Motion lights are usually mounted above the garage door as a first choice location. This makes sense for convenience, practicality, and basic security if you only have one location.
If security is of a greater concern, some of these additional locations make sense too…
Motion light locations will be somewhat dictated by the layout of your home’s exterior and the surrounding land configuration including driveways, walkways, property entrance points, etc.
A key to the thought process of where to put your motion lights, is early deterrence. Meaning, the sooner you have light on an intruder as he enters the property, the better.
This recommendation comes with its difficulties because typically there are no power sources near these locations. Unless your home is situated near the property entrance (close enough for the motion sensor to trigger), you might consider bringing electrical power closer to where you need it.
Keep in mind that when deciding on locations for your motion lights, you will want them to be pointing AWAY from the home, so that you can readily see what’s going on from inside rather than having glaring light in your eyes (even if from an angle).
There are some great alternatives and solutions to putting light where you need it when there is no electrical power source nearby, and that is solar powered motion lighting (solar charges the internal batteries for night use). The choices may not provide the same light intensity as powerful conventional motion lights, but many of them are bright enough to provide security, deterrence, and convenience for you.
This type of lighting can be mounted nearly anywhere, but will require a mounting position which receives enough direct sunlight during the day to keep the batteries charged.
In addition to obvious entry ways into your property such as the driveway, also consider any other direction where an intruder might use to avoid detection. Ideally you will want to cover the entire perimeter around your house with motion light coverage.
If your house is mostly square or rectangular in shape, you could mount a set on each corner. Otherwise, adapt locations to provide the coverage you need.
I believe a best case scenario is to have two perimeters of light. One installed farther out, which would be triggered first, and the second perimeter based on the home itself.
The first perimeter (furthest away) will require either permanent installed 120-volt AC wiring to each location, or the use of solar powered lighting systems.
The second perimeter (at the house) can also be handled either way, but you will get more light with a 120-volt system (normal house power).
All of this will cost ‘some’ money, and a good portion of it will be consumed by a professional installer (unless you have the ability to do it yourself). However in the end, you will be better protected and much less likely to be burglarized as the would-be burglar moves on to an easier target.
One of the best motion light systems (brands) that I have come across (and use) is the RAB Super Stealth Outdoor Motion Light, particularly their Super Stealth 360. I can’t say enough good things about them…
There are a variety of solar motion lights out there… just be aware that “you get what you pay for”, meaning, if you buy something cheap, it’s going to be cheap. Don’t be cheap when it comes to your security.
In summary, consider your home and property security with consideration of motion lights. Go outside and walk your perimeter. Visualize yourself as the intruder and discover the weak spots where you may get on to your property undetected. Bathe these locations with motion lights.
One last thing… before you make any final purchase, know the distance required between the lighting sensor and the intended target. Check the rated ‘range’ on the motion light specifications. Do not go by the maximum distance that is rated, because it never works out that way. It’s more like 75% of what they typically claim (depending).