Solar lights have come a very long way in the past years, and they can serve a multitude of different purposes rather than the general “they light up your yard.” One of the main roles of these lights is now revolving around the security they offer, and this is exactly the kind of product that we’re going to look into today.
5 Best Solar Powered Motion Security Light Comparisons
|URPOWER Solar Lights||Check The Price|
|LITOM Original Solar Lights||Check The Price|
|BAXIA Solar Lights||Check The Price|
|Aootek||Check The Price|
|DrawGreen Solar Sensor||Check The Price|
How They Work
In order to really understand how solar motion lights work, we’re going to have to get a better grasp of the main components that are put together to create the system.
Solar panels are actually a component of every type of solar light. The role of these panels is to absorb the natural continuous light coming from the sun and convert it into electricity. This electricity is generated when the particles of the light source absorbed separate the atoms and the electrons found in photovoltaic cells. These cells are what make up the solar panel and, once the solar energy has been converted into electricity, they store it inside the battery equipped in your solar panel.
Solar panels are the component that makes sure you don’t need to be connected to the main electricity grid of your home in order to illuminate your yard. There are many different solar panels out there, and their construction is obviously reflected in the efficiency of the lights.
This isn’t a feature that’s automatically embedded into all the solar lights out there, but plenty of them are equipped with it. Motions sensors are of many different varieties, such as vibration, microwave, or contact. The vast majority of solar motion lights can be used for an exterior wall and often use a passive infrared sensor which is triggered once it detects infrared waves.
It is very unlikely for something to pass by undetected under the radar of the motion sensors. When they are activated, these sensors will monitor the infrared energy levels they detect. Their observation frame is usually caster at 180 degrees and can pick up motion at a range that differs from one light to another. When something passes by in this range, an extra wave of energy is added to the surroundings. The sensors inside the lights make note of this change and automatically turns on the lights.
Also depending on the type of light that you own, the motion sensor will keep the lights turned on for a limited amount of time, but only if the movement stops. If it keeps detecting movement, the lights will stay on. It is actually good to have lights that turn off after a while when motion stops because they would otherwise drain the battery too soon.
With that in mind, you can actually be more permissive with the battery life of solar-powered motion security lights. That’s because, even if a set of lights could only stay on for about 5 continuous hours, they will never reach that runtime cap since they only turn on when motion is detected. Oh, and before getting alarmed over nothing, know that animals, birds, or even debris carried by the wind can trigger the motion sensor and turn on the lights.
The third and most important component of solar-powered motion security lights is the photocell sensor. You might have noticed that these lights don’t turn on during the day, and that’s because of these sensors. They are the ones responsible for telling the lights when it’s daytime or completely dark, in which case the motion sensor enters standby optional mode and is ready to flicker the lights if something or someone passes within its radius.
What a photocell sensor actually does is measure the radiant energy that’s located within a specific light spectrum range. Consider photocell sensors like really smart calculators that measure the energy of ultraviolet or infrared light in order to determine the time of day. When these sensors pick up that the ambient lighting in the area of the solar panel has exceeded a certain limit, they will automatically know that it’s daytime and prevent the lights from turning on.
In other words, photocell sensors are like an intelligent switch for the motion sensors: when it’s daytime, it tells the sensors to stay put.
Top 5 Solar Security Lights Reviews
Now that you understand what exactly makes these solar-powered motion security lights special, it’s time to actually look at some of the best solar products in the category and determine if any of these might find their way into your yard. Here are 5 of the best solar motion sensor light reviews and ratings.
URPOWER Solar Lights
- Number of lights: 4 fixtures x 8 lights each
- Size per light: 125 x 96 x 50 mm
- Battery: 3.7 V 900 mAh
Urpower is no stranger to solar lights, so it makes a lot of sense that we’d include their top-rated solar-powered motion security lights in here because they really are that good. This pack of four fixtures actually includes a number of 32 lights, because each fixture is equipped with eight lights that are ready to fulfill their motion-sensing duties.
The motion sensors have an angle of 120 degrees and can detect motion at a maximum length of 10 feet. When a motion has been detected, the lights will stay on for 30 seconds before they turn off. It takes about 6 to 8 hours for the lights to fully charge, so be really careful where you place them and make sure they get as much natural light during the day as possible.
The lights are not equipped with dimming options: they will either be fully turned off or on once motion is detected. Urpower promises that these lights will have a lifespan that covers about 50,000 hours of operation, which is pretty generous considering that these won’t permanently stay on from dusk until dawn.
- IP64 waterproof and heatproof.
- 50,000 hours of operation.
- Very bright lights.
- 32 lights in total.
- Pack of 4 fixtures.
- Complaints about the actual lifespan.
Pro-Tip: These four Urpower fixtures are designed for people who are looking for quality solar-powered light and more specifically for the best-selling product in this category.
LITOM Original Solar Lights
- Number of lights: 1/2/4 fixtures in a pack x 24 lights
- Size per light: 6.1 x 4.1 x 1.8 inches
- Battery: 3.7V 2200mAh
There are plenty of reasons why these lights have become a customer favorite. First of all, there’s that 270 degrees illumination angle, which is one of the widest ones on the market. That means that these lights, once turned on, will shed plenty of light on the situation (pun intended). The motion sensor can detect movement in a 120-degrees angle, and at a distance of up to 26 feet, which is already more generous compared to what the Urpower had to offer.
You can choose to purchase a single light, but there are also packs of two and four fixtures available, each one with 24 lights. The promised lifespan seems to be a little more realistic, offering up to 30,000 hours of light before replacements are required.
The fixtures are made from PP and ABS material and come with a waterproof rating of IP65. What we really liked is the inclination on the solar panel, which makes it more difficult for snow or debris to cover the cells compared to panels that are parallel with the ground.
- 26 feet detection range.
- 270 degrees wide illumination angle.
- IP65 waterproof.
- 30,000 hours lifespan.
- Three operation modes.
- The motion sensor is very sensitive.
Pro-Tip: If you trust the experience of other buyers before you, know that these lights come with really high recommendations from people who used them and are very happy with what they have to offer.
BAXIA TECHNOLOGY BX-SL-101 Solar Lights
- Number of lights: 4 fixtures x 28 lights
- Size per light: 4.3 x 2.7 x 5.1 inches
- Battery: 3.7V 1200mAh
The Baxia lights are also pretty good at what they do, considering they are very similar to the Urpower lights we’ve reviewed earlier. I think it’s safe to say they are a good alternative for someone who has been disappointed by Urpower’s performance but would like similar features in a product of this kind.
What we’re dealing with here is a set of four fixtures, each one equipped with 28 lights. Baxia promises that the motion sensors can cover a length of 3 to 5 meters (which is about 16.4 feet); quite a short distance compared to some of the more powerful options we’ve explored today, but still decent if you don’t have a very big yard.
These lights have polycrystalline solar panels that translate into efficiency values of about 17%, with the better lights having somewhere around 20%. They are IP65 certified for waterproofness, which means they’re good to go in just about any extreme weather condition. The battery is a 3.7V 1200mAh, and the motion sensor will keep the lights on for about 30 seconds until it turns them off.
- 400 lumens of light.
- Easy to install.
- 120-degree motion detector.
- IP65 waterproof.
- Need about 8 hours of direct sunlight for a full charge.
Pro-Tip: The Baxia lights are quite underrated, and we feel they would be suitable for homeowners that don’t have a large yard, or for those who are looking for an alternative to the Urpower fixtures.
- Number of lights: 2 fixtures x 120 lights
- Size per light: 3.8 x 3.9 x 8 inches
- Battery: 2200 mAh rechargeable lithium-ion battery
Long story short, these lights are all about giving you as much light as possible. The pack comes with two fixtures and each fixture contains 120 lights. This is nothing short of impressive, considering that their attractive price tag is pretty much similar to almost all the other models we’ve mentioned in this round-up.
Because of how the fixtures are designed, they can also provide light at a wide angle, making sure that you can get plenty of visibility thanks to the 270 degrees it covers. The motion sensors can pick up movements that are up to 26 feet away and at a 120-degree angle. That’s pretty much what a really good motion security light should do.
The three operations modes are also a nice feature to have. The security mode will leave the motion sensor doing its thing when it detects movements. The Smart Maximum Brightness mode will leave the lights on at all times but make them brighter once motion is detected. The Permanent On mode will keep the lights turned on throughout the entire night.
- Three operating modes.
- Wide-angle illumination.
- Brighter compared to the competition.
- IP64 waterproof.
- 120 lights per fixture.
- Doesn’t hold a charge for very long.
Pro-Tip: Since these lights come with 120 LEDs per fixture and a 2200 mAh rechargeable lithium-ion battery, they are brighter, therefore more suitable for those that really value this aspect in solar-powered motion security lights.
DrawGreen DG08-A Solar Outdoor Motion Sensor
- Number of lights: 1 fixture x 8 lights
- Size per light: 6.7 x 4.7 x 3.5 inches
- Battery: 3.7 V 2600mAh
There are plenty of good things to be said about the DrawGreen DG08-A solar security light. The first thing that drew our attention was the IP66 waterproof grade, which means that these lights can face some serious rainfall without water breaching into the fixture. It could be because instead of ABS plastic, the manufacturer when with an aluminum alloy chassis that seals this product shut.
Also unlike other products, this light has a lamp head that can be adjusted at a 360-degree angle, which means that you can play around with it and even change the area it illuminates without mounting the fixture somewhere else.
Another thing that caught our attention is the fact that on a full charge (which takes roughly around 5 to 6 hours) and with the dim light, you can get about 3 days of battery juice, which is very important if the weather is particularly cloudy. Oh, and if that didn’t convince you, you should know that the company offers a 160-week replacement service, which is really awesome.
- IP66 waterproof.
- 360 degrees lamp head rotation.
- 160-week replacement service.
- Aluminum alloy casing.
- Adjustable solar panel.
- Available in black and white.
- Solar panel only tilts up and down.
Pro-Tip: With a rating of IP66, these lights and their durable allow casing are able to withstand powerful water jets and a huge volume of water, which makes them perfect for people who live in climates where rain is often the enemy.
When you’re on the market looking for solar-powered motion security lights, there are a few things that you have to keep in mind. Most of you will surely prefer lights that are only triggered by motion, as this is something that adds to the lifespan of the product but also prevents the battery from draining faster.
You want water-resistant lights with a good waterproof rating, as these will be staying outdoors throughout the entire year and need to manage sun, rain, or snow. Another important aspect is the length and width that trigger the motion sensor. The angle and the measurement (in feet) will determine the sensitivity of the motion sensor and how much ground it can cover.