If you possess a large gun safe, you’ll probably know the importance of putting lights into it. A properly illuminated gun safe is not only easy to use but can also mean the difference between success and failure in an emergency situation.
Here, we will discuss the importance of installing lights in your gun safe and the aspects you must consider for it to be done properly. We have also scoured the internet to find the best lights for gun safes on the market, and have reviewed them in detail. So you can find one easily.
Best Gun Safe Lights Comparison Chart
BROWNING - LED Safe Lighting Kit
Lockdown® Cordless Light
Executive Gun Safe Lighting Kit w/ Motion Switch
TORCHSTAR LED Safe Lighting Kit
Gun Safe Light With PIR Motion Sensor Light Activation
Aspects to Consider When Buying Lights for your Gun Safe
A gun safe light kit is a combination of several components which combine together to set up a properly illuminated container. These include bulbs, mounting accessories, a power source, sensors, and other items. Each of which plays an important part in lighting up the gun safe.
Gun safes are generally kept in the garage, store room, or in any silent corner of the house where they remain concealed and protected by manual and natural elements. Some large safes are deep enough to contain a ton of firearms and ammunition. Installing lights in such gun safes make them easy to manage. Plus they offer fumble-proof access in an emergency.
Light Sources: LED or CFL Bulbs?
Both of these light sources are a viable option to be used for lighting up a gun safe. But each of them has their own pros and cons. To begin with, CFL bulbs are no doubt a bright source of light and consume a considerably less amount of power than incandescent lights.
But these bulbs are generally big in size, which means they will occupy some space inside the safe and will need to be carefully protected when you use the safe. CFL’s are generally used to light up rooms. Plus, if your safe has a lot of racks and shelves, you’ll need one bulb for each, consuming precious storage space.
On the other hand, LED strips are a more economical and compact alternative. They consume less power and are flexible enough to be installed in every part of the gun safe. Plus, LED lights have an 8-10 times longer lifespan than CFL bulbs. Their only drawback is that if one LED in a strip malfunctions, you’ll have to change the entire strip.
Power Sources: AC or DC?
You can power up your gun safe lights using AC or DC power. But each of them is relevant under specific situations. AC power refers to using electricity from the home’s power supply.
To use AC power, your gun safe must have an internal power outlet. You must try not to drill any holes in your gun safe to install a power outlet, as this will not only damage your safe but also reduce its capability of fire/water resistance.
Moreover, you an AC power source is optimal if you open your gun safe very often (almost several times a day). Plus, if your safe has any motion sensing devices, dehumidifier, or any such accessory installed, relying on batteries is not a good idea.
On the other hand, batteries are useful for lights if your gun safe does not have an inner power outlet, or there’s no power outlet near the gun safe. But bear in mind that batteries are only good if you are using switch-based lights and not motion sensors. That’s because the batteries can dry out fast when used continuously. Battery operated lights are also great for use in fireproof/waterproof gun safes.
Ways to Turn Them On/Off: Switch or Motion Sensor?
Many people rely upon switches to turn gun safe lights on or off, whereas others like to use technology, like motion sensors. An on/off switch allows you to control the light any way you desire.
If the room is bright enough and you don’t feel the need to turn on the gun safe lights, you can keep them switched off. This helps you consume less power, especially with batteries. However, switches can be difficult to find or reach sometimes, especially in an emergency situation where you are more likely to fumble due to panic.
Motion sensors are activated once you open the door of the gun safe, or move your hand past the sensor and will turn off several seconds after. Motion sensors are great if you have your safe stored in a dark corner and you don’t want to turn a switch on or off every now and then. Motion sensors lights also help reduce power consumption.
Plus, you don’t have to worry about leaving them switched on when you lock the safe. Also, keep in mind that motion sensors can give away your position when used in a dark room in an emergency. However, the risk is the same for an intruder as well.
Mounting Options: Magnet, Screws or Adhesive?
Gun safe lights offer different options for mounting them inside the safe. These include magnets, screws, and Velcro-based adhesives. Magnets can be used to mount lights, but they are susceptible to snagging and shifting when you move things in or out. Regardless, magnets are still a good choice to mount switches, battery packs, or motion sensors on the sides.
Screws are a more sturdy option for mounting gun safe lights and ensure the lights will stay in place under all situations. Screws are also a better alternative to mount battery packs, switches, or sensors so they stay in place.
But on the downside, screws require more effort to install, plus they also compromise with the construction of the safe. If your lights malfunction in the future, you’ll have to take a lot of pain to remove them and install a new set of lights.
Adhesives are a more simple and effective alternative to the above two. You simply have to bring the lights into position, peel off the adhesive from their back and stick it into place. Adhesives these days are strong enough to hold the lights in place. Plus, they can be removed with ease, when required.
How Many Lights Should You Install?
Logically, it depends upon the size of your gun safe and the number of shelves in it. If you have a smaller gun safe with a single compartment, then a single light with an illumination of around 200 lumens will be enough.
However, if you have a larger safe, you need to install multiple lights in different corners. Since shelves tend to obstruct light, you will have to analyze proper positions for mounting the lights so each and every corner of the safe is properly illuminated.
If you safe has too many shelves, the best option is to use LED light strips, because they are flexible, economical, and consume less power. If your safe has a single horizontal shelf, a single bright light placed on the hinge exactly midway of the shelf partition should be enough.
How Bright Should They be?
The illuminating capacity of a light is measured in terms of lumens. To give you a general idea, an average 250 square feet room requires 5000 lumens of light for proper illumination.
Scaling it down to your gun safe, it would need anywhere between 1000-2500 lumens of light, depending upon size. A 25W LED bulb provides around 1500 lumens of light. If your safe has multiple shelves, you must use LED light strips of different sizes and brightness to adequately light all areas.
The best place to install such light for maximum brightness is usually around the corners or at the border of shelves. A gun safe light must be bright enough to let you identify different items.
Review of the Best Gun Safe Lights
As the pros and cons of all the possible features of gun safe lights have been evaluated, you will now know what works best in which situation and what doesn’t. Based upon the features, quality, and price of an ideal gun safe light, we have come up with a list of the best gun safe lights on the market.
This LED Safe Lighting kit from Browning is a motion sensing gun safe light. The kit includes six LED light tubes with each tube having six individual LED lights inside. The kit has three flexible connectors to connect each pair of LED light tubes.
A motion sensor module can be mounted next to the door or on the ceiling of the safe to properly sense the motion of hands as you work around the safe. The kit is powered by AC and requires your gun safe to have an internal power outlet. You can also use the dehumidifier cable inlet to install a power outlet on the inside of the safe.
The Browning LED light is a simple and economical lighting setup for your gun safe. The sticks have a modular design, and you can use extra connectors and tape to cover up more area. The motion sensor is also a plus, especially at this price point.
The Lockdown Cordless Light is a simple solution to light up your safe. These lights are available in two versions of 75 LEDs and 25 LEDs. The 75 version has an on/off switch, whereas the 25 version has a motion sensor.
The light can be installed at any position inside the safe using magnets or screws. These lights are powered by three AAA batteries and have a run-time of around six hours. Hence, using rechargeable batteries will be a good idea.
The lights can be easily mounted or dismounted and don’t require any sort of wiring or adjustments to be made. If you have a large safe, you can purchase multiple lights for each corner, or even each shelf. The light itself is very affordable and has a long lifespan since it utilizes an LED.
The Lockdown Cordless Light is an inexpensive and smart solution to light up your safe. These lights can not only be used inside safes, but also for other places such as closets, storerooms, or any other dark corners. Your imagination is the limit. However, it consumes the batteries very quickly so you’ll have to change them every now and then if you use your safe very often.
Check out this gun safe lighting kit if you are looking for a brighter alternative to light up your safe. This Executive Gun Safe kit includes five tubes, each filled with LED strips containing 15 LED lights each.
Overall, this setup delivers an illumination of approximately 2250 lumens, which is enough to light up the largest gun safes on the market with bright light. The tubular design of the lights allows you to adjust the beam angle.
These lights can be mounted at any position inside the gun safe, whether carpeted or not. The included velcro and adhesive based backings allow you to mount the lights with ease. Each tube has six inches of connecting cable on each end, which allows you to install the lights at a distance and around the corners.
The lighting kit also has a motion switch which also turns the lights off after ten seconds of inactivity. Considering its price and features, this is a great option for lighting even larger safes.
This gun safe light kit offers a plethora of good features. The product is made in the USA, and the manufacturer offers fire and theft replacement and a lifetime replacement warranty. So it’s a complete win-win.
The Torchstar LED Safe Lighting Kit is by far the most inexpensive and feature-packed product on this list. The kit includes four 12-inch light bars which can be connected to each other via 12-inch long extension cables. Thus helping you reach every corner of the gun safe.
The lights are powered by a 12V AC adapter, which draws power from an outlet inside of your safe. Each of these tubes emits a light of 150 lumens each, which is bright enough to light up even a large safe.
The kit also includes a motion sensor which is quite sensitive and can detect movement from up to a distance of 26 feet, plus it turns off after four minutes of inactivity. The lights can be mounted inside the safe using adhesive tapes or screws through mounting holes.
This LED gun safe light is bright, easy to install, and inexpensive. The kit is packed with features, especially at such a low price. The motion sensor is incredible and the long extension cables make installation even easier.
This safe light is a compact single unit comprised of two LED lights covered by lenses to project light for optimum brightness. The light works upon the concept of motion sensing, where a PIR-based motion sensor detects movements to turn the light on or off. Both LED lights can be rotated and adjusted for the point of focus.
The light can be affixed to the gun safe using an adhesive backing. It runs on three AAA batteries and is bright enough to light up a mid-sized safe properly. Considering its price and function, this motion sensor light is a good deal for the money.
This PIR Motion Sensor light is a good choice to light up your safe as it is compact, easy to mount, and bright. The price is low enough to let you buy multiple units without burning a hole in your pocket. A simple kit to use with gun safes, closets, cabinets, counters, dashboards, and any other place you might need an extra bit of light.
Best Places to Mount Lights in your Safe
Mounting lights at the right position in your gun safe is essential. Mounting at the proper position lets you access and use your gun safe with ease, and also cuts down on your costs to procure more lights for the purpose.
The best place to mount a gun safe light is on the door panel, preferably on the top or on the sides. You must also angle the light properly to focus the light on the important areas. If you are using setups such as LED strips, you can also mount some strips on the walls of the safe with larger shelves.
If your safe doesn’t have a power outlet, do not try to drill a hole to mount AC powered lights, as this will compromise the integrity of your gun safe. Using battery powered lights is a better option for this type of safe.
Also, avoid mounting lights on the door or on the floor of the safe as it will solve nothing.
A gun safe light is essential to use and manage the safe properly, especially if it is a large one. Using LED lights is a better option over bulbs, as LEDs consume less power and have a longer lifespan. Using motion sensors is also a smart option, compared to using switches. You must also evaluate the size and contents of your safe properly, to install the right number of lights with proper brightness. Taking all these things into consideration, you are sure to find a light kit on the above list to meet your gun safe lighting needs.