If you want to light up your backyard but don’t have any power outlets, don’t worry. The best outdoor solar lights can help provide lighting at a fraction of the cost of electricity-powered outdoor lights with no time-consuming remodeling or expensive electrical work required.
Solar powered outdoor lights include photovoltaic cells that actively absorb sunlight during the day. This sunlight charges batteries, which then light the bulb at night. As a result, solar lights must be placed in locations that receive a minimum of eight hours of direct sunlight each day.
While there are many types of exterior solar lights– and the best solar landscape lights will vary depending on your needs– solar yard lights can help transform your bland backyard into a relaxing outdoor oasis.
Here’s what you need to know in order to find the best solar yard lights.
Best Outdoor Solar Lights
Remember that the quality of your outdoor solar light will be directly related to the quality of the bulb and battery in your system. If you opt for solar lights with cheap photovoltaic cells or smaller LED bulbs, you likely won’t be able to reap the same benefits as you would in a higher-priced, yet more advanced, lighting system.
When you are shopping for the best outdoor solar lights, the number of choices you’ll have available to you can be overwhelming. Think about the ultimate purpose of your lights. Do you want them to be decorative or practical?
Consider how bright you want your lights to be, as well as the exact intended placement of your lights. Some lights are meant to be staked while others can be hung or affixed to an existing structure.
Here are some other factors you will want to consider as you are shopping:
- Strength and output
- Weather resistance
- Battery lifespan and type
- Lighting angle and distribution
- Lighting color
- Operating time
- Charging time
- Type of light bulb
Remember, outdoor solar lights aren’t just there for aesthetic purposes. They’re also there to help prevent accidental trips and falls. While containing gardening equipment– like keeping your hose in a garden hose reel— can help prevent accidents, being able to see everything clearly is the easiest way to prevent mishaps. If you’re looking for additional products to help you tidy up your lawn, make sure you check out our review of the best garden hose reels, too.
If you’re looking to save some money on your electricity bill or simply want to install an efficient, inexpensive outdoor lighting system, you should consider outfitting your yard with solar powered garden lights. You don’t have to sacrifice beauty, power, or quality– you can find a great outdoor solar light that is versatile, environmentally-friendly, and affordable all at the same time.
Best Outdoor Solar Lights Comparison
URPOWER Motion Sensor Outdoor Solar Lights
- Type: Motion Sensing
- Manufacturer: URPOWER
- Battery Type: 4 lithium-ion Batteries (Included)
SolarGlow Solar Powered LED Pathway Lights
- Type: LED Solar Path Light
- Manufacturer: SolarGlow
- Battery Type: 1 AA battery per pathway light (included)
Mpow Solar Decorative String Lights
- Type: LED String Lights
- Manufacturer: Mpow
- Battery Type: 1 AA battery (included)
InnoGear MT-057 Solar Lights Spotlight Outdoor Landscape Lighting
- Type: LED Solar Spot Light
- Manufacturer: InnoGear
- Battery Type: 1 lithium-ion battery per spotlight (included)
These are the best solar lights we could find at least partially thanks to a feature that is commonly overlooked by homeowners: motion-activation. You don’t have to use them in that mode, but it’s a great way to both increase home security and save energy.
when you use these solar lights in motion sensor mode. They come with an upgraded lighting system so that any area is made incredibly bright, making them a great choice for your driveway, porch, or deck. They turn on automatically when motion is detected, so you won’t be fumbling around in the dark in the middle of the night.
These lights have upgraded rechargeable 1800mAh batteries. They are fully chargeable in about six to eight with the power of the sun, and are also waterproof. These lights come with a 90-day money back guarantee along with a one-year warranty. They’ll last for around twelve hours when fully charged, giving you plenty of power even in the darkest of nights.
What We Liked:
- Charges in just six hours
- Provides an incredibly bright warm white light
- Activated by movement for added security
What We Didn’t Like:
- Some assembly required – but all parts and tools are included
Besides edging your garden and lawn with a weed eater, there’s no better way to improve the appearance of your lawn than by adding some nighttime solar lighting.
But these– the best solar path lights– aren’t just nice to look at, they are also practical. They can light up an entire garden area with ease and are waterproof, allowing them to function well even when they are in the direct path of a sprinkler or have been exposed to a heavy rainstorm. This is because they are made out of heavy ABS plastic, making them resistant to just about any kind of precipitation.
These lights won’t provide enough light for you to read by, but they will provide a soft glow to your garden and make it easy to walk around outside at night. They are easy to install, with each pack coming with six lights. Because the lights are affixed to stakes, you can install them anywhere you want and pull them up to move them easily.
These solar path lights come with a lifetime replacement warranty. They use LED bulbs with 10 lumens that can be replaced if necessary. Although these lights do require batteries to operate, they are recharged during the day so you don’t have to worry about replacing them all the time. The lights come with sensors that will recognize the light of dawn and turn themselves off to charge during the day.
What We Liked:
- Don’t have to pay for shipping if you need replacement lights
- Easily stake into the ground for quick placement and portability
- LED bulb is protected against the elements with an airtight seal
What We Didn’t Like:
- Need eight hours of direct sunlight or they will be dim at night
If you’re looking for a unique way to light up your lawn or a tent for a backyard celebration, look no further than Mpow’s Solar Decorative String Lights. Mpow offers some of the best rated outdoor decorative gear in the industry, so it’s no surprise why thousands of customers have left positive reviews for this product.
These lights are both heat- and water-resistant, meaning you can leave them outside in all kinds of conditions. They are ranked as IP64 waterproof, so you don’t have to worry about rain, snow, sleet, or any other kind of precipitation hurting your lights. Each string comes with 100 individual LED lights, each of which has a nice, warm white glow. The lights are affixed to a thin 33-foot long cord so that you can hang them anywhere you’d like– you can wrap them around trees or even hang them from gutters.
These lights are incredibly versatile, meaning you can use them simply to light up your garden or patio or for more extravagant occasions, like weddings or holidays. They even come with eight different modes to allow you to change up the appearance based on the feel. You can choose from chasing, twinkle, combination, fireflies, waves, and other options to customize your lighting to the particular event.
What We Liked:
- Flexible cord allows you to hang these lights wherever you’d like
- Eight different working modes to customize the appearance of the lights
- Heat and water resistant
What We Didn’t Like:
- Comes with a switch that you have to turn on in order for the lights to charge
If you need to provide a lot of direct lighting in one specific place, these solar spotlights by InnoGear are the ones you need to purchase. Not only are these lights waterproof and heatproof, but they’re also incredibly bright, kicking out 200 lumens each. If that’s not enough, they also have a 4X50 lumen enhanced LED.
These LED solar lights are easy to install as they come on stakes. All you have to do is press them into the ground or mount them to a wall and you’re good to go. You can swivel the solar head of the light on the stake so that it can point in a certain direction or be positioned at the best angle for optimal sun exposure.
The lights automatically turn on at night and off at sunrise and with two different levels of brightness, you can adjust them based on your needs. The lights come with a lithium rechargeable battery that lasts a long time, providing you with maximum power while at the same time offering optimal efficiency.
What We Liked:
- Adjustable solar panels that can be turned in any direction
- Tool-free installation
- Heat and waterproof with two different lighting modes
What We Didn’t Like:
- No warranty included
Benefits of Using Outdoor Solar Lights
Outdoor lighting is a major investment, but solar lighting can help make things a little less expensive thanks to their rechargeable batteries. Yay green energy! You won’t have to pay for a high electric bill, nor will you have to foot the costs of trenching, wiring, or digging to install underground electrical wires.
These lights are also eco-friendly. You can easily decrease your carbon footprint by using an outdoor solar light. Many of the best outdoor solar lights even include LED bulbs that have lifespans of eight, nine, or even ten years!
Solar lights are also safer. You don’t have to worry about electrocution risks or worry about somebody tripping and falling because they can’t see when the power goes out. There is minimal hassle involved in installing outdoor solar lights, and because they are easy to install, they are also easier to move.
Types of Outdoor Solar Lights
Solar lights can truly be a lifesaver when you don’t have any outdoor power outlets. However, it can be tough to shop for the right lights for your needs when you don’t understand the difference between the many types of outdoor solar lights. Here’s what you need to know.
Solar Path Lights
Solar path lights are small lights on stakes that can be inserted into the ground alongside a pathway. These will help light up the areas in which you need to walk, reducing the risk of tripping or injuring yourself in the dark. Although solar path lights aren’t usually as bright as ones powered by electricity, you can use additional lights in order to produce the same effect.
Solar spotlights are the brightest solar powered garden lights you can find. Some of the best solar powered spotlights produce lighting that is equivalent to that produced by a 40-watt incandescent bulb! These are ideal for use around a driveway, garage, or in a garden.
LED Solar String Lights or Decorative String Lights
Many types of outdoor solar lights can fall into the decorative category, including LED string lights, but the most important thing you need to know about this kind of solar lighting is that they are not designed to fully illuminate any area and should only be used for ornamental purposes. They look great hanging over a dining table or as solar patio lights, but you may need to use another kind of light in order to see.
If you’re looking for outdoor solar lights that will light up your entire backyard or garden– without breaking the bank– you should consider these best outdoor solar lights. Whether you are concerned about your budget, the planet, or the security around your home, these lights will get the job done each and every time.