Security lights, which light up an area when they detect motion, protect you in two ways. First, the light coming on alerts you to a possible intruder. Second, a light suddenly coming on in the dark is often enough to scare away an intruder. That’s true whether or not you’re nearby.

Most security lights for home or small-business use are solar-powered, so you can mount them anywhere you want. That means you can start using them immediately, whether or not electrical wiring is available.

The best security light to use, and the number of lights to get, depends on where you want to mount the light and what you want it to illuminate. Here’s a guide to the best solar-powered security lights for three common needs:


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If you want security lights for the corner of a building, a long stairway, a sloping area, or any area that has several levels, look for a light that has several adjustable light heads. That will allow you to aim the lights at different areas and adjust them so they’re illuminating exactly what you want. The same is true if you want to illuminate a wide area, such as the entire side of a large building. Make sure you get lights that adjust up and down as well as side to side.


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If you want to put your security light high on a wall or tree, or any place that’s difficult to access, make sure the light you buy will last for a long time. A motion-detection light with a long lifespan means that you’ll have security in that area for years.

If you want to provide security for a long walkway or driveway, or for entryways that aren’t close to one another, get a set of lights instead of just one. Hanging lights at various junctures means that you’ll be covered, no matter which direction an intruder may come from. Lights that have an always-on option when it’s dark can double as convenience lights for you and your family if you’ll be spending time outside at night, such as during a backyard party.