Solar lights are perfectly suited for modern outdoor lighting needs. Whether you are interested in beautifying your lawn or garden, brightening up your carport, or simply enhancing your security, outdoor solar lights offer the perfect cost-effective solution.
If you are currently in the market for the best outdoor solar lights, we have an excellent range of options for you! Check out our reviews below of the finest outdoor solar lights in 2021 that are available on the market, and you will see that there are more than a few that should meet your requirements. Best of all, every one of the models reviewed here will provide excellent illumination and performance with practically no energy-related costs!
Outdoor solar lights are an eco-friendly solution to lighting up the periphery of your home, a campsite, or garden party venue for either decorative or functional purposes. Whether you are using outdoor solar lights for security, lighting pathways, or décor, you won’t need electricity outlets, wiring, or complicated installation instructions as they have a very easy-to-use solar-powered design.
Outdoor solar lights come in a wide range of styles designed for specific purposes. In this guide, we’ll help you determine which type of solar lighting is best for your needs.
Types Of Outdoor Solar Lights
Outdoor solar lights are used for security purposes, illuminating pathways, decorating driveways, and lighting decks. The first step to choosing appropriate outdoor solar-powered lights is to determine the purpose. If you want something decorative, then appearances matter most. But if you want to light up a pathway, then you require bright focused LED lights to do the job.
Here are some of the most commonly used outdoor solar lights available out there.
Solar String Lights Or Fairy Lights
Ideal for decorating your outdoor space. Drape them along your deck or wrap them around trees to give your outdoor space a gorgeous appearance.
Solar Deck, Fence, Or Patio Lights
Ideal for patios, staircases, and walls to subtly light walkways.
Solar Post Lights
Serves a dual purpose of lighting dark spaces and has an aesthetic appeal.
Solar Flood Lights
Ideal for lighting up large areas with bright light including parking areas and backyards.
Ideal for when you need a portable light such as camping or during power outages.
Security Solar LED Lights
These lights have built-in motion sensors, so the lights automatically turn on as soon as some movement is detected. Security solar LED lights are a popular option for security lighting around homes and offices.
How Do Outdoor Solar Lights Work?
Outdoor solar lights use sunlight instead of electricity as their power source. Every solar light has a PV panel component that absorbs sunlight energy during daylight. Solar energy is transformed into electrical energy and stored in the light's battery component. Batteries provided with solar lights are usually rechargeable. Most outdoor solar light models automatically turn on at dusk.
How To Choose Outdoor Solar Lights
Once you have determined the purpose of the outdoor lighting, you need to consider the brightness, battery, and bulb type.
The brightness of solar light is measured in terms of lumens which can range from 10 to 1500. Use the below as a guideline when purchasing your lights.
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
It is recommended to choose lithium-ion or lead-acid batteries for powerful solar lights. These battery types have the highest capacity. Lithium-ion batteries are more expensive but they are small in size and have a longer lifespan. NiMH batteries are ideal for low-power lighting since they run for extended periods with a high capacity.
Although there are various types of lightbulbs available, LED light bulbs are the best option for solar lighting. They are energy-efficient and bright. They are durable and have a lifespan of up to 50000 hours allowing them to run maintenance-free.
What Features To Look For In Outdoor Solar Lights
The color temperature of the bulbs set the mood of the area being lit. Bulbs with lower temperatures provide warm colors similar to candles and incandescent bulbs. Bulbs with higher color temperatures provide cool colors or blue hues similar to LED or daylight CFL bulbs.
Coverage Angle And Distance
Coverage might not be an important factor to consider for ambiance lighting. It should however be a determining factor when purchasing a motion sensor security light. The angle of coverage determines how wide the sensor can detect motion for the light to be triggered.
A minimum of 120 degrees is recommended. Anything over 170 degrees could be bothersome as the light would be triggered frequently. The coverage distance is recommended at a minimum of 5 or 6 meters.
Outdoor solar lights are frequently exposed to rain, dust, and heat. Choose waterproof or IP 55 certified outdoor solar lights. These lights are made with durable materials able to withstand unpredictable weather conditions.
Some lights can rotate or flip from back to front. This means that you can change the direction of light by simply rotating the head. This type of light provides versatility and allows you to cover a range of areas with a single installation. Some lights even come with a rotatable solar panel, allowing you to adjust the angle of the panel so it can capture the most amount of light and fully recharge.
Settings And Recharge Time
The charge time refers to the hours of sunlight needed to fully charge the battery, whereas the run time is how long it will produce light during the night. Various factors may influence the charge and run time such as weather conditions. A charge time of 6 to 7 hours is recommended. A run time of 10 to 12 hours is suitable, however, this may depend on the amount of sunlight your location receives and the power setting you've selected on the light.
Look for a device that has manual and automatic settings. This will allow you to activate or deactivate the lights as required and adjust the brightness to conserve battery power.
Make sure the light comes with the required installation accessories. This may include screws, extension hinges, and user manuals. Most lights are pretty easy to install.
Lifespan And Warranty
The lifespan of outdoor solar lights will depend on several factors. Generally, they are capable of surviving anywhere between 7 to 15 years. Panels that are made of PV cells can last up to 20 years. The batteries, however, don’t last that long and may need replacement after a few years. Warranties vary according to manufacturer and product between 1 to 3 years.
Users of the URPOWER Solar Lights are generally satisfied with the quality and performance of these units. Many have tried other brands of outdoor solar lighting before, but it is only this one that has provided the results that they need. Apart from the durable construction and the perfect illumination, many users also appreciate the fact that these are so easy to assemble. Automatic on and off also endeared this model to users. And with two settings–“medium” and “high”–users find the URPOWER Solar Lights an excellent set that provides unbeatable versatility for most outdoor lighting requirements.
URPOWER Solar Lights utilize the latest technology in bringing you dependable outdoor solar lighting you can rely on. These lights actually retract during the day while they are charging, and pop up at night to provide all the outdoor lighting you need outside of your home. Each of the lights has four LEDs powered by a lithium-ion battery. The lights work independently of each other, so in the unlikely event that one fails, the rest will keep on working. URPOWER Solar Lights are designed to work under the most rigorous weather conditions. They are built for all-weather performance and can withstand almost all environmental conditions.
Offers dual brightness settings so you can move between energy-efficient or high-powered modes
High-capacity 2,200mAh battery
Easy installation process
Surface paint can peel off after prolonged exposure to extremely hot temperature
Users of InnoGear absolutely love how much light each unit is able to produce. Many have made a note about its energy-efficient performance, continuing to work all night when set to ‘dim’. Even in this setting, users found that InnoGear produces sufficient illumination for most outdoor lighting needs. Some users did wish that the panels were designed to capture sunlight more effectively, but overall, most users were very satisfied with this set, especially given its low price.
The InnoGear Outdoor Landscape Lighting set provides excellent value for money. The two bright LEDs, which produce 200 lumens, provide more than enough illuminating power for any outdoor setting, so you require only a few lights for your space. There are many other features that make these lights a must-have, including an adjustable solar panel, a high-capacity 2,200mAh battery, and two lighting modes.
Both the LED and solar panel are rotatable for easy adjustment
Provides up to 12 hours of light on a single charge and on low power setting
The sturdiness and durability of these lights score major points among buyers, many of whom rely solely on these lights for their outdoor lighting needs. It also must be said that these are some of the best-looking outdoor solar lights available, and they could easily fit in with any outdoor home décor, from the traditional to the contemporary.
SolarGlow Solar Garden Lights offer a superb combination of solid build and construction, high-quality parts, and outstanding performance, making this an amazing set of outdoor lights. These lights are as functional as they are attractive. Each light is bright enough to adequately illuminate your house’s pathway. They are also quite simple in form, function, and installation process, requiring only a bit of pressure to push them into the ground to install. They are also amazingly resistant to dust and similar environmental elements, making them exceptionally durable.
Includes six lights so you can easily decorate your outdoor space
Gorgeous appearance and weather-proof construction
Tall adjustable height, can be installed at any height you desire
Not the brightest lights out there, each one produces 10 lumens
Outdoor Solar Light FAQ
Q: Will outdoor solar lights charge on a cloudy day?
A: Yes. Solar lights do not need direct exposure to sunlight to charge, although it is more effective. They can charge through indirect sunlight transmitted through clouds or in the shade. The power received by the solar lights may however decrease.
Q: Why don’t my solar lights work?
A: Most issues with solar lights are due to the batteries. If solar lights stop working abruptly, first check the batteries. If the batteries do not need to be replaced, you may need to check the panels.
Q: What is the meaning of ‘F’ and ‘S’ on solar lights?
A: ‘F’ stands for Flashing Lights. ‘S’ stands for static lights. This simply defines the type of output that the lights can provide.
The Garden Gate Review Team’s product reviews and in-depth guides are here to help you choose the best products for a beautiful and bountiful garden and backyard. The content is created by The Garden Gate Review Team. Garden Gate’s editorial staff is not involved. Garden Gate is reader-supported: When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.