how to tell if your outdoor lights are motion sensored

How To Tell If Your Outdoor Lights Are Motion Sensored?

Motion-sensor lights are an efficient and convenient way to light up your outdoor space. They only turn on when motion is detected, saving energy and helping you stay safe as you leave your home after dark. But how can you tell if your current outdoor lights are motion sensors? Read on for a simple guide about how to tell if your outdoor lights are motion sensored.

How To Tell If Your Outdoor Lights Are Motion Sensored?

Check the Package or Manual of Outdoor Smart Lights

The easiest way to see if your outdoor lights have motion sensors is to look at the original packaging or product manual. Most manufacturers clearly state whether their products are motion-activated or not. Therefore, if the package does not explicitly mention that it has a motion sensor, it likely does not. However, if the package does mention it, then this is a good indication that your lights are indeed motion-sensor activated.

Look at the Back of the Light Fixture

If you do not have access to the original packaging or manual, you can try looking at the back of the light fixture. Many motion-sensor lights will have a small switch on the back that allows you to toggle between “on” and “off.” If this switch exists, your light likely features a motion-sensing capability. However, it’s important to note that some non-motion sensor lights may also include this switch. So don’t rely solely on this method when determining if your light has a motion sensor.

Inspect for Wiring Changes

Another way to tell if your outdoor light is a motion sensor is by looking for any wiring changes near your fixture. Most motion sensor fixtures require additional wiring to work correctly. So look for any new wires running around your fixture or near its power source that wasn’t there before. This indicates that it has been outfitted with a motion-sensing device.  Now you know about how to tell if your outdoor lights are motion sensored.

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Look for an On/Off Switch

Another way to check if your outdoor lights have a motion sensor is by looking for an on/off switch. If there is an on/off switch, then this means that the light can be turned on and off manually without having to rely on a sensor. However, if there isn’t an on/off switch. Then this could be a sign that the light is activated by a motion sensor instead of manually.

Check the Bulb Type

The type of bulb used in your outdoor lights can also give you clues as to whether they have a motion sensor. Generally speaking, LED bulbs are more energy efficient and last longer than other bulbs. So they tend to be paired with motion sensors more often than incandescent or halogen bulbs. Therefore, if you notice that your outdoor lights use LED bulbs, this could also indicate that they have a motion sensor.

Visual Cues

Depending on the type of motion sensors installed, visual cues may indicate whether or not they are activated. For example, some will have a small light near the switch that indicates whether the light is on or off. While others will have an indicator light near the bulb itself. Additionally, some devices may have a switch that says “on/off/auto,” which lets you know when it has been set to automatic mode and is detecting motion.


Now, you should know the answer “how to tell if your outdoor lights are motion sensored.” The best way to test if your lights are motion sensors is to walk in front of them and wait for them to turn on. You can do this in both daylight and nighttime conditions. Although nighttime testing may be more accurate since most motion sensors only detect movement after dark. If the lights turn on after a few seconds, you know you have motion sensors installed!

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We hope now you know how to tell if your outdoor lights are motion sensored. Knowing whether or not your outdoor lights are equipped with a motion sensor can be challenging. But there are several steps you can take to determine if yours has one. Check the original package or manual for information about its capabilities; inspect for switches on the back of the fixture, and look around for any new wiring running near where it’s installed—any of these methods could help reveal whether or not yours has a built-in motion detector. With just a little investigation, you’ll be able to figure out if yours is equipped with this useful feature!