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Published August 4, 2008 11:16 AM

Motion-Sensing LED Lights: A Review

Motion-sensing LED lights — these lights are perhaps the most efficient lighting devices available today. They switch on whenever their infra-red sensors detect movement in a room — such as when someone begins to walk down a dark hallway. I’ve been testing them in my own home, and I’ve found them to be effective and non-obtrusive. At night, I’m able to go down two floors to the basement, without turning on any lights. The motion-sensing LEDs in the ceilings switch on as I move about the house.

They illuminate with a soft, bluish light - it’s enough light to easily see where you are going. After 20 seconds they turn off automatically. The lights I have in the ceilings are Philips SpotOn LED Lights. They run on three AAA batteries, you can use rechargeable batteries of course (I recommend using hybrid rechargeables because they keep their charge for many months). They cost around $17 each from Amazon.


I installed them using the adhesive tape that comes with the light. The battery cover is held by four small magnets. Once you attached it to the wall or ceiling, you do not have to unscrew anything to replace batteries. You can just gently lift the top and easily put it back. Magnets are strong enough to hold the unit in place.

I also use some similar lights called PIR 6 LED Motion Sensors, they are very similar to the Philips SpotOns. You can set these lights to turn off at 30,60 or 90 seconds, according to your preference.

In my bathroom I have a Maxxima Occupancy Sensor Light. I like this light because it has frosted window, and it gives off a nice diffuse glow. These $17 lights have built-in motion sensors like the Philips lights. They run on three AA batteries. You can stand them on top of cabinets or put them on countertops. They are intelligent enough to only turn on at night (and only when they sense motion in the room). They turn off automatically after 30 seconds. They can also be set to turn on at night only, be left on at all times, or be shut off completely

These lights also be plugged into AC or DC power. Because they are portable, you can take them with you when you go camping.

This Maxxima 5 LED Sensor Light is similar to the one I described above, but it is brighter and it does not have a frosted window, so the light more intense. These ones are good for placing in garages or basements.

This large motion-sensing LED light from Maxxima, is the brightest I’ve tested. It has 18 LEDs that produce 69 lumens, but it runs on just four AA batteries. It’s also weather-resistant so it can be used outside. The stand is magnetic, and also has 4 screw holes for wall mounting. The stand itself is a swivel stand so you can position the light wherever you wish. It’s available from Amazon for around $40.

More photos at MetaEfficient.

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