Best Outdoor Solar lights

Best Outdoor Solar Lights – Light Up the Night! | SolarKnowHow


Solar lighting has made my yard a safer place to spend time, which is important to my family and me.

Have you ever missed that last step as you carried groceries into the house after a long day at work, wishing you had just a little bit of light to guide your steps?

The last time I tried to find the rope to tie up my boat, I remember muttering in frustration as I fumbled around in the pitch-black dark!

Then I discovered easy, passive solar lighting.

My Favorite Outdoor Solar Lights

The 4 types of solar lights included in this article include those commonly found in many yards. If you want the quick and dirty, then the four below include my favorite one from each group.

You can continue reading for more details on outdoor solar lights, including Solar Step & Deck Lights, Solar Fence Lights, Solar Path Lights, and Solar String Lights.

Types of Outdoor Solar Lights

Solar lights come in all different shapes and sizes. They are used for many reasons, and in many cases, people choose what they want based on personal preferences.

There are Fence Lights, Security Lights, Spot Lights, Garden Lights, String Lights, etc. Rather than take you through every type of light and what I think are the best in each group, I’m going to split this into three articles.

  • Outdoor Solar Lights
  • Solar Garden Lights
  • Solar Security Lights

I know that if I had to read more than 1,200 words on outdoor solar lights, I would probably cry.

Before describing each type of light and highlighting some of the top products, let me briefly explain what a solar light is and how it functions.

What is an Outdoor Solar Light?

A solar light receives light during the day when the sun is out, stores it in a rechargeable battery, and releases the stored energy at night as light after the sun goes down.

A solar light does not need to be connected to a power outlet, and it does not need its battery often replaced because it usually comes with a rechargeable battery. In some instances, the manufacturers build the batteries into the lights, and they cannot be replaced.

Simply put, the solar light provides light for you at night when the sun is down with little or no maintenance.

How Do Solar Lights Work?

Solar lights consist of 3 main parts.

  • A solar panel
  • A rechargeable battery
  • A load – Light Source (LED)

Basically, Photovoltaic cells in the solar panels absorb sunlight during the day, charging the battery and lights the bulb at night.

How to Choose an Outdoor Solar Light

Regardless of the type of Outdoor Solar Light you Choose, there are basic requirements you should consider before making a purchase.

Battery Power – In regards to battery power (mAH), the higher the mAH the better the battery. What you really want to know though is how long your light will stay on after it gets dark, or how long a full charge will last you.

Brightness – Every manufacturer will tell you they have the brightest solar light. Check the lumens. Other than Solar String Lights, they should be listed. Point of Reference – 40 lumens = 400 watt light bulb.

Your choice will depend on where you use the lights, but below are some general guidelines.

  • Step lights: 12-100 lumens
  • Hardscape lights (on walls): 50-185 lumens
  • Landscape lights: 50-300 lumens 
  • Path lights: 100-200 lumens
  • Landscape spotlights: 120 lumens
  • Lamp posts: 120-180 lumens
  • Pond/pool lights: 200-400 lumens
  • Motion sensor lights: 300-700 lumens
  • Floodlights: 700-1300 lumens

LED Bulb – Most good outdoor solar lights now use more efficient LED bulbs. These produce a bright white light so consider tinted glass or a cover. Larger bulbs and high-quality photovoltaic cells produce better light.

Charging Rate (Watts) – Solar panels are rated in watts, and higher is better. If your lights don’t fully charge during the day, it does not matter how long they hold a charge at night. If your lights are in a shaded area, place a solar panel in a sunny area and wire it to the lights.

Weather Resistance – Many manufacturers claim their lights are waterproof or weather resistant. Look for common ratings – IP44, IP65, IP66, etc. The higher the rating, the more resistant the light.

For more information, use this IP rating checker.


Solar Step & Deck Lights

Solar Step Lights and Solar Deck Lights are often used for the same purposes, so I have combined these groups.

These lights come in many shapes and sizes. They are often used to light up outdoor steps, handrailings, decks, boat docks, etc.

The small lights don’t always give off a great deal of light, but they easily fit into small dark spaces where light is welcome.

Like any device also used as a decorative fixture, there are many choices, and shape and size can vary a great deal.

[Warm Light] Solar Lights for Steps Decks Pathway Yard Stairs Fences, LED lamp, Outdoor Waterproof,...
Price
$29.99
Qty
6
Lumens
20
Light Color
Warm White
Weatherproof
Yes
Ratings
4.5/5
Material
Stainless Steel
Check Price
Solar Deck Lights Bright 3 LED Stair Lights Waterproof Stainless Steel Fence Lights Outdoor Solar...
Price
$25.49
Qty
6
Lumens
30
Light Color
White Light
Weatherproof
IP44
Ratings
4.5/5
Material
Stainless Steel
Check Price
Solar Deck Lights, 6 Pack Solar Step Lights Outdoor Waterproof LED Solar Fence Lights for Patio,...
Price
$35.98
Qty
10
Lumens
10
Light Color
Warm White
Weatherproof
IP55
Ratings
4.5/5
Material
Plastic
Check Price
[Upgraded 3 LED] GVSHINE Outdoor Stainless Steel LED Solar Step Light, Solar Powered Stair Lights,...
Price
$26.99
Qty
6
Lumens
10
Light Color
White
Weatherproof
Yes
Ratings
4/5
Material
Stainless Steel
Check Price
SUPERDANNY 8-Pack Solar Deck Lights Dock Path Road Long Service Time LED Bright White Wireless...
Price
$88.99
Qty
6
Lumens
450
Light Color
Cool White
Weatherproof
IP68
Ratings
4.5/5
Material
Metal
Check Price

Solar Fence Lights

Fence lights often come in two styles. They can be mounted on the sides of a fence, or they are fence caps that secure to the top of a fence post.

Solar fence lights mounted to the fence are often more decorative and secured with typical screw mounts or adhesive. The solar post caps are mounted with screws, and usually, the base slides down over the top of the post a few inches.

Davinci Lighting Premium Solar Outdoor Post Cap Lights - 4x4 5x5 6x6 - Bright LED Light for Fence...
Price
$24.99
Qty
1
Lumens
25
Light Color
Warm White
Waterproof
IP44
Ratings
4.5/5
Material
Aluminum Die Cast
Check Price
67" Solar Lamp Post Lights Outdoor, Solar Powered Vintage Street Lights for Lawn, Pathway, Driveway,...
Price
$59.99
Qty
1
Lumens
50
Light Color
White
Waterproof
IP45
Ratings
4.5/5
Material
Metal/Glass
Check Price
ROSHWEY Deck Lights Outdoor 30 LED Stainless Steel Fence Post Solar Lamps Waterproof Step Lighting...
Price
$65.99
Qty
10
Lumens
60
Light Color
White
Waterproof
IP55
Ratings
4.5/5
Material
Metal
Check Price
Davinci Lighting Renaissance Solar Outdoor Post Cap Lights - Includes Bases for 4x4 5x5 6x6 Posts -...
Price
Price not available
Qty
4
Lumens
25
Light Color
Warm White
Waterproof
IP44
Ratings
4.5/5
Material
Plastic
Check Price
Solar Wall Lantern 6 Pack Outdoor Wall Sconce Waterproof Solar Fence Light Decorative Solar Deck...
Price
$34.99
Qty
6
Lumens
8
Light Color
Warm White/Color Change
Waterproof
IP55
Ratings
4.5/5
Material
Polypropylene
Check Price

Solar Path Lights

Solar path lights are cost-efficient and easy to install along pathways in your yard. Higher-priced solar path lights are made of higher quality metals and glass.

Path Lights are usually installed by simply pushing them into the ground like a wooden stake. They can be quite decorative and like some other outdoor solar lights, they also come with multi-colored lights.

Based on the criteria above, I have listed the lights that I would use in my yard.

LITOM Solar Pathway Lights Outdoor, 3 Lighting Modes Wireless Solar LED Landscape Lights, IP65...
Price
Price not available
Qty
4
Lumens
32
Light Color
Warm White
Waterproof
IP65
Ratings
5/5
Material
Plastic
Check Price
Solar Lights Pathway - Solar Pathway Lights 4 Pack, LED Landscape Lights Outdoor Solar, IP65...
Price
$50.99
Qty
4
Lumens
40
Light Color
Warm White
Waterproof
IP65
Ratings
4.5/5
Material
Stainless Steel/Glass
Check Price
Balhvit Glass Solar Lights Outdoor, 8 Pack Super Bright Solar Pathway Lights, Up to 12 Hrs Long Last...
Price
$59.99
Qty
8
Lumens
10
Light Color
White
Waterproof
IP65
Ratings
4.5/5
Material
Stainless Steel
Check Price
Maggift 8 Lumens Solar Pathway Lights Solar Garden Lights Outdoor Solar Landscape Lights for Lawn...
Price
$26.99
Qty
6
Lumens
8
Light Color
White
Waterproof
IP44
Ratings
4.5/5
Material
Plastic
Check Price
GIGALUMI 8 Pack Solar Pathway Lights, Solar Garden Lights Outdoor Warm White, Waterproof Led Path...
Price
$53.99
Qty
8
Lumens
10
Light Color
Warm White
Waterproof
IP44
Ratings
4.5/5
Material
Metal/Glass
Check Price

Solar String lights

Solar String Lights add an enchanting atmosphere to any yard. Solar-powered string lights are often seasonal and come in a multitude of colors for the holidays.

When purchasing Solar String Lights it is important you review the length of the lights. If this is not provided, you can usually find the number of bulbs and the distance between them. Six feet of cord is often provided to connect to the solar panel.

Solar String Lights also come in lanterns and baskets, and I have included what I prefer in the Best 5 below.

48Feet Solar String Lights Outdoor Patio Lights Solar Powered Waterproof G40 Globe Hanging Lights...
Price
Price not available
Qty
1
Length
48'
Light Color
Warm White
Waterproof
IP44
Ratings
4.5/5
Light Time
8 Hours
Check Price
Solar String Lights Outdoor,480 LED Total&160 Ft Ultra Long Starbright Solar Light with 1200 Mah...
Price
$27.99
Qty
2
Length
80'
Light Color
Warm White/8 Modes
Waterproof
IP65
Ratings
4.5/5
Light Time
12 Hours
Check Price
2 Pack Solar String Light Outdoor 31FT 50 LED Globe Solar Powered String Lights Waterproof 8 Modes...
Price
Price not available
Qty
2
Length
31'
Light Color
Blue/8 Modes
Waterproof
IP65
Ratings
4.5/5
Light Time
15 Hours
Check Price
Solar String Lights Outdoor Waterproof LED Shatterproof 48FT Heavy Duty Outdoor String Lights Solar...
Price
Price not available
Qty
1
Length
48'
Light Color
Warm White
Waterproof
IP65
Ratings
4.5/5
Light Time
8 Hours
Check Price
Solar Lantern Outdoor Hanging Solar Light led Mason Jar Light Waterproof Solar Table Lamp Crack...
Price
$16.99
Qty
1
Length
NA
Light Color
Warm White/Yellow
Waterproof
IP65
Ratings
4.5/5
Light Time
8 Hours
Check Price

Conclusion

Outdoor Solar Lights provide safety, ambiance, and beauty to any yard. You can provide subtle touches of color or light up areas where you need access and visibility.

With so many options and the cost-effectiveness of many options, there is no reason you should not consider Outdoor Solar lights. The lights will enhance your yard and make sure the yard is safe and well-lit.

FAQ

Are outdoor solar lights worth it?

Good outdoor landscaping lights can be expensive, but solar energy is free, and over time they pay for themselves. They also require very little maintenance.

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