Solar Powered Sensor Lights: The Ultimate Buying Guide

Solar Powered sensor lights are light sources that you can install outside to provide visibility at night.

When we add a motion sensor feature to them, they become energy efficient and more alarming. This is because they only light up when they detect motion near them.

In this guide, you will find vital information that will help you choose highly efficient solar powered sensor lights.

Let’s dive right in.

Best Materials For Solar Powered Sensor Lights

Solar powered sensor light

solar powered sensor lights

The best materials for constructing solar-powered sensor lights are ABS and PP materials.

This is because they are high quality and can withstand harsh weather like rain, snow, or intense heat.

Additionally, these materials have IP65 rating certification.

Components Of Solar Powered Sensor Lights

Parts of solar powered motion sensor lights

Parts of motion sensor solar powered lights

Solar-powered sensor lights have four primary components; the light fixture, control electronics, battery, and solar panel.

The solar panel is a photovoltaic panel and performs the crucial purpose of collecting energy from the sun.

This energy is stored in the rechargeable battery.

In addition to storing energy, the battery also provides immediate access capacity for lighting the LED fixtures.

They can store enough energy to suffice on days when there is low solar energy emission.

The light fixture contains LEDs that provide the lights.

These are high lumen and provide efficiency while keeping energy consumption at an all-time low.

The control electronics provide a mechanism for monitoring the charging process and energy transfer from the batteries to the fixture.

How Solar Powered Sensor Lights Work

Solar-powered sensor light is generally equipped with a solar panel on top of traditional light. Through internal wiring, this solar panel is attached to a battery connected to the LED bulbs.

When solar energy falls on the solar panel, the cells quickly convert it into electricity and store it in the battery.

The motion sensor in front of the light detects infrared waves that radiate from objects. Therefore, it will automatically turn on the light when it senses moving objects (moving heat waves).

Each motion sensor also comes with a timer. Therefore, the light will automatically switch off after a fixed time of no motion detection.

How To Choose Colour Temperature For Solar Powered Solar Lights

You should acknowledge that light quality is just as important as light quantity when it comes to color temperature.

The standard scale for measuring color temperature is K, i.e., Kelvin. These scales are usually indicated on the solar-powered sensor lights packaging.

Cool color temperatures are those that are above 3500K. As the value goes up, the hue becomes bluer.

Those below 3000K are warm and will become more Amber as the value decreases.

If you use your solar-powered sensor lights in an outdoor landscape, consider the Amber temperature between 3000K-2700K.

Color temperature scale

Color temperature scale

How Wattage And Voltage Of Solar Powered Sensor Lights Compare

Depending on the device, the power consumption ranges from 0.5W to 8W for the most powerful ones.

To give you an idea of how little this is, a low consumption bulb that is equivalent to the old 100W bulb consumes 30W.

Solar powered sensor light

solar powered sensor light

Features To Look For In Solar Powered Sensor Lights

Most solar-powered sensor lights have similar features and utilities. However, there is a reason why our products stand out.

That is because they might not have fancy features, but they serve their purpose well.

Consider the following aspects in the solar-powered lights you have shortlisted to make the right purchase.

Weather Resistance

What use is an outdoor light if it cannot withstand challenging weather conditions?

Make sure that the light you choose to buy has at least an IP65 waterproof rating.

The light should also be made of heat-resistant, corrosion-resistance, and heat-dissipating materials.

Selecting a light that can withstand high wind and slight impact is the best way to go.

Motion Sensor Range

Most motion sensors can detect motion at a 120° angle from a distance of about 20 feet. It is the minimum that you should opt for. The better the sensor will be, the more the light will be adequate, and the further it will sense motion.

Solar Panel

The light you are considering should have an effective and powerful solar panel.

Only the best light comes with monocrystalline silicon solar cells that are better at absorbing solar energy.

If the light has an excellent solar panel, it will get charged quicker and less sunlight.


Good solar-powered sensor lights come with a 2000 mAh battery.

Make sure that the product you’re planning to buy has good battery capacity.

That is because if a light has a small battery, it might not even last you 4-6 hours a night, which is not enough.


A light’s brightness is determined in lumens by the number and quality of LED bulbs it packs.

The minimum brightness a security light should have is 700 lumens. This much light is faint but enough for slight visibility near the light.

However, considering your coverage area and utility, you can buy a light with a brightness of up to 2000 lumens or more.


You should only buy a product that will stay with you for at least a year.

After all, there is no point in buying a light that you will have to replace in no time.

You can determine a product’s durability through its material quality and the warranty offered by the manufacturer.

Aesthetical Appeal

Sure, these lights are built like most of its competitors.

However, the slight change in angle on the sides makes a huge difference.

They make the light look more aesthetically pleasing and serve utility functions by increasing the light scattering distance.

Beam Illumination

That is the light that will not have mercy on even the slightest motion – an ideal for some sensitive locations.

As soon as it detects motion, it will shed 1400 lumens for a 45- to 60-meter distance at ease.

Adjusting Sensitivity Area Of Solar Powered Sensor Lights

Each solar-powered Sensor light comes with a PIR motion sensor. The PIR sensor has a trim pot on the back for adjusting sensitivity.

If your PIR is too sensitive or not sensitive enough, you can change this – clockwise makes it more sensitive.

Reasons To Get Solar Powered Sensor Lights

Solar powered lights

Solar powered lighst

Automatic Lights

One of the main advantages of solar-powered sensor lights is that they change automatically depending on sunlight.

And also, the stored sunlight gets converted to solar power, which in turn converts it into electric power for later use.

Intelligent Control

Security is a primary concern when it comes to outdoor lighting.

Solar-powered sensor lights have intelligent control and contain a solar light-operated power switch.

This light-operated power switch is enabled automatically when it detects motion.

This feature secures your vicinity as it is triggers action in less than 8 meters.

It operates in 3 different modes:

  • Active motion sensor, lights turn on upon motion detection; else remain off
  • Active motion sensor, lights remain dim and brighten upon motion detection
  • Passive motion sensor, lights remain dim throughout.

Minimal Operational Cost

The solar-powered sensor light is simple to install because screws are all you need to set it up. There is no need for any electrical installation.

The lights are wireless. You don’t need to spend money on wiring, labor charges for installation, etc.  There is no need for an external power supply.

Traditional electric lights usually need more than $100 as installation costs against the standard $ 10 for solar-powered sensor lights.

Super Long Lifespan

There is a semiconductor chip in the solar-powered sensor light, which enables the brightness. This gives it a lifespan of about 50,000 hours against the average 1000 hours for incandescent lights.


Solar-powered sensor lights play a significant role in reducing the harmful global carbon footprint.

These lights are created and designed for renewable energy sources.

Ordinary lamps have xenon and mercury, which cause pollution.

Such harmful components are not in the solar-powered sensor lights meaning they do not contaminate the environment.

Safe for Human Health

Unlike traditional lights, the solar-powered sensor light beams don’t have ultraviolet and infrared rays.

Hence, it does not damage our health. Even touching the beam of light from the solar lamp is not harmful.

Wireless And Safe

Solar-powered sensor lights do not have any wire connection.

This is an important safety factor for children, pets, visitors, or any movement in the vicinity of the light.

Whereas traditional lights are unsafe with winding wires, wireless solar wall lights are safe.

Another advantage of solar lights is they don’t pose any threat of overheating. You can install or place these lights anywhere with no worries.

Types Of Motion Sensors In Solar Powered Sensor Lights

Solar light with motion sensor

Solar light with motion sensor

PIR- Pyroelectric, Or Passive Infrared

Solar security systems utilize various motion sensing technologies, but PIR sensors are the most common.

A PIR motion sensor (PIR stands for “pyroelectric, or passive, infrared”) is a device that detects movement and heat.

These devices, also known as solar PIR units or IR sensors, create a grid triggered by changes to infrared energy levels.

Though most often used for security and safety purposes, PIR motion sensors are standard in automated lighting systems.

They are known to save energy by limiting electricity in unoccupied areas. They are also found in automatic doors, plumbing, and ticketing machines.

Note: Other types of sensors include:-


These motion sensors work by the principle of microwave pulses thrusting.

This way, they can cover a much wider range than the PIR sensors.

On the downside, these sensors are susceptible to problems such as electrical interference.

Dual Technology

These sensors are advanced as they get the best of two worlds.

They are a combination of both microwave sensors and pyroelectric infrared sensors.

Life Expectancy Or Lifespan Of Solar Powered Sensor Lights

Generally, the solar-powered sensor light batteries can last up to 3 to 4 years before needing replacement.

The LED light fixtures can last up to more than ten years.

There are a few things you could do to increase the lifespan of your solar-powered sensor lights.

  • Don’t mount them in close proximity to other sources of artificial light. Doing so will diminish their sensitivity and, in the long run, make them inefficient.
  • Clean the solar-powered sensor lights regularly.
  • You might want to store them during strong wind or snowy seasons.

When you notice that your solar light can not maintain charge, you should replace components like batteries or panels.

Weather Resistance Levels Of Solar Powered Sensor Lights

The solar-powered sensor lights are constructed from IP65 rated materials.

Do not worry about the longevity of your outdoor light when it is made of materials meant to last.

Made of ABS plastic, this light is entirely corrosion-free, scratch and impact resistant.

With an IP65 rating, this light will withstand water, rain, sleet, and snow without issues.

Advantages Of Solar Powered Sensor Lights

Some of the main advantages include:

The Motion Sensor Feature Provides Extra Security By Deterring Invaders.

If you live in a poorly lit environment, invaders will be confident as they break-in.

The sudden spotlight provided by the solar-powered sensor lights will catch them off guard.

They will impulsively leave as a result, and your property will remain safe.

They Are Resilient And Weather Resistant.

The solar-powered sensor lights have crucial characteristics such as high-quality construction and solid frame.

They have IP65 ratings with strong resin finishes that will maintain their aesthetic as they will not rust.

They work throughout the year regardless of weather and seasons. They won’t let you down.

They Are Easy To Maintain And Even Easier To Install

How easy is it to install a solar-powered sensor light? Well, it’s easy peasy.

Just find a location that receives a lot of sunshine and secure it there.

Traditional lights will have you going through the trouble of trenching to hide cables. Plus, you would need someone to install them.

Additionally, you can get creative with how you install solar-powered sensor lights.

With these, you will no longer be limited by the constraints of wiring.

You can install them in places that would otherwise be unsafe and unideal for electrical fixtures.

They require minimal maintenance. Wipe snow, pollen, and dust off the panel when you begin to notice an accumulation.

They Emit Very Bright Light.

The operating time and brightness of the LEDs are crucial factors to consider when buying a solar-powered sensor light.

A range of 700-300 Lumens, which most solar-powered sensor lights can, will provide enough visibility at night.

Solar-powered sensor lights can last up to 10 hours when fully charged.

They Are Budget-Friendly

The initial cost of buying a solar-powered sensor light might not be too low.

However, considering how expensive electricity is, these products end up saving you a lot of money in the long run.

Moreover, it is not like you do not have a budget yet for a durable option in the market!

Energy Efficient

Motion lights primarily only light up when there’s a need to illuminate its surroundings. Therefore, they are very energy efficient yet completely effective.


A solar-powered sensor light will deter thieves and animals effectively from your property. A dark place is much simpler to rob than a lit place.

Therefore, if anyone tried to enter your house and is welcomed by a bright light, they will likely move away.

Similarly, most animals run away from sudden light sources.

They Are Convenient For Night-time Parking.

When the light gets triggered only by your approaching car, things become very convenient. Night-time parking is made much simpler and safer by motion security lights.

Moreover, these lights can also help you know if someone is trespassing on your property even without going outdoors.

Mounting Solar Powered Sensor Lights

Solar poewered light with motion detector

Solar powered light with motion detector

Step 1. Turn The Switch On

After turning the switch to the “ON,” solar-powered sensor lights only illuminate when the ambient light level is below 20Lux, and movement is detected.

Step 2. Choose A Location Exposed To Direct Sunlight

Recommended height: 6 – 8ft (1.8 – 2.5m).

The number of uses depends on the amount of electricity stored during the daytime, which is affected by the intensity and duration of sunlight.

The battery has been exhausted if the light fails to light up after days of continuous rainy or cloudy weather.

The light will function normally again at night after a sunny day.

Step 3. Fix The Light

Make a punch mark on the surface to be installed. Punch a hole with the impact drill, put in the concrete anchors, and fix the lamp with screws.

Tips: Temperature affects the sensitivity of the PIR sensor, causing the detection range to vary. The higher the temperature is, the shorter the detection range will be.

With a separate solar panel and light panel, you can place this light anywhere as long as the solar panel is connected and in bright sunlight.

No more do you have to restrict your light’s position according to the solar panel attachment position.

Comparison Between Solar Powered Sensor Lights And Regular Sensor Lights

The first and most apparent is that solar-powered sensor lights do not require standard electrical power to provide lighting.

They can operate off-grid and without connection to any electrical grid apparatus.

Regular sensor lights, on the other hand, get the power from the standard electrical grid.

The grid draws energy from fossil fuels, i.e., non-renewable resources.

Regular sensor light

regular sensor light

Lifetime Costs

If we consider only the purchase price, the initial investment into solar-powered sensor lights is usually higher.

Installation Costs

Regular sensor lights require trenching, digging, and cabling to install.

This can be costly in remote locations, considering the fact that trenching and a foot of cabling can cost as much as 50 USD.

If the transformer is far away, you might need more than 15 feet of cabling.

In contrast, solar-powered sensor lights are pretty cheap to install. You may not need to incur more than 50 USD for the entire process.

Maintenance Costs

Maintenance costs vary in two different aspects. For regular sensor lights, replacing bulbs can be very costly.

The same applies to solar-powered sensor lights, but only when it comes to batteries.

You only need to replace the batteries once every five years.

Maintenance Of Solar Powered Sensor Lights

Most solar-powered sensor lights are incredibly low-maintenance.

However, you can always increase your purchase’s longevity with proper use and care.

Here are a few things you can do to maintain your solar-powered motion sensor lights.

  • Wipe the solar panel with a damp cloth every week.
  • Wipe the motion sensor with a damp cloth twice a week.
  • Use a soft-bristled brush to remove any debris from the panel in front of the LED bulbs.
  • Do not clean fixtures while they are hot.
  • Regularly check if the panel and sensor are working correctly by deliberately walking in front of the light night or simulated darkness.

Other Maintenance Practices Include;

  • Check for conduit or chewed wires or any other problems.
  • Inspect the light fixtures for issues from wildlife, vandalism, or weather.
  • Repair or replace parts if you need to.
  • Replace the batteries after 5-7 years of operation.

Limitations Of Solar Powered Sensor Lights

  1. Unfortunately, the brightness of solar-powered sensor lights isn’t as excellent as that of electric lights.
    Although solar lights are powered for free, dim lighting may be unsatisfactory to some.
  2. Where the atmosphere is polluted, it affects the efficiency of solar lighting systems, as brightness is further reduced.
  3. Bad weather or heavy cloud cover also inhibits the system from operating at its best.
    Too much rain or high humidity levels limit the batteries from storing up as much of the sun’s radiation as they otherwise would in fine weather.

How To Make Solar Powered Sensor Lights Brighter Or Dimmer

Solar-powered sensor lights come with three light modes; Fully lit, dim, and changing to fully lit when motion is detected.

You can choose to either have the light work when there’s motion or have it stay lit at all times. You can even choose a mix of both and get the light to stay lit but get brighter when it senses motion.

Lighting Modes Available For Solar Powered Sensor Lights

These lights usually have three modes of operation: fully lit mode, a dim mode changing to the bright mode when a motion is detected.

The last mode is an off mode changing to the bright mode when a motion is detected.

A typical setting for a motion sensor light is to leave it on a dim mode and change to the bright mode when someone passes by or approaches the light.

You do not have to feel restricted to only one light style.

That is because this light has a three-in-one mode wherein you can either opt for motion sensor lighting, permanent lighting, or hybrid smart lighting.

In the first mode, the light will only come to life when it senses motion, while in the second, it will stay lit all night, regardless of motion.

The third mode is the smartest, wherein the light will remain on all night but will glow brighter when it detects movement.

How To Test Quality Of Solar Powered Sensor Lights

The solar-powered sensor lights work by the principle of detecting motion in the dark and switching between light modes.

This means that they do not work during the day.

Hence, you need to simulate darkness to test whether or not they are working and, consequently, their operational quality.

Cover the PIR sensor with something like a tiny and heavy blanket to simulate darkness.

If the solar-powered sensor light does not light, then its quality may be diminished. If it does, then it works and will continue to provide efficient lighting.

Quality Standards And Certifications Solar Powered Sensor Lights Should Have

The solar-powered sensor lights conform to the following quality standards and certifications:-

  • Angle 120 degrees
  • Charging by sunlight:7 hours
  • Full power for more than 10hours
  • Half power more than 20hours
  • Work temp range (*C): 30-70
  • Color temp range(k) :3000-6000
  • Height range (m):4-5m
  • Space range (m) :8-10m
  • Certificate: CE / ROHS/ IP65

Benefits Of Solar Motion Sensor Lights With Camera

Solar powered sensor light with camera

Solar powered sensor light with camera

Yes, solar motion sensor lights without cameras are superb, but the addition of cameras is icing to the cake for the following reasons;

  1. You can record and know who came by and when they did.
  2. You can track invaders or animals that get into your property.
  3. The video camera turns on when the sensors detect motion regardless of the time of day, i.e., day or night.
  4. The video camera has a 110° coverage range and can record up to 15 feet radius at night.
  5. You can download the recorded videos.

In addition to this information, I know you may be interested in:

At GoldMore, we support both OEM and small businesses.

For any inquiry and questions on solar powered senor lights, you can contact us now.

Scroll to Top