Author Topic: Solar Powered Security Lights  (Read 3019 times)


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Solar Powered Security Lights
« on: October 18, 2014, 04:29:31 PM »
Has anyone tried solar powered security lights?  What I really want to know is if they are as strong as normal lights and illuminate a dark yard in the suburbs (not a city neighborhood with streetlights).  I have a renter who would like security lights installed, but there's no existing wiring.  I don't really want to invest much in this property, but feel like the tenant has a legitimate request given the neighborhood and the house's location.  I was thinking something like this:

There are cheaper ones out there, but I want a real security light that's bright enough to light up the yard.  I don't want something cheap that's just for safety to illuminate walkways or stairs. 



  • Walrus Stache
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Re: Solar Powered Security Lights
« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2014, 04:55:42 PM »
I don't think solar powered lights are going to be as bright as a real security light.  The size of the battery required to provide that much juice would be cost prohibitive.

Running conduit is a cheap and easy DIY job, on the other hand.  As long as you don't have to trench it like out to a garage or something.  In a low rent urban environment you can probably get away with external conduit attached to the outside of the building to provide power to the required fixture.  It's ugly, but cheap and effective.


  • Bristles
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Re: Solar Powered Security Lights
« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2014, 05:44:13 PM »
Change his outside door light fixtures for the $25 type that come on when somebody approaches. I did that with ALL of mine, and installed 5000k 60watt CREE LED bulbs. Those are very bright, and cost next to nothing to run. They come on when somebody approaches, and go off after 5 minutes of not sensing anymore movement. I then installed a light up in the eves facing the driveway (ran wire from a light fixture in the attic), that usually uses 2- 150watt Halogen spotlight bulbs. I installed 2- 100watt par38 LED floodlight bulbs, and those suckers throw out more light than the halogens, and only use around 23watts each.


  • Handlebar Stache
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Re: Solar Powered Security Lights
« Reply #3 on: October 18, 2014, 08:04:09 PM »
I bought this -- , because it was inexpensive and I wanted to light a section of walkway not well covered by our existing (standard, wired) lighting.  It's fine for my purposes, but I wouldn't think of it as a security feature by any stretch of the imagination.  Higher-end (-price?) products might be better, but my N=1 experience suggests to me that's not what these products are best for, so far.


  • Pencil Stache
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Re: Solar Powered Security Lights
« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2014, 12:10:23 AM »
I've been thinking about one of these for my back yard - it gets pretty dark here and the walk from the house to the workshop in the wee hours has me thinking about wildlife.

Security isn't an issue, but bears are common around our neighbourhood.  I've surprised a couple in my driveway over the past few years, and that back yard sure is dark...

On the flip side the bears won't come into the house, and the kids will get woken up in terror every time a raccoon or deer walks by (which is pretty much nightly where we live).


  • Guest
Re: Solar Powered Security Lights
« Reply #5 on: October 19, 2014, 08:24:55 AM »
LEDs and PV panels have both improved a lot, but I'd be shocked if any solar powered product could function effectively as a security light. They definitely wouldn't work in my climate.

 Note: I work in the lighting industry.

Edited to add: that fixture has 1W total output, but has basically no directionality. You'd probably get a noticeable pool of light maybe about 10 feet x 10 feet. By "noticeable" I mean enough lux that it's brighter than darkness, not a deterrent or something you could see much from inside a light house through a window.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2014, 08:28:54 AM by Thegoblinchief »


  • Bristles
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Re: Solar Powered Security Lights
« Reply #6 on: October 20, 2014, 05:17:48 AM »
I swear by the Sunforce version -- perfectly good at about half the price.


  • Walrus Stache
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Re: Solar Powered Security Lights
« Reply #7 on: October 20, 2014, 05:30:48 AM »
I am interested in this idea as well.  I bought some crappy ones a while back and they no longer work.