Maxsa Battery Powered Motion-Activated Outdoor Light
By Mark Wynn
This generic sounding brand name lives up to its title: the Motion-Activated Outdoor Light (Model #40230) by Maxsa is one of the handiest gadgets our household has ever found. A couple years ago, my wife gave me one for Christmas. Now we have eight MAOL's all around the sides and back of our house.
The little hand-size sentinels, like miniature R2D2 robots with their five LED “eyes,” turn on in the dark when detecting motion in a 100-degree angle within about 25 feet and turn off about 12 seconds after the last detected movement.
The light pictured in this article, located on a rock by our backyard fence to illuminate a side walkway, is sensitive enough to come on when I look down at it from our upstairs back porch. The swivel head rotates to any angle; the picture on its box shows the five LED's beneath the sensor, but I prefer them on top.
Four C-cell batteries power an MAOL about a year down to temperatures around freezing and return to normal operation after the temperature rises. Our MAOL's have functioned flawlessly in inclement weather. In high winds, one unanchored MAOL tumbled down nine steps to a concrete pad where it lay face down. The next day, as I knelt to retrieve the corpse and turned it over, in my shadow the LED's blinked awake like R2D2. Cutesy enough for kid TV, macho enough for perimeter trust.
Seven of our MAOL's still sit un-mounted in strategic places around our yard and upstairs back deck; only one is fastened to a post for a higher viewing angle. They provide sufficient safety light for steps, stairs and walkways as well as alerts for anything moving in the area at night. Significantly, for the outdoorsman, they are lightweight and rugged enough to be taken on camping, hunting, or fishing trips, anywhere battery-operated motion-activated light might be helpful.
When we first got our MAOL's, it was fun to watch them come on in sequence as neighborhood cats found their nocturnal stalkings de-stealthed. The lights have definitely discouraged critter traffic and might not be a wise idea on game trails unless combined with a camera that would shoot the instant the light turned-on.
Sometimes the MAOL's come on for leaves fluttering across their path, but they provide reassuring vigilance throughout the night hours. Their range is so good that, for home use, care must be taken to point them downward enough that they are not activated by pedestrians on the front sidewalk.
MAOL's are also useful indoors in places like closets or storage areas that need extra lighting. Although not as bright as wired lighting, MAOL's are valuable supplements. They are available at various on line sources for about $20 each.
As commercials tease, betcha can't buy just one. The Motion-Activated Outdoor Light is another need-quencher that ought to be sold in six-packs.
Copyright 2009 by Mark Wynn. All rights reserved.