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How to add a motion sensor to a regular outdoor light

Updated February 21, 2017

A regular outdoor light illuminates the area for you, but it doesn't offer the benefits of a motion sensor light. Motion detector lights turn on when the sensor detects movement, making it a great option for both safety and having light when you need to walk outdoors after dark. There's no need to replace your light fixture to enjoy the benefits of outdoor motion detection. You can install a motion light sensor on your existing outdoor light at your home or business.

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  1. Drape a lint free cloth over the light bulbs in your existing outdoor light. Grip the light bulbs, with the cloth between your skin and the bulb, and rotate the bulb anti-clockwise to remove it from its socket. Remove each bulb from its socket if your exterior light has more than one bulb.

  2. Insert the threaded end of a motion light sensor into the light socket. Rotate the sensor clockwise to tighten it. Repeat action if the exterior light fixture holds more than one bulb.

  3. Thread a light bulb into each motion light sensor. The open end of the sensor is threaded just like your light socket, making it easy to screw a light bulb in. Use the lint free cloth between your skin and the bulb to protect the bulb from the oils on your skin, which could cause the light to break after you turn it on.

  4. Flip the light switch that controls your exterior motion light to the "On" position. Leave it on and the motion light sensor will trigger the bulbs when movement is detected. The sensor turns the light off four minutes after it stops detecting movement.

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Things You'll Need

  • Lint free cloth
  • Motion light sensor
  • Light bulbs

About the Author

Kristan Hart is an award-winning journalist in Springfield, Mo., who provides SEO web copy as a freelance writer/editor. She has a decade of experience and holds a bachelor's degree in mass communications with an emphasis in broadcasting.

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