How to Wire a Motion Sensor Light Red Wire the right way

Motion sensor lights are typically used outdoors to detect movement in your yard. So today, we will discuss how to wire a motion sensor light red wire, which is an essential part of installing motion sensor lights outside.

This is one of the best home security measures put in place to detect illegal intrusions into your property, and one of the ways to install a motion sensor light switch is to know how to connect the red wire properly.

Motion sensors are wired to control outdoor lighting automatically. Depending on the model and sensitivity of the motion sensor, even a small animal will activate the light switch.

Installing a motion sensor on an existing light fixture takes about an hour, that is, if you have the necessary parts and a few hand tools.

What is a motion sensor light?

In a sense, a motion sensor is an automatically controlled outdoor light that turns on when it senses a hint of movement in the environment.

It is automatically programmed to turn on as soon as it senses the slightest movement of people, pets, or other objects.

Installing a motion-sensing light on your walls is very easy and only takes less than an hour to get it set up and working properly, especially if all the wiring is done correctly.

Therefore, you need to learn how to wire a motion-sensing light properly.

A motion sensor light consists of three different colored wires, namely white, black, and red.

Let’s look at connecting the red wire of a motion sensor light and the other wires needed to operate your light.

What is the red wire of a motion sensor light used for?

Are you wondering what the function of the red wire in a motion sensor is used for? The red wire goes to the switching leg of the device that actually powers the light so that the motion sensor light switch works properly.

Incorrectly connecting the red wire in a motion sensing light can cause the light not to turn on.

Relax as I walk you through 13 easy steps to installing and connecting a motion detector light red wire in your outdoor motion detector.

How to wire an Outdoor Motion Sensor Light Red Wire

13 Steps:

  1. Disconnect all power to the device you will be wiring to the motion detector. This may mean turning off all power or simply pulling the fuse that supplies power to the circuit.
  2. Disconnect the light bulb and remove it from the socket. If there are glass shades or lenses, remove them from the fixture.
  3. Pull the light fixture out of the electrical box. If mounting nuts are present, use pliers to loosen them. If mounting screws are present, use a screwdriver to loosen them. Pay attention to the electrical connections on the inside of the device housing.
  4. Next, loosen and remove all plastic wire nuts from the cable connectors. Note that the power supply is the black insulated wire. The electrical system neutral is the white insulated wire. The electrical system ground wire is the bare copper wire connected directly to the lamp.
  5. Pay close attention to the electrical wiring of the motion detector. Usually, there are three wires in a motion sensor. Please refer to your specific motion sensor’s manual or brochure for any connections or instructions, as some models may have a different wiring system than described here. A white insulated wire, a black insulated wire, and a red insulated wire are usually most commonly found in motion sensors.
  6. Use a wire stripper to remove 1/2 inch of insulation from all motion sensor wires so you can see the bare copper in each insulated wire.
  7. Mount your motion sensor to your outdoor lighting. Typically there are two ½ inch holes on the outdoor fixture. Using a screwdriver, remove one of these ½ inch metal washers to create a hole.
  8. Insert the threads of your motion sensor through this ½-inch hole. Tighten the motion sensor against the exterior light housing by placing an electrical nut on the threads. Tighten the electrical nut with pliers to hold the motion sensor firmly against the exterior light housing.
  9. Next, connect all the electrical wires in a specific order by taking the copper wire from the red insulated wire in the motion sensor and twisting it to the black wire in the light fixture. Use pliers to make sure there is a good electrical connection between the two wires.
  10. Cover the wiring with a plastic wire nut and take the copper wire from the white insulated wire in the motion sensor and the white wire from the light fixture and twist them together. However, always use pliers to make sure there is a good electrical connection between the two wires.
  11. Cover the wiring with a plastic wire nut, take the copper wire from the black insulated wire in the motion sensor, and twist it with the black wire coming from the fuse or power supply breaker. Cover the wiring with a plastic wire nut.
  12. Finally, connect the bare copper wire to the metal housing in the light fixture. Install your light fixture onto the power box. Replace the bulb and glass shade or lens with the light fixture.
  13. Turn on the circuit breaker or insert the fuse to reactivate the circuit. Turn on the interior light switch that controls the luminaire if equipped.

What is the best motion sensor light bulb to buy?

There are many good motion sensor light bulbs on the market, but we recommend Motion Sensor Light Bulbs from Aukora. You can check the prices on

They are safe for use in the staircase, hallway, bathroom, front door, storage room, garage, closet, balcony, gate, etc.

In conclusion…

Although, these steps above on how to make a motion sensor light red wire works perfectly well if you are a DIY kind of person.

However, don’t hesitate to call a professional electrician to do the wiring if you don’t understand.