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Security Light Buyers Guide

It's hard to pin one product against another because the general expectation is for one product to overcome the other. With security lights, it really depends on how you intend to apply the light. Do you need a constant beam on during all hours of the night? Do you want it to be able to formidably swivel? How about your detection zones? Which one(s) do you need most protected? At eLightSpot.com, we aim to help you by providing the necessary information so that you can answer all these questions and make an informed decision for the security of your home.

Detection Zones

First things first: know what you want to protect. Security lights are meant to protect specific areas of a property. Motion activated lights use detection zones measured in degrees to help in protecting very specific areas. Detection zones can range as tight as 110 degrees or as wide as 240 degrees. A detection zone is the area that is covered by the motion sensor of the light. For instance a light with a 180 degree detection zone will pick up movement within a 180 degree radius of the light.

The main detection zones are located directly in front of your house, the sides and the back yard/area, amazingly enough, the same areas where people tend to either enter or exit your home. Light position is important and this little illustration should come in handy when deciding where to place your lights based on your own house and where windows and entrances are located. The security lights available at eLightSpot.com have degrees of coverage listed in the product description so you know exactly what you're getting when ordering online.

Disadvantages and Advantages of Solar Security Lights

Perhaps the biggest disadvantage to a solar security light that can be counteractive to its purpose is the light's placement. Because it's solar, you'll want to place the light in a free and open space that is sure to get at least 8 full hours of sunlight every day to ensure a long enough charge to last overnight. Obviously, you can't control weather patterns, but you can control debris and shade. Take care not to place the light under a tree's shade and make sure there are no leaves or grass stopping the battery from charging.

Another key disadvantage is theft. It would be ironic if your solar security light was stolen, but it's not outside the realm of possibility. Many varieties of solar lighting devices boast a quick and easy installation, most of which take as little as a screwdriver to install. Ultimately, the security of your solar security light lies in your hands, so make sure you don't make uninstalling your security light as easy as its installation.

On the upside, because solar lights are easy to install and require no electricity, they are very mobile and can be moved around with little trouble. This makes solar security lights are an excellent choice for protecting remote property areas or highly portable items like boats and RVs. Many varieties of solar security lighting are roof- and wall-mountable, so they can be installed in a variety of locations and positions. Maintenance of solar systems are also pretty easy compared to wired systems since you don't have the issue with electrical wiring and associated concerns.

Motion Activated or Dusk to Dawn?

Motion Activated

Motion activated security lights have a number of advantages to them. They are, as their name suggests, motion-activated so that they can light your path as you walk, providing you with a new light every time you cross its path. The light also turns off after a while of no motion, which in turn saves you energy. This timing also acts as a deterrent to intruders, maximizing the safety of your home and property by lighting your property whenever anyone passes in front of the motion sensor. False triggering of the motion detector could possibly be an issue when everyone is inside except the family dog or cat.

Product Suggestion: The Brinks 240 Triple JCD Motion Security Light is a great selection if you need light coverage up to 240-degrees, like on the corner of a house. This motion-activated light properly detects anyone within its range, even if they only step a toe into coverage. For $52.50, this light mounts up on a wall and provides bright-light protection for you and your family. Plus, it looks really good, so you can't go wrong!


Dusk-to-Dawn lights stay on all throughout the night and turn themselves off when they detect sunlight. This comes in great use if you're the kind of person that goes away for days at a time and need the added security of a well lit doorway or to give the illusion that someone is home. Plus, when you do return, you can disable the light from turning on at night. Dusk to Dawn lights also tend to be more decorative than motion activated lights making them more popular around entry ways and porch areas where proper aesthetics are desired.

Product Suggestion: If you're looking for a moderately priced dusk-to-dawn light that still keeps within the bounds of your home's outer décor, the Brinks Nicol Dusk to Dawn Security Light should do the trick. At $28.99, you can't go wrong. You can mount the light anywhere and enjoy the peace of mind knowing that your home is safe, even when you're far away.

The Nuts and Bolts of It All

Selecting a security light comes down to answering a couple of questions: Do I need intermittent lighting or all night lighting? Is electricity readily available or do I need a light in a remote location? The answers to these questions can lead you down the path of selecting a solar powered motion activated light for shed in the backyard or a decorative dusk to dawn light for keeping your front porch lit all night long and when on vacation.