The Best Outdoor Security Lights

We’ve picked the best home security cameras based on image quality, price, smart features, and more.
Best motion sensor light
white bullet floodlights, 2 heads
RAB Motion Sensor Light
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Advanced motion detection
  • Icon Pros  Light
    10 yr. warranty
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Evening timer
Best floodlight
Ring Floodlight Camera
Ring Floodlight Cam
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Security camera
  • Icon Pros  Light
    2-way talk
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Voice control with Alexa
Best budget light
black and white solar litom outdoor security light
LITOM LED Solar Lights
  • Icon Pros  Light
    3 light modes
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Waterproof rating
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Affordable
Best wireless spotlight
two white spotlights mr. beams brand
Mr. Beams Outdoor Motion Sensor Spotlight
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Easy installation
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Up to 1 yr. of battery life
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Auto shut-off
Best DIY installation
maxsa black dual-head spotlights
MAXSA Dual Head Security Spotlights
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Easy installation
  • Icon Pros  Light
    2 adjustable heads
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Waterproof rating

We looked at motion sensor lights, floodlights, solar lights, and more to find the ones that deliver the best security lighting and energy efficiency. Read our full reviews to see how our top outdoor security lights stack up when it comes to brightness, convenience, cost, and installation.

Compare the Top 5 Outdoor Security Lights

Product
Price
Motion Detection Range
Power Source
Brightness
Weatherproof Rating
Learn More
Best motion sensor light
white bullet floodlights, 2 headsRAB Lighting Super Stealth Bullet Floods
$148.00 180° out
360° down
Hardwired 1,000 watts UL-rated for wet locations
Best floodlight
Ring Floodlight CameraRing Floodlight Cam
$249.00 Up to 30 ft. Hardwired 1,800 lumens -22°F to 120°F
Weather resistant
Best budget light
black and white solar litom outdoor security lightLITOM LED Solar Outdoor Lights
$17.99 10–26 ft. Solar 420 lumens IP65 waterproof
Best wireless spotlight
two white spotlights mr. beams brandMr. Beams Outdoor Motion Sensor Spotlight
$39.40 30 ft. Battery 200 lumens IPX6 rated
Best DIY installation
maxsa black dual-head spotlightsMAXSA Dual Head Security Spotlights
$49.95 Adjustable 10–26 ft. Batteries 320 lumens IP44 (all seasons)

*Amazon.com list price as of 10/13/2020 at 9:13 a.m. (MT). Read full disclaimer.

Reviews: Best outdoor security lights 

1. RAB Lighting Super Stealth Bullet Floods: Best motion sensor light

These outdoor motion sensor lights feature precise motion detection logic, weatherproof construction, and a great warranty.

The RAB Super Stealth Bullet Floods come prewired for easy installation, but make sure you don’t install them on the same circuit as your garage door opener or other appliances—it can overload the circuit, which can be dangerous and pricey if you burn out the circuit board.

These are also one of the only lights we found that aren’t LED compatible, which can be a big drawback when it comes to power costs and how often you need to change out the bulbs.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Evening timer
Pro Bullet Advanced motion detection logic
Pro Bullet 10-year warranty
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Wind can trigger the sensor
Con Bullet No LED compatibility

2. Ring Floodlight Cam: Best floodlight

If you want to upgrade your outdoor security, the Ring Floodlight Cam is a good place to start. In addition to extra-bright LED lights, you get a motion-activated camera with two-way audio and night vision.

The Ring Floodlight Cam lets you record video and catch live action. Plus, a built-in siren gives you the power to scare away suspicious characters via the Ring app.

But all of these bells and whistles come with a hefty price tag (about $250). One consolation, though, is lifetime theft protection—if the camera gets stolen, Ring will replace it for free.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Lifetime theft protection
Pro Bullet 2-way talk
Pro Bullet Siren
Pro Bullet Voice control with Alexa
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Hardwired installation
Con Bullet High price

3. LITOM LED Solar Outdoor Lights: Best budget light

This little solar-powered light packs a lot into its compact package. While the LITOM isn't the brightest outdoor light on our list, its wide-angle motion sensor and solar power supply make it a strong contender.

You’ll like the flexibility of placing it anywhere (as long as there’s ample sunlight) and the tiny price tag—you can pick one up for around $17.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet 24-month unit life span
Pro Bullet 3 light modes
Pro Bullet Cheap price tag
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Needs sunlight
Con Bullet Less-bright lights

4. Mr.Beams Outdoor Motion Sensor Light: Best wireless spotlight

Mr. Beams lights prove to be a good choice time and again, and we like these wireless outdoor security lights for their convenient installation and the added security of a motion sensor.

Because you don’t have to hardwire these lights, you can place them anywhere you need extra security—by the house, near a shed or other outbuilding, or in the yard.

But they’re not as bright as some of the other lights on our list, so take stock of how much illumination you need before clicking the “buy” button.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Auto shut-off
Pro Bullet Easy installation
Pro Bullet Up to 1 yr. of battery life
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Less illumination
Con Bullet Limited motion detection range (10 ft. max.)

5. MAXSA Dual Head Security Spotlights: Best DIY installation

Bright for battery powered—and one of the cheapest cameras we looked at (coming in around $30)—this MAXSA spotlight is sure to light you safely to the door and scare off prowlers.

Plus, the easy DIY installation gets you up and running in minutes. The motion sensor could be more sensitive, and people wish there were some way to either leave the light on or adjust the length of time the light shines.

And even though it’s perfect for nonwired locations, the batteries are hard to change out, and the back is difficult to put back in place.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet 2 adjustable heads
Pro Bullet Easy installation
Pro Bullet Battery power
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Difficult battery compartment
Con Bullet No

6. All-Pro LED Floodlight: Best weatherproof light

Built to withstand harsh temperatures and wet conditions, the All-Pro LED Floodlight was made to illuminate lawns, walkways, and driveways in any climate.

But it doesn’t come with a motion detector, so you need to either keep it on all night or remember to turn it off before bed (which might defeat the purpose of having it in the first place).

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Rain protection
Pro Bullet Pre-installed connectors
Pro Bullet Easy installation
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet No motion sensor
Con Bullet Shorter unit life span

7. Brightech LightPRO LED Yard Light: Superbright pick

This is a great light to illuminate a large outdoor area. At 5,000 lumens, the Brightech LightPRO is the brightest light on our list. The addition of dusk-to-dawn technology means you don’t have to worry about forgetting to turn it on or off.

Our main complaint is that it only shines downward, which limits the angle of illumination to just 120°.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Superbright lighting
Pro Bullet Dusk-to-dawn technology
Pro Bullet Instant brightness
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Limited illumination range/direction

8. Oberlin Dusk to Dawn Motion Sensor Light: Decorative pick

If you don’t want to sacrifice style for security, then this Oberlin light is right up your alley. The attractive design makes this motion-activated light an ideal choice for the front porch or back deck.

But good looks don’t come cheap. This light is more expensive than many (around $80), and it puts out less light—just 800 lumens if you use LEDs or 60 watts if you use an incandescent bulb.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Attractive design
Pro Bullet Customizable shut-off delay
Pro Bullet Great motion sensor
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Higher price
Con Bullet Less bright illumination

FAQ

When it comes to outdoor security lights, there are a few types that dominate the marketplace because they deliver the most security and value. To help you figure out which one is best for you, we break down the most common types below.

Motion sensor lights
Motion sensor lights do exactly what their name implies—they detect motion and light up to either get you safely to the door or scare off an intruder. This is a valuable feature to have in an outdoor security light because you know it’s doing its job even when you’re away from home or fast asleep.

Floodlights
Floodlights are useful for outdoor security because of their broad beam and high-intensity illumination. These lights are meant to literally “flood” an area with light. They’re an excellent choice for large yards and fields. They also provide superbright illumination in areas like garages or sheds where you may need some extra light after the sun sets.

Spotlights
Almost the opposite of floodlights, spotlights project a narrow, focused beam of light directly onto one area. Most of the spotlights on our list have multiple heads so that you can shine a narrow beam in various directions at once. Spotlights are a good choice to help light up a door or pathway for safe passage (and entry) after the sun sets.

You’re looking for two things when it comes to a bulb for your outdoor security light: energy consumption and brightness. You want to keep your home and property safe, but you don’t want outdoor security to put you in the poorhouse. At the same time, you don’t want to skimp on illumination to save a buck. It can be a delicate balance, but we’ve got the highlights about each lightbulb option below.

LED lights
These are the most cost-efficient bulbs for outdoor security lighting. LEDs deliver bright light without eating up electricity—and they can last up to five times longer than traditional incandescent bulbs. But they do cost more up front (between three and five times more than incandescent bulbs), which leads some folks to pass them up. If you pick up an LED floodlight bulb, it’s even more expensive—about $5 per bulb compared to around $2 for standard LEDs. It’s important to weigh your long-term savings against the more expensive upfront cost before skipping LEDs.

Incandescent bulbs
These are the lightbulbs that appear above a cartoon character’s head when they have an idea—and probably the kind you grew up with. You’ll pay less for incandescent bulbs at the checkout counter, and they’ll get the job done, but they do it at a much higher energy cost. About 90% of the energy it takes to turn on an incandescent lightbulb generates heat instead of light, which translates into more dollars on your power bill. Plus, you’ll probably change out an incandescent bulb about 20 times before you’d have to swap out an LED bulb. It comes down to what matters more to you—cheaper upfront cost or long term energy efficiency.

This might seem like an odd question to ask, but it’s not always simple to provide power to every outside location on your property that needs security. Many outdoor security lights require hardwiring into an electrical supply box, which can make installation complicated or impossible. Depending on where you want to put outdoor security lights, the power source can be a big factor. We line up the options below to help you pick the right light for your situation.

Hardwired lights
The main benefit of a hardwired security light is that as long as the power to your home is on, you’ve got light. You don’t need to worry about dead batteries or an uncharged solar cell. The only time you’d be left in the dark is during a power outage. The downside is that you need to wire it into your electrical system. Many security lights come preconfigured to make installation easy for those of us who aren’t electrical engineers, but others can be more tricky. If you have your heart set on a hardwired light but fear the installation, look into hiring a pro to install your light. That way you can blame them when the electrical box gets fried. (Not that I know anything about that!)

Battery-powered lights
If you need security in a spot without easy access to your electrical system or you don’t want to hardwire something, battery-powered lights are a solid choice. There are many outdoor security lights that come with long-lasting batteries, so you don’t have to worry about changing them out every other week. We found battery-operated lights that last a whole year before you need to worry about swapping them out. But you do run the risk of dead batteries, so this option requires some diligence.

Solar lights
Solar lights are one of my favorite options because they tick all the right boxes—they’re environmentally friendly, they’re energy-efficient, and you can put them just about anywhere (no electricity of any kind required). Almost every outdoor light at my house uses a solar panel, and I’ve been pleasantly surprised by their brightness and their reliability even when the days grow shorter. Some caveats, though. Outdoor solar lights aren’t going to put out 5,000 lumens, and you can get interference from clouds and other pesky environmental factors. You also need to be able to place the solar panel in a spot that will get a consistent amount of sunlight every day. Make sure to evaluate where you want to place solar lights before going this route. If it’s on a north-facing lawn or another shady area, it might not provide the consistency you need from a security light.

Your outdoor security light needs to be able to withstand all kinds of weather. One of the best ways to know if your light is up to the task is to check out the IP (Ingress Protection) or UL (Underwriters Laboratory) rating.

IP ratings
The first number in an IP rating shows how difficult it is for things like dust and water to enter the camera enclosure. The second number shows how tamper-proof the enclosure is. An IP65 rating means the camera enclosure is protected from dust as well as low-pressure water spray, which means the camera should stand up to rain and snow. A rating of IP67 means total dust protection and the ability to withstand full immersion in water up to about three feet.

UL ratings
Underwriters Laboratories is an independent organization that tests and rates products for safety. When it comes to how well a product stands up to Mother Nature, UL rates products based on what type of location they can safely operate—rated from dry to wet. Products rated for wet locations can be used in places where water may splash, drip, or flow onto the electrical components. UL identifies outdoor wet locations as uncovered or open-air porches, decks, and patios, as well as exterior walls, walkways, gazebos, and pergolas.

Related Pages


Disclaimers

*Amazon.com list price as of 10/13/2020 at 9:13 a.m. (MT). Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. SafeWise.com utilizes paid Amazon links.

Certain content that appears on this site comes from Amazon. This content is provided “as is” and is subject to change or removal at any time.

†Google, Google Nest, Google Assistant, and other related marks are trademarks of Google LLC.

Rebecca Edwards
Written by
Rebecca Edwards
Rebecca is the lead safety reporter and in-house expert for SafeWise.com. She has been a journalist and blogger for over 25 years, with a focus on home and community safety for the past eight. Rebecca spends dozens of hours every month poring over crime reports and spotting trends. Her safety expertise is sought after by publications, broadcast journalists, non-profit organizations, podcasts, and more. You can find her expert advice and analysis in places like TechCrunch, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, The Miami Herald, NPR, HGTV, MSN, Reader's Digest, Real Simple, and an ever-growing library of radio and TV clips.

Recent Articles

security system being installed on wall
Best DIY Home Security Systems of 2021
DIY install home security systems are cost-efficient, effective, and easy to install. See which DIY...
SimpliSafe hub on kitchen counter
Abode vs. SimpliSafe
SimpliSafe triumphs over Abode, but it wasn’t a clean sweep. Learn more about the key...
Large craftsman style house at twilight with lights on
Best Home Security Systems of 2021
After hundreds of hours of tests and research, plus a combined 50+ years of experience,...
Mother looking at security system app with family
The Best Home Security System Apps
Home security apps help you protect your home when you’re not there by letting you...