I live in a home that was designed from the ground up to be energy conserving and energy efficient. Despite that, I keep exploring other ways to make it an even more comfortable living space. Recently, I began to explore the idea of using motion sensor lights to enhance some spaces in our home.

For example, whenever I wake up at night to go downstairs to my study, I have had to fiddle with my smartphone to put on the flashlight. I figured that a motion sensor light would solve that problem. The idea of stepping on to the staircase and a subtle light comes on to light it up so I can walk downstairs (or upstairs) conveniently was appealing to me.

So, I ordered a motion sensor light to see what the experience would be like. I am happy to say that it has gone well so far. The experiment is still in its early days, but the automated lighting works as I intended it to. Now, we are able to use the stairs at home at night without worrying about fumbling and ending up like Humpty-Dumpty.

Oraimo motion sensor light in staircase

What is a motion sensor light?

A motion sensor light is an electrical and electronic device that uses motion sensors to detect movement in its vicinity and then lights up. The light goes off after a predetermined period if no further movement is detected.

You could also call it a motion detection, automated, or automatic light. Unlike regular light fittings, you do not have to go switch them on when it gets dark and switch them off when daylight breaks. They come on and go off at night only as motion is detected.

Motion detection lights are ideal for locations where lighting is not needed all the time at night, usually locations that humans pass through. They emit just enough light to ensure that you do not stumble in the dark.

Motion sensor light in staircase

Where to use motion detection lights

Examples of ideal places where you can use a motion sensor light is a stairwell, bathroom, or out in the yard.

Prices: What do motion sensor lights cost?

If all you need motion detection lights for is for spaces at home, you can find affordable models from your favourite retailer. I have found some for as low as ₦3,000 and others for as high as ₦35,000. What you buy depends on your specific needs and budget.

In daytime, the Oraimo motion sensor light sits there doing nothing.

How to install motion sensor lights

Many automatic lights are simple gear that can be installed by anybody – yourself inclusive. You do not require any tools for most, as they come with an adhesive base that you simply stick to a wall. They also come with a rechargeable battery so that you plug them to charge in exactly the same way you charge your smartphone, smartwatch, and other gadgets.

The first step is always to read the leaflet manual, then charge the light, and then fix it to the location that you need it in. That’s it.

Charging the Oraimo motion sensor light.

Of course, more advanced motion sensor lights require more specializied skills. For example, those lights that are built into the steps of a staircase require wiring and fitting that can only be done by professionals or hardcore enthusiasts. So do industrial and outdoor security units. If you want something like these, do get in touch with a specialist. For most other types, just place your order, charge it, then fix it to the wall, and you are good to go.

How long does the battery of a motion sensor light last?

How long the battery lasts depends on the specific model, but because the lights come on only when motion is detected, the battery can often run from as little as a month to as much as one year before needing to be charged again. There are various factors to consider though, the main one being the type of battery and its capacity.

Basic, affordable motion sensor lights that you can fix yourself will go between one to four months on a single charge. Not bad at all. I will see how long mine will run on a single charge; my experiment is less than a week old now.

I have identified a few other spots that could use one or more motion sensor lights and I will be installing more to meet those needs over time. The model I purchased is made by Oraimo. There are other brands on the market. Run a Google search, or hunt around on Oraimo, Jumia, Konga, Jiji and other stores.

About seven months into use, the motion sensor began to weaken on effectiveness, and then, the lamp doesn’t come on until a person is almost directly on front of it. This short lifespan is no surprise considering how cheap this particular motion sensor light model is. You get what you pay for (mostly).

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By Mister Mobility

Nigeria's foremost tech blogger and smartphone reviewer. Call me Daddy.

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