Blog  /  DIY Motion Sensor Light: How to Install a Motion Sensor Light

DIY Motion Sensor Light: How to Install a Motion Sensor Light

Motion sensor lights enhance the safety and security of a property. They offer the convenience of a sensor-based Led lighting system. Besides, you will never worry about observing your motion at night again. And since they switch on and off automatically, they end up saving power. This guide will teach you how to create a simple DIY motion sensor light with less hassle. 


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1. What are Motion Sensor Lights?


These lights have a tiny electronic “eye” that detects heat waves from motion. Moving objects produce heat waves when a sensor views them. A motion sensor switch then switches the lights on for a given period. Alternatively, the lights can remain lit until the motion is no more. On the other hand, daylight sensors turn on when they detect darkness.


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2. How Does a Motion Sensor Light Work? 


A Passive Infrared Detector (PID/PIR) helps a motion sensor light function effectively. The term “passive’ suggests that the motion sensor does not produce infrared rays. Instead, it picks infrared energy that a moving object emits. The temperature difference, as sensed by the passive infrared detector, is the one that ignites a response. 


Motion Sensor Light


Basically, a motion sensor light comprises a PCB and a sensor chip. The PCB acts as the decoding component. It reads the signals sent to the sensor chip. On the other hand, the chip reacts to temperature changes by sending a signal to switch on the light.   


 3. How to DIY a Motion Sensor Light


This section comprises a step by step guide on how to create a motion sensor light. There are two ways of going about it. First, you can replace your current fixture with a new one. Ensure you switch off the fixture power at the main power control before replacing it.

Alternatively, you can put up a new fixture with its switch. Remember to enclose outdoor electrical lines using weatherproof materials. If you lack adequate knowledge of installing electrical circuits, kindly get help from a professional electrician.  


3.1 Materials You Need


These are the materials you need in your DIY motion sensor light activity. Ensure you have all of them to experience a smooth workflow.


Extension box

PIR sensor

Voltage tester

NPN transistor


Led strip lights

AC/DC adapter


Batten holder adapter 

General-purpose PCB

Plastic enclosure 


3.2 DIY Motion Sensor Light


As mentioned earlier, a motion sensor detects the movement of objects and generates an output. This component works in two main modes. The jumper on the backside of the PCB controls the modes. If you cannot access a 12V sensor, use an LM7805 regulator. 

The first mode is the normal mode. When your motion sensor senses motion, it produces a high output till your set time is over. 

Secondly, we have the re-triggering mode. When your sensor senses a moving object, it generates a high output until the set time elapses. However, when it detects movement during high output, it signals the timer to start counting afresh.   


Step 1: Fix the Extension Box


First, switch off the power to your working point. 

Secondly, extract one of your existing wall holders. 

Thirdly, use a screwdriver to remove a plug from the extension box's upper side. Mount a conduit transmitter on the free space you have created.


Fix the Extension Box


Step 2: Connect the Conduit


Insert a connector into one side of your conduit. Put the remaining side into the extension box transmitter. 

Place a hanger on your conduit. Move it and fix the hanger to a firm surface. 


Connect the Conduit


Step 3: Cut the Led Strips into Size


 Led Strips into Size


Cut the Led strips into sizes that fit your application. Remember to cut it at the appropriate joints, as the diagram below shows. 


DIY Motion Sensor Light


Remove the sticking tape from the strips. 

After that, attach the strips to the surface where you want to mount your motion sensor light. 

Remember, Led strips have different colors. Therefore, if you have chosen a multicolored Led, use an RGB remote to select your preferred color. 


Step 4: Assemble Your Lights 


Screw your sensor into the middle hole of the lamp-holder lid. 

Use your fingers to tighten the sensor and holder; do not use pliers. 

Plug your strips into the sensor before plugging it into an external transmitter. 


Step 5: Finish the Connections


Trim the cable originating from the outlet box to approximately six inches. 

With the help of a wire stripper, extract half an inch of the positive and negative insulation wires. 

Link the cable to your Led strips.

Connect your Led strips using screws.

Link the strips to the switch.  

Then switch on the electricity and make adjustments to the Led strips appropriately.

Ensure your sensor rotates freely. This will facilitate easy movement of the sensor to the direction of object passage. 


Step 6: Set the Controls


Adjust the motion sensor's rules as you want it to operate. Remember, you can do this step later to prevent nuisance trips.

Additionally, make the right adjustments to your switch. Most sensors have automatic shutoff after a given period of time.    

That is it! In just six simple steps, you have a functional motion sensor light. Give it a warm-up time of about one minute. Now you can test it to see whether everything is okay. You must have spent your time well doing something useful and economical.




Technology is becoming stylish each day. More families and businesses seem to be embracing motion sensor lights. The goal to achieve more with less has reached the security system industry. Here, components like sensor lights improve security while consuming less space. Besides, such systems use less power compared to traditional security systems. The technique itself, nevertheless, is not a new thing. Engineers have applied the concept of infrared energy in several other applications before. Therefore, do not be afraid to try this activity at home. 

 We hope this DIY motion sensor light guide has been useful to you. Contact us today if you need Led or PCBs for DIY activities like this one.



Special Offer: $1 for 5 PCB Assemblies!

One requirement only: Order must be placed using a company account.
Please email [email protected] for details.
Special Offer: $1 for 5 PCB Assemblies!