Maybe installing security lights is something you wish to do, but don’t have much faith in the installation, or think they might be too complicated for you to understand. Neither are true. Installation is a snap, and as long as the instructions are followed, all potential problems can be avoided.
While there are some security light units that run off of battery power, the majority tap into the existing 110-volt power inside the home or business. They can either be wired into a porch light switch or set up on a completely standalone circuit that is always on. In fact, many times the existing porch light can be directly replaced by a motion activated security lamp unit. I have installed quite a few of them, and the instructions are always very detailed, making for a straight-forward and hassle-free install.
Most security light units employ the use of powerful Halogen lamps that are very bright. These lamps are completely sealed so that nasty weather such as rain or snow will not affect them. They come in many different wattage ratings, and the security light fixture you purchase will likely call for a certain range. Normally, the fixtures have no problem powering two 100-watt Halogen lamps.
The unit and sensor
The security light unit is comprised of a plastic base, and either one or two slots for bulbs. Most of the time, the lights themselves can be aimed in almost any direction so as to be most effective when turned on. There is a tiny infrared sensor in the unit, much like the sensor in CD players. When the sensor detects rapid movement, it trips the internal switch and powers the bulbs on. Because they are motion activated, a person simply standing in the beam is not likely to set the lights off, but a cat running through the yard might. The range of detection is usually selectable, as well via a switch on the base of the unit. The motion lights will not shine if they are wired to a switch in the building and it is in the “off” position. If hardwired to the building electrical, then they will always shine when motion is detected (providing the power is on).
Although the lights are extremely easy to install using the instructions, please be aware that working with electrical can be very dangerous, and 110 volts is enough to kill a person. Shut the main power to the building off before the installation of security lights to avoid electrical shocks. In automotive electrical, the accepted colors are red for power and black for ground. In house electrical, black is the hot wire and white is the ground. It is vital to get that correct when installing to prevent possible fires or other major accidents.