Litom Solar-Powered Motion Sensor Outdoor Lights - Review

12 posts / 0 new
Last post
1dash1
1dash1's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 5 months ago
Joined: 08/29/2015 - 22:02
Posts: 1576
Location: Hilo, Hawaii
Litom Solar-Powered Motion Sensor Outdoor Lights - Review

This is brief review of the Litom Super Bright 8 LED Solar Powered Wireless Security Motion Sensor Light, available from here.

The review has been pieced together from another discussion thread on the same subject: http://budgetlightforum.com/node/42911#comment-853959 I condensed the material into a formal review here for easier reference, in case anyone searches for this information in the future.

General Description

Each unit comes with an instruction manual, two mounting screws and two plastic anchors. There is one light unit per box, a pair are shown here for measurement purposes only because I had ordered two of them.

.

Here’s the back of the unit before and after removing the cover label and retaining screws.

.

Lifting up the battery cover reveals (what else?) the battery. Rotating the back panel opens up the unit.
Note: Slight pressure is required to snap the panel out. Ditto for reinstallation.

.

Picture of the interior (the back side of the back panel/battery housing) and picture of the circuit board housing.

.

Close-up picture of the circuit board. Notice how neat and clean all of the solder points are. Also, note the missing screw at the upper left corner of the board. The board seems adequately affixed by the two existing screws. Nonetheless, the missing screw is somewhat of a mystery.

.

And here’s the 14500 800 mAh button-top battery:

.

Modes

The output modes are as follows:

Mode   Output

Off        Off

 1          Constant medium (50-60lm)

 2          Standby Low (10lm) / High (150-170lm)*

 3          Standby Off     /         High (150-170lm)*

 

* - Motion sensing modes

Mode 1 is a simple on at dusk, off at dawn operation (activated by photocell). It is bright enough to illuminate a footpath or building corner, but not much more.

Mode 2 is a motion-sensing mode. While at rest, it puts out a low beam of about 10 lumens. When activated, it puts out about 150 to 170 lumens. For my purposes, to mark my driveway endposts, this is ideal. Bright enough to see them, but not too bright as to be distracting to the neighbors.

Mode 3 is a motion-sensing mode. While at rest, it is completely dark. When activated, it puts out 150 to 170 lumens. Note: 150 to lumens is bright enough to illuminate a 30’ x 30’ area with night-adjusted vision, but not bright enough to substitute for patio lighting.

This is a picture of Mode 2 (Standby Low) on my endpost ………….. and this is a reference shot showing the endpost:
. . .

.

Motion-Sensing

Motion-sensing is done by a Passive Infra-Red (PIR) system. It is sensitive to relative changes in infrared (heat) sources, like human bodies. When I tested it, it appeared to be sensitive up to 25 feet and within a cone of about 40 degrees (20 degrees on each side of center). And when activated, the high beam turns on for approximately 11-12 seconds before resuming its standby mode. If I stay motionless, the light remains in standby mode. Only if I move within its range am I detected. So, if I want the high beam to remain on, I have to keep moving.

Tint

The tint is a cool white. Not obnoxiously blue like some lights. I’d call it a 1B tint. I personally like neutral to warm tints, but I found the tint of this light to be reasonably good.

Other

The Litom Solar-Powered Motion Sensor Light seems to be well manufactured. Fit and finish details appear to be first-rate. During installation, I accidentally dropped the unit from about 3-1/2 feet and it survived none the worse for wear.

I have not had an opportunity to evaluate how well it performs overnight or during long periods of inclement weather.

Nor have I had a chance to test it for weatherproofing.

And only time will tell about its long term performance and durability.

For those who might be interested in modding the unit by replacing the 14500 battery with an 18650 battery, space can be freed up by sawcutting or dremmeling the battery housing area of the back panel.

I hope this information has been helpful to others who may be in the market for a solar-powered exterior light.

. . .

EDIT: After fully charging the unit in direct sunlight for over 12 hours, I ran it on on Mode 2 for 30 straight hours before terminating the trial. At that time, output was approximately half (say 5+ lumens) of what it had started off at. This was more than bright enough to perform the function of marking my driveway endpost at night. Surprisingly, when the unit detected motion, the high mode still put out over 100 lumens. (I would have expected the high mode to have dropped off considerably more than that!) And I’m not sure how much residual charge was left in the battery, but I thought that 30 hours was more than enough of a test for the Litom Solar-Powered light.

. . .

EDIT2: It’s been a couple of weeks and so far, so good. For my purpose, marking the posts on either side of my driveway, they have been working very well. Now, I’m much less worried about visitors hitting the endposts when they reverse their cars at night. I noticed that the Litom lights tended to flicker off and then back on when I drove my car into the driveway at night. That was odd. So, I took one of my BLF A6 flashlights and went out to investigate. As soon as the A6’s beam shined upon the Litom unit, the unit went out! LoL! :bigsmile: The photocell (which automatically turned the light on at night) was turning the Litom unit off whenever struck by a bright light, like a car headlight.

Rule 1-1 as it applies to life, take it as it comes.

Edited by: sb56637 on 09/02/2017 - 12:38
Ricflair
Ricflair's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 months 1 week ago
Joined: 08/16/2012 - 08:24
Posts: 943
Location: Louisiana, USA

Nice review, thank you. I like these kinds of lights. I own several different ones.

RicFlair is on the air with blonde hair & pink underwear!! Whaoooooo!

Werner
Werner's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 months 4 weeks ago
Joined: 10/19/2012 - 15:00
Posts: 3677
Location: Germany

I am glad you made a specific review thread, it will be a lot easier to find this useful info later.

foolioGrimz
foolioGrimz's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 7 months ago
Joined: 10/09/2015 - 05:01
Posts: 209
Location: Texas

Thank you for the review. I’ve been interested in these types of lights for some time but haven’t bought one yet. Please let us know how they hold up.

hank
hank's picture
Offline
Last seen: 13 hours 43 min ago
Joined: 09/04/2011 - 21:52
Posts: 7625
Location: California

Telling “cool white” from “obnoxiously blue” is an opinion — it says what bothers you, but opinions vary.

It would help a lot to have a comparison picture with some known tints.

Do you have any of the familiar flashlights with known emitters you can photograph next to this light? Set your camera color balance for something and say what choice you made,
point the lights at a white sheet of cardboard/paper and take a range of exposures; identify which lights/emitters you’re comparing.

I ask because my — purely personal — opinion, thus far I haven’t seen a “cool white” that’s not far more blue than neutral.
If anyone makes a decent outdoor light with good quality neutral emitters, I’m interested.

Another approach is to get the kit spectrometer and post results at https://spectralworkbench.org/

Here’s an excellent example of how to include that information in a review, I just stumbled across — page down for the spectrum picture and chart:
http://www.taschenlampen-forum.de/flashlight-forum/35941-reviewthelight-...

tristanxoxo
Offline
Last seen: 2 weeks 1 day ago
Joined: 03/26/2014 - 00:50
Posts: 598

Thanks for the review. Though I wonder how a Li-ion battery would do in freezing cold temperatures.

Werner
Werner's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 months 4 weeks ago
Joined: 10/19/2012 - 15:00
Posts: 3677
Location: Germany

I just checked some datasheet a I have and most lithium cells specify the discharge from -20°C-+60°C.
Eneloop just says 0°C-50°C and the Duracell nimh say operating temperature -10°c-50°C

Here are some curves how it looks like on different temperatures:
18650

comparison between 18650B and newer BF

Samsung specify a how much capacity we can expect at different temperatures:

14500

So discharging should be no problem at low temperatures, but look what they specify for the charging temps…all say 0°C and up…
——
But on the other hand eneloop specifies also no freezing temperatures…:

hank
hank's picture
Offline
Last seen: 13 hours 43 min ago
Joined: 09/04/2011 - 21:52
Posts: 7625
Location: California

Quote:
Many battery users are unaware that consumer-grade lithium-ion batteries cannot be charged below 0°C (32°F). Although the pack appears to be charging normally, plating of metallic lithium can occur on the anode during a subfreezing charge. The plating is permanent and cannot be removed with cycling.

http://batteryuniversity.com/learn/article/charging_at_high_and_low_temp...

Of course, if the thing is in sunlight at all, it might warm up a bit. If they’re smart it has a temperature probe and just lets the sun warm the box up til it’s above freezing. Not likely though.

1dash1
1dash1's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 5 months ago
Joined: 08/29/2015 - 22:02
Posts: 1576
Location: Hilo, Hawaii

hank wrote:
Telling “cool white” from “obnoxiously blue” is an opinion — it says what bothers you, but opinions vary.

It would help a lot to have a comparison picture with some known tints.

Do you have any of the familiar flashlights with known emitters you can photograph next to this light? Set your camera color balance for something and say what choice you made,
point the lights at a white sheet of cardboard/paper and take a range of exposures; identify which lights/emitters you’re comparing.

I ask because my — purely personal — opinion, thus far I haven’t seen a “cool white” that’s not far more blue than neutral.
If anyone makes a decent outdoor light with good quality neutral emitters, I’m interested.

Another approach is to get the kit spectrometer and post results at https://spectralworkbench.org/

Here’s an excellent example of how to include that information in a review, I just stumbled across — page down for the spectrum picture and chart:
http://www.taschenlampen-forum.de/flashlight-forum/35941-reviewthelight-...

I know you’re dead serious, but it’s difficult for me to maintain a straight face to the suggestion of picking up a spectrometer and including a spectral analysis with my write-up. Let’s say that I will consider it in the future, after I pick up my light meter for measuring lux and integrating sphere for measuring lumens. Evil

As for including beam shots, I have nothing with a beam pattern that is similar to this outdoor light. Even if I did, I’m not sure that it would do much good, since I doubt that most users would have the same floodlight to compare the beams with. I could take a picture comparing the flood with a standard flashlight beam, but that would be more for the purpose of illustrating why the beams are not comparable than for the purpose of comparing the two. If I have the time, I’ll take some pictures to show you what I mean.

This is NOT a neutral tint. Comparing it to my BLF A6 (1A tint), it is very slightly bluer. Therefore, my assessment is that it falls into the 1B range on the tint charts. http://budgetlightforum.com/node/41855 However, you are aware that the tint on each LED beam changes from corona to fringe. The overlapping effect of the multiple LEDs changes the overall perception of the tint. Without a beam reference to compare this light against, based solely on a whitewall test, I would have guessed it as a dead center 1A tint.

Of course, the whitewall tests were conducted at night, under ambient fluorescent lighting (before testing), so my perception would have been skewed… wouldn’t it?

Rule 1-1 as it applies to life, take it as it comes.

foolioGrimz
foolioGrimz's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 7 months ago
Joined: 10/09/2015 - 05:01
Posts: 209
Location: Texas

Has anyone done reviews on solar lights like this but with remote solar panel? I would like to get one for use under my porch.

Werner
Werner's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 months 4 weeks ago
Joined: 10/19/2012 - 15:00
Posts: 3677
Location: Germany

hank wrote:
Quote:
Many battery users are unaware that consumer-grade lithium-ion batteries cannot be charged below 0°C (32°F). Although the pack appears to be charging normally, plating of metallic lithium can occur on the anode during a subfreezing charge. The plating is permanent and cannot be removed with cycling.

http://batteryuniversity.com/learn/article/charging_at_high_and_low_temp...

Of course, if the thing is in sunlight at all, it might warm up a bit. If they’re smart it has a temperature probe and just lets the sun warm the box up til it’s above freezing. Not likely though.

Thanks for that info, I didn’t knew that
But the text from the site goes further:

Quote:

Manufactures seek ways to charge Li-ion below freezing. Charging is indeed possible with most lithium-ion cells but only at very low currents. According to research papers, the allowable charge rate at –30°C (–22°F) is 0.02C. At this low current, the charge time would stretch to over 50 hours. It is for this reason that manufacturers prohibit the charging below freezing.Manufactures seek ways to charge Li-ion below freezing. Charging is indeed possible with most lithium-ion cells but only at very low currents. According to research papers, the allowable charge rate at –30°C (–22°F) is 0.02C. At this low current, the charge time would stretch to over 50 hours. It is for this reason that manufacturers prohibit the charging below freezing.

So with two percent of the capacity you are okay and I guess the solarcell will charge only with small currents.
On a 800mAh cell it safe would be 16mA
On a 3000mAh cell 60mA
Hobbyfotograaf
Offline
Last seen: 1 week 2 days ago
Joined: 02/11/2011 - 16:25
Posts: 361
Location: Belgium

I like the three light-modes, i have a solar light with only dim/sensor(bright) mode, like mode 2 on the Litom light.
The problem is that the solar panel in my light is too small to charge the battery enough for the short winter nights, especially on a cloudy day the light only works for a very short time.
The dim mode draws too much energy from the battery in this time of the year, in the summer it works very well.

This would be perfect if it had that “mode switch” from the Litom Light http://www.dx.com/p/in-color-in-46w-solar-powered-side-lighting-ultra-th...