The Best Motion Detectors of 2019: Sensors, Floodlights & Cameras

Best All-In-One Light and Camera
Ring Floodlight Camera
 
$249.00
Pro Bullet Motion detection and motion-activated alerts
Pro Bullet Mobile control
Pro Bullet Two-way audio and noise cancellation
Best Motion Sensor Light
RAB Super Stealth
 
$135.00
Pro Bullet Motion sensors with wide coverage
Pro Bullet Adjustable light timers
Pro Bullet 3 scanning LEDs for continuous protection
Best Outdoor Motion Sensor Camera
Amcrest ProHD Outdoor
 
$69.98
Pro Bullet Motion-activated alerts
Pro Bullet Long-range night vision
Pro Bullet HD video and several storage options
Best Indoor Motion Sensor Camera
Nest Cam Indoor
 
$199.00
Pro Bullet Two-way audio
Pro Bullet Motion and sound activated alerts
Pro Bullet Integration with other nest home automation devices

We strongly suggest investing in a monitored home security system, but if you’re on a tight budget, or not ready to commit to a whole system, motion sensor lights and cameras are a great initial investment.

Motion sensors can help deter intruders and would-be burglars, but they’re also practical for everyday situations.

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With motion sensor lights, you can come home after dark without tripping over your four-year old’s expertly placed tricycle, slipping on an icy walkway that you thought was dry, or hunting through your purse in the pitch-black night to find your keys.

An outdoor motion sensor camera can deter intruders or capture footage if someone follows through with a burglary attempt. They can also help discourage package theft if you have things delivered to your front porch.

Indoor motion-sensing cameras can alert you when your kids get home from school or help you check in on your pets while you’re away from home. Plus, if something does go wrong and a burglar enters your home, you’ll have footage to hand over to police.

Keep reading to learn more about the best motion sensors for protecting your home both inside and out.


All-in-one motion sensor, floodlight, camera

There are many motion detector lights and cameras on the market, but if you don’t want to install separate devices, you might like an all-in-one floodlight camera.

Our top pick: Ring Floodlight Camera

Our Top Pick
Ring Floodlight Camera

    Ring kicked things off with a video doorbell but recently expanded its offerings to include lots of other home security equipment. One new addition is the motion-activated HD floodlight camera.

    Features

    • Motion detection and motion-activated alerts
    • Two-way audio and noise cancellation
    • 110-decibel siren
    • Customizable motion zones
    • Mobile control
    • 1-year part warranty
    • Live view and night vision
    • Facial detection and object detection
    • Zooming and panning

    Tech specs

    • Video: 1080p HD
    • Field of view: 270 degrees (lights); 140 degrees (camera lens)
    • Lumens: 1,500 per light (3,000 total)
    • Operating temperature: -20°F to 120°F
    • Needs to be hardwired: Yes
    • Connection: Wi-Fi (2.4GHz band only)
    This feature-loaded camera earned the top spot because it is quite a bit more advanced than similar products on the market. For example, the lights are 1,500 lumens each as opposed to a normal 60 watt incandescent bulb which is about 800 lumens. That means plenty of visibility when someone approaches your home. The Ring also comes with two-way audio and the ability to zoom in on a specific area or pan the camera for a wider view of the area. Plus, you can control all these advanced features from your smartphone or tablet.

    Runner-up: Sengled Snap Security Floodlight

    Our Experience

    Heads Up! The Sengled Snap Security Floodlight is no longer available. We’re working on updating the piece with a new pick.

    Sengled Snap Security Floodlight
      The Snap has fewer features and is less technologically advanced than the Ring floodlight, but it is a good alternative if you want something that is extremely easy to install. You don’t need to wire it or plug it in—it just screws into an existing socket. It’s also less expensive than the Ring floodlight and still comes with mobile control and customizable motion zones.

      Features

      • Motion detection and alerts
      • Mobile control
      • Live view and night vision
      • Customizable motion detection zones
      • Easy installation
      • Weatherproof construction

      Tech specs

      • Operating temperature: -4°F to 113°F
      • Lumens: 810
      • Socket base: Standard E26 base
      • Connection: Wi-Fi (2.4GHz and 5GHz)

      Motion sensor lights

      Outdoor motion sensor lights make it easier for family members to come home safely when it is dark, and they make it harder for would-be intruders to find hiding-places on your property.

      You’ll find our top picks below, but if you want more in-depth coverage of motion sensor lights, check out our post about the best security lights.

      Our top pick: RAB Super Stealth

      Our Top Pick
      RAB Super Stealth

        The RAB Super Stealth is in first place because it is equipped with serious security features. The lights can stay on for up to 12 minutes when activated, the motion sensors cover more range than the competition, and it can support powerful, bright lightbulbs.

        Features

        • Motion sensors with wide coverage
        • Adjustable light timers
        • Powerful lights that cover a large area
        • Surge protection up to 6,000 volts
        • 3 scanning LEDs for continuous protection
        • Radio frequency immunity
        • 10-year sensor warranty

        Tech specs

        • Forward sensor coverage: 180 degrees
        • Up-and-down sensor coverage: 360 degrees
        • Sensor timer range: 5 seconds to 12 minutes
        • Power consumption: 1 watt
        • Switching capacity: 8 amps, 1,000 watts incandescent, 250 watts fluorescent

        The Super Stealth also has adjustable sensitivity controls and an adjustable timer so you can tailor it to your specific needs.

        Runner-up: MAXSA Innovations Dual Head LED Security Spotlight
        Runner-up
        MAXSA Innovations Dual Head LED Security Spotlight

          The MAXSA motion sensor floodlight isn’t as bright or as powerful as the RAB Super Stealth, which is why it earned second place.

          Features

          • Motion-activated lights
          • Solar-powered design
          • Adjustable sensitivity
          • Adjustable duration of lights (10 seconds to 1 minute)

          Tech specs

          • Motion detection range: 40 feet
          • Lumens: 160
          • Run time: 150 minutes

          However, it is solar powered—which is a cool feature you can’t get with our first-place choice. The MAXSA also usually costs less on Amazon than the Super Stealth.


          Outdoor motion sensor camera

          If you already have motion-sensing floodlights, you probably don’t need one of the floodlight/camera combos mentioned above. However, You should still invest in an outdoor security camera. There are tons of security cameras available—we’re just covering standalone outdoor ones here. If you want to dig into all your security camera options, check out our best security cameras post.

          Our top pick: Amcrest ProHD Outdoor

          Our Top Pick
          Amcrest ProHD Outdoor
            Although this camera doesn’t come with quite as many features as the Ring Floodlight Cam, it still has a lot to offer. It's our top choice because it offers serious security features, great storage options and a higher resolution than other cameras (1296p instead of 1080p). It’s also more affordable than our second-place pick.

            Features

            • Motion-activated alerts
            • Mobile control
            • Long-range night vision
            • MicroSD card storage, cloud storage, and FTP server storage options
            • HD video
            • Weatherproof
            • Customizable motion zones
            • 30-day money-back guarantee
            • 1-year replacement warranty

            Tech specs

            • Field of view: 100 degrees
            • Night vision range: 98 feet
            • Video: 1296p HD at 20 frames per second

            Runner-up: Canary Flex

            Runner-up
            Canary Flex

              We had a tough time deciding whether or not the Canary Flex should take first or second place. Ultimately, it is in second because while it has tons of great features, it costs about $50 more than our first place pick.

              Features

              • Motion-activated alerts
              • Mobile control
              • Two-way audio
              • Automatic night vision
              • Weatherproof
              • Encrypted cloud storage
              • 1-year warranty

              Tech specs

              • Field of view: 116 degree
              • Operating temperature range: -4°F to 113°F
              • Power: Battery or wired
              • Video: 1080p HD

              The most impressive thing about the Canary is its versatility. It can be used inside or outside, works with wired power or with batteries, and comes with a 360-degree magnetic swivel base so you can place it however you want.


              Indoor motion sensor camera

              Ideally, an outdoor camera will help deter potential intruders, but an indoor camera with a motion sensor is still a great tool for keeping an eye on your kids, pets, and home while you’re away. And if someone does make it past the outdoor cameras and into your house, an indoor camera can alert you quickly and provide you with footage that could be handed over to authorities if necessary.

              Our top pick: Nest Cam

              Our Top Pick
              Nest Cam

                The main reason the Nest Cam took the top spot is that you can pair it with lots of other convenient home automation and security devices. It’s a solid option for almost anyone since you can use it if you already have lots of home automation devices, if you’re just getting into home automation, or if you just need a camera and don’t care about smart home devices at all.

                 

                Features

                • Motion-activated alerts
                • Sound activated alerts
                • Mobile control
                • Two-way audio
                • Continuous recording
                • Night vision
                • Integration with other nest home automation products
                • Easy installation
                • Multiple placement options (standing on a shelf/table, attached to a wall plate, attached to a magnetic surface, set up on tripod)
                • Family accounts
                • 2-year limited warranty

                Tech specs

                • Video: 1080p HD
                • Field of view: 130 degrees
                • Digital zoom: 8X
                • Operating temperature range: 32° to 104°F (rated for indoor use only)
                • Power: Wired only

                A few of our favorite things about this camera are the sound-triggered alerts, versatile setup options, and continuous video recording.

                Runner-up: Canary
                Runner-up
                Canary

                  If you want more than just a motion sensor camera, consider Canary. It stands out by offering environmental sensors (temperature, humidity, and air quality). These sensors could be particularly useful if you have family members with asthma or allergies.

                  Features

                  • Motion-activated alerts
                  • Mobile control
                  • Two-way audio
                  • Automatic night vision
                  • Encrypted cloud storage
                  • 90-decibel siren
                  • 1-year warranty

                  Tech specs

                  • Field of view: 147 degrees
                  • Video: 1080p HD
                  • Power: Wired only

                  In addition to the extra environmental sensors, the Canary comes with all the features you’d expect from an indoor motion sensor camera. Plus—it is less expensive than the Nest Cam and has a slightly wider lens.


                  Are motion sensors enough?

                  Motion sensor lights and cameras can help you improve your home security, but in most cases, we suggest investing in a full security system that comes with not only motion sensor lights and cameras but also professional monitoring. That way, if someone sets off a motion sensor, professionals will be alerted even if you’re unavailable.

                  Be sure to learn about how motion detectors work, and get even more educated about the technology designed to protect you.