Last updated on April 6th, 2018
Solar motion lights for outside. They are exceptionally convenient in that their placement can be just about anywhere.
(Regular outdoor motion lights require a source of 120 VAC power)
(…and a qualified electrician to install them.)
Solar motion lights get their power first from the sun using a mini solar panel that converts sunlight to electricity. A built-in battery is used for energy storage. The motion sensor and lights get their power from the battery.
(See below for a specific recommendation)
Solar Motion Light Panels — Two Configurations
1. Built in / attached mini solar panel.
2. Separate from the body of the main sensor and light assembly.
Units with a detached solar panel are advantageous:
– Position the solar panel specifically where the sun shines.
– The motion sensor & lights assembly can be mounted in a different and exact location where it matters.
Note: Be aware of the length of interconnecting wire between the solar panel and motion sensor. The length will vary from one model to another. If you’re handy you may be able to splice into it – making it longer if needed.
Solar Motion Lights For Outside
Bright Enough To Be Useful !
One reason that I’m writing this article is to point out that brightness matters. There are units of measurement to compare one solar motion light with another.
Unfortunately not all makes and models list these specifications.
I’m talking about Lumens which is a unit of measurement related to how bright the light source is.
Comparison (Lumens & Brightness)
– A typical 100 watt flood light (non-LED) is 1,600 lumens.
– A 60 watt incandescent porch light (non-LED) equivalent to 800 lumens.
Look for the ‘lumens’ specification when considering a given solar motion light for outside.
It’s about Lumens (Not # LED’s)
Don’t fall for “the number of LED’s”. That means nothing. What matters is lumens.
In my personal opinion and experience, if you’re looking for an outside solar motion light for security purposes and/or lighting up a driveway:
Choose 1,000 lumens or more.
The very best attribute of a solar motion light for outside is the ability to mount them in places that are not necessarily attached to your house!
You can literally mount them anywhere.
Even if there’s not direct sunlight (although that helps!) most good solar motion lights will still charge the internal batteries in partial sun or even shade to an extent.
The reason I like solar motion lights:
– Ability to light up the night BEFORE getting close to your home.
– If you have a long driveway or private road you could install one or more along it’s length.
– Install at the perimeter of your property. This is highly advantageous for deterrence whereas motion lights mounted to the home will only turn on when the subject gets close enough to the structure itself.
For the sake of home security or that of your property, you might consider some solar motion lights for outside.
Recommendation — Solar Motion Lights for Outside
Solar and LED technology have been steadily improving. Even just one year ago there were not as many choices if you were looking for a solar powered motion light.
The following is my current product recommendation based on what’s available today:
– 950 Lumen
– 5500K (cool daylight color temperature)
– Automatic or Always-on
– 15 foot solar panel cord
– 2 Adjustable LED heads
– UL Certification
– 1 yr warranty
Another interesting alternative for solar motion light:
Sunforce Solar Motion Security Light 1500 Lumens
Tip: My recommendation & review:
Best motion light (requires standard household electricity)