In my experience of driving and living in an RV, I found that installing RV security lights is of great importance. My RV has become my home and this is why having additional features and devices, like RV security lights, makes me feel safer and more secure. The only thing that held me back was deciding what type and what brand of security lights were best for me. If you’re wondering the same thing, then I am here to help you.
What are the types of RV security lights, and which brands are the best? Out of the four types: solar-powered lights, LED lights, motion-sensor lights, and incandescent lights, I have found that the LITOM motion sensor, Sunforce LED solar motion, URPOWER solar motion light, and Optronics RV Lighting – RVSL31 are a few of the brands that served me well.
In this article, not only will you be familiarized with the types and brands of security lights, but you will also learn how to install these security lights in your RV and why you need them in the first place.
Why You Need RV Security Lights
Installing security lights in your RV will for sure provide you with very practical benefits. Here are three (3) reasons why you need RV security lights:
RV security lights or any outdoor light promotes safety to you and your family. Statistics show that in the US, the 3rd leading cause of death is accidental injuries. You can prevent these injuries, however, by installing these outdoor lights to illuminate any objects that might injure you at night.
RV security lights, especially when they’re motion-sensored, are particularly helpful when there is a potential threat by any person who intends to do harm. The moment your lights detect movement, not only will you be alarmed that someone is near your RV, anyone who has malicious intentions will also think twice in committing a crime as the lights catch them off guard. These bright lights will surely reveal dark corners where thieves might hide.
Aside from improving your RV’s safety and security, these security lights are also beneficial to your evening or late-night activities. Especially when you have the lights warm-colored, they provide great lighting for when you’re having a campfire and you’re reading a book, roasting marshmallows and whatnot, and when you’re taking your pet for a walk.
Types of RV Security Lights
Here are four (4) types of security lights you can use for your RV, along with their advantages and disadvantages:
Solar-powered lights save a lot of power, and they do not cost much when installing. In addition, their batteries are practically maintenance-free as their only source of energy is the sun. With the correct installation, these batteries can last up to 7 years.
On the other hand, these solar-powered lights require a higher initial investment which is why their chances of being stolen are higher than the others, considering that they are wireless as well.
LED lights’ directional lighting is one of the reasons they consume less energy because no light is wasted or trapped in reflectors and diffusers. Like all light bulbs, they also degrade over time but LED lights are known for their long lifespan that can last to 50,000 hours. Because of their long lifespan, the need to replace failed LEDs is reduced, and that leads to significant savings.
Because of their low energy consumption, excellent brightness, and low maintenance costs, LED lights are indeed more relatively expensive than most conventional lighting technologies (price per lumen). Another disadvantage is that the LED module is sensitive to temperature. With high temperatures, changes in the current will occur, causing it to overheat.
Motion-sensor lights are energy-saving; they automatically turn off when there is no movement or presence detected (for a predefined time). This is also what makes these lights very convenient because you won’t need a switch to turn on or off as you enter or leave the RV. Lastly, perhaps the most beneficial thing about motion-sensor lights is that they act as a deterrent to potential threats like burglary.
Since these lights may be constantly switching on and off especially in areas with high activity, it could shorten the lifespan of the bulbs. Unnecessary activities that trigger these motion-sensors, like squirrels or raccoons trespassing all the time, are one of the most common causes of a short lifespan. Also, because they’re only activated when a presence or movement is detected, they may require the occupants in the area to activate the sensor from time to time, which can be a little inconvenient.
Incandescent lights are known to be very affordable. They are easy to install, and they also have dimmer switches. With these lights, you have many options in terms of shapes and sizes, and they still produce a high light output.
Their cost-effectiveness, however, is reasonable because incandescent lights have a low lifespan, lasting up to 1000 hours only. They are also energy-inefficient because maintaining them actually costs more than any other bulb maintenance while also remaining no justifications for these expensive costs in the first place. In addition, they are very delicate, that’s why they need to be handled carefully.
The Best Brands of RV Security Lights
LITOM Motion Sensor Light
The LITOM motion sensor lights are solar-powered, making it energy-saving AND money-saving. It detects motion within 26 feet and is designed with 3 lighting modes to give you just the right amount of light you want in your area.
- IP65 waterproof to withstand weather conditions
- Detects motion up to 26 feet
- Designed with a 3-year lifespan
- Solar-powered outdoor lights
Sunforce 82183 LED Solar Motion Light
This solar-powered light with motion sensors features adjustable side lamps with 180 super-bright white LEDs to ensure strong and dependable lighting power for your RV.
- Adjustable side lamp for maximum lighting coverage
- Amorphous solar panel; does not need direct sunlight
- 1500 lumens
- Detects motion within up to 30 feet
- Adjustable settings: detection distance and light duration
URPOWER Solar Motion Light
With a detection range of 10 feet, this 4-pack wireless security light is designed with 8 LED lights for a super bright lighting and a long lifespan. It uses a unique design and the latest innovation to provide high-quality solar lights: a built-in solar panel that only takes 6-8 hours to fully charge and no wires needed!
- IP64 waterproof and heatproof
- Solar-powered lights
- Designed with a 5-year lifespan
- Detects within up to 10 feet with a 120-degree angle
Optronics RV Lighting – RVSL31
With a clear lens and a white metal base, this 12-voltage RV security light includes a weathertight seal against strong weather conditions. It is also approved by the Canadian Standards Association.
- Clear, round trailer light functions as a security light
- Weathertight seal between light and mounting surface
- Replaceable # 1156 incandescent bulb
- Tested and approved by CSA
- Two-wire design for easy installation
How to Properly Install RV Security Lights
Now that you’re more knowledgeable and perhaps more decided on which security lights you’re going to get for your RV, here are some general instructions on how you install them:
Step 1: Prepare All the Tools You’re Going to Need
Unless stated in the instructions manual of the product, most of these tools are just the basics: drill and drill bits, bolts (these are usually provided along with the product), a hammer, a screwdriver, and your work gloves. If welding is involved in the process, always wear your safety goggles.
Step 2: Know and Establish Where to Mount Your Security Lights
Most of these security lights are mounted up high on both sides of the RV for wider and better lighting coverage.
Step 3: Mount Your Security Lights
To mount your security lights, weld an angle iron to the area you’re going to mount your security lights and make sure to clamp it real good on the RV. If you don’t need one, you just need to drill on a round surface to attach the screw and the bracket needed to carry the light.
Step 4: Set Up Your Solar Panels to the Correct Angle
If they are adjustable, you can angle them in the direction where the sun is. However, there are also solar panels that don’t need direct sunlight.
Step 5: Attach Your Wires to the Solar Panels
To power up your lights, attach your wires to the solar panels that you have. Make sure to use crimp connectors and shrink wrap tubing in attaching the wires.
Step 6: Test Your Lights
Test your lighting when it’s dark so you will know the right amount of light you want in your area. This is applicable to the brands that feature different lighting modes.
These outdoor lights are not an addition to your RV’s aesthetic value, they are a necessity. Whatever brand of security light you are going to choose among the best four (4), whether they are solar-powered lights, LED lights, motion-sensor lights, and incandescent lights, with just the proper installation, they will definitely improve your RV’s safety, security, and functionality.