Motion sensor lights seemed like a grand plan now thatI have three times the covered porch area I had before the addition was built.
However, motion sensor lights seem to be unheard of in Panama. At least, I could find nothing in the local hardware stores.
Amazon.com to the rescue! I found two simple ones that screw right into the light socket, and ordered them. I was quite pleased when they arrived fairly quickly — for a shipment to Panama — and set them up. One worked for about 10 minutes and died, but the other was fine. I took the broken one to my local fix-it wizard, but he had never heard of such a thing, had no replacement solenoids (or whatever makes them work) and could do nothing for me.
Since these items were about $10 each and the shipping is about $6 each way, I decided I would manage with just one, rather than spend another $12 to return and replace the defective one. So I left the functioning one installed in the light outside my new bedroom window, where I would definitely want advance notice of someone prowling about.
I must say, the device exceeds expectations. When the bats swoop past in search of dinner, the light comes on! When one of the feral cats drops by looking for scraps, the light comes on! When I forget to bring my dog Eeany in for the night (she has a tendency to involve herself rather painfully with the aforementioned cats) the light comes on!
It also comes on when “ain’t nobody there.” Must be moths or something. I dunno. But I’m relatively sure that it’s never been a Midnight Prowler, because if there one thing I can count on Eeany for, it is to be a reliable alarm for visiting humans. And she bays like a beast three times her size.
I can live with the occasional ‘mysterious visitor,’ especially when I know it’s just one of the local, regular animals sniffing about. Eeany would definitely set off an “intruder alert” if it weren’t.
I’m going to keep the motion sensor mainly because my brain is not wired to remember to turn on a porch light when I leave in the day and return after dark. It’s so very nice to be able to find the keyhole with the key, and not to fall over something. It’s also handy for running outside after dark when I need something. Plus, while the switch for the main porch light is located in a block of four switches next to the front door, the switch for the new porch light is in a completely different room from the front door, and hidden behind a curtain to boot. (What can I say? This is Panama.) So that’s yet another plus for the motion sensor. I would certainly never think to turn that light on in any kind of timely fashion.
I just wish both devices worked.