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What are the best outdoor security floodlights and are solar ones any good?

This holiday season, give yourself the gift of peace of mind with the best outdoor security floodlights. The ones we chose include motion detection, waterproofing, and adjustable brightness, giving your home another layer of security.

Outdoor security floodlights can deter lurkers, alert you of unwanted visitors, and provide the convenience of a well-lit exterior for nightly trash runs. The best outdoor security floodlights offer flexible programming with dusk-to-dawn modes, motion detectors, and adjustable brightness to give you a customizable experience.

We combed the market to analyze outdoor security floodlights based on battery life, ease of installation, price, and more. We selected the best outdoor security floodlights based on performance and value, so you can find an option that fits your budget and needs.

Also: Best security camera: Secure a home, inside and out

Pros & Cons
pros
  • Can operate continuously
  • Adjustable motion sensor reduces unwanted activation
  • Extremely bright on highest setting
cons
  • No remote or smart control capabilities
More Details

Starting price: $49.99 | Brightness: 6000lm | Energy: 45W | Color temperature: 5000K Installation: Hard-wired | Weatherproof rating: IP65 | Motion detection range: 72ft

This Sansi security floodlight is one of the brightest outdoor security floodlights on the market, with LED lights that emit an astounding 6000 lumens. But if that's too bright for you, you can dim the light using an adjustable knob. The motion detector can sense movement up to 72 feet away in a 180-degree arc, but you can decrease the distance monitored, too. 

The model has two adjustable arms and six 45-watt bulbs that you can configure for use against walls, in corners, or pointing straight down toward the ground. You can set the light to stay on up to 10 minutes after it's triggered, or keep it on from dusk to dawn for up to six hours of continuous light. 

Installation: The Sansi 45W LED security floodlight is a hardwired unit designed for DIY installation. It's mounted to a junction box with some simple wiring required.

Pros & Cons
pros
  • Low price
  • Large motion detection range
  • Customize detection range
cons
  • No dusk-to-dawn setting
More Details

Starting price: $39.99 | Brightness: 3000lm | Energy: 28W | Color temperature: 5500K Installation: Hard-wired | Weatherproof rating: IP65 | Motion detection range: 72ft

These motion-activated security floodlights by LePower feature a customizable detection range of up to 72-feet, as well as the option to choose how long the light stays on after being triggered, from 10 seconds to 10 minutes. 

This low price is no indication of quality, however. These lights have an IP65 weatherproof rating, able to withstand dust, rain, snow, or ice. With head dissipating construction and optical filter lens, they are prepared to last over 50,000 hours of life. 

Installation: These lights require wired installation. To install these floodlights, they need to be hard-wired to a junction box in your home.

Pros & Cons
pros
  • Smart capabilities
  • A lot of customization options
  • Large motion detection range
cons
  • May be too bright for some situations
More Details

Starting price: $59.00 | Brightness: 4000lm | Energy: 40W | Color temperature: 2700K-6500K Installation: Hard-wired | Weatherproof rating: IP65 | Motion detection range: 70ft

These LED security floodlights are a super bright, motion-activated choice to upgrade your home security while sticking to a budget, made even better because they can be controlled through an app on your phone.

Amico's smart LED floodlights come with a built-in motion sensor that triggers the light to turn on, are hardwired to your home's existing wiring, can detect motion up to 70ft away, and feature high customization in app controls.

From your phone, you can set the lighting time from 5 seconds to 60 minutes for auto turn-off after the lights are triggered. The brightness and white color temperature can also be adjusted to your preference. You also have the option to set it to manual mode and simply control it through a switch like a typical floodlight, with your choice of times for auto shut-off as well.

Installation: These lights are hardwired to a wall connection box, able to replace existing light fixtures.

Pros & Cons
pros
  • Hue Hub opens a lot of possibilities with Philips Hue lights
  • Detached, battery-powered sensor
  • Colors can be set via mobile app
cons
  • Hardwiring requires access to electrical junction box
  • More expensive than other floodlights
More Details

Starting price: around $180 | Brightness: 2300lm | Energy: 30W | Colors: Up to 16 million colors | Installation: Hard-wired | Weatherproof rating: IP44 | Motion detection range: 39ft

Kit includes: 

Getting some reliable floodlights to ward away any unwelcome visitors is a great way to tighten the security around your home. However,  they're probably not the most welcoming for trick-or-treaters or holiday carolers, unless you can change the colors for different occasions.

Halloween is coming up and maybe you want this light to shine purple or green while kids are out trick-or-treating, or have it go different colors when you're expecting guests for a party. This starter kit does all of that.

This bundle includes a Philips Hue Discover Floodlight that can be set to one of up to 16 million different colors, an outdoor motion sensor to set up where you want motion to be detected, and a Hue hub to bring it all together. 

The hub connects this set together and gives it smart capabilities, so you can use it with up to 50 Philips Hue lights around your home and connect it to Alexa, HomeKit, or Google Assistant.

Installation: The lights are hard-wired, so they can be used in a conventional twin-socked driveway light. The motion sensor is weather-resistant and battery-powered, so it doesn't have to be wired or even placed near the light. The hub is an indoor device that you can plug in and connect to wifi.

Pros & Cons
pros
  • Combo security light and camera
  • USB port to add equipment
  • SD card for added storage
cons
  • Must be hardwired
More Details

Starting price: $94 | Brightness: 2600lm | Energy: 24W | Color temperature: 5000K | Installation: Hard-wired | Weatherproof rating: IP65 | Motion detection range: 30ft

This Wyze Cam and Floodlight combination is the best floodlights and camera combo for your money. If you're trying to set up a security light but prefer more in-depth surveillance, this combo is easily installed in a junction box, and even has an extra USB port to add another Wyze Cam, which is pretty handy if you want to set this up on a corner. 

The biggest benefit for this camera and floodlight combination, is that you don't have to pay for an extra monthly subscription, as you can add an SD Card to the camera of up to 256GB for local storage. As far as reliable, durable, inexpensive options go, you can't go wrong with the Wyze Cam Floodlight.

Its IP65 rating makes it weather-resistant to anything the world has to offer, and the 2600lm bright light, 105dB siren, and built-in motion sensor are sure to deter any unwelcome visitors. 

Installation: This unit must be hardwired, so an existing junction box is a great place to install it. The camera will get constant power from the wiring, so it'll always be available to check in on, whether the lights are on or off.

Pros & Cons
pros
  • Controllable via Ring app and Alexa-enabled smart home devices
  • Simple DIY installation
cons
  • Full functionality requires Ring Protect Plus subscription plan ($10 per month or $100 per year)
  • Overkill for those simply wanting outdoor illumination
More Details

Starting price: $89.99 | Brightness: 2000lm | Energy: 24W | Color temperature: 3500K | Installation: Hard-wired | Motion detection range: 70ft

If you already have a Ring thing going on in your home and ned to add or replace some floodlights, this Ring Smart Lighting motion-activated floodlight is the one for you. It shines 2000lm warm white light when someone comes within 70ft of the light, giving you a wide coverage area, enough for a large driveway or front yard. 

This starter kit includes a Ring bridge to set you up to receive notifications on your phone any time the light is triggered by motion. The app gives you control over the auto shut-off

Installation: This version of Ring floodlights is wired, so it can seamlessly replace an existing light fixture outside your home, making for easy DIY installation. However, Ring does have a battery-powered option as well.

Alternatively, if you prefer smaller lights with motion sensors, Ring also offers this 2-pack.

Pros & Cons
pros
  • Dusk-to-dawn sensor
  • Remote control
  • Sensitive motion sensor
cons
  • Must be placed within direct sunlight
  • Shortest motion detection range of all the options
More Details

Starting price: $39.99 (2-pack) | Brightness: 2500lm | 
Color temperature: 6500K | Weatherproof rating: IP65 | Installation: Solar-powered | Motion detection range: 26ft

Tuffenough's solar outdoor security floodlights feature a 2000mAh rechargeable battery and a built-in solar panel at the top for more energy efficiency than other models. The lights have a motion sensor but also come with a remote control to easily change brightness and how long the lights come on, without having to drag the ladder out each time.

The 210 LEDs on this floodlight result in 2500 lumens total brightness, making it enough to light up driveways and yards. 

Installation: Because these are solar-powered, it's best to install them where they can receive a good amount of direct sunlight each day. Otherwise, you don't have to worry about wiring or plugging anything in.

Pros & Cons
pros
  • Great for small spaces
  • Battery-operated
  • Easy installation
cons
  • No smart capabilities
  • Not bright enough for large areas
More Details

Starting price: $29.99 | Brightness: 500lm | Color temperature: 5000K | Weatherproof rating: IPX6 | Installation: Battery-powered, wireless installation | Motion detection range: 30ft

Beams MB300 spotlight is a battery-operated option that is perfect for a smaller space, like a side yard, front or back porch, or even a balcony. It has an auto shut-off timer of 20 seconds and the two lights can tilt up to 180 degrees up-and-down and 135 degrees side-to-side, making for a customizable coverage area. 

Though these lights aren't smart, they may be a great fit to light your way in from doing the grocery shopping, for example. With a 500lm brightness that can cover an area of up to 800ft, this is the kind of security light you want when you don't want one too bright that may bother your neighbors or temporarily blind you when you go get the mail.

Installation: These are battery-powered lights, which makes for an easy and adaptable installation. You can mount these anywhere from a tree trunk, to a side wall or a fence.

Pros & Cons
pros
  • Ultra bright for large area coverage
  • Sturdy construction
cons
  • Neets wiring
  • No motion detector
More Details

Starting price: Starts around $75.99 | Brightness: 22320lm | Color temperature: 6000K | Weatherproof rating: IP65 | Installation: Hard-wired

If you own a business and need to illuminate a parking lot, for example, or if you have a large backyard that you need to check into at night in the event of any issues, these lights will ensure you stay aware of your surroundings. 

These LED floodlights have an output of a whopping 22,320 lumens, making it the perfect addition to cover large personal or business properties. They have high-performing Cree LED chips housed in a heat dissipating die-cast aluminum cover with a anti-glare optical lens on the front.

One drawback for these floodlights is that they don't have built-in motion detectors. If you wanted to make them smart, you could plug them into a smart plug and link it to a smart motion sensor, so the plug automatically turns on when motion is detected. 

Installation: Some options come with a plug, like the 100W version, but the higher wattage ones need a plug or extension cord added to them, but the included instructions make for an easy installation in just a handful of steps. 

Pros & Cons
pros
  • Can be mounted almost anywhere
  • Dusk-to-dawn mode
cons
  • Requires placing where it can get enough sunlight
  • Wish it were brighter
More Details

Starting price: $24.99 (4-pack) | Brightness: 100lm | Color temperature: 6000K-7000K | Installation: Solar-powered | Weatherproof rating: IP65 | Motion detection range: 26ft

These smaller wedge lights each house eight LEDs for an output of 100lm, making them an ideal choice for fences, walls, or even to light steps, if needed. 

We use these along the deck railing in our backyard, and get motion alerts from our security cameras when the light comes on. They're pretty useful to both light your way in your own back or front yard, but also to deter anyone lurking in the shadows. 

These lights come on for about 20 seconds when motion is detected, and with enough solar energy, they can las up to 67 days on its fullest charge.

Installation: These are solar-powered, so they are easily installed wherever you can mount them, no wiring required.

What is the best outdoor security floodlight?

The Sansi 45W LED is the best outdoor security floodlight thanks to its array of LEDs, sensing capabilities, brightness, and ease of use. Plus, it provides these features for a reasonable price with a simple installation process.

Compare our picks for the best outdoor security floodlights below based on motion detection range, power source/installation, brightness, color temperature, and price.

Security lightsZDNet's takePricePower sourceBrightnessMotion Detection RangeColor Temp
Sansi LED FloodlightBest overall$50Hardwired6000lm72ft5000K
LePower LED FloodlightBest for a budget$40Hardwired3000lm72ft5500K
Amico Smart LED FloodlightBest smart option$60Hardwired4000lm70ft2700K-6500K
Philips Hue Discover FloodlightBest color floodlight$180Hardwired2300lm39ft16 million colors
Wyze Cam FloodlightBest light and camera combo$94Hardwired2600lm30ft5000K
Ring Smart + BridgeBest for Ring users$90Hardwired2000lm70ft3500K
Tuffenough Solar LightsBest solar option$40 (2-pk)Solar energy2500lm26ft6500K
Beams Battery-Powered FloodlightBest for small spaces$30Battery-powered500lm30ft5000K
WeRise LED FloodlightsBest for large areas$76Hardwired22320lmNone6000K
Beams Solar WedgeBest for fences or walls$25 (4-pk)Solar energy100lm26ft6000K-7000K

Which outdoor security floodlights are right for you?

The Sansi 45W LED Floodlight won the top spot in our list thanks to its combination of high brightness with affordability, large range of motion detection, ease of installation and durability; but the truth is some of these features may be more or less important to you than others.

If you're looking for small security lights for a backdoor of a townhome, for example, the Sansi lights are probably overkill and may benefit from looking into Beams Battery Floodlights instead. If you already have a Hue hub, then Philips Hue's Discover Floodlights are probably a better fit for your needs.

Either way, our goal is to show you how the best options on the market compare so you can make an informed decision and, ultimately, a purchase you can be happy with.

Choose this security light....If you want...
Sansi LED FloodlightA powerful and affordable option, with strong brightness and large range of motion detection
LePower LED FloodlightTo stay on a budget without sacrificing the quality of floodlights
Amico Smart LED FloodlightSecurity lights that you can control from your phone without buying a separate hub
Philips Hue Discover FloodlightColor floodlights and the advantage of getting started in the Philips Hue ecosystem
Wyze Cam FloodlightAn affordable floodlight and camera combo without having to pay monthly fees or buying a hub
Ring Smart + BridgeA set of floodlights to fit seamlessly into your Ring ecosystem
Tuffenough Solar LightsSolar security lights to not replace existing lighting or deal with wiring
Beams Battery-Powered FloodlightMotion-triggered floodlights for a side yard or small space where you don't need as much brightness
WeRise LED FloodlightsTo fill a large residential or commercial area with light, and don't need a built-in motion sensor
Beams Solar WedgeTo place security lights along your fence or a wall, to deter anyone coming too close to your property

How did we choose the best outdoor security floodlight?

To choose the best outdoor security floodlights, we looked for a combination of motion detection capabilities, brightness, weather resistance,  and different modes of installation.

We considered these factors in our analysis, combined them with our own experience with security lights and systems, and researched for the best prices and top-performing products on the market. 

We wanted to bring you different options of what is available to help you choose which one is the best for you. As well as to demonstrate that you can add high-quality and affordable security lights to your home without spending too much for features you don't need.

Are solar-powered security lights any good?

Solar-powered lights have a solar panel and rechargeable battery. In simple terms, the former uses sunlight to charge the latter. To keep them working well, solar energy is a necessity. If the lights receive too little energy for too long, the battery can become damaged over time. 

Solar-powered lights can be a great resource in home security, provided that they're installed where they receive ample direct sunlight. If you're unsure of whether your lights will receive enough sunlight, you may be better off choosing a hardwired or battery-operated option, since we are talking about home security after all.

Are floodlights good for security?

Bright motion sensor lights may startle criminals and ward them off your property altogether. For maximum protection, it may be wise to pair outdoor security floodlights with a security system that includes surveillance. 

A security floodlight may not always be enough, but other measures like security cameras can not only prevent crimes -- they can help catch burglars who've decided your home is still a worthwhile target.

How many lumens do I need for a floodlight?

A floodlight with 1,100 lumens is plenty bright, but when in doubt, you can buy one with more lumens. You can typically dim a too-bright floodlight, but you can't make a weak floodlight brighter.

That said, don't unnecessarily blind yourself every time you get home at night. Outdoor lighting should be bright enough and well-directed enough to provide ample vision of the lit area without being painful to look at for you our your neighbors.

Are there alternative security lights worth considering?

There are many great lights on the market, and the ones we chose may not be the best ones for your situation. Here are some alternatives to consider:

Editorial standards

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