Putting some solar lights into your garden, driveway, or backyard can be a great way to keep things attractive and exciting while keeping the energy bill low. Since solar lights rely on the power of the sun, they are a sustainable and environmental way to freshen up the look of your home without having a significant impact on the environment or your own wallet.
The best outdoor solar lights on the market will turn your home into a beacon, making it look great while keeping any unwanted intruders away. If you’re looking for outdoor solar lights, make sure they are waterproof so they can withstand all weather conditions.
Another vital feature they should have is an automatic operation so that you can leave them to their own devices. Motion sensors usually do the trick here, and they will do wonders for your sense of security as well.
We’ve done some digging, and selected what we think are the seven best outdoor solar lights you can buy at the moment.
Our Top Picks of This Year
1. Tomcare Landscape Lights – Best Overall
- Functional yet decorative
- Perfect for driveway or lawn
- Environmentally friendly
These solar lights work perfectly for outdoor purposes since they are excellent both in terms of functionality as well as decoration. With the TomCare Lights, you will not only light up your lawn or driveway but make it way more beautiful in the process.
The glow of the gorgeous dancing flames enhances the mood of any environment, and it is one of the many reasons why we’ve put this product above all others on the list in terms of overall quality.
The design and height of these lights make them perfect for lighting a path to your door as well. Power consumption is not a concern when it comes to TomCare Landscape lights. They run entirely on solar power, making them superbly environmentally-friendly (try saying that three times fast).
They are highly resistant to all types of weather, so you can fully expect them to stand the test of time and serve you for years to come. This is of paramount importance, after all, since they will be spending their life outdoors with most users.
Some consumers who live in areas with harsh weather changes may choose to take their lights inside during the less forgiving months and bring them back out in the spring. This is also easy to do with the TomCare lights as they are not difficult to remove from the ground while staying securely placed as long as you want them to.
2. Tonulax Solar Multi-Color Lights – Best for Garden
- Perfect for garden
- Appealing color palette
- Large solar panel
This is another product we recommend, especially for those of you looking for some great garden solar lights. The Tonulax Solar Multi-Color Lights are waterproof and loaded with a bunch of features that you should be looking for when shopping for a set of outdoor solar lights.
The colors on these lights are particularly appealing due to their excellent selection of purple and red, which makes them appeal to anyone’s feminine side. Imagine adding some gorgeous flowers to your garden, except these also light up.
If you’re someone who is continuously looking to improve the appearance and appeal of your garden, you should definitely check these out.
They offer great value when it comes to enhancing the overall look of your garden, patio, lawn, or any other outdoor area. Because they have a more extensive solar panel than most lights of this type, they will give you more performance and a higher rate of charging as well, compared to other products in a similar category.
That also means it will work more efficiently in cloudy weather conditions, so you can expect your lights to still shine after a cloudy day.
The lights are also quite easy to install and take care of since they don’t require any special tools or extra wires. Everything you need comes right in the box. Once you do set them up, you don’t have to worry about anything, making these lights a breeze to maintain.
3. Othway Solar Fence Lights – Best for Deck
- Honeycomb design
- Convenient and quick to attack
These are nice-looking lights with a honeycomb design. They are quite lightweight, and there are no wires necessary as they are powered using the solar panel at the top of each light. Also, they are quite small, each about the size of the palm of your hand. This means they can be conveniently and quickly attached to your house entrance, front porch, garage door, fence, or any other place you choose.
The first step when you get the lights out of the box is to turn the power switch on. This may sound like the most obvious thing in the world, but the power button is actually on the inside of the case, so to do this, you’ll need to press the honeycomb plastic on each side and pull the top off. Once you’ve done that, press the power button to turn the light on and put the cover back.
At this point, you’ll quickly realize that the lights are automatic, so whenever the solar panel is covered, or the sun is not reaching it, the light will come on, but as long as there’s light hitting the panel, the light will shut off to conserve battery. Due to the honeycomb design on the casing, these lights give off a charming glow in the form of spots expanding outward, which creates a pleasant atmosphere.
A word of warning – push down firmly on the case to make sure it’s closed. If you fail to do this, there might be a chance of water coming in through an opening in the case, which is something you’ll want to avoid.
4. Brightech Ambience Pro – Best String Lights
- String light set
- California-based company
- Atmosphere-enhancing glow
- Straightforward set-up
The Ambience Pro Solar String Lights from Brightech are an attractive solution that will work perfectly for those of you looking for a short string light set that does a great job illuminating your outdoor environment using a relatively small panel.
Brightech is a company based in California that deals with lighting of all varieties. They mostly specialize in outdoor string lights and techy lamps, however, and dare we say they do an excellent job at this.
This particular set of lights is a string of globe-type soft lights that works best in a small outdoor area. They are likely to enhance the atmosphere of any deck on a warm summer night.
Not much setup is required with these lights at all, as even the bulbs come screwed into their sockets.
The most significant decision you’re going to have to make with the setup is the location. Because these lights are tethered to their solar panel, you’ll need to look for a place where you can set them up so the panel can receive a nice exposure to the sun.
This may somewhat limit your options, but you should understand what you’re getting into when it comes to solar lights in the first place.
You’ll want to make sure the panel is facing south if you’re located in the Northern Hemisphere since this will give you the most chance at direct sunlight for as many hours of the day as possible.
5. Guardian 580x – Top Flood Light
- InfraRed Sensor
- Wireless connectivity
- Aluminum casing
One of the most advanced solar security floodlights on the market comes from Guardian in the form of their 580X Security light. This solar light has Passive InfraRed Intelligent Sensor Control, and it is a solar floodlight fixture with wireless connectivity. The industrial-grade aluminum casing on this solar panel allows you to place it in direct sunlight without the worry of damage or overheating.
If you’re looking for a security floodlight that doesn’t require any wiring, this is the solution for you. All you need to do is set up the Guardian 580X in any location you like while making sure it receives as much sunlight as possible.
Once this fixture notices any movement, it is automatically going to engage ‘full blast’ which amounts to 730 lumens. As soon as the action stops, it will switch to dim mode, or about 55 lumens if there’s no sunlight. This floodlight is made of cast iron, making it durable in any conditions, and capable of withstanding rain, sun, and snow. It is equipped with a total of 84 units of CREE White High-Power LEDs.
The solar panel itself is made of industrial-grade aluminum, and it comes pre-assembled with a lithium battery. These batteries are usually pre-charged out of the box and tend to have a long life in our experience and according to customer reviews.
You can use the PIR Motion Sensor at any strategic location, especially since it has an impressive detection range of up to ten meters.
6. Beau Jardin Silver Lights – Best for Path
- Gorgeous design
- Honeycomb glass
- Snowflake effect
- Easy placement
If you’re looking for some gorgeous ambiance on your pathway, walkway, or in your garden, these large path lights are the way to go. They get our Best for Path pick due to the giant silver lanterns’ beautiful yet not showy design. This allows them to fit into your yard’s décor while adding to the natural scenery of the place.
These lights also work perfectly in any open space due to the beautiful pattern they create around them using their honeycomb glass. This makes it so that the light comes out in a lattice diamond pattern, with somewhat of a mandala or snowflake effect.
You should really see it for yourself, it is quite captivating to see in person, and the pics don’t do it justice. Of course, these are not only decorative lights, as they still provide plenty of illumination for your garden path or walkway.
You can place each light independently, as no cords or wires are connecting them, and each light has its own solar panel on top to charge its battery.
The lights will turn on automatically as it gets dark outside, turning your pathway into a gorgeously illuminated environment until the morning when they will shut off to begin charging and preparing for the night ahead.
7. Lovin Product Security Solar Wall Light – Best for Security
- Motion sensors
- Three-part design
- 180-degree viewing angle
When it comes to security lights, it doesn’t get much better than the ultra-bright 1000 lumen solar light from Lovin Product. These feature a whopping 182 LEDs, as well as wide-angle illumination and motion sensors. It is way brighter than most solar lights in this category, and if you’re looking for security, that’s going to be an essential factor.
The unit is separated into three parts, which you can turn in different directions – up, down, left and right – to illuminate a wide area. Sitting just below the lights, the smart motion sensor has a viewing angle of 180 degrees and a more extended range than most similar lights.
You’ll want to install the solar panel of this model on the roof of your house to get the optimal amount of sunlight, as it is unsurprisingly quite demanding in terms of the amount of electricity it requires. That said, it does come with an extra-long extension cable, so it should be no problem to get it set-up the way you want to.
Also, the solar panel is highly efficient, featuring Polycrystal silicon and a total output of 2.5W 9V. This means the rate of photoelectric conversion is twice as high as other panels in this price range. If you’re looking for some extra safety and are willing to install a solar panel on your roof to get it working, this product absolutely gets a thumbs-up from us.
Types of Outdoor Solar Lights
Garden Solar Lights
The first type of lights we’re going to talk about in this list are solar garden lights. These are quite popular these days, and the best ones are usually those you can place in the middle of your garden to give it a bit of a decorative enhancement.
Most users don’t expect these lights to do a particularly great job illuminating the garden, as that is often not their primary purpose, but if they can do both, that’s always a huge plus. They do well when it comes to saving on the electricity bill, just like any other type of solar light, and there is a wide variety of models to consider.
Solar Path Lights
Often referred to as walkway lights, these are meant to do precisely what you’d expect – light up the walkway or path to your door, creating the right atmosphere and ambiance for yourself and your guests and making sure that the area in front of your house is inviting rather than scary and dark. They usually offer great value, because even the most basic models provide an attractive glow.
Depending on what you’re looking for, you might opt for a more decorative option, or go for a brighter set for added functionality. Make sure to evaluate your needs and options carefully and figure out your priorities first before making the final decision.
Solar Deck Lights
These come in a wide variety of choices in terms of style and illumination. They can create a vibrant and rich effect and add some gorgeous ambiance to your patio, siding, walls, or stairs. Otherwise known as patio lights, these are quite common, and usually, there are quite a few options from the most popular manufacturers.
This means you’re going to have plenty of choice in deciding the type and style you want. Since wires don’t usually look great on walls and stairs, this is the perfect type of lighting to go solar.
Solar String Lights
As energy-efficient, as it gets, solar string lights can be a great asset in any attempt at decorating your house. They can help illuminate your outdoor space, whether at home or the office, and can also, in some circumstances, be used indoors as indoor solar lights.
An extra benefit is that they are easy to wrap around trees, poles, or fences, and you can quickly set them up in shrubbery, branches, as well as signs in front of your house. If you’re looking for some Christmas lights, why not go for solar? They are perfect for any occasion and have a lot of versatility.
Solar Flood Lights
Also known as solar spotlights, these are perfect for illuminating your driveway, backyard, or any area you’d like to keep protected from intruders. The most crucial aspect when choosing a solar floodlight is the area you’re planning to use it on because that is going to determine the type, level of brightness, and sometimes even the durability required.
Manufacturers nowadays are trying to make spotlights that target specific areas and situations, so if you do a bit of digging, you should have no trouble finding one that suits your particular needs.
Solar Powered Security Lights
One of the best ways to add some security to your home is a solar motion-activated light. These are a great alternative to the more traditional electric models, as they are great for the environment and save you money in the long run.
If you’d like to brighten up a dark corner of your property or drive intruders away, the sensitive sensors on these lights will get activated once anything – person or animal – walks into their range. The bright light is likely to ward off anything or anyone that’s not supposed to be skulking around there.
Finding the Best Solar Lights for Outdoor – Buying Guide
Since solar lights are affordable and eco-friendly at the same time, it’s no surprise that they are becoming increasingly popular by the day. As a bonus, you often don’t have to set up any wiring or cables that you’d typically have to with more conventional electric lights. But what are the factors to look out for when selecting the best solar lights for you? Keep reading to find out.
Things to Consider When Choosing the Best Product
‘Smart’ is a word that gets thrown around a lot these days, with increasing disregard for its actual meaning. For a device to be considered smart, it has to have an intelligent microprocessor and some network connectivity.
For example, a smart solar light will have an option to connect to your phone via an app, which you can use to turn the light on or off, or may look into emerging weather patterns to adjust its light output.
Most people can live without these features, but if you’re a tech buff, you might want to look into these types of lights for some added functionality. It’s going to cost you a bit extra, though.
Access to Direct Sunlight
If you live in Las Vegas or some other location with lots of sun, your solar panels are likely to always run at their maximum capacity. But what if your area is known for having plenty of cloudy or rainy days? Things will not be as simple in this case, but don’t be tricked into thinking that solar lights are not still an option for you.
Solar-powered lights can still operate in these types of conditions, but you’re going to want to give them the best chance you can. That means setting up a panel on the roof or putting your garden lights into the part of the garden that usually receives the most sunlight during the day.
One of the most important factors when it comes to shopping for solar lighting is figuring out the functions you expect it to perform. Generally speaking, the more features it offers, the more expensive the solar light is. A solar flood light with a motion sensor and wi-fi capability will cost you more than a simple garden light; you get the picture.
If you go for an atmospheric light, you can’t expect it to drive burglars away from your house, but it might just give you the ambiance you always wanted on your front porch. Think about what you need your solar lights to do, and consider how much it’s going to cost you to have that functionality.
Important Features to Look For
Most solar lights use LEDs whose output of light is measured in lumens. This is a factor which widely varies from light to light, meaning that some models produce only warm, soft lighting between 20 and 50 lumens while others can produce up to 1000. It all depends on what you’re looking for.
It’s important to know what kind of battery you want in your solar lights. Some batteries can be charged even without full exposure to the sun, while others are known to require as much sunlight as possible. Depending on the type of light you are looking to use, this factor is going to differ dramatically.
If you’ve been browsing solar lights online, you probably know by now that they come in a wide variety of shapes and forms. Some produce an ambient and cozy glow, which will be great if you’re looking to highlight some landscaping, while others give brighter and more lasting light which is ideally suited for security purposes.
While we always recommend getting the highest quality solar lights and panels, materials are not going to play a significant role in your decision for the most part. Outdoor solar lights are made to withstand all conditions, so you can rest assured that they will keep performing for a long time barring any major disasters.
The brightness of your lights can be affected by how much sun they are getting daily, but also by the quality of their solar panel and battery. Bigger and more efficient photovoltaic cells will cost more, so it’s often a case of ‘you get what you pay for’.
How to Set Up Your Outdoor Solar Lights?
Since there’s usually little to no wiring involved, setting up solar lights should be a breeze. How you set them up depends on the type of light you’ve got, of course, but there are some general tips that we can provide here so you could maximize your solar output and get optimal results.
Firstly, decide what it is you’d like to illuminate. If it’s an object in the garden, you should place the lights close enough to it and focus on it to get the best results. Perhaps even more importantly, try to avoid any obstructions to maximize the available sunlight. Place your light where it will be able to absorb sunlight for most of the day and try to put it out of the way of overhangs and tree branches.
Finally, it’s always a good idea to charge your lights before installing them and clean the panels every once in a while.
Picking out the best outdoor solar lights is not easy, but if you went through our buyers’ guide above, hopefully, you at least have some idea where to start and which features and factors to consider. Make sure to consider both the positives and negatives of each type of lighting before you reach your decision.
Once you’ve made your choice and you have your light proudly set up, don’t forget to clean them periodically as this will extend their life and give you more bang for your buck. For best results, it’s not a bad idea to take the lights off and store them indoors during the harshest weather conditions.
Here are some other interesting models that you might like: