Customer Reviews: Heath Zenith SL-5408-GR 110-Degree Motion-Sensing Flood Security Light, Gray
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Heath Zenith has a variety of motion sensor lights ranging from this one to ones many times the price. This one works very well for my purposes, and models that are many times the cost or from different manufacturers offer no advantage to me in that respect. There are many similarities between this and similar motion sensor lights, but it's the differences that are relevant in deciding which one to buy.

The basic sensor and associated circuitry is a relatively inexpensive part, and I doubt that there is a difference between the one used in this model and the one used in models many times more expensive. But others use multiple sensors and/or multiple areas with sensor elements. This one has a four way switch, allowing you to set fixed increments of 1, 5, or 10 minutes of "on time" when the unit is activated. There is also a test position that is handy for setup. Lights I have from another manufacturer have a continuous range using a small knob. My other lights also have an "accent" knob, which I won't describe since this unit lacks one. The on/off feature uses your wall switch, and flicking that off and on within a second will switch this to manual mode, if you want the light left on. I'd recommend a Value Pack Switch Guard or a similar product regardless of which motion sensor light you get, since it's easy for you or guests to cause the light to stay off or on all night. The side opening to the switch guard still leaves you with easy access if you need it. On very rare occasions, those can be found cheaply at major home improvement chains. If you can get free shipping, so much the better.

This security light has a lightweight plastic housing, which is not going to rust. I don't know if it will degrade over time, but aside from the sensor, this can be painted to match your house. Setup is very easy. Aside from needing to clear the screw holes with a drill, all you need is a screwdriver. The "holes" you don't use are left sealed. Chances are you can install it without even looking at the instructions. The initial 90 second setup process is automatic.

The sensor is designed to work within a 3,400 foot range, while slightly more expensive ones offer double that range. In an urban area such as mine, this one offers more than what I need, and could be a possible advantage to those who claim other models are triggered too easily. The 110 degree range of detection is sufficient, but the detector is mounted from the same plate as the bulb holders. That makes it difficult to position the bulbs without blocking the sensor, especially if this is mounted in a corner, such as next to a chimney or door. My other lights also have an additional downward sensor near where the switch area is on this model, which could help depending on your needs. On them, the sensor hangs several inches below the housing, making it possible to point bulbs in more positions without them getting in front of the sensor.

The housing does not encase the bulbs, which I find aesthetically less pleasing. I have no idea whether it affects bulb life, but it will allow bulbs to get dirty and will not keep rain away from the socket on windy days. Bulbs are not included, which for me is an advantage since I use ones with fluorescent elements and it was wasteful when I bought other brands that included bulbs.

I have this mounted in a side yard, with a nearby fence and no access to anything but a three small trees and a vegetable bed. I can't see any advantage to anything better. The fixed time settings are good enough for me. You can get a more expensive model with in between settings if for example it takes you 1 1/2 half minutes to wheel the trash to the curb and get back to the door, which could be an inconvenience if you want your normal setting to be 60 seconds and don't want to be in the dark while out of range. So consider your own circumstances if your needs are very specific.

If you want the lights to go on when you cat goes to the door, get a different model with an extra downward sensor window. If you want to prevent that, this saves you the trouble of one more adjustment and saves the cost of things you don't need. In summary, this works as well as I need and could be a perfect solution for you, but it's how you use it, not the "quality" of the product that really matters.
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on June 20, 2010
Product was an easy install. We previously had metal ones without motion. I gave it a 4-star due to the plastic which I believe may not last, but time will tell. The motion lights come on quickly due to using PAR30 LED lights. Previously, we had florescent PAR30 bulbs. We did not need lights on all the time. Be advised, that the lights can be tripped on by wind when plants, bushes, and trees move.

UPDATE: After 3 years of use, plastic has held up well. I have had 1 motion sensor fail out of the 2 lights. Been using PAR30 LEDs without issue.
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on February 9, 2014
I am an electrician and I installed quite a few of these flood lights around my house. I believe the motion sensor is not sealed properly - once water gets inside they stop working. Sometimes they come back to life after a few days of dry weather. I had some success after applying silicone all around them, but overall, the reliability is spotty at best. Right now I am dealing with one that comes on at dusk and stays on all night even though it is set to come on only when it senses motion. I stopped by Home Depot and bought a Defiant motion sensor to replace the old Zenith. I hope it is not the same company with a different product name. I will never buy another Zenith motion sensor again. How hard would it be to protect the electronics from moisture? The cynic in me says they design them with a short life span on purpose, so you keep coming back to the $tore - that's a heck of a business model.
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on April 8, 2012
Just like all these heath zenith lights, they only work for so long. Mine didn't last a week, now it just turns on and stays on regardless of motion or not (I am aware of the motion and on modes, not the problem here). Even in test mode, it will turn off for 1 second, then on for 10, then repeat. These things are junk, if I could find another manufacture I would try those. I've replaced so many of these over the years it just isn't worth it. I now just put a florescent light in the sockets and leave them on all night. Much cheaper. Stay away from Heath Zenith!
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on June 1, 2013
The photo is not the same as the item received. The motion sensor is molded into the housing and not removable. I bought this with the intention of removing the motion sensor and attaching it to a light fixture that I already have. Unfortunately what you get is not the same as the photo - the sensor on this item is molded into the plastic and not removable. It's quite the cheap plastic junk, but if all you care about is that it does it's job - then it's fine for the 10 bucks.
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on January 16, 2013
I ordered 3 of these units, 2 of which were installed. One was working great for about 3 weeks, and now it turns on sometimes, and not at other times. I can walk up to it in the middle of the night and wave my hand over the motion sensor and it will not turn the lights on. Then recently, on few occasions, it turns on, but one has to be a few feet away, even though it is set to high sensitivity. The other installed unit appears to have a broken sensitivity button. It is too sensitive and turns on repeatedly without noticeable motion changes. Cheap price, but not worth it if it does not work. Going to install the 3rd unit I purchased to replace one of the installed two units. Hope it works...
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on August 27, 2011
Plus: cheap price and it works well so far.
Minuses: Gasket is not concentric nor big enough to give me confidence that it will be waterproof. Includes 4 screws, but only 2 that will fit your electrical box, even though there are 4 holes for mounting.
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on March 23, 2012
After a poor electrician screwed up our wiring, the porch light never turned off. With this simple light, no worries during daylight hours, or when there was no one needing it at night. simple instillation instructions, and a fantastic price for the quality light.
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on February 12, 2014
I used small bulbs in this thing and they still weigh a ton more than the actual unit. It's a low-quality pressed plastic, and very fragile and prone to breaking in the sun, or if you breath on it too heavy. Don't get me wrong, it works... and it's cheap, which is cool. The lower screw on the motion detector pivot can be tightened, but I don't why because it doesn't affect the tightness of the motion box. So in short time if you have it tilted up and it wears, as everything does... it will not adjust where you want it.

I would not recommend this unit unless you are really pressed on budget and just want something short term.
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on January 14, 2016
You get what you pay for and for $15 you shouldn't expect much.

Does what it's supposed to do.

Not weatherproof. I installed mine under an eave which affords protection.
Machine screws and wall anchors as mounting hardware. Say what?! And while it has four, undrilled holes, it comes with only two of each. You'll need four, self-tapping screws to mount this in most situations.
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