As a DIY security upgrade, solar-powered security lights with a built-in motion sensor are a great value option.

Outdoor Solar Security Lights
Outdoor lighting is a really important part of our homes and gardens. Not only does it light up our outdoor spaces so that we can use them at night, but it also eliminates those dark hiding spaces around our gardens, deterring unwelcome visitors. In fact, outdoor lighting should be a top priority for your home security plan. And when we’re talking outdoor security lighting, it’s hard to argue against the functionality and ease of use of solar powered outdoor lights.

All solar-powered lights have a built-in battery, generally lithium ion, which is connected to a solar panel that harnesses energy from the sun to charge the battery. This powers the light without the use of mains electricity, which means they work during loadshedding and cost nothing to run, saving you money.

Outdoor Solar Security Lights
Solar-powered security lights are available in a range of shapes and designs, in different brightness ratings and with different features. It’s important to choose the right one for the job you have in mind. Just as important is to install the solar panel where it gets enough light during the day to charge the battery.

Here in the southern hemisphere, solar panels should be fitted to face between north-east and north-west for optimal charging time. Sometimes this is easy to do and you can fit your solar light exactly where it will charge and also where the light is needed. This is where the ‘all-in-one’ lights are perfect – the kind that have the solar panel fixed to the light housing.

Outdoor Solar Security Lights
Sometime, though, the spot you need lit up isn’t a great spot for solar energy. Luckily, there are some lights where the solar panel is connected via a cable to the light housing. This means you can position the light exactly where you need it and then run the cable to where the solar panel should be placed.

Solar-powered lights obviously have a battery in them that is charged by the panel. These come in different milliamp hours – the higher the rating the more powerful the battery and the longer the light will last on a charge. Higher-powered lights usually have larger batteries to cope with the power demands.

Solar-powered security lights do have a downside though – if you have a few consecutive days of overcast weather, the panels might not be able to charge the batteries fully and you will have reduced run times. Nothing’s perfect!

There are difference levels of brightness for solar security lights. These are measured in lumens. Low-lumen lights are fine for your doorway but won’t light up the entire garden. A high-lumen light will light up a big space, but you don’t want one outside your bedroom! Floodlights light up a wide area while spotlights have a more focussed beam.

Outdoor Solar Security Lights
These security lights are designed to be used outdoors and so carry an IP rating between IP54 and IP65, which is sufficient for normal outdoor environments. They also feature a built-in motion senor, which obviously turns the light on when motion is detected at night. During the day, the motion sensor doesn’t work – it is only activated when there is no charge going to the battery. Clever, isn’t it!

Installation of these lights really is simple, because you don’t need to take mains electricity into consideration. All you need to do is attach the light to a wall or beam and attach the panel where it will get charged. It’s an easy and quick DIY job.

Now that you know what to look for in solar-powered security lights, head over to your local Builders or the website at and pick up a few to make your home that much more user-friendly and secure.

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