The Best Outdoor Security Lights for Your Home
Don't be left in the dark! With the best outdoor security lights you'll know exactly what's going on around your home.
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Outdoor security lights are an integral part of your home security system, allowing you to see what’s happening around your house and yard at night. The newest generation of outdoor security lights do a lot more than just light up—these tech-enhanced gadgets can work with your smart light bulbs and smart door locks and some can even be controlled by smart home devices!
David Olafson, Director of Engineering at ADT, says that outdoor security lights are a proven deterrent against burglars and neighborhood riffraff. “Strategically placing outdoor lights can deter potential intruders. Criminals do not want to be identified, so they target property that offers them the most protection from neighbors and passersby.”
Types of Outdoor Security Lights
There are many styles of outdoor security lights to choose from, but you should prioritize several key features as you shop. When comparing security lights, consider the lumens (a measure of brightness) they give off, as well as their motion detection capabilities, installation requirements and additional features, such as WiFi connectivity. Installing lights is a straightforward DIY project that shouldn’t take more than a day.
According to Olafson, these are the most common kinds of outdoor security lights:
- All-Night Lighting: Covers your property with constant lighting, making it difficult for an intruder to enter without being seen. This type of lighting tends to be the most popular.
- Motion-Activated Lighting: Turns on when someone or something passes by a motion sensor.
- Hi/Low Combination Lighting: Uses a low-intensity light throughout the night. When someone passes by, the motion sensor causes the outdoor sensor lights to brighten.
“When choosing an outdoor security light, it’s important to keep in mind outdoor lights can deter crime but only for a small portion of potential burglaries,” notes Olafson. “The key to using lighting as a burglar deterrent is to ensure your security lighting design seems natural and not just on 24/7. The best way to use your lighting as a burglary deterrent is to make it seem like someone is home.”
What Are the Best Outdoor Security Lights?
The best outdoor security lights provide plenty of outdoor illumination, not to mention peace of mind. But the best outdoor lighting for you depends on a few factors, like your specific security needs, budget and lifestyle. We turned to trusted brands and researched well-reviewed and easy-to-use products to find the best outdoor lights for a variety of outdoor security uses, in every price point.
- Best Overall Outdoor Security Lights: Ring Smart Lighting
- Best Outdoor Security Floodlights: Lepower Security Lights
- Best Solar-Powered Security Lights: Leclstar Solar Lights
- Best Adjustable Outdoor Security Lights: Motion Sensor LED Security Lights
- Best Outdoor Security Lights With Camera: Eufy Outdoor Security Floodlight Camera
- Best Smart Outdoor Security Lights: Ring LED Smart Spotlight
- Best Security Lights for Large Properties: Stasun LED Floodlight
- Best Value Security Lighting: Torchstar Dusk to Dawn Area Light
- Best Portable Security Light: Lumenology Portable Motion Sensor Light
- Best Waterproof Security Lights: Waterproof Solar Motion Sensor Lights
Best Overall Outdoor Security Lights
Ring Smart Lighting
When it comes to the best outdoor security lights, Ring Smart Lighting has you covered. The complete exterior security lights kit comes with two spotlights and four path lights that shine bright on driveways, porches or patios. The battery-powered wire-free design installs in literally minutes. Use the Ring app to customize settings by adjusting brightness or motion sensitivity. You can also receive motion-activated notifications straight to your phone or tablet.
Ring Smart Lights communicate with one another, so if one single light detects motion, the rest will automatically light up. Additionally, they can be paired with Ring doorbell cameras for even more security.
- Complete set that’s easy to use and set up
- Lights can “talk” with one another
- Customizable settings
- Must use the Ring app for the best experience
Best Outdoor Security Floodlights
Lepower Security Lights
Floodlights are the best security lighting for outdoors to illuminate a large area. Lepower Security Lights feature a three-headed design that delivers an impressive (and very bright!) 3,500 lumens and is an ideal option for residential use. The hard-wired light fixture includes a built-in motion detector that can sense movement up to 72 feet away, with a 180-degree detection angle. When triggered, they’ll turn on for 10 seconds to 10 minutes, depending on the settings you choose.
- Very bright and perfect for large areas
- More than 20,000 five-star reviews on Amazon
- Some buyers noted issues attaching the light to their current junction box
Best Solar-Powered Security Lights
Leclstar Solar Lights
The Leclstar Solar Lights stand out among solar-powered security lights thanks to their ability to charge quickly and the 268 LED bulbs that deliver 1,800 lumens of brightness across a wide angle. These lights fully charge in four to six hours of direct sunlight and detect motion up to 26 feet away within a 120-degree field of view.
Another reason these make the best outdoor security lights: They don’t require hardwiring to an electrical system. Install them almost anywhere with just a couple screws or sticky pads.
- Solar-powered lights charge quickly during the day
- Easy to install
- Three operational settings are available
- Some buyers report the motion sensor has limited range
Best Adjustable Outdoor Security Lights
Motion Sensor LED Security Lights
Need to illuminate a specific area of your yard? Simply aim the two flexible heads of this LED floodlight fixture where you need them. These home security lights feature an adjustable motion detector with a range between 20 and 65 feet. When triggered, the light stays on for between five seconds and five minutes, depending on the settings selected. It also offers a dusk-to-dawn mode that automatically shuts the light off during the day.
- Light features two flexible, adjustable heads
- The motion detector is also adjustable
- Easy to install
- Automatic shutoff during the day
- Lights turn on during the day if motion detector is triggered
Best Outdoor Security Lights With Camera
Eufy Outdoor Security Floodlight Camera
This Eufy outdoor light combines two security essentials into one: 3,000-lumen outdoor security lighting and a high-definition motion-sensor camera. The security camera connects to your smartphone via WiFi, sending you notifications when it senses sound or motion. It also has four gigabytes of local storage that can save up to 30 days of recordings—ideal if you go on vacation. Plus, if you ever see someone snooping around, the light has a built-in siren to scare them off.
- Comes with a high-definition motion-sensor camera
- Two-way audio capabilities
- AI human detection
- No monthly subscription or fees
- More expensive than other outdoor security lights
Best Smart Outdoor Security Lights
Ring LED Smart Spotlight
Control the Ring LED Smart Spotlight right from your smartphone. Turn it off and on and adjust its settings remotely—even if you’re out of town. Or pair it with other Ring outdoor smart devices, including security cameras. The spotlight turns on whenever it detects motion within 30 feet and its LED bulb delivers 400 lumens of brightness. Plus, you can install the battery-powered lights anywhere.
- Control the smart spotlight from a smartphone or tablet
- No hardwiring necessary
- Buyers note long battery life
- Ring Bridge required
- Doesn’t work with rechargeable batteries
Best Security Lights for Large Properties
Stasun LED Floodlight
Want to light up a yard, field or wide open space? The 300-watt Stasun LED floodlight is one of the best outdoor security lights you’ll find to cover lots of ground. Each of its three heads delivers 9,000 lumens. Combined, they emit 27,000 lumens of brightness and can illuminate more than 2,000 square feet, making this flood light an excellent choice for large properties.
- Capable of illuminating more than 2,000 square feet of space
- Wide-angle 330-degree range
- Easy to mount to garages, barns or other outbuildings
- No motion sensor
- Not dimmable
Best Value Security Lighting
Torchstar Dusk to Dawn Area Light
For anyone who wants continuous night lighting, a dusk to dawn light is the answer. The Torchstar Area has a built-in photocell that turns the light on and off based on ambient light, so it stays off during the day and on at night. The energy-efficient 40-watt LED light delivers 4,200 lumens with a 120-degree wide-angle beam, making it a popular choice for garages or barns.
- Continuous night lighting at an affordable price
- Long-lasting with a 50,000-hour lifespan
- Buyers noted a drop in their energy bill thanks to the LED light
- No motion sensor
- No option to turn off the dusk-to-dawn feature
Best Portable Security Light
Lumenology Portable Motion Sensor Light
Outside of the home, there are tons of places that benefit from outdoor security lights. Boats, cars, sheds, fences and trees are the perfect place to mount the Lumenology portable motion sensor light. Instead of using screws or sticky tape to attach the light, a flexible, magnetic tripod base offers two ways to mount the motion sensor. This makes it portable enough to place almost anywhere, and a 13-foot detectable range is perfect for camping or lighting a dark path in the yard.
- Bendable legs for flexible placement around fences and sheds
- Optional magnetic attachment for metal surfaces like boats
- Small, portable size
- Only capable of delivering 148 lumens
- Some reviewers report slight hazing with extended use
Best Waterproof Security Lights
Waterproof Solar Motion Sensor Lights
With over 36,000 five-star ratings and a waterproof plastic coating, these solar motion sensor lights are ideal for rainy weather. A handy sensor flips the 2500-lumen lights on when motion is detected, and they only require a solar-charged lithium-ion battery to operate. Reviewers note that despite the small size, the lights are super bright and last through several years of regular use.
- Sealed against water intrusion
- Lights turn on when motion is detected
- Must dismount to change modes
- Some reviewers mention a short detection range
What to Consider When Buying Outdoor Security Lights
“Consider smart lighting for remote management,” says Olafson. “Opting for smart security light bulbs empowers you to control your lights remotely, even when you’re not at home. You can schedule lights to activate randomly, aligning with typical household activities, and alternate the lighting in different rooms. If you plan to employ this method, make sure your curtains are closed, and you aren’t simply giving anyone on the street an open view into your empty home. Tie this in with a video doorbell and anyone knocking at your door will think you’re really there.”
Regardless of the type of light you choose, look for weatherproof security lights, especially when it comes to climates with lots of rain or snow. Most people prefer lights with LED bulbs, which last significantly longer and use far less energy than incandescent bulbs. Choosing options equipped with motion sensor lights can also help identify intruders before you can see or hear them. This makes it easier to protect your home, as automatic lights may scare off or deter potential intruders.
How Bright Should an Outdoor Security Light Be?
“Use a combination of high/low lighting to save money on electricity while providing complete illumination when needed,” says Olafson. “It’s best to use indoor lights to mimic real behavior and suggest someone is home. Set your lights to turn on and off at normal, irregular intervals to give the appearance that your home is occupied.”
So how bright—or how many lumens—should an outdoor security light be? It depends on placement and purpose. For example, illuminating the steps of a front porch takes 12 to 100 lumens, while security floodlights outside of an average house require 700 to 1,300 lumens.
Why You Should Trust Us
Emily Way is an associate shopping editor for Family Handyman with experience researching products and recommending the best designs to consumers. She researched and updated this piece.
Way consulted David Olafson, Director of Engineering at ADT, who has over 20 years of expertise in software engineering. Over the past four years, David has played a vital role in leading engineering initiatives at ADT.
How We Found the Best Outdoor Security Lights
With so many outdoor security lights on the market, we took into account our own brand experiences and browsed top-rated finds across the web. Then, we narrowed down the list further by combing through hundreds of user reviews, weighing the product pros and cons and enlisting expert advice.
It’s always important to us to consider our readers’ budgets when making product recommendations, so we tried to keep the total cost of each outdoor security light under $200. A few of our favorite finds fall outside of this range, but when balanced with the product’s features, we consider any pricier inclusions well worth the splurge.