Best motion detector solar powered lights for outdoor arena

I don’t think we’ve had a “modern” - post 2016 thread on this. Here is what is available on Amazon. Any feedback/input/wisdom would be greatly appreciated. Also what seems to be optimal height for lights?

I would not do motion detector for arena lights–seems like they’d be going off/on constantly. And, the model you linked has the motion sensor built into the lighting housing-- so you’d need to mount them closer to the ground than you really want, otherwise they won’t “see” you as you go by.

How many and how tall will totally depend on the design of the fixture & and lumens of the lamps you select. Also on how you will be using the arena–general WTC on the rail and some figures will have different lighting requirements than jumping a course.

As part of the specifications of any given fixture, they’ll tell you how wide an area each lamp will illuminate. One rule of thumb is that mounting height = 1/2 distance to be illuminated (ie, the extent of the “pool” of light on the ground). This assumes the fixture can be aimed a bit (but it should not be angled more than 30degrees or so, otherwise you’ll have blinding glare). Anyway by this rule, if you have a 60 ft wide arena, and you want the whole riding surface illuminated, you’d need 30ft poles, which is unrealistic in a farm setting.

Thanks for your input. I am just looking to do something on the cheap that will provide adequate light to ride when it’s dark. Just basic flat work. I have used some motion detector lights before that worked OK. Them going on and off did not bother me too much. However, I guess it would be best to have better lights that sense motion from a longer distance and stay on for a longer time. It looks like the security type lights are designed to be mounted say 10 feet off the ground.

At a 10ft pole height, that’s essentially your eye level so you’ll really need them to be shielded and pointing down. At that point, I’d honestly consider lining the edge of the arena with those little in-ground stake lights. Or if you have a fence around the arena, mount some lights under the rail. (I’ve always thought that it’s a bit silly to light up an entire giagantic dome of space above a riding arena, when all you need to see is the ground)

If you have a way to put up a 15-18ft pole, 2 of these would give you a pretty bright arena. Remote controlled so you don’t have to depend on motion sensing.

To get the lights up to an appropriate height, I can totally envision a DIY telescoping light pole, where you have 2 poles, one slightly smaller diameter than the other. The wider one is the base pole which gets set in concrete, and the smaller one is the extension pole, and the light gets attached to that one. The extension pole “nests” inside the base pole. Have a couple holes drilled through each pole so that when you raise the extension pole to the correct height, you can run a couple hitch pins runs straight through both poles. (i.e. Like a jump standard) Leave 3ft or so of the extension pole nested in the base pole for stability.

I use this one. It has a dusk to dawn setting, or a remote control. It’s extremely bright. I don’t use it in my arena but it allows us to do chores outside after dark and people have no idea it’s solar powered.

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Several years ago I got some of these to test this idea:

They did not work to illuminate sufficiently. You’d have maybe 10-15’ pools of light under them IIRC, so you’d need to buy 16 for a large dressage court, at about $290. And attached to the ring fence no way would the light reach the middle of the arena. I can’t recall the lumens on these but guessing around 500.

For that money I’d get one of these to test instead:

At 300W and 42000LM (lumens) that’s the brightest one I saw in a quick search.

" As a handy rule of thumb, a sitting room or bedroom will generally require around 10-20 lumens per square foot , while a bathroom or kitchen will need a stronger level of lighting, at around 70-80 lumens per square foot. To work out the lumens you need, simply multiply the square footage of the room by this figure."

So for a dressage court at 60x20 you’d need 1,200 sq ft x 70-80 = 84,000-96,000 lumens. IOW at least 2 of the parking lot lights I linked above - probably 6 would be better. Worth a try!

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We use this type. They have the advantage of a separate solar panel that just plugs in, so it can be replaced. The rechargeable batteries are not ‘officially’ user replaceable but with a bit of work it can be done. They have dials to adjust the sensitivity, brightness, and duration. At 30W they may not be bright enough for an arena though.

Not at all what you asked for but I have found our Milwaukee job site lights to be very useful. More of a pain because you’d have to haul them out and set them up, but another option:

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Thanks all. The days are getting shorter and it will end up being dark after work in a few months. Boo Hoo. The only thing good about winter is…

and no flies
and it’s not too hot out
and snow.

Headlamps, that’s all I use now. Some are very powerful and the horses just have to get used to them. REI will have sales otherwise pretty expensive but prices were coming down.

If you have a light on each side you’d only need to illuminate 30ft so 15ft high would work.