Motion Lights - a better option for yard lighting
The use of motion lights is a better option for those of us who enjoy outdoor lighting, but don't want to be paying for it if we're not using it.
The idea here is simple, but uses technology. And, technology can sometimes trip us up.
In a perfect world, these type of lights are normally off until they detect movement and then they turn on. And, they turn off after movement is no longer detected. The assumption is that the lights are installed to detect your movement or that of a prowler.
This all makes sense until you realize that the front yard and back patio lights go on for 10 minutes at a time, multiple times during all hours of the night because a cat or a raccoon or opossum is wandering around out there.
If you have motion sensitive lighting, you'll probably want to put the system on a switch so you can turn it off. You’ll be saving energy during the middle of the night, and you won’t get concerned that the lights on at 3am every night indicate the presence of a two-legged prowler.
In this way, you can have lights for your party when people go outside to enjoy the yard, and they'll turn off when folks come back inside. And, when the party is over, you can turn off the switch so the neighbor's cat isn't lighting up the yard all night long.
Each of the motion lights operates differently, so check to see how they are set up before you buy them. Usually you can adjust the sensitivity and area of detection, and you should be able to set the amount of time after motion is no longer detected for the lights to turn off.
This type of lighting system can save energy, but it can also be a pain in the neck if it constantly alerts you to the presence of things outside at night that you really don't care about. Use discretion with placement, and install a switch so you can disable the light when you really don't want it on.
Done with Motion Lights, back to Ways to Save Energy