Motion Sensor Security Lights

nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
i just thought i'd start this thread seeing as how the led lights are doing fine these days. i figure to marry the motion sensor security lights with the leds and that would give economic operation while still functioning well in the cold and intermittent use.

the trouble is just what motion sensor security light actually works well? i had one in my basement that just got stuck in the on position after a year or so and i'd just shut it down for awhile and it functioned again. this summer it stopped resetting and stayed on and i shudder to think i'd have to climb up high every year or 2 to replace the darn thing. do you guys have some recommendations?
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Comments

  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 31,091 admin
    Re: Motion Sensor Security Lights

    My pair of Costco specials lasted about 6 years (outside, rain/sun/no snow). Then started staying on (I had CFL's in mine... We are not that cold, so they were "bright enough" when first on, both failed within weeks of each other:confused:).

    I just replaced them with the new and improved Costco special with 3 LED's in two heads. Only been running a few months, but all is working OK.

    My wife had a heart attack because they are $55 each... However, they do include the LEDs in this fixture (the older ones, I had to supply the bulbs).

    Very blue/white (pretty harsh for outside lighting--like most inexpensive LED lamps/lights).

    Will let you know in a half dozen years if they are still working or not. :roll:

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • SteveKSteveK Solar Expert Posts: 277 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Motion Sensor Security Lights

    Dad taught me if I had nothing good to say then don't say anything at all... however.... run far and fast from these. http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1v/R-100654980/h_d2/ProductDisplay?langId=-1&storeId=10051&catalogId=10053
  • RandomJoeRandomJoe Solar Expert Posts: 472 ✭✭✭
    Re: Motion Sensor Security Lights

    That's the same brand sensor on the light I have for the driveway. It's the second one I've put in, and I've been in the house 8 years. First one only lasted 2-3 years before it went on and stayed on, the second one is still functioning - so far... Been a few evenings where it seemed to have trouble detecting motion.

    Mine are the fancier type - turn themselves off at dawn, then on half-bright at dusk and go full-bright with motion. Of course they are the older style that use incandescent floods. I've been contemplating LED as well but between cost and cynical doubt about reliability...!

    I have a couple Arduino boards laying around, probably should make my own! Then I could have the LED bulb double as a message panel and spell out messages to intruders! :p
  • samuelsamuel Solar Expert Posts: 80 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Motion Sensor Security Lights

    After a little over a year of use in upper Michigan I've had no problems with RAB products:

    RAB Stealth 12V motion sensor ~$90-100
    RAB weatherproof MR16 fixture ~ $45 ea.

    I have a pair of 330 lumen LEDs connected to the motion sensor, which is active from dusk to dawn. It was a bit pricey but I'm hopeful that in the long run it will hold up and be worth the price. It's running directly off the 12V battery bank.
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Motion Sensor Security Lights

    in my research i've seen lots of thumbs down for the heath zenith stuff. that's surprising as both names were of quality at one time.

    i know our host carries a 12v version of the rab motion sensor (out of stock at present anyway), but i was of course thinking this for 120vac. what major stores carry that brand if you know offhand as mail-order seems dumb when i could pick one up?
  • solarvicsolarvic Solar Expert Posts: 1,053 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Motion Sensor Security Lights

    Niel, Did you search Amazon? I just did and there are many there. I have a siren I bought at a yardsale I might try connecting someway. It is from radio shack and runs on 12 volt. :Dsolarvic:D
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 9,051 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Motion Sensor Security Lights

    Well, the thieves hit one of the outbuildings last night, lost a lot of horse tack and the electric fence charger for the goats. So, I'm looking at a trail cam, to at least get photos of who drives in and out. Any suggestions ?? I'll assume IR flash, so there is no give away of the camera. 90 acres, spotlight is pointless, unless someone is there to watch them - but maybe rig a couple up, to shine at the inhabited hut, to know "something" is going on.
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
    gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister ,

  • ggunnggunn Solar Expert Posts: 1,973 ✭✭✭
    Re: Motion Sensor Security Lights
    mike90045 wrote: »
    Well, the thieves hit one of the outbuildings last night, lost a lot of horse tack and the electric fence charger for the goats. So, I'm looking at a trail cam, to at least get photos of who drives in and out. Any suggestions ?? I'll assume IR flash, so there is no give away of the camera. 90 acres, spotlight is pointless, unless someone is there to watch them - but maybe rig a couple up, to shine at the inhabited hut, to know "something" is going on.
    Automated machine guns? ;)
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 31,091 admin
    Re: Motion Sensor Security Lights

    We are a world wide solar forum forum... So beware that weapons discussions do not always fly very well...

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Motion Sensor Security Lights

    amazon is mail order.

    high quality at night is difficult and expensive. achieving that during the daytime is hard enough.

    i didn't exactly have the idea the lights would scare away any potential intruders as i doubt that it would, but the light would make images on the cameras more identifiable and it may alert me to their presence while they are even trespassing before they get to do anything to be on camera.
  • samuelsamuel Solar Expert Posts: 80 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Motion Sensor Security Lights

    cameras could be a whole other topic. Infrared "game-cameras" only work well when there is relatively little movement or the subject is close to the camera (more reflected light = faster shutter speed). I suppose multiple cheap cameras could increase the odds of a decent picture.

    I have a few theories on preventing robberies. However, my lack of interaction with burglars means I'm far from an authority on theft prevention.
    • If your property is gated make sure the gate is sturdy, cannot be driven around, yet looks horribly unkempt (more rust, a few crooked bars, etc...)
    • Down the road from a gate advertise the use of security "stuff" - use a sign, be vague, and make sure the sign cannot be seen from the gate.
    • Use a motion light if possible that covers the drive way/path
    • A timer with multiple presets for inside the structure (avoid a well established pattern)
    • Make friends with the neighbors and share cell phone numbers, in our case getting to know the local loggers is a good idea since we're in a managed forest.

    We use all of these measures, no issues with theft yet (knock on wood). Then again the ol' man is retired and spends what averages out to every third day at the cabin. He also keeps each neighbor's favorite alcoholic beverage in the basement. We have visitors when we leave the gate open ;)
  • n3qikn3qik Solar Expert Posts: 741 ✭✭
    Re: Motion Sensor Security Lights

    As to IR camera's. They are good up to about 15-20 feet.

    The outside one is great at day and low light, but at night, hard to see anything pass 20 feet.

    The inside one works well day and night due to the white walls.

    Here are some samples.
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Motion Sensor Security Lights

    adding to the camera aspect, i have ir on one of my cameras and the wavelength makes the leds themselves visible when operating. it will illuminate everything for me out to about 60ft for the model i have, but everybody knows if it goes off as the leds aren't lit. the quality is reduced with ir as it gets an odd contrast to it like a high chromiance b&w picture, but it is better than no picture at all. i thought of going high def to get better resolution, but it isn't cost effective to me and there's fewer options available for equipment. the best i've found is to use cameras with 540 lines or better with a wide dynamic range or dsp capability and these can have leds or not. some companies give this type certain names like speco calls it part of their intensifier series. the one wdr cam i have does not have leds. these cams cost more, but i was impressed by their ability to see in near total darkness, but resolution still suffers compared to a nice daytime pic and is an aspect that the motion detecting security lights would help with even though that was not my main intent with them. a small bit of light still needs to be present, but even that of a single led fully illuminated the room i tried my camera in initially.

    here is an example of a wide dynamic camera. i don't have this particular cam and is only an example.
    http://www.specotech.com/Catalog/?action=viewprod&catid=268&prodID=921
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Motion Sensor Security Lights

    Maybe you could add IR light source(s) for improved imaging: http://www.maxmax.com/aXRayIRLights.htm
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Motion Sensor Security Lights

    it is possible to add ir if it is not near the visible spectrum like 940nm leds would give and providing the camera is ir sensitive. pics light up better with fewer leds when at 850nm, but you will see the leds are lit.
    there just aren't any cheap good solutions. only compromises.
  • 2manytoyz2manytoyz Solar Expert Posts: 373 ✭✭✭
    Re: Motion Sensor Security Lights

    I've had a few different LED security lights. So far, these are the only ones that have lasted, and work fairly well. Bought them at the SmartHome website.

    dscn5891.jpg

    dscn5892.jpg

    dscn5900.jpg

    They provided decent task lighting. I have one pointed at the garbage cans, so I can see while taking out the garbage at night. These won't light up the entire yard, but are very sensitive. Have another on the back of my last house that was used for taking the dog out at night.

    The downside is the lights only come on for 30 seconds. If movement continues, the lights will stay on. IIRC, these use C-cell batts, and last at least a year.

    I also recently got a trail camera. Primos Truth 35 camera. Works very well. It does have IR LEDs, but these CAN be seen if you are close, and look directly at the camera. A way I've found to avoid the IR signature is to mount the IR camera near another light source. If anyone looks towards the camera, all they can see is the other light source.

    Here's a video I made from a single nights activity at the bird feeder. Note my shed in the background. There's also a utility trailer parked behind the shed. The camera watches critters and doubles as a security camera.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=niCjU3COhAA

    I also have a CCTV setup. But that's another story.
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Motion Sensor Security Lights

    i was thinking of a hard wired system on 120vac.

    i see critters like that around here too. i haven't seen an opossum since the early 90s and had a ground hog around for a few years at the turn of the century. thanks to my goofy neighbors' poor handling of their garbage we have plenty of racoons.:grr yes, i see deer on my property too. the one thing i get a kick out of seeing are turkeys. i never stop being amazed seeing these huge birds, especially when you see several of them just walking down the street.8) i'm not doing the security lights for the critters though.:roll:

    it's normal to have them pop off after so long of no movement. some vary the on times too.
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 9,051 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Motion Sensor Security Lights
    n3qik wrote: »
    As to IR camera's. They are good up to about 15-20 feet.
    The outside one is great at day and low light, but at night, hard to see anything pass 20 feet.
    The inside one works well day and night due to the white walls.
    Here are some samples.

    What models are those - outside one looks useable for me
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
    gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister ,

  • 2manytoyz2manytoyz Solar Expert Posts: 373 ✭✭✭
    Re: Motion Sensor Security Lights

    The CCTV IR cameras I'm using are the CD33-2 cameras, purchased from SuperCircuits. These are color cameras during the day, switch to B&W at night. 1/4" Sharp chipset provides 420 lines resolution and 0.0 lux low light rating with the 50 foot IR range.

    http://www.supercircuits.com/Security-Cameras/Dome-Security-Cameras/CD33-2

    Here's a sample video from one of these cameras from inside my garage. First with the light on (color mode), then with the lights off (B&W mode, IR array illuminated). There's no other light source in the garage. This is fall on your face dark!

    http://www.2manytoyz.com/videos/day-night.mp4

    These are hard to beat for the cost.
  • ggunnggunn Solar Expert Posts: 1,973 ✭✭✭
    Re: Motion Sensor Security Lights
    BB. wrote: »
    We are a world wide solar forum forum... So beware that weapons discussions do not always fly very well...

    -Bill

    Wasn't it clear that I was not seriously proposing weapons? How about this:

    Automated NERF machine guns?

    ;)
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 31,091 admin
    Re: Motion Sensor Security Lights

    I know--But we have been down that road before. Internet humor just does not travel well sometimes... And it is left to the moderators to try and second guess what may (or may not) cause a mess.

    Just was a friendly reminder... No points off.

    -Bill ;)
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • n3qikn3qik Solar Expert Posts: 741 ✭✭
    Re: Motion Sensor Security Lights
    mike90045 wrote: »
    What models are those - outside one looks useable for me

    Inside is a Vivotek FD8134, I think it is defective, as video is out of focus/blurry.
    Outside is a IP8332
    Both are megapixel network cameras.
    2manytoyz wrote: »

    Bad Link !!!
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 31,091 admin
    Re: Motion Sensor Security Lights

    Robert's link works for me... It downloads an MP4 file and starts playing (whatever player you have installed).

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • n3qikn3qik Solar Expert Posts: 741 ✭✭
    Re: Motion Sensor Security Lights

    Will not work in Crome, Ok in FireFox.

    Thanks.
  • ggunnggunn Solar Expert Posts: 1,973 ✭✭✭
    Re: Motion Sensor Security Lights
    BB. wrote: »
    I know--But we have been down that road before. Internet humor just does not travel well sometimes... And it is left to the moderators to try and second guess what may (or may not) cause a mess either.

    Just was a friendly reminder... No points off.

    -Bill ;)

    Actually, I kind of like the idea of automated nerf machine guns. Bounce little foam balls off their heads or stick little suction cup darts all over them until they get annoyed and go away. I think all wars should be fought with nerf weapons. :p
  • sawmillsawmill Solar Expert Posts: 93 ✭✭✭
    Re: Motion Sensor Security Lights

    Another possibility for Mike's thief problem could be a Dakota driveway sensor. Not being sure whether his property is occupied full time or not so this may not be viable for his situation.

    These detectors work quite well in sensing vehicles and people ( and also deer). They can't be seen at night, nothing to give them away. But an occasional false alarm is better than no alarm.

    Battery life is good on the transmitter(9v). Very good long range reception to the receiver which requires a wall wart.

    Different transmitters (up to 4) will signal different tones to the receiver so the area of detection is identified. The receiver will also trigger relays so other items could be turned on.

    I have used these detectors for 10+ years with the original more primitive model still working fine. Several years ago this model was responsible for catching a thief in the act who received a 24 month active term. Funny how quickly I forgot the occasional false alarms (usually deer or high winds) in this area.
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 9,051 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Motion Sensor Security Lights
    • Dakota driveway sensor

    If it only triggered a camera. But still a great idea for future reference. Property is mostly un-occupied, so that's why I like the idea of a camera. But the game cameras aren't "stealth" and by the time I hide one back in the trees, I'm out of the sensor range.

    But the Dakota page had an Idea. A fake birdhouse to house the sensor. Maybe that's the ticket to hide a cam in.
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
    gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister ,

  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Motion Sensor Security Lights

    that dakota stuff sounds interesting, but is a bit expensive. do they sell this stuff at retail stores cheaper or is it an online thing only?

    as for activating cams it does on at least the 3000 receiver have the following,
    "The WR-3000 is equipped with four form “C” relays (one for each channel), and one 12-volt DC output terminal that will activate for several seconds when a signal is received."
    i'm sure something could be devised here. it could be a problem for remotely powering the cam on/off if in a birdhouse and one would lean wireless to make the operation easier, aka batteries, but then batteries would die in short term making hardwiring the power best anyhow. the video could still be wireless though.

    i may like to try that someday, but i like the old fashioned hardwired magnetic switch. it seems those magnetic switches have disappeared from common walk-in stores as i wanted to rig something up with a few. i don't need the whole alarm system that usually comes with these magnetic switches.
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 9,051 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Motion Sensor Security Lights
    but i like the old fashioned hardwired magnetic switch. it seems those magnetic switches have disappeared from common walk-in stores as i wanted to rig something up with a few
    Reed Switch & Magnet
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
    gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister ,

  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Motion Sensor Security Lights
    mike90045 wrote: »
    Reed Switch & Magnet

    local stores don't carry reed switches, not even radio shack who should change their name to phone shack.
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