7 Best Solar Flood Lights in 2020 (Review)
Having a reliable and powerful source of light to illuminate your patio deck, back door, garage or garden is very important for aesthetic and security purposes.
The problem that generally comes with outdoor lighting is related to wiring. A great environmentally friendly, cost-effective, and smart lighting solution to this problem is to choose to install some of the best solar flood lights in 2020.
Based on their solar-powered capability, they can provide advantages that other traditional flood lights cannot give. To make a wise choice, you must evaluate multiple technical aspects that we will discuss across this article while at the same time offering you one of the best examples of the top products available. Let’s begin first with the products!
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The Best Solar Flood Lights
1. CLY 60 LED Solar Flood Lights
The CLY 60 LED solar flood lights have the perfect performance that you need for your garden or patio. This model features 60 super bright LEDs that can provide a 300-lumen rating — more than enough to light up any area at night. The great advantage of this product is that the lamp beads emit a soft glow.
These popular solar flood lights are wired to a 4W/6V solar cell with 17% efficiency along with a 4000mAh lithium-ion rechargeable and replaceable battery that has over 500 cycling charges. Moreover, the panel can completely charge the battery by simply placing it in a location that receives direct sunlight for nearly 6-8 hours.
One of the greatest features of these solar LED flood lights is related to their versatility and flexibility. From the panel perspective, it has a fully adjustable tilt angle capability. This feature is extremely useful to harness solar power at the optimum tilt angle for your location. The flood light also has an automatic function that, thanks to the integrated light sensor, will turn on at dusk and turn off at dawn.
Among other important factors, the flood light will have a large 120° beam angle and will be able to continuously work for 16 hours after a full charge.
2. LEDMO Dusk to Dawn Solar Flood Lights
The LEDMO Dusk to dawn solar powered flood lights are one of the greatest models available in the market. This product has been designed to provide a super bright performance with over 400 LED pcs capable of illuminating with 10000 lumens of light. At the same time, these bright solar flood lights can work from dusk to dawn even for two consecutive days with a single charge. A full charge provides them with 20 working hours.
This long-lasting performance is possible thanks to the 39000mAh rechargeable battery that is integrated into the design of the product and that gets charged thanks to a 32W polycrystalline solar panel (with up to 18% conversion efficiency) that generates electricity by simply using solar energy. The most incredible factor is that due to the size of the panel; the required charging time would only be between 5 and 8 hours.
Moreover, this solar floodlight features an interesting characteristic that is related to a remote control possibility to activate and deactivate the light from up to a 25 ft. distance. Among other factors, the LEDMO light also has a built-in photovoltaic sensor with an auto-on/off functionality that allows it to work independently and efficiently, turning itself on at night and off during the day.
3. RuggedGrade 1000 Lumen Solar Motion LED Flood Lights
The RuggedGrade 1000 lumens solar powered flood lights are the perfect selection for the homeowner or small commercial business that is looking for a light source in the backyard or garden to increase security.
One of the interesting features of this flood light is that it has an integrated motion and light sensor that has 4 light modes. The available button allows us to adjust the desired light mode properly (simply hold for 3 seconds to activate changes). Keep in mind that the modes will be gradually progressing in intensity as follows:
- Mode 1: 10 % lighting intensity under normal conditions and full illumination when motion is detected.
- Mode 2: Always 500 lumens intensity.
- Mode 3: Always 1000 lumens intensity.
- Mode 4: Off
This light fixture has a daylight sensor that allows it to turn on the LEDs at night (no matter which mode is set) making it an independent system from the user. This device holds a large battery capacity that reaches 8000mAh along with a 10-watt LED power. Both the LED and the battery are powered by a separate solar panel that has 5 Watts of power output, enough to keep the battery charged overnight.
4. Solar Light Mart Guardian 580X
The Guardian 580X is an interesting proposal from Solar Light Mart that can suit both the homeowner or the commercial business owner.
These models integrate 84 pieces of LEDs that together produce up to 730 lumens of light and yet only consume 6 watts under a full power mode. Among other facts, the Guardian 580X integrates a passive-infrared (PIR) motion sensor that allows it to provide security against intruders.
These commercial solar flood lights have two light intensities. There is the dim mode that works at 55 lumens (able to work from dusk to dawn between 7-12 hours) and the full brightness mode (which provides up to 730 lumens but only lasts 1 minute).
The PIR motion sensor has a separated connection, independent from the location of the flood light. This allows adjusting the coverage angle at will to extend the detection distance (up to 12 meters distance with a 180-degree range of motion). The PIR motion sensor is easy to install since it can be wall-mounted. Keep in mind that when motion is detected, the product will light up at full power (730 lumens).
Also, the product has 3 lighting options: Green (normal floodlight, PIR sensor deactivated), Blue (dim mode active, if motion detected triggers full brightness), and Red (light off unless motion is detected).
Finally, the Guardian 580X features a 2500mAh lithium battery with strong thermal stability and tolerance to high current ratings. The battery life extends to 1000 cycles of use.
5. MJIYA 46 LED Motion Sensor lights
The MJIYA Motion detection lights are another valuable option that can be considered when looking for high quality products.
This model uses two main modes of operation: the sensor mode and the timing mode. Under the first mode, the light is active under a dim mode until motion is detected (increasing intensity up to 800 lumens). Then, after motion stops the light stays on at full bright for nearly 20 seconds before getting back to dim mode. On the other hand, under the timing mode, the light fixture stays active during 2 hours providing super bright light. After that time, the light gets back to sensor mode.
Moreover, these flood lights can be activated remotely, which allows you to switch modes from up to a 33ft (10m) distance while at the same time adjusting the brightness level. The product also features an extension cable of 5 meters that can be used to connect the PV panel to the solar LED flood light. There is no need for AC or DC power to get the light working.
Among other important facts, the product has a wide angle of illumination (120 degrees) which is good enough to light up an area in your yard, deck, or garden. You can also use MJIYA products as solar shed lights.
6. HULPPRE Dusk to Dawn Solar Flood Light
The HULPPRE Dusk to dawn LED solar flood light is a remarkable solution to light up your yard, porch, patio or garage. The product has been designed to fit a remote control that allows the user to adjust the level of brightness desired from a distance that can be as far as 65ft.
Another important feature is that the solar powered flood light also has a functionality that allows it to automatically turn on or off depending on the presence of daylight or not. Moreover, something that other models available in the market do not have is that the remote control allows configuring an automatic time setting to establish the number of hours that the light fixture will be active. Thanks to this feature and its high quality, this product has earned multiple positive solar flood light reviews.
Besides, the solar floodlight will be able to provide up to 1000 lumens of light with nearly 70 pieces of LEDs and can be perfectly used for both outdoor & indoor conditions thanks to its 16 ft. extendable cord that connects the PV panel and the LEDs.
7. Richarm LED Waterproof Lights with Remote Controller
Finally, reaching the end of our list is the Richarm IP65 waterproof rating LED flood light.
This model also offers excellent performance, integrating remote controllability and multiple operation modes. The LED flood light has an 800-lumen intensity provided by two sets of 42 LED pieces that are powered by a 2200mAh rechargeable lithium-ion battery which can generate between 6-8 hours of continuous illumination. This whole set is powered by a 6W polycrystalline solar panel with an efficiency of 17%.
Despite this capacity, the flood light has an adjustable time setting that can be done remotely thanks to the included remote control that will allow you to establish 3, 5, or 8 hours of light automatically. The remote control also allows adjusting the brightness to the desired intensity.
According to the manufacturer, this product is powerful enough to light up an area of 430 square feet while at the same time having a 120-degree beam wide angle to cover more area.
The product kit is also equipped with a 16.4ft. installation cable that will allow you to separate the area that you want to light up from the area where you want to place the solar panel.
3 Features to Look for When Buying Solar Powered Flood Lights
The first fact that must be verified whenever looking at an illumination source is the lumens output (intensity or brightness). Unlike traditional incandescent light bulbs, solar LED lights cannot be categorized by their wattage because this technology produces a brighter source of light while consuming less power. Therefore, here the reference is always related to lumens output.
In solar flood lights, you will generally notice lumen output values that can go as low as 50 lumens to as high as 10,000 lumens. As you can see, there is a wide range difference between them, so you need to properly choose the one you need.
For your reference, installing solar flood lights between 700-1000 lumens is good enough to work as outdoor yard lights.
Lighting Modes and Working Times
After evaluating brightness, the next feature to look for is the available lighting modes. Most solar flood lights will have two or more available lighting options to efficiently use the available power. Some of them even working similar (but not equal) to solar powered motion detection security lights.
Common modes include a dim mode which generally contains low lumen values (generally below 200 lumens) and a full brightness mode (generally between 700-1000 lumens). Other modes allow you to adjust the intensity of light or to configure the lights to detect motion. Each light will have its own particular modes.
Combined with this feature, you must also evaluate the working times of the solar flood lights under each mode of operation. Sometimes this will not be possible, but at least having a reference for the amount of time that the light can stay on at full power is a very important tool to compare among products. Of course, this will be related to the capacity of the battery. Products with higher storage capacities should be able to provide higher working times.
Finally, there are always additional factors that may influence your decision between one product and the other one. For instance, for flood lighting, some products have a remote controllability feature that allows you to adjust brightness levels, working modes, time settings and to turn the lights on or off while standing from a safe distance. In this case, checking the number of feet that the remote control can stand away from the light would be something to look at.
Also, factors such as warranty, waterproof rating, PIR sensor parameters, the material of the structure, and solar cells’ specs, can all play an important role in this matter.
How do Solar LED Flood Lights Work?
The way solar LED flood lights work is very similar to the way any solar powered lamp post would work.
An included solar panel harnesses the power of the Sun and converts it into electricity. This energy conversion is later stored inside a lithium-ion (most cases) battery that is designed with a specific storage capacity.
As long as this battery holds energy inside, it can power LED bulbs that are connected to the flood light to provide a rated number of lumens.
As the morning approaches, most of these lights have an automatic function that allows them to detect the presence of sunlight and turn the lights off during the day. During the evening, the lights automatically turn themselves on using the stored energy inside the battery.
What are the Key Differences Between Regular Lights and Dusk to Dawn Lights?
The key differences between a regular and a dusk to dawn light lie in their automatic setup to detect sunlight while at the same time be able to last, as their name suggests, from dusk to dawn.
Dusk to dawn lights have been designed to harness enough power from the sun to be able to recharge the integrated battery within 6-8 hours (daylight hours). They can last from nearly 6 pm to 6 am — nearly 12 hours of performance.
Where Should you Install the Flood Lights Around Your Home?
There are many spots in your house where you can install solar flood lights, some of the most common being your garage, backyard, driveway, garden, swimming pool, or even your patio. There are also multiple commercial applications for businesses, parking lots, parks, basketball or football courts, and more. Some people like to use them to light up American flags from below or sides, although you can have a solar powered flagpole light available for this purpose.
No matter where you install them, you must always be careful of a few things: the solar panel’s orientation and location, the surface that you want to light up, and the range for the PIR sensor in case that motion detection is included.
Keep in mind that the PV panel should always be facing south, this will allow extracting the highest amount of power from the module. If the panel is separated from the flood light, then adjust the tilt angle properly according to β.
ϕ represents the latitude of the installation. On the other hand, related to the PIR sensor, keep in mind that you need to cover the widest possible angle area to detect movement. Also, remember that despite how the PIR sensor detects movement in a straight direction to the light, its performance is much better if the movement is horizontal to the sensor.
How Long Will the Solar Flood Light Stay on for After Detection?
Some solar powered flood lights have motion detection incorporated. These models generally operate under a dim mode until movement is detected, then they turn to full power capacity. However, they will not stay at full brightness forever, instead, they will last a few seconds at that rate and then get back to dim mode. Most lights will last at least for 20 seconds at full power before getting back to saving mode.
How Many Lumens Do My Flood Lights Require?
As we discussed in the key features section, good solar flood lights should have between 700-1000 lumens. However, there are other factors that you must consider when sizing how many lumens you need. The most important one is related to the lux values (lumens/m2), which in the case of backyards and public opened-space areas, should be located between 20-50 lux (according to the National Optical Astronomy Observatory). Keep in mind that 1 lux (nearly 3 times the brightness of the moon) is sufficient enough to see clearly.
The lux provides a measurable unit for reference of how many lumens are reaching the surface. In this matter, other factors such as the beam angle (generally provided by the manufacturer) and the height at which the light will be installed will provide a good reference for the illumination of any area.
Figure1. Impact of beam angle and height on light intensity. Source: Blanco County Night Sky
To check how many lux your backyard can get with a specific lumen output, beam angle, and installation height, you can check this lux calculator.