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Choosing a Security Light – A Buyer’s Guide


When purchasing a security light, its easy to get overwhelmed by all of the options available. Which type of security light is best for protecting your home? Understanding the function of the included features of a security light is essential for making the right choice. There are many different features that may be included in a security light. These features may include:

Solar Power
Some wireless security lights have the ability to charge by using solar power. This prevents you from having to replace batteries, running electrical cords to the light, or installing in a location that is close to an existing outlet. However, solar powered security lights have their drawbacks as well. For example, during periods of bad weather, your lights may not be able to store enough power in order to be effective. To conserve power, some types of solar powered security lights are also not as bright as lights that run off of an alternate source of electrical power.

Detection Range
Many motion activated security lights have a “range of detection” feature. This feature usually details exactly how wide of an angle the light is able to cover for motion detection. The range of detection varies, and is usually described as an angle degree. For example, four of the most common detection ranges are:

  • 110 degrees
  • 150 degrees
  • 180 degrees
  • 240 degrees

To further illustrate the protection range that each of these options offers, try to imagine each of these angle measurements as a “protection zone” around your home.

Here is an example of how each of these “zones” would look around the exterior of your home. (Photo Source)

Motion Detection
Many security lights are available with an included motion detection feature. This feature allows the light to turn on as soon as motion is detected in the specific protection zones. Since this may highlight the approach of a burglar, it can be a powerful deterrent to anyone wishing to enter your property uninvited.

Dusk-till-Dawn
Some types of security lights are activated not by motion, but by the amount of available light. This means that a security light will automatically switch on when it begins to get dark, and switch off when the sun rises in the morning. These lights can be useful for providing a constant deterrent to anyone who may be considering trespassing on your property. However, they don’t have the instant “shock value” that a motion activated security light may produce for a burglar.

So, Which Type is Best?

Choosing a security light is largely a matter of personal preference. Not every type of security light will meet the specific security needs of every homeowner. For example, motion activated security lights may not be helpful for people who have outdoor pets, since this may cause the light to constantly switch on and off. Budget is another deciding factor, since some security lights can be quite expensive. If you are worried about someone stealing or vandalizing your security lights, you may want to either choose a less expensive model, or install your security lights in a location that is difficult to reach. Depending on the specific needs of your home’s security, you can make a decision on which security light features are best for you.