Are solar powered security lights any good? 2022 Latest UK Review
Are solar powered security lights any good?
Yes, they can in fact completely replace a mains equivalent light, saving you energy and hard earned money.
With the costs of energy these days it pays dividends to switch over to solar powered security lighting.
In our latest 2022 UK Review of Solar Powered Security Lights, we focus in on winter time operation for the UK,
as this the most challenging time for all solar powered lights.
Brightness & Consistency
How Bright Are They?
Very Bright - Solar PIR lights can be very bright (up to 3500 Lumens), the average is around 400 Lumens.
Generally the brighter that the lights are, the less overall time they will operate for.
The energy needed to operate them is limited by the panel size and by the amount of light they can receive.
How Consistent Are They?
These Solar Powered PIR lights can be very consistent. The operation of the lights is directly related to the location of your solar panel
& the number & length of times the light is activated.
In winter time it is always worth changing the mode to optimize energy,
the best mode will be PIR only operation, as the light remains dormant until activated,
this saves most energy & ensures your light will be very consistent in operation over the whole winter (depending on how long you activate the lights for).
In general LED's have a lifespan of greater than 50,000 hours, Leds are extremely consistent is operation.
Are solar security lights any good in winter?
Yes several security lights we tested worked reliably during winter time in the UK (when the solar panel was located facing south).
It is far easier for a motion activated light to be consistent in operation during periods of heavy cloud, compared to other solar lights, as they remain off most of the time.
The units will (when on winter mode setting) remain dormant therefore conserving their energy in the batteries, until motion is detected,
and only then will activate for a short period of tme or when motion has stopped.
Many lights offer a mode facility allowing you to chose how they operate, here are some common modes :
1) Full Bright or Motion Sensor Mode - the unit remains off or dormant until motion is detected and then full brightness activated.
This is normally considered the best option during winter as it conserves the most energy.
2) Dim Light Sensor Mode - the unit remains constantly on dim light mode until motion is detected and then full brightness is activated.
3) Dim Light Mode - unit remains constantly on dim light mode with no sensor mode operation.
This mode is generally used in spring and summer and enables the units to act more like a solar wall light remaining constantly on for most of the night.
Reliability & Maintenance
Are Solar motion sensor lights reliable?
Yes in general they are very reliable, the location of the light is critical for consistent winter time operation.
Facing the solar panel in a southerly direction ensures enough voltage in generated for genral use all year round in the UK.
How long do solar security lights Last?
Solar Security Lights can last for several years, generally made from ABS plastic (thermoplastic polymer),
they are strong, UV resistant and weatherproof.
Usage of the lights is limited more by the battery than for example the housing or the solar panel for instance.
Batteries are nearly always replaceable, normally these are inexepensive and easily fitted.
If your buy a decent light they can last for several years, at powerbee we test & use our own lights at our offices,
some are still operating after 8 years & still going strong!, batteries should normally be replaced after every 2 - 3 years
which is very simple & cheap to do.
What do I need to do to maintain the lights?
The only maintenance that is required after intalling solar motion lights is really just
to give them a whipe over if the panels get dusty.
Other than that there is no maintenance apart from changing the batteries every few years.
How to change the batteries?
Changing the batteries in a PIR Light is very straight forward, they are nearly always located in the rear of the main body.
Access to the batteries is normally provided via a removable cover or by unscrewing the back panelof the light.
Inside you will be able to clearly see the battery housing,
and it is normally just a straightforward case of removing the battery and replacing it with a new one.
Many people are now very aware of the li-Ion battery in particular the 18650 which is often used in these types of light,
these are now used in a large number of products , car manufacturers like Tessla use the latest types of these batteries in banks to power cars.
Fitting Solar Security Lights
How to fit a solar security light?
See Our Video - How To Fit A Solar Security Light
These lights are very easy & quick to fit, usually needing just a screw driver and drill.
Most are easily fitted in around 4 - 10 mintues depending on which type of light is being installed.
There are two main types :
Integrated - Panel is part of the housing of the security light.
Remote - Panel is independant from the housing and fixed seperately. This takes a little longer to fit as there are two parts to install.
Screws and plugs are nearly always provided and if mounting to wood only a screwdriver is needed.
So What's The Best ?
& our latest review video below
The 'best light' really depends upon what the light is needed for and also the location that it is placed.
You will see lots of comparison articles claiming to have found the best light,
all of them having found different ones aparently.
Its all about the purpose of the light - what the cuatomer wants it to do...
Security Light - Deter would be burglars
Important Factors : Brightness, Reliability, Adjustable PIR Sensor, ability to remotely locate panel.
Brightness is a very important factor as research has shown a link between brightness and deterrence.
A balance needs to be struck between reliability and brightness.
If your light is too bright it will use more power,
and will be more prone to running out of power on a series of cloudy days.
Garage / Building and Courtyard
Important Factors : Brightness, Light Spread, Reliability.
Path Access / Approach Light
Important Factors : Directional Lighting, Brightness & Light Spread, Reliability.
Wall / Fence Light / Decorative
Important Factors : Mode Function, Brightness & Light Pattern.
Please see our Our Latest Guide :
Solar security lights are now very affordable.
There has been sigificant increases in overall quality, functionality & design.
Considering the overall cost and effectiveness of these movement activated led lights,
everyone should have at least one.