Mr Beams LED Spotlight – Light Up Your Garbage And Your Grill!

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mr beams mb390

The area by our shed is dark and scary at night. Very little light from the side and back porches reaches it, and I never got around to installing a light there. Normally, it’s not a big problem; we don’t hang around much by the shed at night. Off to the side of the shed, though, is where our garbage cans reside. They don’t really care whether it’s dark or light, either. Frequently, though, I forget to take them out until midnight on garbage-day eve. When this happens, I mutter some special darkness-and-garbage-related curses, make a lot of noise to (hopefully) scare away the raccoons, and stumble around in the dark, dragging garbage cans up the driveway. Recently, though, potential salvation arrived at HomeFixated HQ, when the folks at Mr. Beams provided us with their Mr. Beams MB390 Wireless LED Spotlight to evaluate. And just in time for garbage-day eve!

mr. beams mb390
Pretty benign by day, but dark and scary at night…

The Mr. Beams MB390 is a weatherproof LED spotlight. Operated by four D-cell batteries (not included), it cranks out 300 lumens—enough to light up about 400 square feet. The light is triggered by a motion sensor, and remains on for about 20 seconds after motion is last detected. It’s simple to install, and comes with everything you need to mount it—basically, three screws and plastic anchors (hey, I said it was simple!). Perhaps best of all, it has kind of an alien robot head vibe going—that alone might scare off the raccoons (and the potential evil-doers).

mr. beams mb390
Skip the electrician. Mr. Beams MB390 is simple to install
mr. beams mb390
Take me to your leader…or your garbage

I decided to mount the Mr. Beams MB390 right over the shed door. This would illuminate the area where the garbage cans are kept, along with the first 20 feet or so of the driveway, which would get me in range of the side porch light. It would also serve as a deterrent to any would-be thieves who might be thinking of breaking into my shed, to steal my 12-year-old lawnmower or my broken leaf rake.

It only took a few minutes to install the Mr. Beams MB390. The first step was to install the batteries. Just twist off the outer housing, and snap out the battery cover. Drop in the four D-cells, snap the cover back on, and twist the housing back into position. Just make sure you give it a good manly (or womanly) twist at the end, so the arrows are properly lined up; that’s what makes the housing weatherproof.

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Just drop in the batteries…
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Line up the arrows…
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And twist to lock in your weatherproof goodness

Next, choose your mounting location, and install the mounting bracket. Unscrew the small thumbscrew on the mounting bracket, and slide the bracket off the light. If you’re installing into drywall, drill a hole for the plastic anchors; if not, drill some pilot holes. Hold the base up, and run your three screws in. A screwdriver works fine; my drill driver works faster.

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Undo the thumbscrew and pull off the mounting bracket
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A pilot hole will make for easier attachment

You can adjust where your Mr. Beams MB390 will shine its dazzling LED brightness in two ways. The big thumbscrew on the stem adjusts the up and down aim. You can also aim it to one side or the other by cocking it in that direction before sliding the light back into the splines in the mounting bracket. Once you have it lined up where you want, just tighten the thumbscrews, and you’re done! Total time for my installation was about ten minutes.

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Slide the light back into the bracket…
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Tighten the thumbscrew…
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Use the large thumbscrew to angle the head up or down

For those of you who are more visually oriented, here’s the official Mr. Beams MB390 Installation Video:

This Is Only A Test

Once I had the light up, I walked around and waved my arms, to see if the light would come on; it didn’t. This was good, since it isn’t supposed to come on until it’s dark out. The neighbors gave me a bit of a strange look, though… I went out later, when it was dusk, and when I got within about 20’ of the shed, on came the light. I went out again, when it was fully dark (my normal trash-moving time). The Mr. Beams MB390 came on when I was over 20’ from the shed, and cast a nice wide and bright circle of light for me to fetch my trash.

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When dusk falls, the sensor lets the light go to work

Next, I played around with it a bit. I moved out of its range, and waited for the light to go out; it took about 22 seconds. This was pretty consistent throughout my testing. I approached and triggered it again, and kept moving every few seconds, for about two minutes. The light stayed on until I moved away, then again went out after about 22 seconds. I approached from the side, and the motion sensor appears to have a very wide field of view; it detected me when I was way off to the side. The official specs say the Mr. Beams MB390 has a 160° detection range; sounds about right to me. Since the neighbors were watching through the window and looking nervous, I decided to conclude my testing.

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Garbage cans illuminated, leaf rake secure…success!

Where You Gonna Put That Mr. Beams MB390?

For anyone with a dark side to illuminate, the Mr. Beams MB390 is a quick, easy and inexpensive way to light it up. For crime deterrence, or just to make it easier to take out your trash, it’s a simple way to light up your porch, doorway, deck, garage, storage space, or anywhere else you need to shed a little light. I’m going to mount another one on the side of my shed, so when I’m grilling after dark (a frequent winter activity), I’ll be able to see what I’m charring. With an estimated bulb life of 50,000 hours, I should be able to move a lot of garbage, and burn a lot of meat.

I’m impressed with the Mr. Beams MB390; it’s a decent product at a reasonable price, it’s simple to install, and it does what it’s supposed to do. I’m buying two more of these for my daughter’s apartment in Philly. She lives on the second floor, and incredibly, there is no illumination in the entry hallway or on the stairs. (“Code? We don’t need no stinkin’ code!”). Her landlord has declined to install a light, and there is no convenient source of power to tap into; these two factors may be related. Enter the over-protective father (the alarm system is already in)… I’ll mount one near the bottom, and one partway up the stairs. This should make their ascents and descents less likely to end in disaster.

Like everything else on the planet, the Mr. Beams MB390 spotlight is available from Amazon for around $29. It has over 500 reviews, with the vast majority ranking it at 4 or 5 stars. Get one via the link below, and shed some light on your next garbage-toting or grilling experience.

Buy Now - via Amazon

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About Phil

Phil’s path to the pinnacle of success as HomeFixated’s Senior Writer was long and twisted. At various stages of his life, he worked as a framing carpenter, attended motorcycle mechanics school, served as an Army MP, did a hot and itchy stint installing insulation in Phoenix, owned and operated a small contracting firm doing residential renovations, and worked as an employee of a major airline (Motto: We’re not happy ‘til YOU’RE not happy). He is currently semi-retired, but continues to take on little projects, such as the total renovation of an old farmhouse. Yes, he is a slow learner. Future projects include a teardown restoration of his 1965 BMW motorcycle, and designing and building a kick-ass playhouse for his grandsons. Phil loves spending time outdoors, hanging out with family and friends, cool tools, and a cold IPA when beer o'clock rolls around.

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9 thoughts on “Mr Beams LED Spotlight – Light Up Your Garbage And Your Grill!”

  1. As an update, our Mr. Beams has been up for about 14 months now. It survived a COLD winter and a hot summer, and it still works just as well as it did when I installed it. As a bonus, it’s still on the original set of batteries! It’s always nice to get a product that exceeds your expectations…

    • It should do the job, Shan. I’m very happy with ours; the original one in the driveway is holding up great, always works and it’s still on the first set of batteries. I’ve since bought several more, to use at a duplex we own and at our farm.

  2. Great idea. Many people ignore this area at first. But the benefits are great- the spot is perfectly lit and it’s burglar-proof in case somebody’s willing to sneak in from the backyard.

    • Right you are. Once you start thinking about it, there are a lot of places some extra illumination is useful. After reading this review (and watching me schlep my garbage cans to the curb), my neighbor bought two–one that he mounted on a tree near his parking pad (which is at the back of his lot), and one on a tree halfway to the house, to light the path. I’m going to buy another one to mount on a rear corner of our house; there’s no easy way to run wiring there, and there definitely ARE scumbags out there who are willing to sneak in through your back yard. Thanks for your comments!


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