A solar lighting fixture is a cost-effective means of providing lighting to your home or business and is environment-friendly.

The outside of your property has a wide variety of places where you may place lighting fixtures, including walkways, above doorways, and on steps. If the fixtures are located far from your home, it might be difficult to find an outlet for them all.

Many individuals are turning to outdoor solar lighting as a result of this. You can easily install these lights since they don’t need a power source, making them a great option for those on a budget.

Various outdoor solar lights are available, including spotlights, floodlights, wall lights, and many more. You may utilize them for safety and aesthetics by setting them to turn on automatically in the dark and utilizing the solar energy they’ve gathered during the day.

Best outdoor solar lights

Best Overall: SEZAC Motion-Activated Outdoor LED Area Light

Pros

  • Detection of motion up to a distance of 30 feet
  • Adhesive is supplied and may be applied to any surface.
  • Designed to withstand the elements

Cons

  • There are no tinkerable options.

Light up your yard with these motion-activated solar lights from Ever Brite. 6 LED light unit has bright white LED lights that light up whenever they detect movement, making them perfect for placing over a garage door, in a shed, or even next to your front entrance.

You don’t need any tools or wires to put these solar lights up because of the supplied 3M adhesive. For more permanent placement, screws may be used to secure them to the wall. When it becomes dark outside, the lights stay on a modest level until they detect motion within 10 feet and then grow to full brightness until there is no more movement.

2000 mAh lights up after 8-10 hours of charging

Most people choose the lights since they are waterproof and can be used for various purposes, making them a popular option.

Best Budget: SUNNEST Classic Column Solar Powered LED Path Light

Pros

  • Reasonable price
  • From dusk to dawn lighting system
  • Easy to install

Cons

  • Light emitted lacks intensity
  • Small size

The Mainstays Solar-Powered LED Path Light is a low-cost solution to light up your yard. With a solar panel on the top, the basic path lights may be placed into grass or soil and remain bright all night long since they are powered by sunlight throughout the day.

These black plastic path lights are little about 13 inches tall and are built to withstand the elements. To save battery life, they incorporate dusk to dawn function that activates at night and turns off at sunrise. Even if they aren’t the brightest lights, they’ll still look great along your pathway.

Charge the lamp for 6-8 hours in full sunlight, giving you 8-10 hours of light at night.

Best for Winter: URPOWER 2-in-1 Solar Lights with LED

Pros

  • Work better on gloomy days compared to other choices
  • Several options for installation 
  • Dusk to dawn lighting system

Cons

  • Quite a little smaller than you may expect

Due to a lack of sunlight in the winter, certain solar lights may not work as effectively as they should. In contrast, the URPOWER Solar Lights are weatherproof and frost-resistant, allowing them to be used all year round, even on overcast days.

The four LED bulbs in the URPOWER Lights provide 200 light output. Using the provided stakes, the lights may either be anchored to the ground or screwed into the wall. In addition, the light and solar panel may be adjusted individually to get the perfect angle. Lights that automatically switch on at night and turn off in the morning are ideal for lighting your house, yard, and landscape.

Best Flood Lights: Link2Home Outdoor Solar Light Low Voltage LED Flood Light

Pros

  • Motion-detection-activated bright light
  • When fully charged, the battery may last for up to 12 hours
  • Automatically switches off at dawn

Cons

  • Angle of illumination is only limited to 180 degrees
  • Short range of detection 

Solar flood lights like these from Link2Home are essential if you want to keep your house secure at night. When motion is detected within 16 feet of the 350-lumen LEDs, they activate their strong light mode and remain on for 30 seconds before reverting to their dull standby state.

Designed with a sleek, flat panel mounted on your house, porch, or garage, these flood lights also include an automatic shutoff feature that turns them off at dawn. Battery life is up to 12 hours on a full charge; it takes around six to eight hours of sunshine to recharge. A power drill and a few screws are all needed to install Link2Home lights, which are weather-resistant and can be mounted anywhere.

Best Spotlight: Frontgate Pro Series VI Solar Spotlight

Pros

  • In overcast weather, the large solar panels perform better.
  • For best arrangement, solar panels and lights are separated.
  • Exceptional workmanship

Cons

  • Pricey

These high-end solar spotlights from Frontgate may be used to brighten the front of your house, your garden, or a flagpole. Aluminum stakes and cast aluminum housings protect the lights from the elements. Each spotlight comes with its 20-foot solar panel to maximize sunlight exposure so that you may set it in the best possible location for optimum brightness throughout the day.

The crystalline solar panels measure 4-3/4 x 16-1/4 x 6-1/4 inches, and the spotlights are slightly over 12 inches tall. This enlarged design performs better on overcast days and in the winter. Ten hours of continuous lighting is possible, and the lights automatically turn out in the morning to save battery power.

Best String Lights: Brightech Ambience Pro Solar-Powered Indoor/Outdoor

Pros

  • 14 settings for multicolored LED lights
  • Impact-proof bulbs
  • On overcast days, USB ports may be used to charge the lights.

Cons

  • Extremely costly

Solar-powered LED string lights are a beautiful addition to any room. A patio, deck, or another outside area would greatly benefit their presence. The lights come in 27-foot and 48-foot lengths. These lights come in various colors and styles, so you may choose the look that best suits your home’s decor.

The weather-resistant cable and impact-resistant bulbs of these string lights allow them to be used inside and outdoors. The lights have a USB solar panel staked into the ground to keep them lit up without energy.

Best Step Lights: JACKYLED Solar Step Lights

Pros

  • Multiple color variants
  • Include a switch to turn it on and off.
  • Installing is a breeze.

Cons

  • Not very usable in cold weather

With step lights, you’ll be able to see better on the steps at night, making them safer for you and your family. With five colors and a choice of pack sizes, the JACKYLED Solar Step Lights are a fantastic eco-friendly option for every set of steps, enabling you to purchase as few or a large number of them.

Using screws, they may be attached to stairs and measure around 4 × 3 inches each. The solar-powered devices will illuminate your stairwell for eight to ten hours with a 30-lumen brightness after six to eight hours of sunshine. They’ll turn on at nightfall in automated mode and shut off at dawn. The JACKYLED Solar Step Lights are no problem with wet areas, thanks to their waterproof design. However, temperatures below 14 degrees Fahrenheit aren’t ideal for best functioning.

Final verdict

The SEZAC Motion-Activated Outdoor LED Area Light is the ultimate outdoor solar light. Mountable on any flat surface, the sensor can detect movement 10 feet away. When it comes to solar spotlights, Frontgate Pro Series VI Solar Spotlights are a great option. They have large solar panels and high-efficiency LED lights that don’t need installation.

Types of outdoor solar lights

There are various reasons to utilize solar lights outside, including security, beautifying walkways and driveways, and illuminating decks. Determine the function of the solar-powered lights you are considering before you begin shopping for them. If you’re looking for a piece of art, then looks are more important than anything else. However, if you want to illuminate a route, you’ll need LED lights that are bright and targeted.

Here are some of the most popular solar lights for outdoor usage.

  1. Fairy Lights or Solar String Lights: Decorate your outside area with this item. Make your outside area seem beautiful by draping them over your deck railings or wrapping them around trees.

Solar-powered deck, fence, and patio lighting

Perfect for illuminating walks on patios, stairwells, and walls in a subtle manner.

3. Solar Post Lights 

Provide a dual role of illuminating gray areas while also providing an attractive visual appeal.

4. Solar Floodlights.

Suitable for illuminating vast areas, such as parking lots and backyards, with a powerful light.

5. Solar-powered lanterns

Perfect for camping or power outages when you need a portable light.

6. Solar LED Security Lights.

Motion sensors into these lights automatically activate the lights whenever movement is detected. There is a growing need for security lights that are powered by solar energy.

Criteria for good outdoor solar lights

Uses

  • Security: It is common for security lights to have bigger solar panels and more bulbs so that the lights can provide a brighter, stronger light. Using solar lights for security reasons necessitates a lengthy run time. Otherwise, they won’t be able to keep you safe at night. Motion sensors in these lights may help them operate longer and provide additional protection.
  • Illumination: All you need is to illuminate a specific region for certain solar lights. For a late-night supper on your terrace, you might want to enjoy a wire-free environment. These lights should be a faint glow, but they should still be brilliant. Some lights may be overly bright, so they are ineffective as general illumination lights. At the same time, others are too dim to be useful for seeing what is happening around you. Most of the time, these lights are only utilized in the early hours of darkness, so they don’t have to last the whole night.
  • Aesthetic: When it comes to lighting, there are instances when you simply want the lights to appear decent. Some solar lights include huge, unsightly solar panels that make them unappealing as a solution to this problem. Size is more essential than brightness in solar lights used for aesthetic reasons, and certain qualities may be compromised if the finished product is tiny, attractive, and reliable.

We ranked solar lights based on their ability to be used for all three purposes. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages, which we consider while evaluating.

Solar lights aren’t ideal. But the essential thing is getting a light with the right mix of characteristics for your requirements.

Type

Motion-activated, dusk to dawn, and timer-controlled outdoor solar lights all fall into these three main categories depending on their light output. Since stored solar energy is limited, you must consider when and how long you want the solar lights to shine. You have the greatest control with timer-controlled solar lights since you can set the time and duration of illumination.

It’s possible to utilize solar lights that automatically turn on at dusk and stay lit until the sun rises the following morning. Due to a lack of sunlight in winter climates, dusk-to-dawn lights may struggle to maintain their brightness for a long time each night. Motion-activated lights only turn on to preserve solar energy when they detect movement. This light is often used for flood lights or specialized illumination requirements, such as outside your back door.

Installation

The sort of installation needed for solar lights will be determined by the location in which they will be used. Using screws, some outdoor solar lights are mounted similar to conventional fixtures. Adhesive-mounted lights, on the other hand, are a faster and more convenient option. It’s simple to install solar lights with stakes for path lighting since you just press them into the ground.

Brightness

By looking at its lumen output, determine how bright outdoor solar light is. Depending on the setting and application, you may need more or less brightness. Outdoor solar lights are available in various brightnesses, ranging from 5 lumens for landscape lighting to 350 lumens or more for floodlights and spotlights.

Lumens are used to measure the brightness of solar lights, which may vary from 10 to 1500. We’ve created this buying guide to help you decide which lights to buy.

  • Step Lights – 10 to 100 lumens
  • Wall Lights – 50 to 185 lumens
  • Walkway Lights – 100 to 200 lumens
  • Pool Solar Lights – 200 to 400 lumens
  • Motion Sensor Lights – 300 to 900 lumens
  • Flood Lights – 700 to 1300 lumens

Battery type and capacity 

Lithium-ion or lead-acid batteries should be used for the most powerful solar lights. The most energy can be stored in a battery of this sort. It’s more costly, but lithium-ion batteries are smaller and more durable. NiMH batteries are perfect for low-power illumination since they can operate for a long time and have a large capacity.

Bulb type

Even though other varieties are available, LED, light bulbs are the best for solar illumination. They use less energy and provide more light. These devices are almost maintenance-free, with a life expectancy of up to 50000 hours.

Color temperature

The ambiance of a room may be established by the color temperature of the light bulbs. Candles and incandescent lights provide a warm glow that may be achieved with lower-temperature bulbs. LED and daylight CFL lights seem similar to bulbs with greater color temperatures because they produce cold colors or blue hues.

Coverage angle and distance 

Ambiance lighting may not need a lot of coverage. This is an important consideration for buying a motion sensor security light. A sensor’s angle of coverage determines detection range.

At least 120 degrees is ideal. Anything beyond 170 degrees may be a nuisance since the light would be activated regularly. The coverage distance is suggested to be at least 5 or 6 meters.

Weatherproof materials

Outdoor solar lights are regularly subjected to rain, dust, and heat, making them vulnerable. Choose outdoor solar lights that are waterproof or IP 55 certified. These lights are constructed of weather-resistant materials that can survive various situations.

Flexible positioning

Some lights can rotate or flip from the rear to the front. This means that you can simply rotate the head to adjust the direction of the light. This sort of light is versatile and may illuminate various spaces. It’s possible to alter the angle of a lamp’s solar panel so that it gets the maximum amount of light and recharges.

Settings and recharge time

The charge time is the amount of time it takes for the battery to be completely charged, while the run time is the amount of time it takes to generate light throughout the night. Several variables may affect charges and operating times, including the current weather. 

The suggested charging time is 6 to 7 hours. In most cases, a run duration of 10 to 12 hours is appropriate. However, this may vary depending on your location’s quantity of sunshine and the light’s power level.

Set it up manually, and then let it do the rest of the work for you. To preserve battery life, you may activate or deactivate the lights as needed and alter the bulbs’ brightness.

Accessories

Consider whether or not the lamp comes with the necessary installation accessories before purchasing it. Screws, extension hinges, and user manuals may be included. Most lights may be installed in a matter of minutes.

Lifespan and warranty

Outdoor solar lights have a variety of characteristics that might affect their longevity. Generally speaking, they may last anywhere from seven to fifteen years. PV cells may endure for up to 20 years in a panel. They may be replaced after a few years, though. The company and product’s warranties might range from one to three years.

Benefits of using solar lights

Solar lights provide several benefits. For your convenience, we’ve included a few examples below.

1. Eco-Friendly

Since sunshine is a renewable energy source, solar lights are the most energy-efficient. In addition, they serve an important role in reducing the amount of carbon dioxide that is discharged into the atmosphere every day by industrial and manufacturing facilities. We can gradually reduce the problems created by exploiting the planet’s natural resources by employing solar energy.

2. Economic viability

Solar lights are often more expensive than traditional lighting. But in the long run, they are a more cost-effective option. Considering the cost of both solar and electric lights, you’ll discover that your investment in solar lights will pay for itself within a few months of purchase.

3. Repairs and upkeep

Because they don’t need much in the way of maintenance, solar lighting systems are a breeze to keep up with. There is no need to bother with cables or the installation of a power outlet. Keeping a close eye on them throughout the year is all you need to do to ensure they survive a long time.

4. Multiple ranges of designs

Solar lights come in a variety of forms and patterns. All kinds of forms, sizes, and types are available. In certain cases, the function of solar light is clearly stated. Some of them are meant to improve the aesthetics of the surroundings. So, you won’t have difficulty finding a solution that meets your needs and expectations.

5. Unlimited energy source

Solar energy will always be available for as long as the Earth is alive and well. Although it may be tough to charge the solar lights during overcast days and snowy months.

6. Convenient alternative

A power outage or blackout is typical if you reside in an area often hit by heavy storms. It might be tough to live in the dark. There is a fire risk when using candles or oil lamps as a temporary remedy. Solar lights are the best option if you’re looking for a long-term solution. If you’re in a desperate situation, they’re a better alternative.

7. Eliminates the need for electrical wires.

Traditional lighting requires power cords, which may be a tripping danger in damp weather. But with solar lights, you don’t have to worry about this. Protective plastic covers the standard silicon wafers used in solar panels. Installing solar panels does not need the use of electrical cables.

FAQs

How do outdoor solar lights work?

A rechargeable battery, photoresistor, and light bulb are some of the most common components in outdoor solar lights. The solar cell converts the sun’s rays into power and is stored in the battery throughout the day.

Only at night the photoresistor senses a lack of illumination and activates the light source. The light will continue to shine as long as the battery lasts or the photoresistor senses light. It can trip over electrical cords while working, particularly in damp weather.

But with solar lights, you don’t have to worry about this. Protective plastic covers the standard silicon wafers used in solar panels. Installing solar panels does not need the use of electrical cables.

Do outdoor solar lights need to be exposed to direct sunlight?

You can extend the life of your solar lights by placing them in direct sunlight throughout the day, which allows them to store more energy in their batteries. So, if you want to get the most out of your solar light, ensure it receives enough sun exposure. While solar lights will still operate in dim or overcast light, they won’t gather as much energy and may not last as long; they may still be useful under these conditions.

How do you install outdoor solar lights?

Make sure to follow the directions with the solar lights you buy to install them. When it comes to outdoor lighting, there are two basic options: wall-mounted and stake-mounted. But you’ll need to position the solar panel to get a good amount of sunshine throughout the day to get the most out of the device.

Where is the ideal place to install outdoor solar lights?

Ensure your outdoor solar lights receive six to eight hours of direct sunshine daily to get the most out of them. If your lights are meant to be hung on a wall, think about putting them up high so they’ll be exposed to more sunlight. Additionally, you’ll want to ensure that your lights aren’t placed where they’ll be in the way of your lawnmower or a window.

How long do outdoor solar lights last?

A normal solar light’s batteries will last between three and four years before they need to be changed. Some manufacturers offer replacement batteries, while others need you to purchase a new fixture. Your solar lights will last longer if you regularly clean are and preserve them from severe winter weather.

Can the battery of solar lights last all night?

Definitely. Batteries for the solar lights on our list range from three hours to ten hours in length. It all depends on what kind of lighting you’re using. Does your aim include keeping the light on all night?

There’s a solution out there for you. Think about what you need the light for before purchasing it. Because most people don’t use decorative solar lights all night, their battery life is lower. Security lights have a longer lifespan. Users want them to be on for safety concerns 24 hours a day. Batteries for solar lights degrade with time, just like any other battery. Whether or not the lamp has a changeable battery is a crucial consideration.

To keep the light on all night, you may need to replace the battery more often. For the lights to last the whole night, they often need to be fully charged. Lights can stay all night if placed in regions with a lot of sunlight.

Can outdoor solar lights survive extreme weather?

Solar lights are no more susceptible to damage than other types of outdoor lighting. But some models demand more attention than others. Additionally, we take note of lights that are long-lasting and made of high-quality materials.

The installation of the lights is one of the most critical components when it comes to weather resistance. Solar panels and light bulbs are both susceptible to breakage. As a result, they must be properly set up. As a result, we put a lot of effort into designing lights that are simple to install.

Do solar lights work in winter?

Yes, that’s an excellent question. Yes, at least in the majority of cases. It should work as long as the solar panel gets enough sunshine to charge the batteries throughout the day. When it comes to winter usage, certain manufacturers advise against it due to poor light performance or reduced product life expectancy.

What is the meaning of ‘F’ and ‘S’ on solar lights?

Flashing lights are referred to as ‘F.’ Static lights are referred to as ‘S.’ In other words, it specifies what output the lights can put out.

Last update on 2022-11-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API