Mod #96: Exterior Motion Sensing Light

Mod #96: Exterior Motion Sensing Light

Submitted on: 05/19/10

     Category: exterior, lighting
Mod Rating: 12345

(39 ratings)

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Mod Description:

This modification was designed and completed by ModMyRV member jfdrewett. This article carries a copyright. Permission must be obtained from the author before duplication or reposting.

It can get pretty dark at night for RV enthusiasts in the middle of nowhere, or even parked in your own driveway. Carrying a flashlights can be a pain and lanterns can tip over and break. The answer? Enjoying a starry night, or just walking around outside an RV, can be just as comfortable and safe as any back porch, when your RV has its own powerful, built-in motion sensing security light.

Mod Difficulty:

We spend a lot of time in our RV both in parks and out in the desert. I found this motion sensing light and decided to give it a try on our trailer. The installation was very straight forward. First, I removed the existing light and cut the wires supplying power. It’s a good idea to mark the positive and negative wires before cutting if you’re not experienced with 12v wiring. You might also want to remove the fuse supplying power to the light circuit and make sure the light switch is off.

The motion light is protected against reverse polarity so you won’t destroy it if you happen to hook it up backwards during installation. The next step is to clean all the old sealant from the RV before installing the new light. Now connect the wires you cut to the new light. At this point, it’s a good idea to make sure everything is working before mounting it to the trailer. Turn on the power and the light should come on. If not, check the polarity on the wires. Once the light is functioning, mount it to the side of the trailer using sealing tape and/or silicone sealant. On our trailer, the screws lined up so no drilling was necessary.

It’s that easy and you’re done.

To put the light in motion mode, simply turn the light on, turn it off, and then back on again. The LED will begin flashing and the light will only come on at night when there is motion. The great part is that you don’t have to worry about the light draining your batteries. You can just leave it on. It won’t come on during the day and shuts itself off after a minute or so when motion activates it at night. If the battery drops to 11.5 volts the light turns itself off to prevent battery damage.

There is a sensitivity adjustment if you find the light is coming on too often. There’s also a bulb upgrade available to a 300 watt lumen LED.

This is a cool and easy mod. Enjoy!

ModMyRV recommends these parts for this mod:

12 Volt Motion Sensing Porch Light

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26 Comments For This Mod

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  1. castironcook

    Agreed! This is one of the easiest and most useful mods we have done as well. It’s really nice to come “home” after dark and the light comes on!

  2. guppy2745

    I did this mod and am very disappointed in the amount of light the LED puts out. I might try a regular bulb to see if it’s better but the LED barely puts out enough light to see the steps. Would never be able to pick out a stranger that comes to the door.

  3. jfdrewett

    That’s odd. Do you have the 300watt LED? Mine puts out a ton more light than the stock bulb. I did face the bulb out and down a little.

  4. Arcing

    There is no such thing as a 300 “watt” LED for the side of your trailer, it would burn up the light and the trailer very quickly. You could be mixing up a 300 Lumen LED, which is indeed brighter that most LED’s. Personally I put 2 160 lumen LED panels in mine, I’m very happy with the results.

  5. Charles

    OK…sounds great where do you get one

  6. jfdrewett

    I stand technically corrected ;) - 300 Lumen LED
    You can get it at the link where they sell the lights.

  7. cp100265

    thank you …found and have ordered…

  8. Ryanallie1

    Hi All.

    I agree. That this was one of the simplest Mods to do. I actually put one on each side of our Motorhome. They put out plenty of light, with the light bulb that came with the Motion Light. Also works great for night time Security at home, while the Motorhome is in the RV Port. Well worth the money.

  9. bbwolf

    I also agree! This was a great mod and the LED light puts out more than enough light.

  10. DOC

    Located cheaper sale site. Got free ground shipment, no tax.
    https://www.rvfunproducts.com

  11. robseg

    I did this mod on my enclosed trailer and it works great.

  12. Rosey

    Easy mod. I wanted a motion sensor type exterior light for my 5er that would come on automatically at night while walking our dogs or coming back to the 5er from shopping, etc, similiar to the exterior motion sensor lights around my home. I installed one and was so impressed that I ordered a second one for the other side of our 5er. RV Fun Products has the best price & free shipping.

  13. ejaugustine

    I purchased this light myself. Fit was easy. Had a problem with it, can’t remember exactly what it was, but the manufacture was great. I had them on the phone, they walked me through a couple of tests with the light and when it still did not operate correctly, while I was on the phone with them, they shipped out a replacement overnight! The DW loves having the light come on when we come back to the trailer in the evening, and having the motion detector working while the trailer is sitting at home is great too! The 300 lumen LED Light sure helps keep the “wandering teenages” away.

  14. Bob Vaughn

    I would like to add this to my new rv but I do not want to disable the ability to turn off the present light ….plus my sides are bonded to foam insulation so I have a delima on how to install this …..

  15. Rosey

    To Bob Vaughn…….. all you have to do to install is to unscrew the old light from the side of your camper, cut the wires, reattatch the wires to the new motion sensor light with wirenuts, then simply screw the new light back onto your camper using the same exact holes..piece of cake! The new motion sensor light can be switched on & off manually the same as your present light.

  16. okie-dokie

    To Bob Vaughn. You use the same wires to connect to the new motion sensor light. To turn on the motion light mode, trip your light switch on then off and on again. If you want the light to stay on untill you turn it off. Trip the light switch to on, once.
    A very easy mod. However after installing the new light, be sure to seal the top of the light with a small bead of 100% silicone sealer for a good watertight seal. “Don’t fall off the ladder during installation.”

  17. Tom Goodrich

    One of the best and easiest upgrades so far! I wish the price of LED replacement bulbs would come down so I can afford to upgrade all the RV’s incandescent lights.

  18. Bob Vaughn

    I finally got my motion light installed…..Now when it gets dark I will know for sure if it works….

  19. dski

    this is a very easy mod. and my DW and myself really like the motion light!

  20. alpine sand toys

    Sorry that link is broken, we revised our site. The correct link is http://www.alpinesandtoys.com/RVProducts-CampingMatsAndLights thanks! Dale

  21. wizard of ahs

    This is a great mod !!! I did this about 6 months ago and it took about 10 minutes total !!!! A VERY worth while mod….

    Thank you !!!

  22. Frank

    What rating LED came with the unit originally that was not bright enough? The link above shows that vendor now sell the unit with the 200 Lumens LED vice the 1003 bulb. Will that be sufficient or is the 300 worth the additional money? I wish they offered it with the amber lens cover to keep the bugs away.

  23. nodakbassmaster

    These are great, the round and the rectangular ones are fantastic additions. The round light only comes with the 1156 incandescent bulb and the rectangular one comes with the 200 (I think) lumen LED bulb. So, looking for the 300 lumen replacement LED bulb for the round light it was $30 or more!! No way. I found a MUCH cheaper way to get more light for a lot less money. It’s probly at least 500 lumen or more (advertised up to 1000). The one on the front of my camper nicely illuminates the yard out past 50 feet.

    Use a 10W high power LED for 12v and a BA15 bulb base like in the links below. Search for 10W high power LED and look for one with 12 volts in the operating voltage range. The center is the +, usually, and the outside part is the -. 1 base @ about $0.29, a couple inches of wire and about $5.00 bulb from ebay (I’ve gotten ‘em for as low as $3.50ish up to $9.98 I paid for one that was in the states) and a little loctite high temp double sided tape= you have a lot more light for a lot less money.

    I have not affiliation with these sites and as previously mentioned, I got the LED’s from ebay, but the bayonette bulb bases I did order from autolumination.

    Here’s a similar bulb::
    http://www.woomaa.com/en-usd/10w-10-watt-high-power-led-light-lamp-bulb-800lm-12v-p16598.html

    Here’s a blank base:: (Empty Bayonet Bulb Base for BA15s) http://autolumination.com/connectors.htm

    This same method could be used to adapt brighter bulbs into just about any other housing as well, just find the base you are looking for and wire it up!

  24. nosticks

    I am satisfied with the light output. The install took all of 15 minutes and used the original porch light holes. My LR slide blocks the motion detector to the rear, but not a problem as when you come around that slide the front side detector turns the light on. Great light.

  25. rogeremeier

    I have this light. It worked the first trip out and now it will not act at a motion detector. When you turn it on it comes on blue instead of green and does nothing. If you turn it on and off from the first position the light will just stay on. If someone knows something please email me at rogeremeier@yahoo.com

  26. Bigfoot

    Did this mod with 300LM bulbs.
    Both lights would not work, they would just flash rapidly. After some troubleshooting I found it only happens on shore power.
    My power converter had a bad fan and was putting out dirty unfiltered DC 12 volts that interfered with the operation of the electronics of the motion lights.
    New converter and all is good. Great mod.

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