unnecessarily leaving a light on all night long.

As far as protection, almost nothing beats the price of low voltage motion sensors. These simple devices not only give peace of mind, they do it at a price almost anyone can afford.

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Home Security and Safety