Outdoor floodlights provide increased visibility and security around the perimeter of your home at nighttime. "Floodlights offer better security protection for your home's exterior than traditional bulb lighting by providing intense brightness over a wide-angle field of view," says Deane Biermeier, a Certified Lead Carpenter and member of The Spruce Home Improvement Review Board.
To find the best options available, we researched and evaluated dozens of products based on brightness, motion detection, and weatherproofing. Our best overall pick is the LEONLITE LED Motion Sensor Flood Light, which features a wide coverage area, is waterproof, and uses long-lasting LED bulbs.
Here are the best outdoor floodlights.
Best Overall: LEONLITE LED Outdoor Motion Sensor Flood Light
Two types of lighting colors available
Adjustability and easy controls
Motion detector can be inaccurate
Flimsy foam gasket
Directions can be difficult to read
Who else recommends it? Bob Vila also picked the LEONLITE LED Motion Sensor Flood Light.
What do buyers say? 82% of 2,700+ Amazon reviewers rated this product 4 stars or above.
The LEONLITE LED Motion Sensor Floodlight has dual heads that can be angled and rotated to ensure the light extends to the areas you want it to reach. It's our top pick since its flexible settings and sensitive motion sensors give you impressive control over your outdoor lighting.
Along with setting the position of the dual motion sensor lights, you can also program what triggers them to turn on and how long they stay on. For instance, you can set the lights to turn on only when the sensors detect motion and turn off anywhere between five seconds or five minutes after. You can also set the lights to turn on at night and off once daylight hits. The motion sensor offers 180-degree coverage and can detect movement as far as 69 feet away. If you find the motion sensor hypersensitive or inaccurate, you can adjust the range and sensitivity settings.
Our tester appreciated the customization power, which also gives control over energy use, and the 180-degree adjustability of the light angle, which she angled toward a step at the side of her house. "It worked beautifully and turned on before we reached the step, which reduced our falling risk." However, our tester noted that the foam gasket doesn't feel as sturdy as other parts. Overall, the LEONLITE is durable, thanks to its water-resistant design and long-lasting LEDs rated to last 50,000 hours. This model also comes backed by a five-year warranty.
Price at time of publish: $47
Best Budget: Lithonia Lighting 2-Lamp Outdoor White Flood Light
Easily adjust light angle or position
Simple design and installation
Available with or without a dusk-to-dawn sensor
Dusk-to-dawn sensor can be inaccurate
Dusk-to-dawn sensor isn't adjustable
If you're looking for an affordable floodlight solution, consider the 2-Lamp Flood Light from Lithonia Lighting. With focused illumination from two bulbs, it's ideal for patios, walkways, and porches. You can adjust the heads up and down or side to side to light up different areas.
This fixture is easy to mount to a junction box, eave, or exterior wall. Once it's hardwired and connected to a light switch, you can turn it on and off as needed. Also, the aluminum canopy and socket holders resist rust and weather damage. The light is available with a dusk-to-dawn sensor, but sometimes the sensor can be inaccurate and turn on or off too early or late.
Price at time of publish: $16
Best with Motion Sensor: Enbrighten Hardwired LED Motion-Activated Flood Light with Timer
Bulb-less, LED-reliant design
Can moonlight as accent lighting
Light adjustments in accent mode only
Motion sensor can be too sensitive
The Enbrighten Motion-Activated Flood Light doubles as a security light and a nighttime accent for your home. It delivers super-bright illumination when it's set to security mode and detects motion. You can choose your detection range and how long you want it to stay on after sensing movement. You can also select different light temperatures in accent mode to complement your outdoor decor or provide ambiance for a special occasion. However, the light temperature isn't adjustable in security mode, and sometimes the motion sensor can be overly sensitive.
This weather-resistant outdoor light fixture comes in white or bronze with the option of two or three heads. Thanks to its built-in LEDs, you'll never have to worry about replacing a bulb. You can set it to always remain on, turn on only when it detects motion, or illuminate from dusk till dawn. It's easy to mount to any wall or eave and comes with all the hardware you need.
Price at time of publish: $109
Best with Camera: Ring HD Motion-Activated Floodlight Camera
Great picture quality and night vision
Phone alerts and siren feature
Listen and speak through the device
Subscription required for surveillance footage
Expensive compared to other floodlights
Not compatible with other smart assistants
To take your home security up a notch, you might consider a fixture with a built-in camera, like the Ring Floodlight Cam Wired Plus. It syncs with your Alexa-connected smart home, letting you know when it detects motion. You can see, hear, and talk to people outside your home through your smartphone or tablet.
The 1080-pixel high-definition (HD) camera has infrared night vision and a live-view option. If you get the Ring Protect Plan, you can also record videos and watch footage from as far back as 60 days. However, this plan does require you to pay a subscription fee, adding to the expense of this already pricier floodlight. As for the light, the ultra-bright bulbs provide powerful illumination, and the siren feature offers added security.
Price at time of publish: $200
Best LED: Amico 3500LM LED Security Light
Three adjustable heads
Switch controls only
Lack of sensors
The Amico 3500LM has three adjustable, extra-bright LED light heads set in a die-cast aluminum base. They project up to 3500 lumens, last for 50,000 hours, and use very little energy, which saves you money on your electric bill.
You can mount the fixture onto a junction box or install it on any other exterior wall within a few minutes. The lights can be turned off and on when wired to a switch and adjusted to various angles. However, switch controls are the only option, and this product doesn’t incorporate a motion or dusk-to-dawn sensor. On the plus side, this floodlight is also waterproof and guaranteed by the manufacturer for five years.
Price at time of publish: $36
Best Design: NICOR Lighting 150W Double Cylinder Bullet Flood Light
Available in a variety of finishes
Compact, sleek, and adjustable heads
Aluminum cylinders feel thin
Light bulbs must be purchased separately
Many floodlights offer little style, but the NICOR Lighting Double Cylinder Bullet Flood Light packs all the functionality of a high-performing floodlight into a clean-cut and minimalist design. If you have a carefully curated patio, porch, or yard aesthetic, you won’t have to worry about this floodlight disrupting the flow of your decor. It’s available in multiple versatile finishes, including black, bronze, and white.
Since the aluminum cylinders are compact, the bulbs you choose will be deep-set, helping the floodlight maintain a low profile wherever you install it. The cylindrical heads are adjustable, so you can direct the light according to personal preference. You can also adjust the brightness thanks to the floodlight’s dimmable feature. Unfortunately, you’ll have to purchase the lightbulbs separately, and you will notice that the encasing feels a tad thinner and more lightweight compared to other options.
Price at time of publish: $49
Best Bulb: Sylvania 250W Night Chaser LED Flood
Light can be too bright
The best outdoor flood light bulb is the Sylvania Night Chaser. This 25-watt LED bulb provides an astonishingly bright 2650 lumens of light. In addition to impressive brightness, it uses up to 90 percent less energy than incandescent bulbs and lasts for over 20 years. This bulb will light the way if you want to illuminate your deck, patio, or yard for security purposes or evening entertaining.
Some users note that the light can sometimes be too bright and overflow into their neighbor's yard. However, these lights are dimmable, so if you attach them to a fixture with a dimmable feature, you can adjust the brightness.
Price at time of publish: $15
Best Solar: Otdair Dusk to Dawn 3 Head Solar Security Lights Outdoor
Battery lasts up to 30 hours
No dimming settings
Can't adjust the motion-sensing time
If you prefer a solar-powered option for illuminating pathways, patios, or yards, the Otdair Solar Security Lights could be just the option you're looking for. While it lacks the kind of lighting adjustability other models provide, such as dimmers and motion-sensing timer settings, this two-pack of three-headed solar lights offers the convenience of a rechargeable battery, which can last for up to 30 hours.
Each lamp on this model features 360-degree adjustability, and the built-in motion sensor picks up on movement up to 33 feet away and within a 120-degree range. Once these solar-power floodlights detect motion, they will stay on for 30 seconds. To conserve energy, this model also functions as a dusk-to-dawn lighting solution, meaning that it will automatically turn off during the daytime while it replenishes the battery via the solar panel.
Price at time of publish: $40
Our top choice for outdoor flood lights is the LEONLITE LED Motion Sensor Flood Light. This fixture shines above the rest thanks to its bright LED bulbs, highly sensitive security mode, and dusk-to-dawn features. However, if you're looking for a more affordable option, the Lithonia Lighting 2-Lamp Outdoor White Flood Light is a great pick. It's weather-resistant and adjustable, and you can hardwire it to a light switch.
What to Look For in Outdoor Floodlights
Before purchasing an outdoor floodlight, consider how you want it to activate. Some floodlights turn on with a manual switch, while others have motion sensors that shine automatically when someone walks by. Additionally, some outdoor floodlights have a "Dusk to Dawn" feature that turns on when it gets dark and turns off again in the morning.
Next, think about how bright you want your outdoor floodlight to be. How bright your floodlight is should ultimately depend on where you put it. An outdoor floodlight with low lumens might be OK for your patio, but you might want a more powerful floodlight in your driveway and in front of your house, especially if those areas are larger.
"The average residential exterior flood light brightness is around 1000 lumens but can go up to 4000 or more lumens to light up a large expanse," says Biermeier. "1000 lumens is ideal for most exterior lighting situations in which a patio, walkway, or driveway needs to be illuminated enough to safely navigate. There are some environmental arguments against using lamps brighter than about 1500 lumens including light pollution and plant damage."
Type of Light
Finally, determine what type of light bulb you want to use in your floodlight. Some models use halogen lightbulbs, while others use LED bulbs. Many people prefer LED bulbs because they last far longer than halogen ones, which can save energy and money.
What are floodlights?
"Floodlights are electrical lights that illuminate a large area with bright lighting," says Biermeier. People often use outdoor floodlights to add security and curb appeal to homes. This type of light is also used to illuminate larger areas, like playing fields and parking lots. "A high-quality flood light will combine high lumens, or brightness, with a wide coverage area while being energy-efficient and not producing excessive heat," adds Biermeier.
How do you install floodlights?
Biermeirer says that "excellent floodlight locations include near entry doors, garage doors and driveways, patios and decks, and near the corners of the home." After choosing where you want to install your floodlight, find a nearby power source, and make sure the circuit can handle the additional load from the light. You'll need power tools to create a hole for installing your floodlight. Then, you'll feed the wire through the hole and plug it in. It's best to follow the instructions on your floodlight for installation.
"Installing flood lights into existing exterior lamp wiring locations is similar to installing standard exterior lighting," says Biermeier. "However, adding floodlight locations where there is no existing wiring is best left to an electrician."
How do floodlights work?
"Floodlights work the same way traditional bulb lighting works," explains Birermeirer. "The difference is in the shape and focus of the lightbulb housing. Modern floodlighting focuses an LED light source through a lens of sorts to produce bright, wide-angle illumination."
Some floodlights turn on manually with a switch, while others have motion sensors that turn the lights on when they detect movement or automatically power on and off with the sunlight.
Why Trust The Spruce?
This roundup was researched and written by Theresa Holland, a freelance content creator and a homeowner with personal and professional experience researching and testing home improvement products. In addition to The Spruce, you can read more of her writing on MyDomaine and Byrdie. Additional reporting was done by Ashley Abramson, a lifestyle writer whose work has also appeared in the New York Times, MyDomaine, Allure, Washington Post, Apartment Therapy, and more.
Sarah Toscano also provided additional reporting and consulted with, Deane Biermeier, a Certified Lead Carpenter and member of The Spruce Home Improvement Review Board, to gain further insights about floodlights.