10 Best Outdoor Security Lights 2020

Scare off intruders and stop tripping over your kids’ swingset with these outdoor security lights.

Are you done wondering, for the millionth time, if that sound you heard in your backyard is a prowler or just the neighbor’s cat? Outdoor security lights make it easy to keep an eye on your property after sundown.

Most outdoor security lights have motion sensors to turn the light on when they detect movement. But some combine bright lights with cameras (very Hollywood red carpet of them) or just stay on all night long for constant visibility. Next time you’ll know with one glance that that unsettling sound is just the darn tabby rifling through your garden again.

Best outdoor security lights of 2020 comparison
Model
Price
Weather ratingBrightnessLearn more
Arlo Security Light$149.99IP65400 lumensView on Amazon
Ring security lights$29.99–$89.99VariesVariesView on Amazon
Sengled Smart LED Lightbulb$54-99 (for a three-pack)IP441200 lumensView on Amazon
Heath Zenith HZ-5872$117.97Unlisted2500 lumensView on Amazon
Mr. Beams MB330$15.99IPX5140 lumensView on Amazon
Arlo Pro 3 Floodlight Camera$249.99IP652000–3000 lumensView on Amazon
LITOM C-M190$59.99IP67600 lumensView on Amazon
Hyperikon LED Security Area Light$47.95IP651800–2700 lumensView on Amazon
Light It! Soft Glow$13.99Unlisted15 lumensView on Amazon
MAXSA LED Wall Sconce$39.99IP4485 lumensView on Amazon

Amazon.com List Prices (as of 4/24/20 16:43 PST)

Light Bulb icon
What are lumens?
A “lumen” is a measure of light. Basically, the higher the number of lumens a light puts out, the brighter the light. A standard incandescent 60-watt bulb you might put in a light fixture gives off about 620 lumens.

Arlo Security Light: Most versatile

The Arlo Security Light changes colors and doesn’t have any wires.

Arlo Security Light

Source: Arlo

The Arlo Security Light is by far the most versatile outdoor light we’ve seen. It’s wire-free, so you can put it anywhere, and it has a bunch of different LED colors to choose from. Millions, to be (slightly more) exact.

Pros

  • Wire-free design
  • Customizable settings and light colors

Cons

  • Pricey

What we like

The Arlo Security Light takes your traditional boring outdoor security light (think plain white light and complicated wiring process) and throws it on its head. Arlo’s smart security light is easy to install and even has some cool integrations.

Arlo Security Light price and features
ModelPriceOperating temperaturePower typeLearn more
Arlo Security Light$149.99-14ºF to 113ºF (-10ºC to 45ºC)Rechargeable battery or AC poweredView on Amazon

Amazon.com List Prices (as of 4/24/20 16:43 PST)

The Arlo Security Light works with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, IFTTT, and Stringify. If you want outdoor lights you can automate and create rules and schedules for, then the Arlo Security Light is your new best friend.

We also love that the Arlo is wire-free, which makes installation a cinch. But if you want a brighter light and no battery to recharge, then you can opt for an AC-powered version.

The Arlo light works with Arlo cameras (naturally), and did we mention you can change the light’s color? The Arlo app gives you a full-color spectrum to choose from, and you can set specific colors for specific events, like for the light to flash purple when it detects motion.

What we don’t like

The Arlo Security Light is a bit pricey, and it’s definitely not the brightest light on our list. That’s not to say it’s dim, but there are some other stunners here that can outshine it. That’s mainly because wired lights have more brightening power than battery-powered lights like the Arlo.

Ring security lights: Best lighting system

Ring has a bunch of outdoor security light models that work together.

Ring solar floodlight

Source: Ring

You can use any one of Ring’s smart outdoor security lights on its own and have a solid device to light up your property. But we think Ring’s smart lights work even better together.

Pros

  • Work all together through one app
  • Integrate with other smart home stuff

Cons

  • Exact brightness and features vary by power type

What we like

Ring offers several different types of smart outdoor security lights that work together and can be controlled through the Ring app. Ring also offers different power types, so you can choose the one that works for you. Pick wired if you don’t mind running wires, or pick battery-powered if you don’t mind charging batteries, etc.

Ring security lights prices and features
ModelPriceOperating temperaturePower typeLearn more
Ring Pathlight
$29.99–$34.99
-4°F to 122°F (-20°C to 50°C)Solar or batteryView on Amazon
Ring Floodlight$49.99–$89.99-4°F to 122°F (-20°C to 50°C)Solar, battery, or wiredView on Amazon
Ring Spotlight$39.99-4°F to 122°F (-20°C to 50°C)BatteryView on Amazon
Ring Steplight$24.99–$29.99-4°F to 122°F (-20°C to 50°C)Solar or batteryView on Amazon
Ring PAR38 Smart LED Bulb$24.99-4ºF to 104ºFWired*View on Amazon

Amazon.com List Prices (as of 4/24/20 16:43 PST)
* Uses existing fixture as power supply.

You can make the Ring security lights “talk” to each other, so if one detects motion, every light in your yard lights up. That prowler won’t even know what hit ‘em. Ring lights also work with Ring cameras. You can set your Ring outdoor cameras to record if a light senses someone’s around.

What we don’t like

You have to double-check which features go with which light when you buy it. Because Ring offers almost every one of its smart lights with multiple power types (like solar, wired, or battery-powered), you can get different brightnesses with different models.

Make sure you’re getting the power type for the brightness level you want.

Sengled Smart LED Lightbulb: Best outdoor security lightbulb

The Sengled Smart LED Lightbulb uses an existing light fixture and works with your smart stuff.

Sengled Smart LED Lightbulb

Source: Sengled

The Sengled Smart LED Lightbulb has “smart” in its name for a reason. This bulb has more integrations than most other picks on our list, which makes it easy to integrate the Sengled bulb in with the rest of your smart home.

Pros

  • Retrofits existing light fixture
  • Has lots of smart home integrations

Cons

  • Can’t adjust angle

What we like

Like a lot of smart outdoor security lights, the Sengled requires a hub to work with your Wi-Fi and give you mobile control. But rather than require you to get the Sengled hub, the Sengled Smart LED Lightbulb gives you some options.

Sengled Smart LED Lightbulb price and details
ModelPriceOperating temperaturePower typeLearn more
Sengled Smart LED Lightbulb$54-99 (for a three-pack)-4ºF to 104ºF (-20ºC to 40ºC)Wired*View on Amazon

Amazon.com List Prices (as of 4/24/20 16:43 PST)
* Uses existing fixture as power source.

This lightbulb works with Samsung SmartThings hubs and the Amazon Echo Show as well as the standard Sengled Smart Hub. The bulb also works with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and IFTTT.

If you have other smart devices, like smart door locks or a home security system, then the Sengled lets you make everything work together.

What we don’t like

If you live somewhere hot, the Sengled might not be the best choice for you in the summer. The Sengled’s temperature range should be fine for most places in the US, but Southwesterners should watch out for those days that get hotter than the Sengled’s top temp of 104ºF.

Heath Zenith HZ-5872: Best for wide spaces

The Heath Zenith HZ-5872 has three bright lamps for maximum coverage.

Heath Zenith HZ-5872

Source: Heath Zenith

The Heath Zenith HZ-5872 outdoor security light has three lamps, which gives you a lot of ground to cover with just one light. If you have a wide yard or some steep corners you want the light to get around, the Heath Zenith HZ-5872 can show the way.

Pros

  • Illuminates broad areas
  • Has three bright LED lamps

Cons

  • No smart home integrations

What we like

To go along with its multitude of lamps, the Heath Zenith has really bright lights. It goes up to 2500 lumens. It also has a wide range of motion detection with 240º of motion activation.

Heath Zenith HZ-5872 price and details
ModelPriceMotion detection fieldPower typeLearn more
Heath Zenith HZ-5872$117.97240ºWiredView on Amazon

Amazon.com List Prices (as of 4/24/20 16:43 PST)

With that broad of a field of motion detection, no one’s going to be sneaking up on this thing. It won’t be easy to walk anywhere near the Heath Zenith without triggering the light, which is comforting if you have a big yard with lots of places to hide.

The Heath Zenith HZ-5872 also has what it calls the “Creep Zone.” That basically means that it can detect when someone’s standing right under its motion detector or trying to sneak along the wall. There’s no escaping.

What we don’t like

This thing is not a dainty light you can stick in a corner. The Heath Zenith HZ-5872 is made to light up a big space, so don’t get drawn in by the raw power and end up with a light that’s too big for your needs.

Mr. Beams MB330: Best budget buy

The Mr. Beams MB330 won’t break the bank and can go just about anywhere.

Mr. Beams MB330

Source: Mr. Beams

If you want a simple, easily installed spotlight for your house, then the Mr. Beams MB330 is a good choice. It only costs about $16, so you don’t have to wait to win the lottery before you can finally get some security lights in your yard.

Pros

  • Affordable lighting
  • Easy, wire-free installation

Cons

  • Not the brightest light

What we like

The Mr. Beams MB330 spotlight keeps things simple. It’s battery-powered, so you don’t have to thread any wires to install the thing. Plus, that means you can put it just about anywhere you need some extra light—no power source required.

Mr. Beams MB330 price and details
ModelPriceAuto-offPower typeLearn more
Mr. Beams MB330$15.9930 seconds after motion detectionBatteryView on Amazon

Amazon.com List Prices (as of 4/24/20 16:43 PST)

The batteries should last about a year. And when you do need to replace them, the Mr. Beams MB330 uses regular ol’ D-cell batteries you can pick up at any store.

What we don’t like

At this price point, and with a battery-powered light, it’s probably not surprising that the Mr. Beams MB330 is not super bright. It gives off only 140 lumens, which is fine for illuminating a doorway but not so great for lighting up a whole yard.

Arlo Pro 3 Floodlight Camera: Best security light plus camera

The Arlo Pro 3 Floodlight Camera combines an impressive camera with an excellent floodlight.

Arlo Pro 3 Floodlight Camera

Source: Arlo

If you want to combine a security light with a high-definition camera, then it doesn’t get much better than the Arlo Pro 3 Floodlight Camera.

Pros

  • Excellent built-in camera
  • Bright floodlight

Cons

  • Expensive

What we like

This baby is a whiz kid of cameras and outdoor security lights combined. The Arlo Pro 3 is one of the best outdoor security cameras on the market, and now Arlo’s added a powerful floodlight to give it even more oomph.

Arlo Pro 3 Floodlight Camera price and details
ModelPriceCamera resolutionPower typeLearn more
Arlo Pro 3 Floodlight Camera$249.992KSolar, battery, or AC poweredView on Amazon

Amazon.com List Prices (as of 4/24/20 16:43 PST)

This device gives you 2K video resolution, color night vision, and two-way audio, along with a bright floodlight that will light up your yard with 2,000 to 3,000 lumens.

As with most things Arlo, you also get to choose from a solar-, battery-, or AC-powered model. The battery model will be the most convenient as far as installation goes, but if you really want to take advantage of all the Arlo Pro 3 Floodlight’s best features, go for the wired model.

What we don’t like

This camera/light combo doesn’t come cheap, and it might have more features than you really need if all you want is a backyard floodlight. No need to go over the top if you just want something simple that will light up when people walk past it.

LITOM C-M190: Best landscape lights

The LITOM C-M190 lights are easy to install in your yard, and they turn on and off automatically.

LITOM C-M190

Source: LITOM

The LITOM C-M190 lights are easy to set up in your yard or mount on a wall. These lights come with yard sticks that you can put right in your lawn or a mounting kit you can use to hang the lights on a wall. Personally, we like the lawn option for these.

Pros

  • Automatic on and off
  • Easy yard installation

Cons

  • No motion detection

What we like

The LITOM C-M190 outdoor security lights are easy to install, and they’re solar-powered, so you don’t have to run around changing batteries.

LITOM C-M190 price and details
ModelPriceLighting anglePower typeLearn more
LITOM C-M190$59.99120ºSolarView on Amazon

Amazon.com List Prices (as of 4/24/20 16:43 PST)

These lights have auto-on and auto-off. That means they can detect sunrise and sunset. When the sun comes up, the lights turn off. When the sun goes down, the lights turn on. And all of that is automatic. You don’t have to flip switches or finagle an app.

The LITOM C-M190 outdoor lights are also on all night. They don’t just come on when someone triggers a motion sensor; they stay lit constantly.

What we don’t like

The LITOM lights work well as always-on landscape lights, but if you want motion detection, then you’re going to have to look elsewhere. These lights don’t have motion sensors. Either they’re on, or they’re off.

Hyperikon LED Security Area Light Triple Head: Best for backyards

The Hyperikon LED Security Area Triple Head will light up most of your backyard with a single device.

Hyperikon LED Security Area Light

Source: Hyperikon

If you want to put one light on the back of your house and have a pretty good view of your whole backyard, then the Hyperikon LED Security Area Light will serve you well. Specifically, the triple head model. Three heads are better than one, right?

Pros

  • Illuminates a lot of space
  • Excellent weatherproofing

Cons

  • No smart features

What we like

The Hyperikon’s triple head lighting gives you three different lighting directions at once. Just one device, and you can see all (or at least most) of your backyard.

Hyperikon LED Security Area Light price and details
ModelPrice
Operating temperature
Power typeLearn more
Hyperikon LED Security Area Light$47.95-22ºF to 120ºF (-30ºC to 49ºC)WiredView on Amazon

Amazon.com List Prices (as of 4/24/20 16:43 PST)

The Hyperikon LED also has a pretty good operating temperature range for the heat-dwellers among us. Plus, it has the highest IP weather resistance rating of any light on our list. (It’s rated IP67.) This thing is built to take on the great outdoors. As long as the great outdoors is . . . the weather outside your house.

What we don’t like

This light doesn’t have any smart features, so controlling it through an app or setting schedules isn’t an option. The Hyperikon does have light detection, so it knows to activate at night and turn off when the sun comes up. But that’s about as smart as this light gets.

Light It! Soft Glow: Best for trip hazards

The Light It! Soft Glow is here to stop you from injuring yourself wandering around your backyard after dark.

Light It! Soft Glow

Source: Light It!

If you’re tired of tripping around your deck in the dark or if you always miss that last porch step coming up your stairs, the Light It! Soft Glow can help. This light is easy to set up and gives off a gentle glow to help you find your way.

Pros

  • Easy installation
  • Affordable pricing

Cons

  • Not bright enough for other tasks

What we like

The Light It! Soft Glow uses basic AAA batteries and can be installed just about anywhere. Stick it on your porch with some double-sided adhesive, and you’re good to go.

It’s also pretty cheap, which is great if you want to put a few of them around your place.

Light It! Soft Glow price and details
ModelPriceMotion detection distancePower typeLearn more
Light It! Soft Glow$13.9912 ft.BatteryView at Amazon

Amazon.com List Prices (as of 4/24/20 16:43 PST)

Despite its simplicity, this light still comes with motion detection. The light doesn’t stay on all the time; it will just helpfully illuminate the way when you walk past it to try to get your dog to come inside at 11 p.m. (for the fourteenth time).

What we don’t like

This light says it has a soft glow, and that’s correct. It gives off only 15 lumens, which is enough to keep you from tripping but not enough to light up your yard. If you want something more robust for your back porch, a step light from Ring or Mr. Beams might be a better choice.

MAXSA LED Wall Sconce: Best subtle light

The MAXSA LED Wall Sconce is a less obvious alternative to the traditional security floodlight.

Source: MAXSA

So you don’t love the bug-antenna look of a lot of floodlights, huh? We can’t blame you. They’re not the most aesthetically pleasing things in the world.

If you want something that blends in a little better but is still super easy to set up, the MAXSA LED Wall Sconce will look more at home on your house.

Pros

  • Wall sconce style blends in
  • Easy, wire-free installation

Cons

  • Not the brightest light

What we like

The MAXSA LED Wall Sconce is battery powered, so you don’t have to thread any wires to set it up. It’s great for porches and doorways where you don’t want an ugly, buggy floodlight staring you in the face every time you walk through the door.

MAXSA LED Wall Sconce price and details
ModelPriceLight duration post-motion detectionPower typeLearn more
MAXSA LED Wall Sconce$39.9910–60 secondsBatteryView on Amazon

Amazon.com List Prices (as of 4/24/20 16:43 PST)

This light comes in three different colors, so you can match the exterior of your house (or at least try to). And it puts out 85 lumens, which is bright enough to see by but not so bright that you’ll be blinded just walking in your front door.

What we don’t like

The MAXSA LED Wall Sconce might be convenient, but it’s not the most durable outdoor security light. It has plastic housing that’s more likely to break than solid metal casings.

Luckily, the light’s not too expensive. But you can definitely find something more durable for your money if you don’t mind a less pleasant look.

Recap: Which outdoor security light is best?

Outdoor security lights are key for scaring off intruders and helping you monitor your property. You can get the latest smart models with built-in cameras or go with a simple, motion sensor light. The choice is yours.

Arlo Security Light: Most versatile—The Arlo Security Light gives you just about every feature you could want in an outdoor security light. You can change its color, customize its settings, make it work with your cameras, and integrate it with other smart devices. Just know it’s not the brightest light on offer.

Ring security lights: Best lighting system—If you want to get a bunch of different security lights to position around your yard, then Ring offers different lighting models that all work together in sequence. Control all of them in one place through the Ring app.

Sengled Smart LED Lightbulb: Best motion sensor lightbulb—The Sengled Smart LED Lightbulb works with different smart hubs and devices to let you customize your light settings and functions. Great for Samsung SmartThings or Alexa Show users.

Heath Zenith HZ-5872: Best for wide spaces—The Heath Zenith HZ-5872’s three-wide lamps can light up big, wide spaces pretty easily. It’s bright and has wide motion activation, so no one’s going to sneak past it without triggering the light.

Mr. Beams MB330: Best budget buy—The Mr. Beams MB330 gives you a simple, easy-to-install security light for less than $20. Not a bad deal.

Arlo Pro 3 Floodlight Camera: Best security light plus camera—The Arlo Pro 3 Floodlight Camera is the best of the best as far as both floodlights and cameras go. So much so that it might have more features than you need (or want to pay for).

LITOM C-M190: Best landscape lights—The LITOM C-M190 landscape lights come on at dusk and turn off at sunrise, so you have always-on lights in your yard throughout the night. Just know these solar-powered lights don’t have motion sensors.

Hyperikon LED Security Area Light: Best for backyards—The Hyperikon LED Security Light with Triple Heads is great for backyards where you want to see a lot of space without buying three separate lights.

Light It! Soft Glow: Best for trip hazards—The Light It! Soft Glow gives off a muted, motion-activated light so you can see your way in the dark. It’s not meant for scaring off intruders so much as it is helping you not trip over your backyard firepit.

MAXSA LED Wall Sconce: Best subtle light—If you want outdoor security lights that don’t scream, “I am an outdoor security light!” then the MAXSA LED Wall Sconce gives you a much more stealthy lighting option. And it’s still easy to set up without wiring anything.

What’s your favorite outdoor security light? Do you use several throughout your yard or rely on one major floodlight? Let us know in the comments!

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