Outdoor motion lighting sensors are usually activated by PIRs (Passive Infrared Sensors). These are sensors which are activated when they detect any motion which is similar to the walk of a person. Most outdoor motion lighting sensors are connected to incandescent, LED or halogen bulbs. The reason is because these bulbs light up instantaneously. For motion detector lighting, speed is more important than energy efficiency, since these lights are not switched on all the time. But the moment they get turned on, it immediately suggests some suspicious activity in the vicinity. The instant flooding of light through outdoor motion sensors activated lighting has a deterrent effect on the intruder due to the detection of the activity. The outdoor motion lighting sensors can also be programmed to sound an alarm also when any motion is detected and the light is being switched on. Most modern outdoor motion lighting sensors have a photocell, which ensures that the lighting system is activated only after dark.
While installing outdoor motion detectors, the primary consideration should be the reliability and their ability to withstand the vagaries of nature outdoors. Next in line is security of the outdoor motion detector. For this, the home-owner must ensure that the power source for the outdoor motion detector and the related security lights is kept under lock-and-key. All control cables and power lines should be either indoors, or wherever they are outdoors, they should be secured in suitable conduits. Ideally, multiple circuits should be used for the outdoor motion detector and security lighting system to prevent any accidental or malicious electricity failure at a critical junction.