Best Solar Powered Motion Security Light: Reviews & Buyers Guide 2020

Westinghouse Solar Powered Light

Best Overall Lights

LEPOWER 1500LM Solar Lights

Best Lights for Small Spaces

BNT Solar Powered Motion Sensor Security Light

Multi-Functional Security Lights

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1. Westinghouse Solar Light - Best Overall

The Westinghouse Solar Powered Light has a lot going for it. It’s definitely one of the best lights out there. The construction is sound with an aluminum fixture instead of the plastic we typically see. The item also has a decent IP rating of X4, which measures its ability to withstand harsh weather conditions with how waterproof it is. This one can handle rain splashing on the light without damaging it.

This LED solar light is a self-contained unit that is even better in our book. It has an amorphous solar panel so that you can install it in low-light conditions. The larger battery compensates for the lack of ample sunlight. The brightness is outstanding at 2,000 lumens for the LED. This LED solar light is super bright. What we loved most about these motion sensor lights, was their ability to optimize battery use and adjust accordingly.

You can set the LED for 30 seconds, 60 seconds, or 120 seconds when it detects motion. It can pick up movement up to 39 feet away. The illumination range is excellent too, it covers a wide area with a wide angle. The LED outdoor light is a good size at less than 10 inches tall. The solar panel attaches to it with a 12-foot power cord.  The only glaring downside to these motion sensor lights are that there are occasional quality control issues.

Pros

  • The LED light is bright with responsive PIR motion sensors.
  • The light is well-made, providing daylight-like illumination.
  • There are three settings for the time the LED stays lit when triggered.
  • The lithium-ion battery is included.
  • The outdoor solar motion light is value-priced.
  • Motion sensor has long range and covers a wide area.
  • Sensor can detect up to 39 feet.

Cons

  • There are occasional quality control problems with the motion sensor lights.
  • The charge time on these lights are longer than comparable products at 16 hours.
  • There is only a 30-day return window and no warranty with these lights.

2. LEPOWER 1500LM Solar Lights - Best Lights for Small Spaces

The LEPOWER 1500LM Solar Lights makes it easy to customize a solar lighting solution for your needs with a toggle for sensitivity and manual operation. It’s also one of the best products we found. We liked the fact that it includes a test mode to help with the installation process to detect movement. These security lights are bright in the daylight end of the spectrum. It uses amorphous silicon solar cells, making it an excellent choice in dim light conditions. These security lights are a great option.

These solar powered security lights output are about that of a 90-watt incandescent bulb or about 1,350 lumens, which is enough for most uses. This light is not as easy to install as the previous product, but it does give you more customization choices for the mode with a fantastic lifespan of 50,000 hours of continuous use for the LED lights.

There is both a guarantee and a warranty on the motion lights sensor. Finding security lights with a good warranty is a must. 

It has a separate solar panel like the previous light. That’s an advantage if your entryway is dimly lit, so you can place the solar panel where it’ll work best with its 15-foot power cord. The range is decent too at 49 feet with a 180-degree, wide-angle design. No one is going to come into your yard without triggering these solar motion detection lights.

Pros

  • There are also manual and test modes to try out your installation before you affix it permanently.
  • It has an excellent lifespan of 50,000 hours or more than six years of use.
  • You can set the sensitivity range for what you need for motion detection area.
  • This light is affordably priced.
  • It offers an easy installation.
  • The LED light is bright with responsive PIR motion sensors.​
  • Sensor can detect up to 49 feet.

Cons

  • There are limited installation options.
  • While the IP rating for this light is high, a downpour may challenge it since it’s not completely waterproof.
  • The sensory range is limited.

3. BNT Solar Motion Sensor Lights - Best Multi-Functional

The BNT Solar Motion Sensor Lights ticks off a lot of boxes for versatility. There are multiple lights to handle multiple areas. While it is a self-contained unit, you still need to pay attention to placement since the solar panel rests atop of the light. The battery is replaceable, which also factors into the installation question to make it accessible. These security lights are an excellent choice.

We really liked the fact that it has a red-light mode that makes it a true security light in every sense of the phrase. The brightness is enough without being obtrusive, which scores more points in its favor. It is 800 lumens with a bright LED light that translates into about 90 watts. Unfortunately, it’s not the most attractive solar motion sensor out there. It’s noticeable, but perhaps that is the intent, considering the security function.

The motion sensor trigger range area is about 26 feet. If you have a long walkway to your front door, you may find that it’s a bit short. Again, as we’ve discussed, when in doubt, measure. The outdoor sensor lights have adjustable working modes to extend the life to the product and the battery.

 

Pros

  • The multiple packaging allows you to take care of two issues.
  • These outdoor solar motion sensor lights include a red-light mode for theft deterrence.
  • It has a decent IP rating of 66 to handle all weather conditions.
  • You can replace the lithium-ion battery and do other maintenance on these lights easily.
  • It’s an excellent value for the price.
  • Sensor can detect up to 26 feet.

Cons

  • The motion sensor trigger range area is smaller than comparable products.
  • It’s obtrusive even with its anti-theft option for better security.
  • The construction of this light leaves something to be desired.
  • The installation is more involved.

4. GLORIOUS-LITE Solar Security Light - Most Versatile

The GLORIOUS-LITE Solar Security Light gets the ball rolling right at an affordable price. The range area for motion detection makes it an excellent choice. The super brightness of the light is agreeable too, bridging the gap well between usefulness and practicality. One of its great features is the ability to set the light duration for 30 seconds, 60 seconds, or 120 seconds, along with varying sensitivity levels to detect movement. These security lights will definitely get the job done. 

Other user-friendly features include having more then one light mode, a testing one and a dim mode. After all, an outdoor light sensor isn’t a one-size-fits-all type of product. We like it when manufacturers include it with their product features. It’s helpful to make sure the installation will work right when motion is detected by the unit. Ensure you have the right motion sensor for the job.

On the downside, it’s big and gaudy. You can adjust it to fit the space, but it still sticks out like a sore thumb. We prefer products that mesh with the background. After all, it’s the bright light that’s important and not necessarily noticing its presence when not lit. To be fair, sometimes being obvious is an excellent choice since it can act as a deterrent for improved security. 

Pros

  • The solar powered motion security light is an excellent value for the price.
  • The detection wide angle is impressive.
  • It has a decent IP rating of 66 to handle all weather conditions.
  • You can replace the lithium-ion battery and do other maintenance on the device easily.
  • These motion sensor lights are an excellent value for the price.

Cons

  • The trigger range is smaller than comparable products.
  • It’s obtrusive even with its anti-theft option for better security.
  • The construction leaves something to be desired.
  • The installation for this light is more involved.

5. Aootek 120 LED Solar Light - Best Compact Design

The Aootek 120 LED Solar Motion Sensor Lights offers three modes to stay on from dust to dawn, detect motion, or get brighter as a silent detector. The latter is a smart feature since it can give you a heads-up without alerting an intruder right away that they’re being “watched.” It was the only product in our lineup that had this feature. These security lights are compact and can be harder to see for intruders.

All the products we reviewed had an IP rating that covered solid debris well. However, this one is the lowest for liquid, which can impact its ability to withstand heavy rainfall and is not waterproof. The 4 rating means that it can handle water splashing against it but not anything with any real force. 

That’s a big deal, considering its outside location and exposure to driving rain and other extreme weather. It goes against the fact that it needs unobstructed sun exposure while needing protection from the elements.

On the positive side, it has a wide-angle and a design that isn’t as gaudy as some of the solar powered ones we reviewed. The motion detection range is up to 26 feet with a 270-degree maximum angle. The brightness is about the equivalent of a 90-watt incandescent bulb.

Pros

  • It has a compact design that blends in well with the background.
  • The bright LED lights have three modes from which to choose to fit the need.
  • The solar panel is extremely efficient.
  • The outdoor security light is easy to install.
  • The motion sensor is very responsive
  • Sensor can detect up to 26 feet.

Cons

  • The motion detection range is on the short side for some situations at 26 feet.
  • The product is the lowest for liquid penetration and is not waterproof.
  • There is no sensitivity setting to detect movement.

Our Top Picks for the Best Solar Security Light

Why You Should Consider the Best Solar Security Light

The statistics on burglaries are sobering. According to the FBI, an incident occurs every 30 seconds in the United States. The wisest security measures are often the simplest ones, like a barking dog or a motion sensor lights. The latter offers several advantages for both your safety and convenience. A motion sensor light has many perks. 

Do Solar Powered Lights Work?

First, having an LED solar security light deters an intruder and prevents your contact with them. And that’s a significant advantage. Upward of 20 percent of home invasions are violent. That makes investing in these kinds of motion sensor lights worthwhile for the safety of you and your family. Take one more step in security by using a motion sensor light around the home. You will want to stick with the mid to high end security lights.

Second, having a solar motion sensing light also alerts your neighbors to people entering your property, providing another layer of security. The motion sensor can deter any unwanted visitors. The fast trigger of the motion sensor removes the stealth and the surprise factor from the equation for added protection. 

Finally, the solar motion security light provides light from the motion detection for you to see and identify a possible threat, giving you time to act. Often, seconds make the difference between safety and an unfortunate outcome. 

Best Solar Powered Motion Security LightWe’ll take everything we can get on this score.

But it’s not just about crime. It’s also a matter of safety when it comes to a motion light on an ice-covered sidewalk that goes on automatically or seeing an obstacle—or a pet—before you trip on them.

A solar motion sensing light can also provide a simple way to deal with pests. LED lights with motion detection could scare off scavenging raccoons and possums looking for a quick meal in your backyard. Combined with an alert or siren, and you have an effective way to keep your plants and garden safe from these interlopers. Using motion sensor lights around the home can be a game changer. Security lights can be used to deter unwanted visitors quite easily. 

Many products work several hours from dawn to dusk. We’ve seen some that last up to 8 hours, 10 hours and 12 hours. They detect motion to varying degrees of sensitivity. Many solar lights are waterproof and can provide year-round service. 

The Convenience of the Best Solar Motion Sensor Light

Of course, no one likes to think about anything bad happening. These solar security lights also offer practical solutions that don’t tread into these dark waters. They’re convenient since they use solar energy for detecting motion. If you’re pulling into the driveway, they light your path and the walkway to your front door without you lifting a finger. Does it get any more convenient than that? That’s the power of solar lights.

That also when they detect motion applies to turning on the front porch light to help you find your keys and open the door at night. That’s especially helpful if you have an armful of groceries or a small child in tow. The LED lights can even act as a signal to your pet that it’s time to come in when they notice that the light is on with you waiting for them to come into the house. Having security lights around your home will make you and your family feel more comfortable. 

Many solar lights are weather-resistant or waterproof. That can ensure that you get years of use, making them a worthwhile investment. Some turn on when they detect motion. Others provide a lighting solution if you need an area illuminated all night long. 

Other Benefits of the Best Solar Powered Dusk to Dawn Light

Those are plenty of good reasons to consider a solar motion detecting light. However, the advantages don’t stop there. The LED lights offer a set-and-forget-it solution because the sun takes care of the heavy lifting. The sunlight provides the solar power to the solar panel to operate the signal to turn on and off with motion so that you needn’t remember to flip a switch every night. Motion sensor lights offering the set-and-forget solution are awesome. 

motion sensor light productA security light can work in other conditions when it’s dark enough to trigger the mechanism, such as a cloudy day. You’ll likely find them a godsend if it’s dreary because of rain or snow, and you still need to see in front of you with a bright light. After all, the value of security lights comes from their availability in all low-light situations. 

Advantages of LEDs

One of the most significant benefits that solar-powered lights offer is their longevity. Most of these units have LEDs instead of incandescent bulbs. That means they’ll last 30,000 hours or more, providing years of reliable lighting. This figure is typically the base number. You’ll often see outdoor solar motion lights pushing 50,000 hours or more for some LEDs. Motion sensor lights with LEDs are so effective. Any outdoor light should be LED, their long lasting ability is a huge win. 

Other benefits are a nod to what LED lights bring to the table. Incandescent lights don’t give you a warning that they’re spent, until that flash when you first flip the switch or you trigger the lights. By then, it’s too late. It’s dark. You need to see where you’re going, or you must have the warning that the solar security lights are done. 

LEDs, on the other hand, die a slow death. You’ll notice the brightness gradually diminishing as they reach the end of their life cycle. It’s the ideal warning to replace them. The marriage between solar power and LEDs is perfect too. This lighting requires less energy, which works well with the relative inefficiency of this solar power source.

Let’s face it. Electricity is the easiest way to go. Unfortunately, you then have cords that you can trip over, or it can get damaged from the elements if the light isn’t completely waterproof. This type of outdoor lighting offers the have-it-all solution that balances the advantages with the disadvantages in an eco-friendly way.

 Not all solar powered motion security lights are created the same. Many differ on key features that can make an impact on whether it’s the right product for your situation. Knowing this information upfront allows you to make an informed choice. 

solar motion light on the side of a houseThe devil, as they say, is in the details. That’s where you need to look first. The factors to consider include:

  • Detection Range of Motion
  • Light Duration
  • Brightness and Temperature
  • Easy Installation
  • Other Design Considerations
  • Return Policies and Warranties

We’ll discuss each one in detail.

Detection Range of Motion

The distance from the light and the source of the motion are vital factors in the performance of solar powered dusk to dawn light. You’ll usually see this figure given as a range in feet or yards. It’s a bit of a balancing act. It needs to be far away enough to offer value while close enough to provide convenience when motion is detected.

Several things will come into play, including where you place the light along with the other specs that can affect your satisfaction, such as how long it stays lit. If you think it’s a deal-breaker, measure the distance to be sure. Look for products that have an adjustable range or dim mode to play it safe, especially if you find that it’s turning on too frequently.

Light Duration of the Best Outdoor Solar Flood Lights

You’ll typically see motion sensors that last anywhere from 20 seconds to 180 seconds. Some have only one setting for lighting whereas others will offer a few choices. We prefer the latter. It all depends on what you want the product to do. If you just need it to unlock a door, 15 seconds is probably adequate. If you’re putting away garden furniture, a longer time is more helpful with a bright light to make it easier.

Also, consider its effective range. Newer products can last up to 8 hours, 10 hours and 12 hours fully charged, especially those that use a lithium-ion battery.

What Is the Brightest Security Light?

This feature touches on the aesthetics and practicality of having solar power LED flood lights. You’ll see this spec as the product’s temperature in degrees Kelvin. It can range anywhere from 1,000 to 10,000, depending on the lighting and type of solar panel. It gives you a vital clue about how it will look and whether it’s a fitting choice for your situation.

bright solar lights on homeThe low end of the spectrum up to about 3,000 degrees is warm, ambient lighting that you may use in your living room. Going from 3,000 to 5,000 degrees puts it in the bounds of midday light. It’s bright but not too harsh. If it’s over 5,000 degrees, then the light is stark and super bright with a bluish undertone.

The latter is an ideal choice for a bright security light.

It offers the maximum brightness for you to see whether it’s for finding your keys or seeing who is at the door. That makes it the perfect temperature for this purpose—with one caveat.

Yes, it is a bright light, but it is also harsh. If you’re placing security lights near your living quarters—or in view of your neighbors—you may find that it’s too glaring. Keep this fact in mind when you move onto the next consideration, where you place it to detect movement.

Another spec you’ll see is lumens. The technical definition is “a unit of luminous flux in the International System of Units, that is equal to the amount of light given out through a solid angle by a source of one-candela intensity radiating equally in all directions.” Lumens are essential to consider when looking for new security lights.

They are a rough equivalent of watts that give a comparison figure for brightness. To give you a better handle on the term, a 100-watt incandescent light bulb is the equivalent of a 22-watt LED with 1,600 lumens of bright light, which is more than adequate for powered motion security lights.

Installation of Motion Sensor Solar Lights

Here’s where the design and operation of the solar powered motion activated flood lights come into play. There are several things to keep in mind. First, there is the direction of the light and what it’s going to illuminate when lit. A wide angle will let you see what’s all around you.

close up of a solar security lightSecond, you have solar potential or the ability of the powered motion security lights to get enough direct sunlight to recharge itself. One of the primary complaints customers having with getting solar lights is their lighting capacity. Most products need at least 6 or 8 hours of sun exposure every single day to provide adequate lighting. If they fall short, the lights won’t work as expected.

Then, you have to think about maintenance. To keep it operational year-round may mean cleaning the solar panels occasionally, changing batteries, or moving it for seasonal changes in the sun’s angle. Figure out if it’ll be easy to install in the dead of winter.

Ease of installation is always a biggie for us. It’s also another common source of customer dissatisfaction. You may find it helpful to check the dimensions of the product before you buy it to make sure that the motion light sensor will work in the place you want to put it.

Other Design Considerations

These things only scratch the surface about other aspects of having commercial solar flood lights for your home. You should also know the type of photovoltaic (PV) cell of the solar panels for the products you’re researching. 

The lighting technology has advanced tremendously in recent years. The kind you’re most likely to see in a solar panel is crystalline silicon (c-Si). It’s used in commercial applications and a wide variety of other uses, including solar lights. It’s relatively efficient and affordable. However, it also requires sufficient sun light to work.

If that’s an issue for your home, you can opt for a product with a solar panel that has amorphous silicon (a-Si) PV cells. Instead of a crystal structure, they consist of thin sheets. The overwhelming advantage of this material is that it can still perform even in low light conditions while costing less. The trade-off is that it’s less efficient and won’t last as long as c-Si devices.

It all has to do with placement. We’ve seen some products that have a separate solar panel attached to the light portion with a cord. It’s an excellent alternative if you want to have a fixture in a shadier spot, especially given their affordable price tag. The lights are typically a reasonable size, with the bulk of the weight in the panel. Keep in mind the exposure if you’re going to place it flat on a rooftop.

motion sensor light in the rainPay attention to the construction of the solar lights. Plastic isn’t necessarily a bad choice for powered motion security lights. There are several synthetic materials available that can withstand whatever Nature throws their way. A valuable clue to endurance and how waterproof they are is the IP rating of the lighting.

Motion sensors have to be able to handle rain, snow, wind, or whatever else comes their way. Being waterproof and weatherproof, therefore, is a major consideration. The IP rating gives you a way to qualify it. IP ratings are an important consideration, don’t over look this. 

The first number measures how the lights will handle dust and other debris. We prefer powered motion security lights that are rated 6, which means nothing is going to get inside of it and interfere with its operation. Most items we researched were this figure.

The second number concerns liquids or precipitation. We suggest only considering products that are rated at least 5. That means that a driving rain won’t penetrate the casing and fry out the motion detector. You may see some items rated 7, which covers it for submersion in up to 3 feet of water. That’s really good for solar lights. That’s probably overkill in most circumstances, but they are a truly waterproof light.

Look at other specs, such as the operational temperature. To be fair, batteries can only handle so much when it comes to extremes. That isn’t a reflection on the product but instead the state of the technology. Think of it as a part of using these sensor lights. Bear in mind that a solar panel is more efficient in cooler temperatures even if the batteries are not.

You have some latitude with this factor. You can install solar lights in protected areas that can guard against accidental damage and reflect sunlight better to keep them dry and functional if they’re not waterproof. Products with separate solar panels that you can place in direct sunlight are an excellent way to compromise on both of these things.

bottom of a solar powered motion lightAnother thing to consider is the charging time. Most motion lights are ready to go in eight hours or less. Faster ones can help you find a solution if the direct sun exposure time is limited. But see what your trade-off is with active time versus downtime. You’ll notice that manufacturers give ranges in hours and use carefully crafted language in product descriptions. 

There is a valid reason for that caution.

The variability of sun exposure based on time doesn’t tell the whole story. As we discussed earlier, it’s also a matter of your geographical location and the time of year. If in doubt, find out what it is where you live. Find out how many hours of direct sunlight the spot gets. It’s a simple way to save you the hassle of installing a solar light where it won’t perform as expected. 

It’s a handy thing to know since it’ll also help you choose the right light for your landscaping.

Return Policies and Warranties

It’s always a smart idea to check on a lights guarantee and the manufacturer’s warranty before buying. Things happen, and sometimes, faulty motion lights can sneak through quality control. We prefer to deal with sellers who will stand by their wares and offer both. We’d also suggest taking a peek at their website for gauging what kind of customer service you can expect if there is an issue.

Be sure to check the fine print too. Sometimes, warranties only cover product defects, which typically show up early in the game. That makes the guarantee more important to find out if an item will work for you. Our advice is to stick with lighting options that give you a refund, preferably with no shipping or restocking fees for you.

Final Thoughts About These Lights

The Westinghouse Solar Light was the top model we reviewed, taking into account illumination, motion detection, versatility, and ease of use. Its construction is sound and waterproof, making it a good investment for a bright and reliable floodlight. It’s also easy on the pocketbook.

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