As night falls, the best solar lights will illuminate your garden and breathe new life into your patio. In addition to serving as a deterrent, they can also enhance the ambiance of their surroundings.
However, it might be difficult to choose the best solar light for your home among the wide variety available. The first step is to decide where you want them to be. Is it for a sizable patio, porch, or deck? There is a design for any house, from ground lighting and path lights to beautiful, string lights. What about the setup and operation, how simple or complicated are they? To that end, how much money do you have?
Top 10 Solar Lights Consumer Reports: Editor Recommended
The 10 Best Solar Lights Consumer Reports Review:
1. Brightech Ambience Pro Outdoor String Lights
- Energy Saving LED Outdoor String Lights: 48 ft long string lights with 15 energy...
- Commercial Grade WeatherProof Patio String Lights: Brightech’s Ambience Pros...
- Flexible Installation & Widely Used Backyard Lights: Brightech outdoor...
- Elegant Romantic Ambience: Brightech indoor outdoor LED string lights use...
- THE WARRANTY: Our string lights are built to last, and we stand behind that....
Planning on turning your patio into an outdoor bistro or Italian cafe? The solar-powered string lights from Brightech are ideal for the job. Light up your deck in the evening with these string of LED lamps that have been intended to look like vintage Edison lights. The bulbs can endure winds of up to 50 miles per hour, as well as rain, snow, and temperatures of up to 122 degrees Fahrenheit thanks to their shatterproof plastic construction. Here, these lights passed every test with flying colors, working perfectly after being subjected to two major downpours, one tropical storm, heavy rain in a shower, and four hours in the freezing cold.
A total of 12 individual Brightech Ambience Pro lights, each spaced 20 inches apart along a 27-foot wire. A 48-foot variant with 15 lamps and 3 feet between them is also available. A solar panel is attached at the end and can be planted into the ground or hooked onto a railing. The lights can shine for up to six hours on a single battery, but they lack an ambient light sensor. There is a 3-year guarantee on the bulbs as well.
- Warm, vintage glow
- Made to last
- Beautifully designed
- Replacement bulbs are not readily available
- Spacing between lights can feel awkward
- Might want a dimmer
2. Aogist Solar Ground Lights
- ★LONGER WORKING TIME - Each solar light has a built-in large-capacity and...
- ★AUTOMATIC WORKING - Just need put the switch on,it will automatically turn on...
- ★GOOD DESIGN - High strength ABS make it suitable for outdoor use.The solar...
- ★EASY TO INSTALL - It just need only 15~20 seconds to install the lights on...
- ★Best Customer Service: If you're unsatisfied with this item for any...
These tiny disks are designed to be flush with the ground, and they cast a beautiful glow that illuminates pathways and flower gardens. There are eight of these Aogist Solar Ground Lights in a pack, and each one is powered by a tiny 600 mAh battery that can keep it going for up to eight hours. Only one of the eight solar lights we tested worked right away, suggesting a problem with quality control; the rest were all good to go.
The stainless steel top cap gives these solar ground lights an upscale look, but the plastic spike is fragile and likely to shatter. We discovered that the light’s installation was as simple as turning it on and sticking it in the ground, and it did the rest.
When it gets dark outside, the light will switch on automatically thanks to a smart built-in sensor; conversely, when the light level rises, it will turn off. They had an IP65 classification, which meant they could withstand extreme temperatures and a wide range of weather conditions, including high humidity, heavy rain, strong winds, and subfreezing temperatures. The battery’s ability to retain a charge declines over time, therefore the manufacturer suggests replacing it after a year or two.
- Low profile with flat design
- Inexpensive at less than $5 per light
- Easy to install
- One of our lights didn’t work out of the box, which seemed like a frequent complaint from online reviews
- The plastic base is flimsy
- On the ground, placement could be a problem for some users
3. AMIR Upgraded Solar String Lights Outdoor
- 100 Brilliant LED lights - 100 Super Bright LED bulbs on 33ft high quality...
- High Quality & Flexible Copper Wire - Made with thin and flexible copper wire,...
- Automatic Switch - Auto ON at dark when you turn on the light, Auto OFF by day....
- Water Resistant - Both the string lights and the solar panel are IP65...
- Easy to Shape - Flexible Copper wiring can easily build the shapes you want;...
These AMIR lights would look great on a pinboard. You can create a warm and inviting outdoor space by attaching these solar-powered lights to a pergola, fence, or wall. Amir’s solar-powered lights include 200 individual LED bulbs and measure 72 feet in length. Thin copper wire is used to connect each light, yet it is almost invisible, leaving only the lights to shine. Additionally, the copper wire is malleable and may be shaped to fit a variety of needs.
AMIR’s string lights have eight different modes, including firefly flashing, waves, fading, chasing/flashing, fading slowly, twinkle/flashing, and stable on. They can be programmed to turn on at sunset and off at sunrise. These lights can be purchased in a variety of colors, including warm white, cool white, and blue, and in lengths ranging from 33 feet to 100 LEDs. After putting them through their paces, we found that they were not only straightforward to set up, but also resilient, withstanding both wet conditions and subfreezing temperatures. But they need a lot of sunlight to function properly.
- Easy to install
- Durable in the rain and frost
- Nice mood lighting
- Performance depends on level of sun
4. Ring Solar Pathlight – Outdoor Motion-Sensor Security Light
- Perfect for walkways and pathways – a solar-powered pathlight that shines 80...
- Ring Bridge included – this Starter Kit includes a Ring Bridge so that you may...
- Smart features – when connected to a Ring Bridge, get mobile notifications,...
- Easy setup – connect to the Ring Bridge, customize your settings via the Ring...
- Powered by the sun – place your Ring Smart Light in direct sunlight to...
If you already have a Ring product, such as a Ring Video Doorbell, then the Ring Solar Pathlight is the finest solar light for you. These lights shine downward to light your path below, and they are dimmable, Alexa-compatible, and equipped with motion detectors that will alert you when they sense someone approaching.
The Pathlights’ motion detectors were a huge selling point for us; we could program them to turn on only when someone is in the area, saving energy and extending their lifespan. The Pathlights may also be linked to other Ring devices, such as security cameras and doorbells, allowing you to instantly begin recording if the Pathlights detect motion.
The Solar Pathlights are pricey at $35 per, and the Ring Bridge is another $50 (both are offered separately) if you want to link them to your home Wi-Fi network.
- Built-in motion detector
- Adjustable brightness
- Integrates with other Ring products
- Requires bridge to connect to Wi-Fi
5. Aootek New Solar Lights 120 LEDs with Lights Reflector
- Three Optional Modes 1.security light mode (when it detects motion at...
- Sensitive PIR Motion Inductor: With Motion Sensor Detector and PIR sensor can...
- High-efficient LED lights with wide-angle illumination can improve the lighting...
- High Efficient Solar Panel Our solar Panel is energy saving and with PET...
- Waterproof IP65 and Heatproof outdoor security night light for wall, patio,...
Aootek’s lights have motion detectors that activate 128 individual LEDs whenever somebody walks inside their field of view. In our tests, the motion sensor picked up everything that moved within a 26-foot, 120-degree arc in front of it. The lighting manufacturer suggests a minimum height of 5.5 feet.
These 270-degree floodlights have three different settings: Security, where the motion sensor turns the light on for 15 seconds, On, where the lights turn on at nightfall, and Smart Brightness, where the lights turn on at a low setting at twilight and brighten when they detect movement. We noticed that the 2200 mAh rechargeable battery in these lights outlasted competing models. These lights can withstand wet conditions and low temperatures without failing.
- Super Bright with 128 LEDs
- Holds up to the elements
- Reliable motion sensor
Nonadjustable solar panel angle
Hard to adjust settings after installing
Lights don’t stay on long
6. JACKYLED 10 Pack Solar Step Lights
- Faster Charging & Longer Working Time: JACKYLED solar step lights enlarged...
- Super Bright 30 LED Solar Step Lights: Built-in 30pcs ultra bright LED, compared...
- Well-made & Waterproof: Made of high quality stainless steel and high-strength...
- Easy to Install: Our solar fence lights are easy to install and no wiring...
- Good Value for Money: High electricity bill? NO! Save hundreds of dollars if you...
Our award-winning solar step lights are worth a look if you need illumination for the steps leading up to your deck or fence. You may purchase them in six distinct hues and in quantities of two, four, eight, or sixteen. Each light has three LED beads, and after being charged for 6-8 hours, it may shine for another 8-10. Our testing revealed that they performed beyond expectations, maintaining brightness for over 12 hours even after a day of rain and cloud cover.
They aren’t the brightest, but we found them to be more than adequate for lighting our steps, and they performed admirably in the driving rain and gusty gusts. After being exposed to subzero conditions, they seemed a bit lethargic. We were able to install them using a drill, and for less than $40, we were able to light up anywhere from four to eight steps.
- Easy to install and move
- Holds up to wet weather
- Inexpensive at $7 per light
- Battery diminished in cold weather
- No motion sensor
7. AloftSun Solar Motion Sensor Outdoor Lights
- 🌟Extremly Bright Motion Sensor Solar Spotlights: Our solar outdoor spotlights...
- 🍎Auto On/Off & 3 Lighting Modes: Aloftsun motion sensor solar landscape...
- ⏰Longer Runtime Solar Outdoor Spotlights: With high-efficiency black...
- ☔IP68 Waterproof & 40000+ Hours Lifespan: With new high-impact ABS plastic...
- 💯Great Quality Ensured: Our solar motion lights outdoor have obtained...
Our rigorous durability testing revealed that AloftSun Motion Sensor Solar Landscape Spotlights are reliable, simple to set up, and provide ample light for nighttime reading. Depending on the settings, these spotlights have a range of up to 33 feet for detecting motion. You may easily adjust the brightness of the light from twilight to morning by switching between the three preset modes: low light/high light when motion is detected, no light/high light when motion is detected, and medium light/constantly on. Easy to assemble (just two components), this two-pack of lights may be staked into the ground (the way we tested) or mounted into a wall with the accompanying hardware. (It did, however, take us a few minutes to initially figure out how to trigger them.)
When we tested the longevity of these lights, we were blown away by how well they performed. We froze these lights for nearly an hour after spraying them with water because the maker claims they have the greatest waterproof certification and can withstand frost. Every single test showed that the lights were still fully functional. We also tested their durability by dropping a golf ball on the solar panel from a height of 6 feet.
The 30 LED light chips in these spotlights provide ample illumination for your pathway or yard, are weatherproof, and have a 40,000-hour lifespan according to the manufacturer. They aren’t fashionable, though. They also have a cooler color palette than our beta tester would like. You won’t find a better option if you need long-lasting, powerful lighting with practical extras than this one.
- Highest Waterproof Rating
- Three easy-to-use modes
- Bright enough to read by
- Two installation methods
- Basic design
8. Brightown Outdoor Solar String Lights
- Super brilliant solar powered led string lights: 2 pack 33 feet long string with...
- IP65 waterproof functionality: These solar twinkle lights are solidly engineered...
- 8 impressive lighting modes: Beautiful, bright, and brilliant lighting modes...
- High efficiency solar powered fairy lights: the factory equipped sophisticated...
- Diy copper lights string: Flexible and shapable copper wire can be properly...
We suggest the 33-foot-long Brightown Outside Solar string lights if you’re looking for a cheap way to add ambience to your outdoor space. We tried the white version of these fairy lights, but they come in eight other colors. The two stakes required to secure the solar panels made installation a breeze, and the lights passed all of our durability tests. In addition, unlike many other types of outdoor string lights, these do not require access to an electrical outlet in order to function. However, we wished they provided more illumination for reading.
You may choose from eight different lighting settings, including combination, waves, sequential, slow glow, chasing/flash, slow fade, twinkle/flash, and steady-on, which is great for parties and holidays. After automatically turning on at night, these lights can stay on for up to 10 hours, though in our overnight testing, they occasionally turned off for 60 seconds at a time for no apparent reason. The solar panels must be placed in an area where they will receive sufficient sunlight, which may restrict their optimal location. On the other hand, if you’re in the market for string lights or simply want to spice up your outdoor space on a dime, this two-pack is an excellent choice.
- Affordable price
- Includes an extra set
- Eight lighting modes
- Low ambient lighting
- Not as many placement options
9. Vont LED Outdoor Solar Lights
- UPGRADED FOR 2022 - Add life to your trees and enjoy a satisfying light show at...
- 2 BRIGHTNESS MODES - Choose between Low Mode (12 hours) and High Mode (6 hours)....
- INSTANT INSTALLATION W/ NO TOOLS - Set up is fast, easy to use. Stick into the...
- IPX7 WATER & HEATPROOF - Our garden lights are made of high-impact ABS material...
- LIFETIME WARRANTY - Covered for life, it’s warranted against loss, theft, and...
Solar spotlights are an excellent choice if you need to light up a broad area or single point of interest without having to run any wires or use any electricity. The Vont LED Outdoor Solar Lights come with robust stakes for mounting in the ground or with the provided screws for mounting on the wall, making them simple to set up and install. They can be turned by up to 120 degrees, allowing you to direct the light precisely where it’s needed.
These floodlights come with a lifetime guarantee and the manufacturer guarantees that they will not break if exposed to the elements. Nothing about their brightness or functionality changed despite our abuse. These lights include an automated nighttime on/off feature, but other than two brightness levels, that’s all. In contrast, these are the best option if you need weatherproof, high-intensity spotlights.
- Durable and waterproof
- 2 placement options
- Can pivot 120 degrees
- Lifetime warranty
- Only two brightness settings
10. Kemeco ST4311AQ LED Cast Aluminum Solar Post Light Fixture
- Energy Saving&Money Saving: Powered by 100% free solar energy, four efficient...
- Easy Setup: No more cords or electric wiring. It can be directly placed on a...
- High Brightness Warm White: Led shines about 135-145 lumens, professionally made...
- Vintage Cross Frame Design: Product is made with durable cast aluminum and...
- Warranty: If you have any questions please feel free to contact us. Our support...
A lamp post may lend a classy, vintage aspect to your decor while illuminating your entryway. And with the Kemco Solar Post Light Fixture, you have many more options on where to install it to your outdoor environment, with no energy or cables needed. You can mount this light on a 3-inch-diameter round post (not provided) or to its accompanying mounting base, which we did for our testing. It was straightforward to put together, with just two components, but we found it a touch top-heavy; we recommend tying it to a post for a securer installation. Once put up, we loved how this metal light fixture’s lantern design and ripple glass created a wonderful glow. Despite the ripple glass, the light beams so clearly, we could even read around it when testing.
We noted that the only feature, aside from its solar potential, is an on/off switch. Our testing also found some inconsistent outcomes. On one one, the frosted glass shattered during our golf ball test; on the other, the solar panels still worked. Also, the company claims the device is weatherproof, and it wasn’t damaged when we poured water immediately above it. However, we did not test water hitting it from the sides, which will happen if it’s on a post during a storm.
- Bright, beautiful light
- Stylish design
- Two placement options
- Easy to assemble
- Post not included
- Glass could shatter
Buying Guide: What to Look For in Outdoor Solar Lights
Motion-activated, dusk-to-dawn, and timer-controlled are the three broad categories into which outdoor solar lights can be placed based on the amount of illumination they provide. Think about when and for how long you’d like the lights on, as the collected solar energy is limited by the size of the solar cells and the capacity of the batteries. You have the most say over when and for how long your solar lights turn on and off using a timer.
With the help of photocells and other light sensors, dusk-to-dawn solar lights turn on when the sun sets and stay on until sunrise. Dusk-to-dawn lights may have difficulty storing enough solar energy to remain bright for an extended period of time each night in areas with less daylight, especially during the winter.
The AloftSun Motion Sensor Solar Landscape Spotlights are our Best Overall Pick because to their versatile design, which allows for either surface or wall mounting, as well as their powerful illumination, three different lighting modes, and easy set-up.
How solar lights are set up is dependent on their intended function. Some solar-powered exterior lights even use the same screw-in installation as standard wall sconces. Solar lights on stakes are convenient for lighting pathways because they can be set up in a matter of seconds. Sheva Knopfler, Co-Founder and Creative Director of Lights.com, an established online lighting supplier, adds, “Brick lights are wonderful for illuminating gardens and paths, as they can be put into pavement or dirt.” Solar-powered string lights are another viable choice because they are simple to set up. The solar panel on these needs to be exposed to plenty of sunlight every day in order to function properly. To give just one example, our favorite tested string lights, the Brightech Solar LED String Lights, may be used to add ambience to your outside space whenever the weather permits. Some stores also carry wall sconces, which function in a manner analogous to that of string lights. For ambient lighting along the outer walls of a room, “wall lights are fantastic,” says Knopfler.
From 5 lumens for some landscape ambience to 350 lumens or more for a powerful spotlight or floodlight, luminosity is measured in lumens. Your requirements will change based on the setting and function you intend to use it for. During our tests, we discovered that not all goods clearly indicated their lumen ratings.
Remember that there are a variety of solar brightness alternatives available for purchase, each serving a unique function. According to Knopler, “most of our solar lights could produce up to 20 lumens, depending on size, color, and placement in regard to the sun.” To adjust the overall intensity, simply move the lights closer or farther apart from one another.
i) How do outdoor solar lights work?
You can find solar cells, rechargeable batteries, photoresistors, and light bulbs in most outdoor solar lights. Solar cells collect energy from the sun during the day and store it in batteries for use at night. When photoresistors sense darkness, they activate the systems. This light will remain on until the batteries die or the photoresistors see morning light.
ii) Do outdoor solar lights need direct sunlight?
If you put your solar light where it will get lots of direct sunlight, the battery will charge faster and the light will stay on longer. Put your solar lamp somewhere that gets at least a few hours of sunshine every day for optimal performance. Solar lights still function in dim light or on cloudy days, albeit they may not absorb as much energy and turn on for as long.1
iii) How do you install outdoor solar lights?
Please refer to the product manual for detailed information on how to properly install solar lights. There are lights that are meant to be screwed into the wall, and others that come with stakes to be driven into the ground. The solar panel on your product will perform better if it is placed where it can absorb sunlight for a significant portion of each day.
iv) Where’s the best place to install outdoor solar lights?
Outdoor solar lights perform best when exposed to sunlight for 6-8 hours per day. If they’re meant to be put on a wall, think about hanging them high to maximize their exposure to light. You should move your lights if they are in the way of your lawnmower, obscuring a window, or otherwise inconveniencing you.
v) How long do outdoor solar lights last?
The batteries in most outdoor solar lights can last anywhere from three to four years before they die. It depends on the manufacturer; some will sell you replacement batteries while others would have you buy an entirely new light. Solar lights have a longer lifespan if you take care of them by cleaning the panels periodically and storing them away from the elements during the winter.2 “LED lights can last up to 10 years,” says Knopfler, so if you take these precautions, your solar lights may last for a decade.
AloftSun Motion Sensor Solar Landscape Spotlights are the best option since they are long-lasting, can be used in a variety of settings, and can be installed in two different ways. The Brightown Outdoor Solar String Lights are a two-pack that can be installed with ease and provide cheap lighting for your outdoor space, with each string measuring 33 feet in length.