Best Battery Powered Security Lights

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You might be wondering what those terms you see on the box or label of your outdoor security light mean.

Well, here are some of those terms that typically describe a feature of your security light.

It should give you a fairly good idea of the security light you bought.

Lumens

Lumens are the new standard of measuring the amount of light that a certain light source gives.

It is an indication of the brightness and intensity of light that your light source emits.

The higher the lumen rating is, the brighter and more intense the light is.

Conversely, the lower the lumen rating, the dimmer and weaker the light. 500 lumens is bright and can cover a larger area (e.g. a 800 sq ft yard), as compared to 200 lumens which is probably ideal for garage doors and doorways.

Understanding the concept of lumens gives you a more accurate gauge of what kind of light you may need.

We used to gauge the kind of light we need through watts.

It works the same as lumens, i.e. the higher the wattage, the brighter; the lower the wattage, the dimmer.

While this may be generally true, watts is not an accurate measure of the amount of light or the brightness of light.

Watts simply tells you how much electric current (energy) the light source needs to operate.

LED (Light Emitting Diode)

LEDs are the new standard in light fixtures.

LEDs are more economical to operate than both CFL and incandescent lights.

If you’ve seen a traditional drawing of a light bulb, with a coil of wire that arcs from one side of its base to the other, emitting a bright yellow glow inside a glass sphere — it’s an incandescent bulb.

The coil of wire (filament) is very fragile and easily burns out or breaks — a little shake can break it. 

An incandescent bulb can give you the same brightness as an LED but it will require more energy.

The CFL (compact fluorescent lamp) operates in the same way as the old fluorescent tubes, but in a more advanced and compact (often spiral) way.

It is more economical to operate than incandescent light, but still uses a heat source for the lamps to light.

They also require more energy.

And this makes it hot. Both CFL and incandescent lights are types of lighting that get hot. 

LEDs do not rely on a large amount of heat and current to light up.

LEDs use tiny little (microscopic) semiconductors that cause tiny little diodes to be energized and produce a glow.

LEDs are cool (literally).

Battery-powered

Because of the efficiency of LEDs in producing bright light, outdoor security lights are often battery-powered.

Most battery-powered security lights use dry cell batteries of different sizes, including AA, C, and D.

Others, however, use rechargeable lithium ion batteries.

The longest a battery is expected to last in an active (8 – 10 activations per day) security camera with motion sensor is 1 year.

Most Mr Beams security lights give this guarantee. 

Motion Detection and Range 

Motion sensors have a range from a few feet to 100 ft. It varies on specific products and the desired range you set.

You might not want to set your motion sensors where there is a lot of foot traffic or vehicular traffic, because these will likely trigger your motion sensors.

You can set your motion detectors from 10 – 15 ft or 30 – 40 ft, which are average distances outside your house and near your perimeter fence/wall, respectively.

Weatherproof (IP Rating)

Many brands of outdoor security lights generally describe their lights as weatherproof.

By weatherproof, manufacturers generally mean your light unit can withstand strong winds, rain, sleet, and snow.

But if they indicate on the label an IP rating, it’s usually more specific.

It could either be IP44 or IP65. 

An IP44 means your unit is protected from solid objects 1mm or larger, and from water splashes (from all directions).

An IP65 rating (obviously higher) means your unit is vacuum sealed and is protected against small dust particles, and low-pressure water jets.

Pros and Cons of Battery-powered, Solar-powered, and Electricity-powered Security Lights.

1) Convenience.

The greatest advantage of battery-powered is convenience of installation.

You can install it anywhere where there’s no electricity. You don’t need to connect it to any power outlet or to main electricity lines.

Also, battery-powered leave no hanging or crawling wires that can be a hazard.

Another advantage of battery-powered lights is they are easier to handle, more lightweight, and can install anywhere and with little effort.

Mr Beams security lights, for instance, installs in just 5 minutes.

On the other hand, electricity-powered lights obviously need a power outlet or otherwise, extension cords.

If you will connect your security lights to a mainline, it will require an electrician to do the job.

It will cost you more to install electricity-powered lights.

Solar-powered lights fall somewhere in between. Some are easier to install and maintain than others.

2) Consistency.

Because batteries die down sooner or later, battery-powered lights tend to lose brightness or even malfunction when batteries grow weak and lose power.

The same goes for solar-powered, since sooner or later your solar panels will get old and worn out, you won’t get good illumination, and will need replacement or repair.

Electricity powered security lights have all the advantage, because of consistent power supply.

Electric-powered lights give brighter and more consistent year-round lighting.

Consistency of power source will prove to be a problem with the motion detection capability of your battery- and solar-powered security lights.

Always check and make sure the motion sensors are working in good order.

3) Maintenance.

Battery replacement is cheaper for battery-operated lights.

Solar batteries are very expensive, but takes a long time (5 – 7 yrs) to wear out. 

Electric-powered lights need no battery replacement, but would require a professional electrician when something goes wrong with the system.

The Story of Mr Beams

One of the more popular brand names in security lights is Mr Beams.

They have about 40 different types of security lights, and indoor and outdoor lamps for your household and security needs. Almost all of their lights are battery-powered.

There’s a reason why.

Mr Beams was founded in 2004 by a couple of guys who were looking for a light for their closet.

When they couldn’t find one that was simple and easy to install, they made it themselves.

That’s where Mr Beams all began. They have been making simple, easy to install, lightweight battery-powered lights since then.

Mr Beams lights are designed and guaranteed to last 1 year on a new set of batteries.

This is for an average of 8 – 10 activations per day. They are easy to handle and very practical — it takes only 5 minutes to install.

And you can install them anywhere because they do not require a power outlet.

FAQ

1) What is the difference between lumens and wattage?

The difference between lumens and wattage revolves around what they actually measure.

Lumens measures brightness or intensity of light.

Wattage measures electric current.

Lumens tells you this is the amount of light that a particular bulb will give you.

Watts tells you this is the amount of electricity that a particular light needs to produce light.

Lumens is a specific measurement applying to light.

Watts is a general measurement applying to electrical devices and appliances, e.g. flat iron, electric fan, dish washer. But there is a certain correlation between the two — the higher the number, the brighter the light.

So a 100w bulb is usually brighter than a 60w bulb. And a 500lm bulb usually brighter than a 200lm.

2) How many lumens do I need for outdoor security lighting?

Lumens tell you the amount of light in terms of numbers.

But it really doesn’t tell you how many lumens you need for your outdoor lighting.

For that, experience will be your best teacher.

But you can also refer to industry standards as to how large an area a given number of lumens can illuminate.

Here are some:

a) Step lights, wall (wallscape) lights, small landscapes — 100 lumens.
b) Path lights, medium landscapes — 200 lumens.
c) Pool and pond lights, wider landscapes — 300 lumens.
d) Motion sensor lights — 300 – 700 lumens.
e) Flood lights — 700 – 1,600 lumens

3) What is the ideal range of motion sensor for outdoors?

The ideal range for your motion sensor would be right next to your perimeter wall or fence, and several feet from your house.

This way, your system will be activated and its alarm will trigger when there is a breach on your perimeter and when undesirable moving objects approach your house.

You can set your motion detectors from 10 – 15 ft or 30 – 40 ft, which are average distances outside your house and near your perimeter fence/wall, respectively.

4) Can motion sensor lights be set to stay on?

Motion sensor lights usually turn off automatically after 10 – 30 sec where no further motion is detected, depending on the particular brand model.

There are some brand models that can be manually set to stay on, and function much like a regular spotlight.

The Mr Beams MB370 has a more advanced feature since its override system can be operated by remote control.

This way the light on your motion sensor stays on longer.

5) How bright is 50 lumens?

The standard equation for understanding the relationship between watts and lumens is: 1 watt = 11.25 lumens. Broadly speaking.

So, to produce 50 lumens of brightness you need, 50 ÷ 11.25 = 4.44 watts of electricity.

So, if you have a 4 or 5 watt bulb, it’s equivalent to 50lm of light.

6) What is the difference between PIR and motion sensor?

Typical motions sensors use microwave or radar signals to detect motion.

They rely on shapes, and are triggered when an object (shape) or an image bounces back on their receivers.

When this happens, the processor will send an instruction (electronic signal) to a device attached to the system.

This is the kind of motion sensor that automatically opens sliding glass doors in departments stores and various buildings. 

However, most outdoor security lights use a PIR (Passive Infrared) system.

This system detects temperature changes in the surrounding air. It is often set to trigger within the range of your normal body temperature, e.g. 99ºF (37ºC).

When the detector is triggered, it automatically switches on the security lights.

In some systems a video camera is also activated, together with an internal alarm system.

The Mr Beams MBN354 has the additional feature of sending signals to other security lights in its zone to also switch on, when one is activated.

Mr Beams MB300 Security Spotlight

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With 2 spotlights on either side, Mr Beams MB300 gives a wider lighting coverage.

Its light heads are individually adjustable 180º up and down, and 135º side to side.

The twin spotlights give off 500 lumens of LED light, with a coverage of 800 sq ft, making it one of the most high performance security spotlights in the market.

And, what are the main features?

High Performance — shines 500 lumens of LED light on 800 sq ft. Turns off after 20 sec

Dual Light — two light sources that can be focused at different angles

Adjustable Heads — both heads can be rotated 180º for better angle of light

Motion Detection — security lights are activated from movement as far as 30 ft

Battery Operated — can be installed on areas with no electric outlets

Weatherproof — able to withstand rain and other changes in weather condition

PROS

1) Lightweight and portable.
2) Easy to install. No need for electricity.
3) Good area of coverage of light source.
4) Ideal for porch and backdoor use.

CONS

1) Narrow range of motion detector.
2) Water seal against rain not too good.

Hoont Bright LED Indoor/Outdoor Light

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The Hoont Indoor/Outdoor light can be rotated up to 360º on its base and is very versatile as a security spotlight.

It packs 10 LED lights that give off excellent illumination of the covered area.

It is one of the lightest security spotlights in the market.

What are the other main features?

Bright LED — high performance 12W light fixture. Turns off approx 30 sec when no motion is detected

Multiple LED — holds 12 LED lights designed to last 50,000 hrs

Motion Detection — automatically activated when dark. Motion detection range: 15ft 

Adjustable head — capable of 360º rotation, light can be focused for better coverage

Lightweight — only 6.4 oz by weight. Easy to install.

Weatherproof — can withstand wind, rain, snow, and icy conditions. 

PROS

1) Very bright illumination for its size.
2) Very lightweight, easy to handle and easy to install.
3) Efficient use of power. Batteries last long.
4) Ideal for porch door and stairs.

CONS

1) Hard to access auto on and off switch.
2) Sphere easily knocked out of holder.

Stasun Motion Sensor Security Light

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Designed with the looks of a floodlight, the Stasun Security Light gives a bright illumination of 250 lumen.

Its head can be adjusted for the spotlight to reach farther.

It has an energy efficient interval flash feature to indicate that no more movement is detected before it shuts down.

What are the other most important specifications?

Floodlight — bright 250lm illumination given by 10 battery-powered LED lights

Motion Detection — can detect moving objects up to 39ft. Features 10sec/20sec/10sec flash interval when no more movement is detected.

Adjustable Floodlight Head — enables farther distance coverage for motion sensors

Warranty — comes with a 2-yr warranty, 60-day money back guarantee

PROS

1) Ideal for use on doorways, outside garage doors, and front porch.
2) Gives bright light for its price range.
3) Really works through snow and rain.
4) Very contemporary style and design.

CONS

1) Problem on how to hang the floodlight.

Equipt Portable Spotlight

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This is one of the best all-around spotlights. You can take it out camping, off-road, or simply keep it home.

The Equipt Portable Spotlight can be mounted almost anywhere.

But it can also stand alone on its bendable legs. The twin spotlights can be rotated to 180º and its head moved up and down.

Here is a quick look at some other main features:

Dual Functionality — automatic motion detector spotlight can also function as a carry on spotlight on manual mode.

High Performance — 2 powerful LED spotlight with 160lm brightness

Battery Powered — energy efficient, powered by only 3 AA batteries

Versatile — capable of 180º rotation and up and down neck adjustment for better light coverage

Motion Sensor — detects moving objects from a range of 13ft and activates spotlight

PROS

1) You can hang the wrap-around strand almost anywhere.
2) It has legs to stand on.
3) Perfect for scaring away animals and warding off prowlers.
4) Proven to survive thunderstorms.

CONS

1) Hanging the light outdoors activates motion sensor when the device is blown by the wind.
2) Not rainproof if light is pointed upward. Needs to be pointed downward otherwise rain can get inside.

Mr Beams MBN354 Networked Wireless Spotlight

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This 4-pc networked spotlight system talks to each other.

Mr Beams MBN354 is an intelligent wireless security system that is designed to work together.

When one of the spotlights is activated, it communicates to the others and activates them.

This illuminates the area all around with bright 800 lm LED light.

Other main specifications can be seen below;

Intelligent Network — 4 NetBright spotlights sends signals to each other, when one is activated by movement it communicates to the other 3 and they all get activated.

High Performance — 4-pack NetBright LED light give off 800 lumens to illuminate a larger area

Expandable — can be synchronized up to 50 NetBright spotlights per zone

Motion Detection — up to 30 ft with a light coverage area of 400 sq ft. Auto shut-off after 20 sec without movement detected.

PROS

1) Motion detector has thermal sensor, or heat activated.
2) 3 D size batteries give the spotlights longer life.
3) Excellent wireless sync.

CONS

1) Water gets inside.
2) Goes on and off all night long.

Mr Beams MB390 LED Ultra Bright Spotlight

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Mr Beams MB390 is the brightest wireless spotlight in the market.

Its twin LED lights can illuminate 400 sq ft of coverage with 300 lumens.

With up and down adjustments you can vary the range of its motion detectors.

Other main specifications can be seen below;

High Performance — efficient energy saver with bright 300 lumen spotlight

Motion Detection — automatic motion sensors activates spotlight with a distance range of 25 ft. Spotlight turns off after 20 seconds with no movement detected

Battery Powered — up to 1 year on battery operation with 10 activations per day

Lightweight — easy to handle and easy to install 

PROS

1) Very good reviews from satisfied customers.
2) Very reasonably priced for its reliable performance.
3) Super bright and super tough.
4) Easy to mount.

CONS

1) Plastic cover on sensor breaks easily.
2) Not waterproof.

Mr Beams MB360XT Wireless Outdoor LED Spotlight

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One of the more efficient spotlights in the market, Mr Beams MB360XT carries a reflector face that extends the coverage of its LED lights.

Its motion sensor photocell is designed only to activate in the dark.

Its lightweight body makes it easy to handle.

And, what are the main features?

High Performance — holds 200lm LED lights with reflector enhanced face that spreads light for wider coverage. Can extend light up to 600 sq ft.

Battery Powered — with 8 – 10 activations per day, 3 D battery life can power the unit for 1 year

Motion Detection — up to 30 ft motion activated with a 20 sec interval shut off when no movement is detected

Weatherproof — can survive all weather conditions

PROS

1) Can be mounted in less than 5 minutes.
2) Can be mounted anywhere around the house with no external power source.
3) Excellent lighting in dark places.
4) The 200lm really looks brighter because of the reflector face.

CONS

1) Light dimmed in less than 2 weeks. Some, in 2 months.
2) Motion detection not 30 ft as advertised. Only 15-18 ft.

Mr Beams MB370 Remote Control

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Not only is Mr Beams MB370 Security Light attractive, it is also versatile.

It comes with variable brightness that can be operated by remote control.

It has a photocell motion sensor that only activates during dark hours.

White — uniquely attractive modern styling for a spotlight

Other main specifications can be seen below;

Powerful — 1 CR5 battery powers the adjustable 60/90/140 lumen LED light with a range of 400 sq ft

Motion Sensor — automatically activates photocell up to 30 ft when motion is detected. Remote control motion sensor and light shut off.

Weatherproof — protected by a weatherproof seal to prevent elements from seeping inside the unit

PROS

1) Very lightweight, easy to handle and install.
2) White gives it a very stylish, modern look.
3) Remote control can override automatic shut off.
4) Single remote control can be used on multiple light units.

CONS

1) Poor light output, best for fill or supplement wireless lighting.
2) Turns on even with no moving object visible.

Litom Solar Outdoor Security Light

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Let’s take a look at some of the other main features:

This is made with state of the art technology.

The Litom Solar Powered Security Light is made of high-strength ABS making it highly weatherproof and durable.

This security light is designed to guard your home longer than other brands.

Powerful — its 30 upgraded LED lights can illuminate up to 215 sq ft coverage with 500 lumen lights. The 4-pack can light up an entire 860 sq ft area

Advanced Features — it has 3 lighting modes with an effective lighting angle of 270º for broader coverage. Uses Litom Premium solar (white) lights.

Motion Detection — it can detect movement in the dark up to 26 ft with a 120º angle of sight

Battery Powered — the unit runs on 4 lithium ion batteries that can give 30,000 hrs of lighting

PROS

1) Cool sci-fi inspired design.
2) Very good sensors.
3) Small lights but they are super bright.
4) Easy to install.

CONS

1) No dim function.
2) Not really waterproof.

Ring Spotlight Camera Battery

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Ring Spotlight Camera is a dual function spotlight and camera in one.

It also features a two-way talk system allowing you not only access to your home remotely by HD video, but you can also talk and listen to the person on the other end of the line.

Its dual power source allows it to operate using a rechargeable battery and its built-in solar panels.

Dual Security — functions both as a motion activated spotlight and a security camera.

Motion Activation — detects movement and activates spotlight and spy cam.

High Performance — provides HD video remotely via iPhone, Android phone, or any remote device.

Versatile Security System — an alarm siren can be remotely activated, and you can hear and talk to whoever is on the other side from a remote location via the two-way talk feature

Dual Power Source — can be powered by a rechargeable battery or solar panel for efficiency.

PROS

1) Very wide angle of motion sensor coverage.
2) Excellent security camera.
3) Can be installed in area with no external power source.
4) Live feed can be monitored thru Alexa.

CONS

1) Ring camera connection inconsistent.
2) Motion sensor sensitivity problems.