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Thread: Motion Lighting

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2018

    Default Motion Lighting

    Hello everyone
    I've got four motion floods at my house; one is a single head square 150w T3 halogen flood and three are two square head 150w T3 halogen. They do a pretty good job lighting up the areas that need illuminating. My issue is, add it all up and we are talking 1050w of halogen lighting. That is a lot of energy draw. Of course they aren't all on at the same time, some units see a lot more on-time than others but none the less.

    I'd like to figure out a more energy efficient route to get close to the same performance. Each 150w bulb puts out 2400lm. No idea what the CRI is. Color temp is around 2900-3000k. I'm not really too up on the beam performance of the square head halogen lights vs say, a PAR38 reflector light. I did a little looking around and have seen different PAR38 LED lights that supposedly can hit between 1800 and 2200lm.

    Do I have any good options here? Is beam performance on a PAR38 better than the T3 square heads, at least enough to make up for the lower light output? How are the LED head motion lights? I snagged one from lowes that was on clearance to put up over my GF's garage door to replace a canopy light; it does a great job lighting her drive and small front lawn, but it would in no way be even close to the halogen performance I have right now. I'm assuming it was on clearance due to being an old model; are the latest and greatest better?

    Oh, and I'm also not looking to spend a fortune; $100-$200 per fixture is about the range I'm looking at. I've done a good bit of searching the web but really, the numbers I find tell such a small part of the story since beam performance matters so much. I'd rather just get input from you experts here... the last thread I saw on this topic was over a year old and I know consumer end-product LED tech is advancing at a crazy rate.

  2. #2
    Flashaholic* FRITZHID's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Icelandic wastelands of Monico, WI

    Default Re: Motion Lighting

    Well, Halogen CRI is 100. Most LEDs are in the 80-90 CRI range, tho worse and better can be had.
    there are TONS of motion sensor LEDs fixtures available from ANY of the big box hardware stores, many of which will have equal too or greater performance than Halogen but they are usually bluer in tint and lower in CRI. i have a 14w LED Dusk/Dawn light from Sams Club ($30 or so) and it does better than a 500w Halogen, but the light quality IS lesser IMHO.
    if your not wearing a #12 welding screen than it ain't bright enough! "Hand-Sun H.I.D." 55w & 75w, Rocky 3w LED, Stanley 109 35w mod'd, Maxa-Beam Gen II, 55w hid/100w incan Vector Twin, 400w MH long arc, 100w MH mid arc. Amondotech n30, vss-3A.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Motion Lighting

    I looked into this a while back, and the motion sensors sold at the big orange and blue big box stores seem to have reliability issues, and I'm pretty sure they're the same manufacturer of sensor, just relabeled, at both stores. If you've got one of those already, I say no worries: use it unless or until it starts acting up, and don't worry about it until then.

    Otherwise, RAB Lighting, whose products I've only found online, seems to be much better reviewed. For myself, I bought the sensor on its own, put it in a location that was convenient for my application, and wired it inline with the lights. This meant I could pick pretty much any light fixture I wanted, upgrade it to motion sensing, and have more control over where the sensing area was relative to the lights. They've got a couple models rated from 300 up to 1000 W. If you're going to stick with the halogen lights, you definitely want to pay close attention to the wattage and how many bulbs each sensor is controlling.

    As for PAR 38 vs. T3 - PAR series bulbs are generally used for tighter beam spot lighting, although moderate flood versions are available. I think the packaging should list beam angle. Sylvania Night Chaser are one of the highest output models I know of.

    I've not tried any LED T3 replacements and kind of doubt the form factor lends itself well to high outputs from LED's, so I'm inclined to think PAR38 or BR30 are going to be your best options for LED's. Fortunately, there should be a lot of fixtures designed for these bulbs. It's also easy to buy a single bulb at modest price, and try it in any Edison screw lamp (old school metal shrouded work lamps are maybe $10) you might have handy just to see if you like the beam pattern.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Motion Lighting

    Agree on the RAB brand motion sensors,professional grade heavy duty stuff that lasts.The bigbox stuff is generally relabeled Heath/Zenith brand sensors that have a high failure rate,it seems after a few power surges,the sensors die. I have used both,and the RAB is much better,but also much more expensive......make your choice wisely.For hard to get to or high mounted locations,a reliable sensor is worth added upfront cost to avoid multiple trips up a potentially dangerous ladder in my book.

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