After careful consideration, our pick for the best solar powered motion security light is the YQL 100W Outdoor LED Solar Street Security Flood Light.
While the product is expensive, it offers the buyer so many options with a remote for controlling it in the house, a couple of installation choices, and the best IP rating of the bunch. The manufacturer also sticks behind the product, giving us another reason to recommend it.
Best Powered Motion Security Light
Best for Small Places
Best Multi Function
Best Compact Design
Why You Should Consider These Products
The statistics on burglaries are sobering. According to the FBI, an incident occurs every 22.6 seconds in the United States. The best security measures are often the simplest ones, like a barking dog or a sensor light to detect movement. The latter offers several advantages for both your safety and convenience.
Do Solar Powered Lights Work?
First, have 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 products a worthwhile venture for the safety of you and your family.
Second, having a motion-sensing light also alerts your neighbors to people entering your property, providing another layer of security. The fast trigger removes the stealth and the surprise factor from the equation for added protection.
Finally, the product provides light 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. We’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 lighting an ice-covered sidewalk automatically or seeing an obstacle—or a pet—before you trip on them.
A motion-sensing light can also provide a simple way to deal with pests. A triggered light 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.
Making It Easy With the Best Solar Motion Sensor Light
Of course, no one likes to think about anything bad happening. These products also offer practical solutions that don’t tread into these dark waters. They’re convenient. If you’re pulling into the driveway, they illuminate your path and the walkway to your front door without you lifting a finger. Does it get any more convenient than that?
That also applies to turning on the front porch light for helping you find your keys and opening the door at night. That’s especially helpful if you have an armful of groceries or a small child in tow. It 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 in the house.
Other Benefits of the Best Solar Powered Dusk to Dawn Light
Those are plenty of good reasons to consider a motion-detecting light. However, the advantages don’t stop there. The products offer a set-and-forget-it solution because the sun takes care of the heavy lifting. The sunlight provides the power and the signal to turn on and off so that you needn’t remember to flip a switch every night.
A security light can work when 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. After all, the value of a security light comes from its 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 illumination. This figure is typically the base number. You’ll often see products pushing 50,000 hours or more.
Other benefits are a nod to what LED lights bring to the table. Incandescent lights don’t give you a warning that they’re done, until that flash when you first flip the switch or you trigger the device. By then, it’s too late. It’s dark. You need to see where you’re going or you must have the warning that a sensor offers.
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 energy source.
Let’s face it. Electricity is the best way to go. Unfortunately, you then have cords that you can trip over, or it can get damaged from the elements. This type of outdoor lighting offers the have-it-all solution that balances the advantages with the disadvantages in an eco-friendly way.
What is the Best Motion Detector Light?
Not all 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. The devil, as they say, is in the details. That’s where you need to look first. The factors to consider include:
- Detection Range
- Light Duration
- Brightness and Temperature
- Easy To Install
- Other Design Considerations
- Return Policies and Warranties
We’ll discuss each one in detail.
The distance from the light and the source of action is a vital factor in the performance of a 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 the best value while close enough to provide convenience.
Several things will come into play trying to detect movement, 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 15 to 180 seconds. Some have only one setting 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.
What Is the Brightest Security Light?
Both of these features touch on the aesthetics and practicality of having solar power LED flood lights. You’ll see this spec as the product’s temperature indegrees Kelvin. It can range anywhere from 1,000 to 10,000, depending on the item. It gives you a vital clue about how it will look and whether it’s a fitting choice for your situation.
The 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 super bright but not too harsh. If it’s over 5,000 degrees, then the illumination is stark with a bluish undertone.
The latter is the best choice for a 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 ideal temperature for this purpose with one caveat.
Yes, it is a super 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 glaring. Keep this factor in mind when you move onto the next consideration, where you place it.
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.”
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 lighting unit with 1,600 lumens of light.
Installation of the Best Solar Flood 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. Second, you have solar potential or the device’s ability 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 six or more hours of sun exposure every single day. 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 how easy you’ll find these tasks in the dead of winter.
Being easy to install is always a biggie for us too. It’s also another 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 install 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 for the products you’re researching.
The technology has advanced tremendously in recent years. The kind you’re most likely to see 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 sunlight to work.
If that’s an issue for your home, you can opt for a product 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 device in the panel. Keep in mind the exposure if you’re going to place it flat on a rooftop.
Pay attention to the construction of the solar lights. Plastic isn’t necessarily a bad choice. However, there are several synthetic materials available that can withstand whatever Nature throws their way. A valuable clue to the endurance is the IP rating.
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.
The first number measures how the motion detector will handle dust and other debris. We prefer products 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 probably overkill in most circumstances.
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 an aspect of using these sensor lights.
You have some latitude with this factor. You can have easy to install solar lights in protected areas that can guard against accidental damage and reflect sunlight better to keep them dry and functional. Products with separate solar panels that you can place in direct sunlight are an excellent way to capitalize on both of these aspects.
You can get the lighting solution you want with a design that will receive optimal sunlight. It’s not wireless, of course, so you will need to find a way to secure the extra cord, preferably out of sight.
Another thing to consider is the charging time. Most devices 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 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 optimally.
It’ll also help you choose the right plants for your landscaping.
Return Policies and Warranties
It’s always a smart idea to check on a product’s guarantee and the manufacturer’s warranty before buying. Things happen, and sometimes, a faulty item sneaks 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 ones that give you a refund, preferably with no shipping or restocking fees for you.
Our Picks for the Best Solar Security Lights
We researched our products thoroughly, focusing on the points we’ve discussed above to see how each one measured up to the task. As we expected, we found different items that serve some purposes better than others. We included this information to help you make the choice that is best for your situation.
However, this selection is only a small sampling of the products you’ll find. Whatever type of light you want, you’re sure to find it.
YQL 100W Outdoor LED Solar Street Security Flood Light
Best Overall Automatic Solution
The YQL 100W Outdoor LED Solar Street Security Flood Light has a lot going for it. The construction is sound with a couple of different ways you can install it, which we always like to see. The criteria are standard sizes, so they don’t pose an issue for most applications. The item also has an excellent IP rating of 67, which measures its ability to withstand harsh weather conditions.
The light is a self-contained unit which is even better in our book. What we loved most about it was its ability to optimize battery use and adjust accordingly to get the most out of your purchase. The illumination is bright with a top-notch balance between lighting and charging time. The manufacturer also provides a generous window for returns and replacements which we liked.
The best feature of this pir motion light is its versatility. You can set how long it’s on the job, along with the brightness. The illumination range is excellent too. The unit is well-constructed with glass and aluminum. It is a larger LED outdoor light with a separate solar panel that you can place where it’ll get the most sunlight. The only glaring downside is that the working temperature only goes down to 14 degrees Fahrenheit.
LEPOWER 1500LM Solar Lights
Best Solar Motion Light 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. We liked the fact that it includes a test mode to help with the installation process. The light is bright on the daylight end of the spectrum. It uses amorphous silicon solar cells, making it an excellent choice in dim light conditions.
The output is about that of a 90-watt incandescent bulb or about 1,350 lumens, which is enough for most uses. It doesn’t have the versatility of installation options 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. There is both a guarantee and a warranty on the outdoor lights sensor.
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 PV 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 this motion detection device.
BNT Solar Powered Motion Sensor Security Light
Best Multi-Functional Security Device
The BNT Solar Powered Motion Sensor Security Light ticks off a lot of boxes for versatility. There is more than one device to handle a couple of problems 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.
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 the bright LED light that translates into about 90 watts. Unfortunately, it’s not the most attractive motion sensor out there. It’s noticeable, but perhaps that is the intent, considering the security function.
The trigger range 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.
GLORIOUS-LITE Solar Security Light
The GLORIOUS-LITE Solar Security Light gets the ball rolling right at an affordable price. The range for which motion is detected 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 best features is the ability to set the light duration for 30, 60, or 120 seconds, along with varying sensitivity levels.
Other user-friendly features are multiple modes, including 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.
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 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.
Aootek 120 LED Solar Outdoor Motion Sensor Lights
Best Compact Design
The Aootek 120 LED Solar Outdoor 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.
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. 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 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.
Final Thoughts About the Best Outdoor Solar Flood Lights
The YQL 100W Outdoor LED Solar Street Security Flood Light was the best solar powered motion security light we reviewed, taking into account usability, versatility, and ease of use. It costs more, but we felt that it was worth it, given its purpose.