WHAT TYPE OF SOLAR LIGHT ARE YOU LOOKING FOR?
Best Solar Flood Light
Finding the best solar flood light wasn’t an easy task. To get to this flood light we went through more than 50 different models, starting from cheap solar wall lights to expensive dusk to dawn flood lights, each one a little different from another.
There are few key components that make up a great solar flood light – illumination intensity and brightness, efficiency and quality of solar panel, battery type and capacity, durability and weatherproofness of all parts of solar flood light, sensors included with the fixture and of course the price of the flood light. And not only the components are important but also how wide the range of applications is, meaning if the light can be installed both horizontally and vertically, does it come with adjustable mounts and ground stakes, how long is the cable that connects solar panel to the flood light and other similar factors.
And last but not least, we also judged the manufacturer of the fixture – how well known it is, how many other products it has, for how long it has been around, how fast it responds to different user inquiries, how well they solve problems, how long warranty period they provide for their products, how willing they are to replace defective lights, and what is very important for solar lights (mostly considering rechargeable batteries) – how easy it will be to get replacements in the future.
And considering all the previously mentioned aspects, we found one solar flood light that nails most of these previously mentioned points – MicroSolar 120 LED Solar Flood Light.
OUR PICK - BEST SOLAR FLOOD LIGHT
This solar flood light features 120 amazingly bright LED diodes, high quality 10W polycrystalline solar panel, 4000 mAh lithium-ion battery providing up to 10 hours of illumination and a photosensor, all sealed in a fully waterproof IP65 aluminum casing. Excellent specs for a great price.Buy* from Amazon *click for the current price and availability
Best Solar Flood Light – MicroSolar 120 LED
Let’s start this review by confessing that from the wide range of over 50 different solar flood lights we reviewed, picking the single best one wasn’t actually that difficult, because MicroSolar 120 LED solar flood light immediately stood out from the competition. Also, if you would ask us a question – “Is it hands down the single best solar flood light one the market?” The answer would be – “NO”. Why? Because there are more powerful, better built, longer lasting and better looking solar flood lights out there, but they all cost A LOT more than this model and because this article is intended for the average homeowner, we believe that MicroSolar 120 LED flood light provides the best value for money, period.
So in this review of MicroSolar 120 LED we will try to explain as clearly as possible why this is the best solar flood light you should buy.
Usage / Mounting hardware
Let’s start with the usage. One of the most important aspects we considered when choosing the best solar flood light was the range of applications for the light. This light comes with an adjustable wall mount and four ground strokes so you can install it either on a wall and use it as security light or place it in the ground and use it as landscape light. In addition you get a 16.4 feet cable connecting the solar panel to the flood light and also can purchase another 16.4 extension cable from the manufacturer. This gives you a wide range of areas you can install the unit.
One minor drawback with the mounting hardware we found was that the solar panel mount is not adjustable and is made in a fixed angle, so if you aren’t installing the solar panel on a horizontal surface, you might need to make some additional mounts for the solar panel.
Housing / Durability / Waterproofness
When we consider how durable the flood light is, I must say that this is one of the most durable and best weatherproofed units on the market. The fixture as well as the frame of the solar panel are made from aluminum and have an IP65 rating, which means that it can be installed and left outdoors in any weather conditions all year round. When looking at many cheaper solar lights, especially ones made from plastic, we found that their housings were very poorly waterproofed (especially motion sensors) so some DIY waterproofing was required to prolong the lifetime of the fixture. Well this is definitely not the case with MicroSolar 120 LED flood light, as all seams and mounting points have been properly waterproofed and the light should stand practically any weather conditions.
The solar flood light is equipped with 120 bright LED diodes and outputs total 550 lumens of light (listed by the manufacturer). This immediately raised a question in our heads, why does 120 LED diodes only output 550 lumens on the paper, while other cheaper lights with 60 LED diodes are rated to output almost 800 lumens? The answer is very simple, it is really difficult to measure the actual lumen count and lux or foot-candles would be a much more precise measurement to compare brightness of different flood lights, so we will leave these numbers on the paper (and on conscience of manufacturers) and look at the actual brightness of the light.
In reality this a very powerful light, producing 6000K of bright white light. The flood lights is capable of illuminating about 40-50 feet large areas. Of course, you won’t be able to light up a large backyard or field with just a single light, but get multiple of these and you will have a perfectly lit yard or house without adding a penny to your electricity bills. A great deal, isn’t it?
Solar panel and battery
MicroSolar 120 LED flood light is charged by a 10W polycrystalline solar panel. Polycrystalline solar panels are between the most used ones not only for solar lighting but also for full scale solar systems thanks their high efficiency and good pricing. 10W output power is decent enough to charge its batteries and metal frame will hold it in place nicely. Nothing more to add, a good choice of panel in our opinion.
The battery used in this fixture is a 4000 mAh lithium-ion rechargeable battery. We always value that manufacturers are using lithium-ion batteries instead of some older options such as Ni-Cd or lead acid that has many drawbacks when compared to lithium batteries. The capacity of the battery is good enough to provide an average of 8-10 hours continuous illumination time with full charge, and if the weather has been especially sunny for few days, you can even expect it to go full 12 hours with a full charge, so this can surely be considered a dusk-to-dawn flood light. The battery is mounted inside the flood light, so the light is able to illuminate also when the solar panel has been disconnected form the lamp.
One important aspect when considering solar lights is how easy it will be to get a replacement batteries, because after about 2 or 3 years (depending on the type of battery) you will need to look for a replacement battery. Luckily, MicroSolar is selling replacement batteries for their solar products, so it should be easy to buy one when you will need it.
To be able to provide a continuous illumination from dusk to dawn the flood light has got a photo cell sensor built into the solar panel. When the photosensor detects that it gets dark outside, it will automatically turn the light on and similarly, when it starts to get brighter outside in the morning, the light will stop illuminating and start charging the battery using the solar panel. While reviewing other lights, we found out that some didn’t even have an on/off switch so you couldn’t control when the light illuminates and when not. Fortunately, MicroSolar 120 LED light has got an on/off switch on the bottom of the light, so you can actually turn the light off if you don’t need it at night.
As mentioned previously, the solar flood light is manufactured by a company called MicroSolar. If you have ever shopped around for solar light, you should be familiar with the name MicroSolar, as they manufacture plenty popular solar lighting products. As we have been around the solar lighting industry for some years now, we have seen many Chinese manufacturers come and go and only few best ones who really care about their customers and provide an exceptional customer service have been able to stay around for longer. And MicroSolar is one of them. We can definitely recommend this manufacturer as you can be pretty sure to get a replacement unit if something is wrong with you light and you will also be able to get spare parts, such as replacement batteries, for your light in the future.
What we didn’t like about MicroSolar 120 LED light.
While we liked almost everything about this solar flood light, there were some minor improvements that we would love to see on this fixture.
First of all, the lack of motion sensor. This is a very arguable point, because the main function of motion sensor on solar lights is to help preserve battery life so cheaper lights with smaller batteries could last throughout the night, and actually, only few users really need motion sensor lights to improve security. Because MicroSolar 120 LED is a dusk to dawn light that can illuminate though whole nigh without dimming the light or using a motion sensor, it is very arguable if lack of motion sensor is actually a drawback. But because some people might find it a con, we still believe that it should be included in the disadvantages list.
Second, as we mentioned in the review above, the mount of solar panel is not adjustable and is fixed at about 45° angle, so if you install the panel in other than horizontal position, you might need to make some additional mounts to properly align the solar panel.
Third, lack of lighting adjustability and remote control. Both of these are features you will find in more expensive solar lights, but still we think that it would be great to see both of these features on this solar light. Adjustable light intensity is a really useful feature that allows to either brighten or dim the light depending on the situation, this allows to use the light in much wider range of applications, but also helps to preserve its battery life if full brightness is not required. And remote control would be a must have in this situation, so you don’t have to climb up the ladder each time you need to adjust the lighting settings.
To recap everything above in one paragraph. MicroSolar 120 LED solar flood light comes with both wall and ground mounts and a 16.4 feet cable connecting solar panel to the flood light, allowing you to install the light practically anywhere. Although manufacturer lists that 120 LED diodes produce only 550 lumens of light, we highly doubt it, as the light seems very bright and powerful and would illuminate a 40 feet area without any problems. The solar panel used on this unit is 10W polycrystalline panel that charges 4000 mAh lithium-ion battery. This is a very good combination and together with a built in dusk to dawn sensor will provide about 8-10 hours of continuous illumination lasting through the night with one charge. The casing both for the flood light itself and the solar panel are made from aluminum, making this one of the most durable solar flood lights for the price. The flood light has an IP65 rating both for the flood light and the solar panel, so it can be installed and used outdoors all year round and should last in any weather conditions. Manufacturer MicroSolar backs this solar flood light with a 1 year warranty.
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Best Solar Security Lights
When to choose security lights?
Security lighting is an essential part of practically any household, whether you use it just to illuminate dark areas at night or for security reasons to deter or unveil any unwanted trespassers walking around your property. There are very wide range of applications for solar security flood lights, but the most common ones are:
- To illuminate an area at night for walking – People mostly choose to install solar security lights for practical reasons – to illuminate front doors, walkway, driveway or other path that leads to the house. Security lights are ideal for these kind of situations, because motion sensor turns the light on only when motion has been detected thus saving battery life in the remaining time.
- To deter burglars – When unwanted person is wondering around your backyard in the dark, a sudden splash of light from your motion activated security light will not only surprise them, but also unveil them to everyone nearby, therefore increasing the chance that they will immediately leave your property.
- To deter animals – Solar security lights are also great for deterring animals away from your yard. Most motion sensors can be adjusted to pick motion even from smaller animals like racoons.
Provide lighting for security cameras – Solar security lights can also be used together with security cameras illuminating the area that needs to be captured immediately when someone walks into that area.
- Provide illumination indoors – Solar security lights not only are useful outdoors but also can provide illumination indoors in areas such as staircases. Most solar security flood lights come with a separate solar panel that attaches to the flood light with a cable, so you can install the solar panel outdoors to pick up solar energy, while the fixture itself is installed and provides illumination indoors.
The key factors of a solar security light that you need to pay most attention to are brightness and motion sensor. Make sure the solar flood light is bright enough to be able to fully illuminate the intended area and also that motion sensor has got a long detection range. As a bonus, look for solar security lights with adjustable motion sensor that allows controlling illumination time, lux range and sensitivity or detection distance and range.
BEST SECURITY FLOOD LIGHTS
SECOND BESTMicroSolar 126 LED
High quality security light with 128 LED diodes, an effective 2W polycrystalline solar panel and a 4000mAh capacity lithium-ion battery.Buy* from Amazon *click for the current price and availability
TOP PICKSunForce 150 LED
Powerful and bright solar security flood light with amazing 150 LED diodes producing 1000 lumens and featuring a triple head design for better light coverage.Buy* from Amazon *click for the current price and availability
1. Best Solar Security Light – SunForce 150 LED Triple Head Flood Light
Choosing the best solar security light wasn’t an easy task, because the range of motion activated solar lights has grown rapidly in the previous years. Comparing the most important aspects of security lights – brightness, light direction and coverage, motion sensor detection range and adjustment possibilities, our choice came down to 150 LED Triple Head Motion Activated Light by SunForce.
What really pulled the trigger for this solar flood light was the power and brightness provided by amazing 150 LED diodes and triple head feature (each head has got 50 LED diodes) that allows to adjust the illumination in any direction needed. Often there is a need to illuminate not only one spot, such as front doors, but multiple spots at a single time, especially if it is for security purposes, and to do that, usually you would need to purchase and install multiple lights separately. This SunForce solar security light basically combines 3 flood lights in reasonably priced fixture to offer an excellent lighting coverage in all directions. In our book, this is an exceptional deal!
Not only us, but many reviewers on Amazon (the light has got one of the best ratings for any solar flood light) also praised the brightness of this flood light. In total it can output 1000 lumens of light, which is very respectable for a solar light at this price and will easily light up an area to uncover unwanted persons walking by your property.
The solar powered flood light is equipped with a PIR motion detector that can pick up motion in 180 degree range, in up to 30 feet distance. You can expect similar results with majority of motion activated flood lights. There is an option to adjust the sensitivity (detection range) and detection time of the motion sensor for different situations.
To collect sun energy, the SunForce solar light uses amorphous solar panel. We would prefer a more efficient polycrystalline solar panel for a light that can produce 1000 lumens of light, but amorphous panel used on this fixture isn’t bad by any means and will do its job of charging lights batteries.
While we’re at it, SunForce has chosen to use three AA size Ni-MH rechargeable batteries instead of Lithium-ion for the fixture. Similar to solar panel, this seems a bit weird decision for such a powerful lamp to not use more superior lithium-ion battery, but Ni-MH is definitely not the worse choice either. While it has lower specific energy than lithium-ion batteries, it is also cheaper and you can easily buy a replacement when the batteries run out. The light is going to be good for short periods of illumination (what motion activated lights are made for), but definitely won’t be able to provide continuous illumination from dusk to dawn.
The fixture itself has got a durable, weather resistant plastic housing. Although manufacturer hasn’t indicated anywhere the IP rating of the light, based on our experience with similar fixtures, we can guess that it is either IP44 or IP45 flood light. The light should run outdoors without any problems all year round. The cable length from solar panel to fixture is 15 feet and the flood light comes with wall mounting hardware.
If you are still in doubt whether to get this flood light and want the last bit of convincing, we can recommend the manufacturer of the fixture – SunForce to be a well known and respectable brand in solar flood lighting. Also, the solar flood light comes with a 1 year warranty.
What we didn’t like about SunForce 150 LED light.
All in all, this is really a great solar security flood light without practically any major drawbacks. As previously mentioned, we would like to see a little bit different choices for few lamp components, such as polycrystalline solar panel instead of amorphous and lithium-ion battery instead of Ni-MH, but these aren’t really drawback, because they help to keep the price of the fixture so low and overall the light works very well.
The only real drawback we could find is that the fixture is not equipped with a dusk to dawn sensor, but instead you have to manually turn on the “always on” setting for continuous illumination. This, however, will drain the small battery in just few hours so you won’t get a full night illumination from this flood light.
2. Second best – MicroSolar 126 LED Motion Activated Flood Light
Following close to the SunForce flood light is the MicroSolar 126 LED Solar Flood Light. MicroSolar has become one of the best selling solar lighting manufacturer and has earned reputation for their quality products and good customer service. While the pricing for both lighting fixtures is practically the same, their features and component list is completely different.
MicroSolar flood light is equipped with 128 LED diodes and although the manufacturer, for some reason, doesn’t tell the lumen output of the fixture, it is somewhere in 700-900 lumens range, so not as bright as SunForce model, but still offers very decent illumination.
The body of the flood light is made from a mixture of aluminum and plastic material, although most of the light is made out of plastic. Again, manufacturer hasn’t listed the IP rating of the fixture, but our guess is that this is an IP44 solar flood light.
Solar flood light has got a PIR motion sensor with 180 degree, 30 feet detection range and allows to adjust detection time and lux settings, but doesn’t allow to adjust the sensitivity of the sensor.
The fixture itself can be adjusted in vertical and horizontal directions, allowing to easily position the light in desired direction also when it has already been installed. It comes with all mounting hardware needed to install the flood light and the cable length to attach solar panel to the flood light is 16 feet long.
Now, the two things where this light really shines (in opposite to SunForce light) are solar panel and battery. MicroSolar flood light has got a 2W polycrystalline panel which is very effective at collecting sun energy and converting it into electricity. The energy is then stored in a lithium-ion battery with respectable 4000 mAh capacity that will offer a decent illumination time at night. The manufacturer states that 126 LED solar flood light will provide 200 triggers of 60 seconds of illumination with a full battery which should easily last throughout the night.
MicroSolar also provides a 1 year warranty for this motion activated solar flood light.
What we didn’t like about MicroSolar 126 LED light.
While this flood light packs come really great components (polycrystalline solar panel, decent capacity lithium-ion battery), there are few things why it didn’t make into the first place of our list. First and foremost, there has been few reported cases with water getting into the motion detector. If you want to be completely sure that this won’t happen, you must manually seal all seams of the flood light fixture, solar panel and motion sensor. Second, the sensitivity of the motion sensor is not adjustable, which is not that big of a deal, but still might be useful in some situations. And third, knowing the quality of other, higher priced MicroSolar flood lights, the mounting hardware could have been made a bit sturdier (this could be a problem if you live in a very windy area).
3. An interesting alternative – Guardian 580X Solar Security Flood Light
The last flood light we chose was an interesting one – Guardian 580X solar light by a much less know brand Solar Light Mart, but packed with many great features. The main highlight of this solar security light is its build materials and quality which simply overcomes any other solar light at this price range.
Guardian 580X, in opposite to both previous security lights, features a full aluminum body both for the fixture and for the solar panel (motion sensor is made from plastic). The light is very durable and also fully weather-proof, rated with IP65 rating, meaning that you can use it outdoors all year round without any worries of dust or water damage. There is a 16 feet cable that attaches solar panel to the flood light and a 9 feet cable that attaches motion sensor to the solar panel.
The flood light is equipped with 84 LED diodes that produce total of 730 lumens, a bit less than two previous security lights, but good enough to illuminate a decent area.
Motion detector is another highlight of this flood light. It is a PIR sensor which in opposite to most other security flood lights is connected to a solar panel with a separate cable, giving you more options to customise the location of your application. The sensor picks up motion in 180 degree range, in approx. 30-40 feet distance from the sensor. The great part about this solar light is that it offers 3 different operation settings –
- dusk-to-dawn setting (automatically turns the light on at dusk and off at dawn, disables PIR sensor and
- dims the light to illuminate at 55 lumens),
- dusk-to-dawn setting+PIR sensor setting (illuminates at 55 lumens from dusk to dawn and increases the illumination to 730 lumens for one minute when motion is detected),
PIR only setting (turns the light on at 730 lumens for 1 minute, ONLY when motion is detected and afterwards turns it off).
We found the second (dusk-to-dawn+PIR) setting to be especially useful if you need a continuous illumination for all night, only few security flood lights on the market provide this useful feature.
Guardian 580X, similar to MicroSolar light, is also equipped with a 2W polycrystalline solar panel. The panel has got a metal frame and mounts (instead of plastic used for other security lights) for increased durability. The solar panel charges 2500 mAh Lithium-ion battery, which does not have the highest capacity (lower then the MicroSolar light), but without any problems can provide illumination throughout the night thanks to the PIR sensor’s adjustment settings.
Solar Light Mart also provides a 1 year warranty for this solar security light.
What we didn’t like about Guardian 580X light.
Guardian 580X is a great solar security flood light with just few short comes. First, we found that the cable attaching motion sensor to the solar panel is a little too short for some applications. This wouldn’t be an issue if the motion sensor would attach to the flood light itself rather than the solar panel. Second, the duration of how long the light stays on when motion has been detected cannot be adjusted like for other security lights and you get constant 1 minute illumination time. Third, the manufacturer “Solar Light Mart” is not very well known, so we cannot comment how easy it will be to get replacement parts (such as a new battery) for the solar flood light.
Other security flood lights to consider
eLEDing EE836DE – cheaper solar security light with few great components such as monocrystalline solar panel, smart lighting PIR sensor setting and Li-polymer batter, however just a little too dim with 36 LEDs and 500 lumens to make into our top list.
MAXSA Innovations 44449-L – great flood light with 100 bright LEDs with over 500 lumens of brightness, large 4400 mAh Lithium-ion battery and adjustable PIR sensor with 40 feet detection range. However, the price is a bit higher than for other, similarly equipped security lights we chose for this list.
Best Dusk To Dawn Solar Flood Lights
When to choose dusk to dawn lights?
Out of all types of solar flood lights, dusk to dawn lights must meet the most strict criteria to be considered a successful light, because these type of lights are used outdoor practically all year round and need to provide continuous illumination from sunset to sunrise. The application range of these lights is very broad, they can be as good security lights as landscape lights.
Dusk to dawn flood lights are the most versatile outdoor lighting options, but all that comes at a much greater price. To be able to power bright outdoor flood lights, the lighting fixture needs to have a decent sized battery and to charge that battery there must be an efficient solar panel (monocrystalline or polycrystalline) that outputs enough wattage to be able recharge the battery during the daytime. And not only that, but also the casing of the flood light must be durable enough, to protect all these components from any (solid or water) damage. And in a result, solar dusk to dawn flood light that consists of all these powerful, high end components will cost you from $100 even up to $1000.
So the key components you need to watch in a dusk to dawn solar flood light are battery type and capacity, durability and IP rating of whole fixture (including solar panel and sensors), solar panel type and wattage, and brightness.
BEST DUSK TO DAWN FLOOD LIGHTS
Probabaly the best equipped dusk-to-dawn flood light on the market also feautring an adjustable motion sensor and a remote control.Buy* from Amazon *click for the current price and availability
TOP PICKMicroSolar 180 LED
This dusk-to-dawn light has it all - 1000 lumens of light and 10 hours of continuous illumination time with everything safely sealed in a IP65 aluminum casingBuy* from Amazon *click for the current price and availability
1. Best Solar Dusk to Dawn Light – MicroSolar 180 LED Solar Flood Light
To be a good dusk to dawn flood light, a lighting fixture must hit various points – it must be able to provide illumination all night long, it should be bright so it can be used either as landscape or security light and it should have a weatherproof housing so it can be used outdoors all year round. The light that did the best job at filling all these requirements is 180 LED Solar Flood Light by MicroSolar company.
There was some competition when choosing the best dusk-to-dawn flood light, but there weren’t any doubts about which has the overall best features considering the price. MicroSolar 180 LED Solar Flood Light’s highlights are two powerful polycrystalline solar panels, large capacity lithium-ion battery and a durable aluminum housing, which we will look into more details later. Now let’s focus on the light output of this fixture.
MicroSolar flood light is equipped with 180 LED diodes that in total can produce 1000 lumens of light. For a 1000 lumen solar light, this fixture can produce an amazingly powerful and bright light, it even seems a bit weird that this flood light can beat few other “1000 lumen” flood lights in terms of brightness. It can easily be used as an landscape light to illuminate some sort of objects such as a flag poles, old trees, statues, signs, posters and other objects and as a security lighting to provide visible light at nigh to some poorly illuminated areas. Mix multiple of these fixtures together and you will be able to illuminate a whole backyard or even a smaller sports field.
180 LED diodes are safely sealed inside an IP65 rated aluminum casing, which means that the fixture is fully dust tight and can withstand strong jets of water, or in other words, can be used outdoors in any weather conditions all year round. The solar panel also has got a metal frame and mounts (which you won’t see on cheaper solar flood lights) which is perfect for more windy areas. The cable that connects solar panel to the lighting fixture is 16.4 feet long, but you can get another 16.4 feet long cable, allowing to install the panel in an optimal location (facing south without any objects blocking the sun rays). The flood light comes with both wall and ground mounts.
Because this is a dusk-to-dawn light, it requires proper solar panels and large battery to be able to provide illumination for all night. This is where MicroSolar 180 LED really has an edge over the competitors. It has got two powerful 10W polycrystalline solar panels (20W total) that charge a huge 8000 mAh battery providing about 10 hours of illumination time if fully charged. In our scale, this is nearly a perfect setup for a solar flood light – polycrystalline solar panels are efficient and have the best price/performance ratio of any solar panel and lithium-ion battery has the highest specific energy and provides a great cycle life (charge/discharge cycles).
The fixture is controlled by a photosensor that is built into the solar panels. The sensor will detect when it gets dark and will automatically turn the light on, and similarly, will turn it off when it gets brighter outside in the morning. Unfortunately, you can only control whether the light is on or off (with a switch on the body of the flood light) and there aren’t any other adjustment options.
Remember that when the sensor detects sunshine, it will automatically switch the light off, so the only way to run the light during the daytime is to disconnect the solar panel from the flood light so it runs on batteries.
When it comes to manufacturer – MicroSolar, we can definitely recommend them as a well known and reputable manufacturer that takes care of its customers. Also, they provide a 1 year warranty for 150 LED Solar Flood light.
What we didn’t like about MicroSolar 180 LED lights.
The only problem we had with this dusk-to-dawn flood light is the lack of adjustment options such as the ability to control the illumination intensity (to increase the illumination time) and ability to control the light from a distance (with a remote control) so you don’t have to climb up to the light each time you need to turn it on or off. Other than that, this is a perfect dusk-to-dawn solar flood light and the best one we could find.
2. Second best – Solar Goes Green SGG-F156-2R
A great contender for the best dusk-to-dawn flood light title is the SGG-F156-2R solar flood light by Solar Goes Green. This is a fully equipped dusk to dawn fixture that in addition to two polycrystalline solar panels and 180 bright LED diodes also features an adjustable motion sensor and a remote control, all things to make this the best dusk-to-dawn solar flood light on the market.
So why didn’t it make the first spot in our list? Simply, all these great features comes at a much higher price, which we think might be out of budget for most homeowners that is the target audience for this article. But because this is one of the best solar flood lights on the market, we must look at it in more details.
Solar Goes Green SGG-F156-2R has got 156 LED diodes that produce total 780 lumens of bright white light, which may not seem that much, but actually the flood light is very powerful and will lit practically anything, from your backyard to a parking lot, commercial signs and anything else.
To make this an ideal outdoor light, the fixture and solar panel have got rugged aluminum bodies, the design of the fixture (except the motion sensor) is totally weather-proof, allowing to use the flood light outdoors all year round. Unfortunately, Solar Goes Green haven’t listed the IP rating of the flood light, but it should be at least IP65 rated fixture. The length of two cables – one from flood light to solar panel and other from flood light to motion sensor is 15 feet, allowing a wide range of installation choices. There are also 4 ground stakes included in the packaging, so you can choose to install the light on a wall or other vertical surface or in the ground and use it as landscape light.
Similarly to MicroSolar 180 LED fixture, this flood light also has got two 10W polycrystalline solar panels (20W in total) which, as we previously mentioned, is an excellent choice for dusk-to-dawn flood light. The polycrystalline solar panels charges a 7000 mAh large lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) battery, which is able to power the light for about 10 hours with a full charge. The fixture requires about 8-10 hours of sunshine to fully charge its batteries. You can also purchase a flag pole mount separately for this fixture.
What makes this dusk to dawn flood light to stand out among the rest is the ability to connect a fully adjustable motion sensor. The sensor has got a 40 feet detection range and you can adjust the sensitivity, lux detection settings and lighting time from 10 seconds to 5 minutes. And because this is a dusk-to-dawn flood light, it is obviously equipped with a photosensor, so you can choose whether the light will work as a normal dusk to dawn flood light, automatically turning on at dusk and off at dawn, or as a motion activated flood light.
Another great feature of this solar flood light that you won’t find in practically any other lighting is a remote control which allows you to operate the flood light from a distance. This is especially useful if you have installed the fixture high above the ground and don’t want to climb up the ladder each time you need to change illumination settings of the fixture.
What we didn’t like about SGG-F156-2R light.
First of all, although this is one of the most feature packed solar flood lights on the market, we felt that the price of it is just a bit too high looking at the prices of few competitor dusk to dawn flood lights. And second, considering the build quality and materials used to make the flood light and solar panel, we didn’t understand why motion sensor was made out of plastic and was not fully water proof (while it would stand most weather conditions, some more heavier downpour could damage the sensor).
3. An interesting alternative – MINI OMEGA XTREME Solar Flood Light
Another product that immediately caught our eye is Mini Omega Xtreme Solar Flood Light by Solar Light Mart. We should start by clearing things up why we included this flood light in our “Best dust to dawn flood lights” list and why it only got the third place.
First of all, the previous two flood lights are manufactured by well known companies MicroSolar and Solar Goes Green with whose products we have been familiar for few years now, however we don’t have any experience with Solar Light Mart products, so we can’t say how good their customer service is or how easy it will be to get replacements for the fixture. Other than that, Mini Omega Xtreme looks like a very good outdoor dusk-to-dawn flood light with one huge advantage – brightness.
This solar flood light has got 256 LED diodes that produce super bright, 2500 lumen light, beating any other flood light in this article by miles in terms of brightness. Of course, for such a powerful light you will also need to pay more, the MINI OMEGA XTREME price is closer to the price of SGG-F156-2R flood light.
Similar to both previous lights, this fixture also has got two polycrystalline solar panels, which charge a high capacity lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) battery. Unfortunately, the manufacturer didn’t want to reveal the capacity of the battery, but from the illumination time we conclude, that its capacity is very similar to other two dusk to dawn flood lights we covered previously. On average, you will get 8-10 hours of illumination time with a full charge if the fixture is operating at half brightness (about 1200 lumens). At full brightness you can expect it to work about 3 hours with a full charge and at the lowest brightness (about 20-30 lumens) the flood light can operate for about 14 hours.
The flood light itself is very durable with an aluminum housing both for the fixture and for the solar panel and it has got an IP65 rating, meaning that you can use it outdoors in practically any weather conditions. The cable that connects solar panel to the flood light is almost 22 feet long, giving you lots of installation options for the flood light.
Mini Omega Xtreme Solar Flood Light has got a built in photosensor, but there is no motion sensor for the flood light. However, there are few adjustment options available which you can control with the RF remote control that comes with the flood light. First of all, you can turn the fixture on and off using the remote control (which is great), next you can control the brightness of the light from 10% up to full 100% so you can dim it when full brightness is not needed to save battery, and you can switch between various illumination modes such as SOS mode, party mode and others and also control speed of these modes, which we don’t think will interest the average homeowner, but can be useful in certain applications (construction sites).
Solar Light Mart is providing a 1 year warranty for Mini Omega Xtreme Solar Flood light.
What we didn’t like about Mini Omega Xtreme.
Actually, the only thing we aren’t sure about this model is how easy it will be to get replacement and spare parts for the fixture, because undoubtedly, after few years you will need to replace the lithium-ion battery (outdoor flood lights are often subject to extreme weather conditions, you might need spares for other parts as well in few years time). So if the manufacturer will be able to provide a high quality customer service and quickly ship any parts needed for the light, this might very well be the best dusk to dawn flood light on the market right now.
Other models to consider
Reusable Revolution 108 LED Solar Flood Light – This is a cheaper and less bright option producing 605 lumens but that is still able to offer plenty of advantages such as 11W polycrystalline solar panel and a 4000 mAh lithium-ion battery providing up to 10 hours of illumination time.
RuggedGrade Solar Motion Sensor Flood Light – If you want a decent dusk to dawn solar light and don’t want to pay more than $100, then this is your best option. RuggedGrade flood light is amazingly bright and can produce total of 1000 lumens, has got a polycrystalline solar panel, 8000 mAh lithium-ion battery and also is equipped with a PIR motion sensor and photosensor allowing to use it both as a security or as a dusk-to-dawn light.
Best Landscape Solar Flood Lights
When to choose landscape flood lights?
Landscape flood lights are used to illuminate different objects whether it is a commercial sing next to a road or some interesting object in your backyard such as a fountain or an old tree. Landscape lights are mostly used for aesthetic purposes, to showcase something or make something stand out in the night rather than for security reasons as other types of solar flood lights. And often they work similar to dusk-to-dawn lights providing continuous illumination during the night.
Because of this, the key features to look for when purchasing solar landscape lights are durability (casing material and IP rating), battery capacity, solar panel type and wattage, and mounting hardware supplied, because mostly landscape flood lights are placed in the ground so the light should include ground stakes for solar panel, flood light or both.
Why landscape flood light instead of landscape spot light?
Often solar landscape spot lights are more popular option than solar landscape flood lights, so in which case should you install flood lights instead of spot lights? We recommend installing flood lights when you need to illuminate a larger (wider) object or area. Flood lights are designed to produce a more wider beam of light, which can illuminate a larger area, while spot lights have a more concentrated beam which is great if you need to illuminate a smaller object but with more intense light. Also, landscape flood lights tend to be brighter and most can illuminate from dusk to dawn, so if you need a powerful light, that covers larger area and can provide illumination throughout the whole night, get a solar landscape light.
BEST LANDSCAPE FLOOD LIGHTS
MORE POWERMicroSolar FL3 64 LED
Thanks to the 5W polycrystalline solar panel and 2000 mAh lithium-ion battery this 240 lumens bright fixture can run for up to 10 hours.Buy* from Amazon *click for the current price and availability
TOP PICKMicroSolar FL1 28 LED
28 LED diodes, 2W polycrystalline solar panel, 2000 mAh lithium-ion battery and one of the best prices for a solar flood light on the market.Buy* from Amazon *click for the current price and availability
1. Best Solar Landscape Flood Light – MicroSolar FL1 28 LED
What makes up a great landscape lighting? Well, it depends on the object you need to illuminate – is it a small sign or a mail box in you backyard, or maybe a huge statue or advertisement next to a road. But as we mentioned previously, this article is tended mostly to homeowners, who probably don’t have a huge monument in their backyards, so our top pick is the best one for illuminating smaller objects around the house. And there is no better solar landscape flood light for this purpose than FL1 28 LED fixture by MicroSolar company.
This is one of the most affordable solar flood lights on the market, but at the same time features some pretty impressive components such as a polycrystalline solar panel, lithium-ion battery and a fully waterproof aluminum housing. But first, lets look at the light output of this landscape flood light.
MicroSolar FL1 is equipped with 28 LED diodes that produce total 120 lumens of light. Yeah, 120 lumens don’t seem that impressive on paper, however the purpose of the fixture is to illuminate an object, be it a mailbox, flag, tree, some sort of garden decor, fountain, smaller sign or similar items, this lighting fixture will be able to illuminate practically any of these things. The color temperature is around 5000K giving you the classical white LED shine. The light beam is produced in a pretty wide angle, so you will get a much better light coverage than with a spotlight.
The housing of the fixture as well as the frame of the solar panel are made from aluminum and have an IP65 rating, which you won’t see on many other outdoor flood lights at this price range. The cable connecting flood light and solar panel is 16.4 feet long, and similar to other MicroSolar flood lights, you can purchase a 16.4 feet long extension cable for the fixture if needed. Of course, because this is a solar landscape flood light, ground mounts for the flood light and the solar panel are included in the package.
The MicroSolar flood light is powered by a 2W polycrystalline solar panel that charges a 2000 mAh lithium-ion battery. This setup can easily power the 28 LED diodes throughout the night, offering even more than 8 hours of illumination time on a full charge.
The light can work as a dusk-to-dawn flood light, because there is a built in photosensor in the solar panel to control the illumination time. As this is a pretty basic solar flood light, there are no ways to control the illumination time and intensity, so you will have to rely on the built in photosensor.
If you haven’t still made up your mind whether or not get this solar flood light, we can definitely recommend the manufacturer of the product – MicroSolar, as a reliable brand with an exceptional customer service, so you won’t have any problems getting replacement parts under the warranty or any spare parts in the future. Also, the manufacturer provides a 1 year warranty for this flood light.
What we didn’t like about MicroSolar FL1 light.
Considering the small price of this solar landscape flood light and attractive component list, it’s very difficult to find anything wrong with the fixture. The only small drawback that some users may have with the product is that there is no on/off switch on the fixture and illumination is controlled by a photosensor which is built into the solar panel. This means that when the sun shines on the solar panel it will charge batteries and the fixture will be turned off, but when it gets darker and the sensor is not picking sunlight anymore, the light will be automatically turned on. The only way of preventing it is to detach the solar panel from the lighting fixture.
2. More powerful option – MicroSolar FL3 64 LED
If you need a more powerful option than the FL1 light we just looked at, you may want to consider this – MicroSolar FL3 solar flood light. Manufactured by the same company – MicroSolar, this flood light is a more powerful model than the FL1, but still has the same, high quality components as the FL1 flood light.
When comparing prices of two fixtures by MicroSolar, this one is over 2 times more expensive, but at the same time is twice as bright. The flood light has got 64 LED diodes that produce total 240 lumens of light, enough to illuminate not only some landscape objects, but also a smaller parking lot, driveway, a walkway and similar areas. The flood light can be mounted to a wall or other vertical surface or placed in the ground with three ground stakes (one for light and two for solar panel) and used as a solar landscape lighting.
Because this is a more powerful light, it also requires a more powerful solar panel. FL3 solar flood light is powered by a 5W polycrystalline solar panel that charges a 2000 mAh lithium-ion battery. In most areas during the summer months the light will run about 8-10 hours with a full charge or about 6 hours if its cloudy throughout the day.
As expected from lights manufactured by MicroSolar, the fixture is equipped with the most up-to-date, efficient and long lasting components such as LED diodes, polycrystalline solar panel and lithium-ion batteries.
The housing of the flood light has got an IP65 rating so you can use it outdoors all year round. There is a 16.4 feet long cable connecting solar panel with the flood light fixture and you can also get an additional 16.4 feet extension cable (as with other MicroSolar lights).
There is no motion sensor on the MicroSolar FL3, but there is a photocell in the solar panel, as you would expect from a solar landscape flood light, so the light will automatically turn on and illuminate during the night and then turn off when the sun reaches the solar panel again in the morning. Now, in opposite to the smaller FL1 light, this one has got an on/off switch behind the solar panel, so you can actually control when the light illuminates and can turn it off at night if you don’t need light.
The manufacturer MicroSolar provides a 1 year warranty for this flood light.
What we didn’t like about MicroSolar FL3 light.
First of all, why it didn’t make the first spot? It costs more than twice as much as the smaller MicroSolar FL1 solar flood light, but consists of practically the same components (expect the two times higher lumen count and higher wattage solar panel). In our opinion, there is no need for most people who are looking for a simple landscape flood light that will illuminate some object around the house to pay more for a 240 lumen light, if they can get a bit less bright light with same high quality parts for almost half the price. However, if additional brightness is a must have for your application, than this is the second best landscape solar flood light we can recommend.
And second, attaching the metal mounting bracket to the back of the solar panel is a bit complex, because you need to hold the nut to tighten the screw, but there is very small place to access it, so some extra tools may be needed to do the job.
3. A much more powerful alternative – Solar Goes Green SGG-F156-3R
The first two MicroSolar flood lights we looked at will be good enough for most applications, however, what if you needed to illuminate something much larger than a mailbox, for example, a field, parking lot or some larger landscaping object? This is where SGG-F156-3R Solar flood light by Solar Goes Green comes in handy.
This, in opposite to previous two, is much more powerful and also much more expensive solar flood light. The flood light has got 156 LED diodes and can produce 780 lumens of light and it can illuminate more than 30×30 foot large area.
The fixture itself is very durable made from a die cast aluminum and comes with 4 ground stakes so you can easily place it in the ground and use as landscape lighting. There are two cables on the flood light, one 9 feet cable connects battery to the solar panel and other 9 feet cable connects battery to the flood light. Another useful thing this solar landscape flood light has is a remote control allowing to operate the fixture from a distance. There is also an on/off switch on the fixture so you can turn it off when illumination is not required to save battery.
Speaking about battery, interestingly enough this solar landscape flood light isn’t powered by a lithium-ion battery as most modern flood lights, but by a sealed lead acid battery with 7000 mAh capacity. Of course, there is nothing wrong in using a deep cycle lead acid battery to store solar energy as many full-scale solar systems also use lead acid batteries, however lithium-ion batteries offer some significant advantages such as a longer cycle life. But from the other side, lead acid batteries are cheaper than lithium batteries with similar capacity, so it is pretty clear why they chose a lead acid battery instead of a lithium ion one.
The battery is charged by a powerful 20W polycrystalline solar panel. The 7000 mAh will give you about 12 hours of light with a fully charged battery which is very impressive and up there with the most expensive dusk-to-dawn flood lights. There is also a photo cell sensor that automatically controls the illumination time of the fixture.
What we didn’t like about SGG-F156-3R light.
This is a really good solar landscape flood light by a well known solar lighting manufacturer – Solar Goes Green, that offers a great performance, but all this comes at a price, in this case, a very high price that most people will not want to spend for a landscape lighting. And when it comes to landscape lighting, usually the area that needs to be illuminated in not that large and a fixture with couple hundred lumens of light output can easily be up to the task, saving you hundreds of dollars. But if you need a more powerful light with longer illumination time, this Solar Goes Green landscape light will be one of the best ones you can get.
Other models to consider
Solar Goes Green SGG-F108-3 – Powerful and durable outdoor landscape flood light by Solar Goes Green. This fixture is equipped with 108 LED diodes producing total of 540 lumens – enough to illuminate any landscape object. The flood light will also work as a dusk-to-dawn light thanks to its large 7000 mAh lead acid battery and 10W polycrystalline solar panel. In addition, this light comes with a remote control and timer.
Reusable Revolution 108 LED Solar Flood Light – Very similar in design to Solar Goes Green SGG-F156-3R light, but smaller, less powerful and with a significantly lower price. This solar landscape flood light comes with 108 LED diodes producing 605 lumens of light, is equipped with the industry best 10W monocrystalline solar panel and a 7000 mAh sealed, valve regulated lead acid battery.
Best Wall Mounted Solar Motion Lights
When to choose wall mounted lights?
When looking for a wall mounted solar motion sensor light there are few things you must pay more attention to – the ease of installation, brightness, motion sensor and its customisability and, of course, the brightness. There might be several reasons why you would want such a light, whether to provide lighting for security reasons, for decoration purposes around your house or in your backyard, to scare off animals from you yard or any other reason. And depending on your needs, certain features and specifics might prove more useful to you. Because market is filled with very similarly looking solar wall lights, we have picked the best according to their level of brightness and size – one smaller 10 LED light, one medium 20 LED light and one larger 38 LED light.
We see this type of light best fitting situations where a relatively small area that serves a certain function should be illuminated, so it is easier to see at night, for example front doors, stairway or sidewalk (multiple lights might be needed).
BEST WALL MOUNTED SOLAR LIGHTS
MORE POWERAlbrillo 38 LED
Larger and brighter than our top pick, this fixture features 38 LED diodes, 2.5W solar panel, adjustable PIR sensor and a 4400 mAh lithium-ion battery.Buy* from Amazon *click for the current price and availability
TOP PICKLitom 20 LED
The best light for everyone - it is compact and bright for its size, has got a decent battery life, adjustable motion sensor and a very attractive price.Buy* from Amazon *click for the current price and availability
1. Best Wall Mounted Solar Motion Sensor Light – Litom 20 LED
The option that might suite most people is this – Litom 20 LED wall mounted solar motion light. It offers the best of all worlds – it is compact, relatively bright for its size, has got pretty decent battery life, adjustable motion sensor and very attractive price.
Choosing the best wall mounted solar light was very difficult, because the market is swarmed with very similarly designed lighting fixtures (different companies selling exact same light simply putting on their own branding). And the one light that had a slight edge in all our criteria over the rest was this Litom 20 LED model.
The solar light has got 20 LED diodes producing about 400 lumens of light. The light beam is pretty concentrated as this isn’t exactly a flood light, however it produces a decent amount of light to see even in 30 to 40 feet distances. Based on its size and brightness, this is a perfect front door light that will effectively illuminate the walkway to your house.
When talking about the fixture itself, it is made out of plastic and is pretty weather proof with an IP55 rating. One problem with these small wall mounted solar lights is that they tend to have weak housings and are prone to water damage, however, this unit seems to be pretty solid and all open spots have been properly sealed. However, we still wouldn’t recommend to install it in areas where running water could constantly reach the fixture, as it might get damaged.
Practically all of these all-in-one fixture solar lights have one problem, there are very limited areas where the light can be installed, because you cannot detach the solar panel form the lighting fixture, meaning that you can only install the light in areas where direct sunlight can reach the solar panel and charge its batteries during the day.
Fortunately, the solar panel on this unit seems to be pretty effective at charging the 2200 mAh lithium-ion battery (by the way this is a 18650 lithium-ion rechargeable battery, so there won’t be any problems getting a replacement when it dies). This is a pretty small capacity battery, but because it needs to power only 20 LED diodes, you can expect some impressive working times from the unit, even up to 10 hours on its “always on” setting with a fully charged battery.
Litom 20 LED wall mounted solar motion light is equipped with an adjustable PIR motion sensor with four different settings:
- First mode – Continuous illumination from dusk to dawn, disables the motion detection function;
- Second mode – Continuous illumination from dusk to dawn at dimmed brightness, increasing the brightness for 15 seconds each time a motion is detected;
- Third mode – The light stays off during the whole time until motion is detected after which it starts to illuminate at full brightness for 15 seconds;
- Off mode – still charges in the sunlight but doesn’t illuminate when the sun goes down;
I must note that these settings only are active from dusk to dawn and light won’t be triggered during the sunny hours when the solar panel is charging battery of the lighting fixture.
Detection distance for the motion sensor on this light is pretty decent, the distance will differ based on the placement position and height of the fixture, but on average will be about 15-20 feet.
Going away from the product itself and talking about the manufacturer/brand a bit, we can say that our opinion about these Chinese companies is neutral, it is clearly understandable that most of these products offered by different companies probably come from the same factories, so it comes down to each seller how they value their customers and how serious they are about their business. In this case, we can definitely recommend Litom, as they do address every problem with their lights and will help if you’ll have any problems with the products they sell.
What we didn’t like about Litom 20 LED light.
While the fixture itself is well built and function exceptionally, there is one problem we found with the design of the light. The switch for changing illumination settings is located in a difficult to reach place behind the light, so you must choose the mode before installing the unit and if later you wish to change these setting, for example from continuous illumination to motion activation only, you will have to remove the fixture to access the switch, change the mode and reinstall the fixture back to its place.
2. A brighter option – Albrillo 38 LED Motion Sensor Solar Light
If you feel like the previous light by Litom isn’t powerful enough and you need something to illuminate a larger area such as a porch, deck or patio, then definitely check out this light – Albrillo wall mounted solar motion light.
The unit is a bit more expensive, but also is more powerful producing about 500 lumens of light from 38 LED diodes. 500 lumens of light is pretty decent if we consider that some much higher costing lights produce only few hundred lumens more, so there are lots of applications where you could use this solar motion sensor light.
The unit itself is made from plastic as you would expect at this price range, however, manufacturer is stating that this fixture has got an IP65 rating, which you mostly see on high power solar flood lights with aluminum housings. Whether or not this fixture is fully waterproof we cannot tell you, but it seems to hold up very well in all sorts of weather conditions. The solar light comes with two mounting screws allowing to easily attach it to practically any wall, and also, if you don’t want to drill holes, you can easily use a double sided outdoor tape to attach it to a wall (not recommended in winter and in stormy areas).
Albrillo solar wall light is powered by a 2.5W solar panel that charges 4400 mAh lithium-ion batteries. The unit is supplied with two 2200 mAh lithium-ion batteries, which are 18650 type ones, so it will be easy and cheap to get a replacement when they wear out. 4400 mAh capacity is really good for such light and can easily power it from dusk to dawn when batteries are fully charged.
This solar wall light also is equipped with an adjustable PIR motion sensor. Compared to other similar lights, this is actually a pretty decent sensor that can pick up motion even up to 20-30 feet distances in about 120 degree range around the light. There are four modes for the motion sensor that you can change by pushing a multi-function button right next to the sensor on front of the fixture:
- Strong light sensor mode – when motion is detected in front of the sensor, the light turned on for 20 seconds;
- Dim light sensor mode – the light is kept dim from dusk to dawn and turned on at full brightness for 20 seconds when motion is detected in front of the sensor;
- Strong long light mode – continuous illumination from dusk to dawn (or until the batteries die).
These settings are very similar to ones provided by the Litom solar light, with the only noticeable difference being that this solar light illuminates for 20 seconds when motion is detected while Litom light only for 15 seconds.
What is different, however, is the way you change modes on this light. As mentioned there is a small button right next to the motion sensor which you must press for about 3 seconds to turn the light on and then press it again one, two or three times to change the lighting modes. We actually didn’t like this mechanism and much better preferred the switch on the Litom light, however, the placement of the button on Albrillo light is in a much better and easy to reach position than it was on the Litom light.
The situation with the manufacturer/brand of the fixture is very similar to the previous light, however, Albrillo says that they will provide an 18 month warranty for the product, which is very rear for a solar light (usual warranty period of a solar light is 12 months).
What we didn’t like about Albrillo 38 LED light.
All in all, this is a very good solar wall mounted light which will illuminate your front doors, porch, deck, patio, shed or any other place at night. While the motion sensor itself works very well, we didn’t like the button that you have to use to change the lighting modes, because it sometimes confuses you which setting you have actually turned on. On the other hand, the button itself is placed in a very convenient and easy to access place in front of the light.
3. The most compact option – ILLUNITE Solar Wall Light
If you need a light to illuminate some smaller area such as front doors or walkway to your house, these solar wall lights by ILLUNITE are going to be perfect for you.
ILLUNITE solar wall light won’t give you tons of brightness and and won’t provide enough light to be able to do something useful in the dark except to see were you are going, but illuminating large areas is not what these lights are made to do. They are very compact and light, good looking, cheap and provide enough light to illuminate an approx. 10 feet area below the fixture.
The unit has got 10 LED diodes producing about 200 lumens of light in the brightest mode. The fixture itself is made out of plastic material and of course the manufacturer hasn’t indicated the IP rating of the fixture, as you would expect with these cheaper lights, but we would definitely recommend mounting it in as waterproof area as possible so larger downpour does not damage the light. The light comes with two mounting screws, one for the fixture and one for the solar panel so you can mount them both separately.
The solar wall light is powered by a small 0.55W amorphous solar panel that charges 900 mAh lithium-ion battery, however don’t get put off by the small capacity of the battery, because it doesn’t take a lot of energy to power 10 LED diodes and you can expect the light to easily last from dusk to dawn with a full charge.
Now the most interesting part about this fixture and the main reason we included it in this list is the detachable solar panel. Mostly, wall mounted solar lights come as “all in one fixture” lights meaning that the solar panel, the fixture itself and the motion sensor are all built into a single unit. This solar wall light, however has got an easily detachable solar panel which you can slide off the fixture. The solar panel is connected to the fixture with a short cable, but the lighting fixture comes with two extension cables (one in 3.9 feet length and other in 5,9 feet length) and you can either use each one of them separately or connect them together to get a total of 9,8 feet long extension cable. Now this is very useful when compared to regular “all in one fixture” solar wall lights, because you can install the solar panel in an optimal position (facing south with no objects obstruction sun light) while placing the light where illumination is needed. This gives you much more areas where you can install the wall light when compared to other “all in one fixture” type wall lights.
ILLUNITE solar light also has got a PIR motion sensor that detects motion in up to 10 feet distances in 120 degree range around the light and a photo cell sensor in the solar panel. The motion sensor is adjustable and provides three lighting modes:
- Off – the fixture does not illuminate;
- Dusk-to-dawn mode – automatically starts illuminating a dim light at dusk and stops at dawn;
- Bright light mode – starts illuminating at full brightness only when motion is detected and keeps illuminating for 40 seconds if no motion is detected. The light is off at other times.
To turn the light on or change the lighting modes you must insert a metal key pin (included with the fixture) into a small hole next to the motion sensor.
All things considered, if you need a compact and affordable light that you can install practically anywhere to illuminate a small area such as front doors, this light will fit all your needs.
What we didn’t like about ILLUNITE solar wall light.
Although there are some significant advantages to get this solar wall mounted light, there are also some drawbacks that you should now. First of all, the light is pretty dim if you leave it the dusk to dawn mode, so you will be able to see objects only in a few feet distance from the light. Second, the mechanism for turning the fixture on/off and changing light modes is very inconvenient, because you must always have the metal pin if you wan’t to change these settings. And third, this is not the most waterproof fixture out there, so be sure to mount it in an area where less rain or other water can reach and damage the light.
Other models to consider
GRDE 12 LED Solar Motion Wall Light – If you can mount the light in an area where direct sunlight can reach the solar panel and charge its batteries and don’t need the detachable solar panel option provided by ILLUNITE fixture which we looked at previously, then this is even a better option to consider. GRDE is a perfect front door light equipped with 12 LED diodes that produce approx. 200 lumens of light, enough to illuminate about 10×10 feet large area and the best part about this light is its affordable price.
InaRock 44 LED Solar Motion Wall Light – If, however, you need a more powerful wall mounted light to illuminate a larger area, for example, a stairway, garage door, shed, patio, deck or other similar area, take a look at this InaRock fixture. It has got 44 LED diodes, 2200 mAh lithium-ion battery to power the fixture from dusk to dawn and adjustable motion sensor that can pick up motion in up to 30 feet distance.
Best Budget Solar Flood Lights
When to choose budget solar flood lights?
There are so many solar lights out there making it an overwhelming task to find the one that best fits your needs. But sometimes you just need a flood light that can illuminate a decent area, is solar powered, has got a motion sensor and doesn’t cost a fortune. Well for those of you who just want a good solar flood light to install around the house or in the backyard at a reliable price, we have gathered this small list of the best budget solar flood lights under $40.
BEST BUDGET SOLAR LIGHTS
SECOND BESTSunforce 82156
This is also a very popular solar flood light and features a very similar specs to our Top Pick, the difference being in 60 LED diodes and a cheaper price.Buy* from Amazon *click for the current price and availability
TOP PICKSunforce 82080
One of the most popular solar flood lights on the market. This fixture is fully equipped with 80 LED diodes, 1W solar panel, 900 mAh battery and a PIR sesnor.Buy* from Amazon *click for the current price and availability
1. Best Budget Solar Flood Light – Sunforce 82080
The best solar flood light under $40 definitely is this Sunforce 82080 light. It is also one of the most purchased solar flood lights on the Amazon maintaining a decent 4.2 rating and there are good reasons for this.
First of all Sunforce 82080 is affordable and has got good reviews from thousands of people that are using this fixture. When looking at the light output, you can expect around 800-900 lumens of light from 80 LED diodes, it will light a 20-30 feet area without any problems. If you need to light a larger area, say a backyard or garden, purchase multiple of these lights and install in each corner to give you a large coverage of light.
The fixture itself isn’t anything too fancy, the casing for the fixture, motion sensor and solar panel is made from plastic, so you should install the fixture in an area where it is less exposed to any type of water. However, it should withstand any “normal” weather conditions such as rain, snow, hot and cold weather. And at this price range, it is almost impossible to find a fully weatherproof solar flood light. The fixture and the solar panel is pretty easy to install to a vertical surface and the cable length between the solar panel and the fixture is 15 feet giving you enough options to install a solar panel in an optimal place to get the most sunshine thorough the day.
The unit is charged by a 1 watt amorphous solar panel, not the most efficient solar panel on the market, but good enough for this light, and it also helps to keep the price low for the fixture. The power is stored in a 900 mAh Ni-MH battery pack which consists of five AA type batteries. Of course, this is a pretty low capacity battery that would be waistless for a dusk to dawn flood light, but considering that this a motion activated solar flood light that isn’t continuously illuminating but only turns on for few minutes when motion is detected, the battery should be able to power the flood light throughout the night.
Sunforce 82080 has got a PIR motion sensor that picks up motion at respectable 30 feet distance in a 180 degree range around the flood light. What most of these solar motion lights with PIR sensors have in common is that they provide multiple adjustment options for different uses. You can adjust three different settings on this fixture:
- Lux – the level of darkness required to turn the light on;
- Time – for how long time the light will illuminate when it has detected motion;
- Sensitivity – how sensitive the motion detector is or in other words, in how far distances the sensor will pick up motion.
The switch to adjust the sensitivity of the sensor is conveniently placed under to motion sensor, so you don’t have to dismount the light form a wall to access the switch. In the best case scenario, we would love that the light came with a remote control so these settings could be adjusted from a distance, however this is not expected from a flood light that costs less than $40.
Sunforce is providing a 1 year warranty for this solar flood light.
What we didn’t like about Sunforce 82080 light.
Sunforce 82080 has got many things we like such a powerful and bright light, adjustable motion sensor with long detection range, rather good solar panel and of course, a very attractive price. However, there were also some drawbacks for the flood light. First, the battery used on this fixture has got a low capacity, meaning that it cannot provide a continuous illumination from dusk to dawn (it also doesn’t come with a dusk to dawn setting), but if you only need a motion activated flood light, this isn’t really a con for you. And second, the housing of flood light is not the most waterproof we have seen, so to prolong the lifetime of the fixture, we would suggest to even further waterproof the fixture by filling all seams with silicone and installing the fixture in an area where it is not constantly exposed to water that could damage the flood light.
2. Second best – Sunforce 82156
If, for some reason, the Sunforce 82080 we reviewed previously didn’t fit your requirements or simply isn’t available, the next best budget solar flood light we can recommend is Sunforce 82156.
When comparing it to the other Sunfoce light, this unit has got 20 LEDs less which results in about 50-100 lumens less brightness (you will hardly notice the difference) producing total of 850 lumens of light, and it is also few dollars cheaper. The area of usage for both of these lights is pretty similar, so it basically comes down whether you need a little brighter flood light for few dollars more or can easily live with this 60 LED model.
When we look at other specifications of the fixture besides the light output, it is powered by a similar 1 watt amorphous solar panel which charges the same Ni-MH five AA battery pack with 900 mAh capacity. However, because this light has got 20 LED diodes less than the other fixture but the same solar panel and battery, you can expect it to run a little bit longer with one charge. The manufacturer has indicated that it can illuminate at maximum brightness for about 45 minutes continuously and because this is a motion activated flood light, you can expect it to be able to last throughout the night.
The unit itself this time is made from a mixture of aluminum and plastic materials, which we don’t think has any impact on the durability or waterproofness of the fixture, however, it looks at little bit better than all plastic light and feels more durable at the same time. It also has got a 15 feet cable to connect the solar panel to the fixture giving you enough installation options for the fixture.
PIR motion sensor used on Sunforce 82156 is very similar to one used on Sunforce 82080, it can detect motion in up to 30 feet distance in a 180 degree range around the fixture. You can also adjust the Lux (level of darkness required to turn the light on), Time (for how long the fixture will illuminate after motion has been detected) and Sensitivity (in what range the motion sensor will pick up motion). The motion sensor can also be adjusted horizontally and vertically. The fixture itself, however, can only be adjusted vertically, so you may need some additional mounting if you also want to be able to adjust it horizontally.
Manufacturer Sunforce provides a 1 year warranty for this solar flood light.
What we didn’t like about Sunforce 82156 light.
The first thing we believe could be improved with this fixture is its waterproofness. Depending on the area you live and quality of the unit you’ve received, there is a high chance that you won’t face any problems such as water damage for many years of usage. However, if the area you’re living is common to have long or hard downpours, wet winters or similar weather conditions, we recommend that you improve the waterproofing of the fixture, motion sensor and solar panel by sealing seams with silicone or similar sealant. It won’t take you much time, but will ensure that the fixture continues to work as intended in any weather conditions. Also, one minor problem we found with this solar flood light (which is very common for cheaper lighting fixtures) is that the mounting hardware (screws for attaching the light and solar panel) is pretty bad, we would recommend you to go to the local hardware store and purchase more durable and longer lasting screws that would secure the fixture on a wall or roof in any weather conditions.
3. Another great option to consider – Robust Solar 80 LED Solar Flood Light
Here is another equally good solar flood light – Robust Solar 80 LED. It is a bit more expensive when compared to both Sunforce lights, however it also offers few additional features such as a polycrystalline solar panel, a bit higher capacity lithium-ion battery and more adjustability for the fixture.
Starting with the brightness, this solar flood light outputs pretty decent amount of light, 80 LED diodes produce around 700-800 lumens of bright white light. When comparing this model with both Sunforce flood lights, it is very difficult to tell the difference between all three of them in terms of brightness, so this light, similar to both Sunforce models, will lit an approx. 15-25 feet area.
As a plus, this light uses a polycrystalline solar panel, although the wattage is similar to Sunforce models – 1 watt. The battery used in this unit is 2000 mAh lithium-ion, the same 18650 type you will find in many other solar lights. The battery capacity is decent enough to power the light throughout the night, and because this is a motion activated flood light only, there is no option to set it to illuminate continuously from dusk to dawn. Manufacturer states that you will get about 200 triggers of 60 second illumination with a full charge, which seems to be right considering the battery capacity of the flood light.
Robust Solar 80 LED solar flood light’s construction is made from both plastic and metal materials, for example the housing of the fixture is made from metal while the mount, motion sensor and solar panel frame are made from plastic. The cable connecting solar panel to the flood light is approx. 16 feet long. One thing we really liked about this light is that its mounting hardware allows to adjust the fixture not only vertically, but also horizontally, so you don’t have to make any additional mounts if you want to adjust the lighting angle to one of the sides. The motion sensor can also be adjusted vertically and horizontally.
The PIR motion sensor has got two adjustable settings – Lux and Time. Lux setting allows to set the level of darkness needed for light to start working and Time setting allows to set the time of how long the fixture will illuminate when it has detected a motion. You can set the illumination time from 3 seconds up to 10 minutes.
Robust Solar has a very good customer service and they also provide a 1 year warranty for their flood light.
What we didn’t like about Robust Solar 80 LED light.
The thing we didn’t like the most about this solar flood light was the mounting hardware that is made out of plastic and does not seem that durable. Most people will be fine with this mounting hardware and won’t notice any problems, but those living in areas with higher winds and storms might consider upgrading it to something more durable, probably made from metal. The second thing we didn’t like (which is very common to cheaper lights) are the poor quality screws for installing the unit. We definitely recommend changing them to more durable ones that you can find in your local hardware store. And last, the motion sensor doesn’t allow to adjust the sensitivity in opposite to both Sunforce lights, which is a useful feature if you need to adjust the detection range and distance, for example, to only pick up motion from humans (and ignore animals) or to pick up motion from humans and also from smaller animals.
Other models to consider
Lighting EVER 60 LED Solar Flood Light – This flood light by Lighting EVER is one of the best priced solar flood lights you will find on the market. Besides previously mentioned 60 LED diodes that will produce around 600-700 lumens, this solar flood light also has got a polycrystalline solar panel, rechargeable lithium-ion battery and motion sensor with adjustable Lux, Time and Sensitivity. This solar light has been around for quite a little time, so we still cannot say how it holds up against different weather conditions, so by now we won’t include it in our TOP3 list.
Frostfire Digital 80 LED Solar Flood Light – Another light which is worth looking at is this 80 LED Solar Flood Light by Frostfire. What caught our attention to this product is the digital control panel for motion sensor that not only allows to adjust the Time and Lux settings, but also shows the current battery level, which is a very useful feature that we didn’t find in practically any other solar light.