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How To Wire A Motion Light


As a homeowner in Downtown Providence, Rhode Island with a busy lifestyle, it’s important to ensure the safety and security of your home. One way to do this is by installing motion lights around the exterior of your property. Not only do they provide added security against potential intruders, but they also offer convenience by automatically turning on when you enter or leave the area, saving you from fumbling with switches in the dark.

Wiring a motion light may seem like a daunting task, but with the right tools and knowledge, it can be easily accomplished. However, if you’re not comfortable working with electricity, it’s best to hire a licensed electrician for the job. At B&K Electric, we specialize in electrical repair, maintenance, and installation in the Warwick area and greater Providence area. As a family-owned and operated business, we pride ourselves on our exceptional customer service and commitment to our community. Let us guide you through the process of wiring a motion light for your home.

Preparing for Installation

Before you begin, make sure to purchase a motion light that is suitable for outdoor use and is compatible with any existing wiring in your home. It’s also important to check your local regulations and obtain any necessary permits. Gather all the tools you will need, including pliers, a screwdriver, wire strippers, and a voltage detector.

Locating the Power Source

If you’re not familiar with your home’s electrical system, it’s important to locate the power source before starting any electrical project. In older homes, the power source is usually connected to the light switch, while in newer homes, it may be connected to the electrical panel. In either case, it’s best to turn off the power to the area where you will be working by flipping the main breaker in your electrical panel.

Installing the Motion Light

Once the power is off, begin by removing the old light fixture, if there is one. Use the voltage detector to ensure there is no electricity running through the wires before disconnecting them. If the light is connected to the switch, you will need to connect the motion sensor to the same wires as the switch. If it’s connected to the electrical panel, you will need to connect the sensor to the power source wire and the fixture wire.

Next, attach the motion light to the electrical box using the screws provided. Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper placement and installation. Once the light is secure, connect the wires from the motion sensor to the corresponding wires in the electrical box, using wire nuts to secure them. It’s important to match the colors of the wires (black to black, white to white, and green or copper to ground).

Setting the Sensitivity and Range

Most motion lights have adjustable settings for sensitivity and range. Before fully securing your light, test the sensitivity by walking in front of the motion sensor. Adjust the setting until the light turns on at your desired distance. This will help reduce false alarms and save energy by only turning on when necessary.

Ensuring Proper Function

Once the light is fully installed and connected, turn the power back on and test the light to make sure it is functioning properly. If it doesn’t turn on, check all the connections to ensure they are secure and try adjusting the sensitivity and range settings again. If it still doesn’t work, it’s best to contact a licensed electrician for assistance.

Maintenance and Troubleshooting

Like any electrical fixture, motion lights require maintenance and may experience issues over time. It’s important to regularly check and clean the lenses to ensure maximum sensitivity and range. If the light frequently goes on and off, it could indicate a faulty sensor or wiring, and it’s best to have a licensed electrician inspect and repair it.

Incorporating Motion Lights into Your Home Security System

Motion lights are an easy and effective way to improve the safety and security of your home. They can also be integrated into your existing security system for added protection. Consider adding motion lights to your driveway, backyard, and other areas of your property for comprehensive coverage. By working with a licensed electrician, you can ensure that the lights are properly installed and connected to your system.

In Conclusion

As a homeowner, it’s important to prioritize the safety and security of your home. By installing motion lights, you not only add an extra layer of protection against potential intruders, but also make your daily life more convenient. While wiring a motion light may seem daunting, with the right tools and knowledge, it can be easily accomplished. If you’re not comfortable working with electricity, it’s best to hire a licensed electrician for the job. At B&K Electric, we are dedicated to providing exceptional electrical services for homeowners in the Warwick and greater Providence area. Contact us today for all your electrical needs.


Wiring a motion light,

Outdoor security lighting,

Home safety