The Ultimate Guide to Garden Security
Dark corners in your garden are perfect hiding spots for burglars. The use of outdoor security lights aimed strategically eliminates these dark spots and helps keep your home and your family safe. We have put together all the types of garden security lights for you to consider, how to install them, where to position them and a rough estimate on the costs.
Outdoor Garden Security Lights UK
One thing a burglar craves is the cover of darkness. In the dark a burglar can move around your garden undetected and potentially steal expensive items. However, there are ways to illuminate your garden and potentially scare off burglars, especially in the darker winter months where it is reported that an estimated 70% of us worry more about our home security. The solution: outdoor garden security lights.
The Different Types of Outdoor Garden Security Lights
There are many different types of outdoor security lights that you can install in your garden to make it more secure. Find the different types below.
Motion Sensor Lights
Motion sensor lights have a Passive Infrared Sensor (PIR). A PIR is an electronic sensor that measures infrared light emitted by objects in its range of view. If an object is detected by the PIR your security light will turn on. Having a motion sensor light means you do not have to leave your security light on day and night. The light will only come on when movement is detected. You can pretty much use any bulb for a motion sensor light, as long as it is suitable for outside use.
Solar PIR Lights
Solar PIR lights are almost exactly the same as normal motion sensor lights. However, rather than having to plug them in, the sun provides them with power. Typically, solar lights use LED light sources. The charge from the sun can last between 4-6 hours which means there is plenty of light to illuminate your outdoor space.
LED Flood Lights
There are a many advantages of using LED lights in your outdoor space. Superior brightness is one, but the main draw of an LED light is the energy saving, which leads to money saving. They may be a bit more expensive to buy at first, but in the long run they will save you money on electricity bills. They also have an average life span of 30,000 hours where as a normal bulb has the lifespan of 2,000, so they will need replacing less.
Halogen Flood Lights
Halogen is one of the most common types of lighting for a garden or outdoor space, however it can be expensive. Halogen bulbs are very bright and will light up your garden well with a very strong white light.
Security Lights: Solar Power vs Mains
When it comes to the security of your garden, you want to be sure that you are using the right kind of lights for maximum security. Solar lights are becoming more and more advanced. But are they more effective than the traditional wired security lights? Let’s have a look.
Solar lights are much easier to install than wired outdoor lights, as you can place them almost anywhere (where they are exposed to sunlight), and they are ready to go. Whereas traditional wired outdoor lights have a much more involved process when it comes to instillation as they will need to be wired into a power source. Another perk of solar lights is that if you have a power cut, your lights will remain unaffected.
As of 2021, you are going to struggle to find solar lights that match the brightness of the traditional wired lights. Although wired outdoor lighting is brighter some higher quality solar lights can provide you with some serious brightness and be just as effective. However, something to consider is that during the winter months if there is a lack of sunlight solar lights will be less effective as they will not be able to get the charge whereas wired lights will always have the same power and brightness and won’t be affected by the weather or seasons.
Solar lights are generally easier to maintain, as they are easy to access for repairs and as long as they are kept clean and are dug firmly in the ground you shouldn’t have many problems with them. Likewise, should they break or become faulty they are very straight forward to replace and can be done by yourself. Wired lights may be harder to repair and maintain, as you may need the advice and assistance of a qualified electrician to make any repairs and replace them if need be.
Although the light from the solar outdoor lights might be less bright, the beauty of these is that they are so easy to place and can go practically anywhere meaning that you can place multiple to create a larger area of light coverage. Solar lights may not be affected by a power cut so will still be on if all of the other power goes out; however, with the weather in the UK being very interchangeable and often cloudy, if your solar light does not receive enough sunlight then they may not work or may not be as bright as you need them to be. The other benefit of wired lighting is that you can often set it on a timer, to only turn on between certain times (which is especially useful when they are also motion censored) whereas solar lights will turn on automatically when light starts to get low (usually at sunset).
Which is Better: Solar Powered or Wired?
Although they are better for the environment and offer a range of different options for placing, we would suggest that for security purposes that wired security lighting is better than solar powered ones. They offer a brighter security light, can be placed in more beneficial places and overall are more reliable for day to day use throughout the different UK seasons.
Where to Position Garden Security Lights
Where you place your outdoor security lights is dependent on what their main function is. Whether you want to deter potential burglars or provide safety light when walking, it’s important to place your lights in the right positions.
Near the garage
If you tend to keep valuable items in your garage, then having a security light illuminate the door could deter burglars. It’s also helpful if you tend to work in or around the garage at night as it can provide light for you. If you install a sensor light then anytime someone walks past your garage the light will turn on, another deterrent for potential burglars.
It may be helpful to pace your garden security lights so that they illuminate a path that you use frequently. As it goes dark earlier in the winter, it would be helpful to have a motion detector light that comes when you are walking to your front or back door. Or that lights the path you use regularly if you have outdoor pets, such as rabbits.
Once you have put lights in all the main entryways to your home, you might want to think about the more unlikely entrances, which could be used by a burglar. Burglars can find their way into your house via windows, back doors, and gates. So, if you light these areas up with your security lights, you scare the potential thieves away.
Whilst it’s important to illuminate the areas of your garden that you use the most, you also need to provide light for the majority of the outside area. Burglars love darkness, so if you position your outdoor security light so that the light hits most of the garden, it should scare the burglar away. You just have to make sure that with the placements of your lights that there are no shadows cast or dark areas for a burglar to hide.
How to Place Outdoor Security Lights
We recommend placing outdoor security lighting higher and slightly above so that they cover a wider area with light and are less suspectable to tampering. This will allow for better identification of any would be intruders trying to access the property.
Be cautious of placing lights that will shine into any of your neighbours properties as the Environmental Protection Act 1990 asserts that light pollution is a statutory nuisance and should any outdoor light admit “unreasonably and substantially interfere with the use or enjoyment of a home” worst case scenario you could be issued with an notice by the council.
Consider consulting your local security expert to install your outdoor security lighting.
What is PIR Lighting?
Passive Infrared Sensors or PIR sensors are a type of motion sensor that detects infrared light. Motion sensors are frequently used to detect body movements in and around properties. When the sensor detects movement, it will send out a signal which will set of the alarm. It could set off an audio alarm, or just cause a light to switch on.
How Much Does it Cost to Install a Security Light?
The cost of installing a new security light will differ depending on what security light you have and the amount the tradesman will take to install it. To give you a rough estimate of what you can expect to pay, we’ve broken it down.
To install one outside security light (independently powered), £125-£150, 1-2 hours to install (including the cost of the light)
To install a PIR motion sensor light (powered by mains electricity), £150-£200, 2-4 hours to install (including the cost of the lights)
The Best Features for Security Lighting
A feature that we recommend for an outdoor security camera is motion detection as it is useful for security purposes as it allows for any unwanted motion in outdoor areas to be detected.
A good feature to have is the ability to set how long your light shines for when triggered. You can choose between a 1 minute, 5 minute or 10-minute period.
A back up battery
This is the ultimate ‘just in case’ precaution. If in the event of a power cut your hardwired security light won’t work, but if you have a backup battery you are protected no matter what.
Best Outdoor Security Light
|Camera||Power Source||Motion sensor||Waterproof/Weatherproo||Price||Do we recommend|
|Ring Floodlight Camera||Hardwired||Yes||Weatherproof||£299.29||Yes|
|Mr. Beams Wireless LED Spotlight||Battery Powered||Yes||Weatherproof||£22.95||Yes|
|Sunforce Solar Motion Light||Solar Powered||Yes||Weatherproof||£37.73||Yes|
|Light It! Motion Sensor Security Light||Battery Powered||Yes||Waterproof||£27.53||Yes|
The 3 Best Motion Lights for 2021
1. Auraglow 50W LED Motion Activated PIR Sensor Security Floodlight
With an impressive brightness of 3,800 lumens and at a power consumption of 50W, this is great energy efficient, bright light for the outside of your home. What we like most about this outdoor light is the impressive 50,000 hour battery life, you won’t be needing to change the batteries every week on this one, it should actually last around 5 years, give or take!
You can also adjust the PIR (passive infrared) sensor range, so you can decide how sensitive the light is to movement. This is great if you don’t want the cat tripping it every 2 minutes.
The real selling point of this flood light however is the price, at £29.99 on Amazon, the small price you’re paying for all the features is definitely worth it.
2. VOOE Motion Sensor Solar Security Light
The Vooe has a brightness that will knock your socks off with its 228 ultra-light LED which holds a brightness up to 1000 lumens. It also comes with 3 modes, one of which is a sensor mode, so you can easily flick between them, choosing if you want the sensor active. If you are worried about an outdoor camera surviving the elements the Vooe has a IP65 waterproof rating and is heat resistant, meaning you don’t have to worry about the weather breaking it.
You can buy a set of 2 from Amazon for £23.95.
3. Lepro 20W Security Lights Outdoor Motion Sensor
The lepro is one of the cheapest on our list, but that doesn’t mean it skimps on quality. It has a IP65 waterproof rating with die-cast aluminium casting and tempered glass. You can be confident in this purchase as Amazon customers have given it 4.3 stars. So, if you are looking for an outdoor light that won’t break the ban, then the Lepro might be the one for you.
Find it on Amazon for £19.99
Best LED Light for 2021: LE 30W LED Motion Sensor Flood Lights
This outdoor light is a little on the pricey side, but if you’re looking for an outdoor light that gives you the most customization options then this is the one for you. Not only can you adjust the PIR settings, but you can also set a timer for how long the light stays on for after it’s been triggered and can also set the exact radius you want the PIR to monitor with the light sensitivity feature. You can find this camera on Amazon for £99.99, so if you are willing to pay a bit extra for the customisation features.
This camera also boasts a 50,000 hour battery life and is a great low maintenance option. However, it does have a downside in that it’s only 30W so isn’t as powerful as the others on the list, you can get a different model that has a 50W light but that’s more expensive.
Best Flood Light for 2021: Ring Floodlight Camera
The Ring Floodlight Camera is the big player in the market, Ring is famous for their doorbells and the outdoor security camera comes with most of the same features. It has an inbuilt camera as well as a 270-degree motion sensor, with a 30-foot radius. It’s the most expensive outdoor security camera on our list, what you’re paying for really is the camera. The camera and app that it connect to, gives you extra security.
Find it on Amazon for £179.00
*All Prices correct of Jan 2022
Find out how you can secure you garden with our different security guides!
Outdoor Security Lighting FAQs
There are a few security lights that are popular on the market due to their value for money and the security they provide. What light you need depends on what your needs are, so we will go through the most common types of outdoor security lights.
Motion sensor lights
These lights do exactly what you think they do; they will detect motion and light up in response to movement. This is intended to scare off any intruders, with the added bonus of activating even when you are away from home or asleep.
If you are looking for an outdoor security light with a broad beam, floodlights could be for you. The high intensity lights literally ‘flood’ the area with light, so are a good option for those with large gardens or fields. The super bright illumination can be good for areas that need extra light such as garages or sheds.
These are narrow, focussed beams of light that can shine directly on to any area you point them at. They often come with multiple heads so you can point them in various different directions at once. These are good for lighting up passage ways, or doors, if you use them after dark.
There are two main things to look for when selecting a bulb for your outdoor security light; energy consumption and brightness. You want to keep your home safe, but you don’t want to spend more than you can afford. Although it is important that you don’t skimp so much that your security light is ineffective. We will go through what you can get for your money.
LED lights are famously very cost effective and this is no different for outdoor LED bulbs. They provide bright light and good coverage without costing the earth, plus they last 5X longer than traditional bulbs. While they do cost more upfront than other bulbs, actually 2-5x more than an incandescent bulb, it’s worth making the investment. If you are looking for something that will save you money long-term, so it’s worth thinking about paying more for an LED bulb upfront.
These light bulbs are very common and therefore are cheaper and they will sufficiency work and provide you with enough light to use in your outdoor security lights. However, long-term they will cost you a lot more on your energy bill. The thing is with these more traditional bulbs are that 90% of the energy it takes to power this bulb creates heat instead of light. Put into simple terms, it’s not very efficient. They also don’t last as long as LED bulbs, so you will probably end up spending more on multiple incandescent bulbs than you would buying an LED straightaway.
You might not have thought about how you are going to power your outdoor security light, but it’s something to consider. The majority of outdoor security lights are hardwired to an electrical supply and this does make instillation complicated. Whether you want your security light to be hardwired or run on battery is dependent on where you want to put it.
The main benefit of having your light hardwired is that as long as your home power is on, your light will have power. If the light is battery or solar powered, you have the possibility of the light not working if the battery runs out or if the solar cell is uncharged. If you do decide to have your outdoor security light hardwired, then its best to consult a professional who can install it for you, which can incur an extra cost.
Battery powered lights
If you don’t want to have to contend with instillation costs and effort then you might want to consider a battery powered security light. The majority of outdoor security lights will come with long-lasting batteries, so the hassle of changing them doesn’t come about that often. The battery in a security light can last up to a year, which is good, but also makes it easy for it to slip your mind.
Solar powered lights could be the best of both worlds, you don’t have to worry about changing the battery and you also don’t have to worry about tricky instillation. You might not get as brighter light as you would with hardwired or battery powered security lights, but it will provide enough light for you to see in darkness. There is a risk of interference from clouds and you will have to position the solar cell where it will not be blocked. If you have a garden that doesn’t get the sun, or there is a lot of shade then solar panels may not be for you.