If you want to light up your outdoors aesthetically, solar lights are the most efficient and practical way to do it. Solar lights do not need electrical power. Instead, they use solar energy to charge built-in batteries during the day and power on at night automatically. Once you have the right solar lights, you can easily install them in pathways and driveways or light up your patios or walkways. Solar lights are also used for decorative purposes to light up festive occasions, such as Christmas.
We have reviewed the solar lights that are high in demand and can be your best options for lighting up your gardens, homes, or driveways. Before you buy the one, we recommend you go through our buying guide to solar lights which lists down all the important factors you need to consider. Here are the premium solar lamps of 2022!
Solar lamps are available in a wide range of illuminating capacities. The purpose of each type of lamp is different and has a completely different set of components. Buying a solar light becomes more complex when you realize that each component is available in many variants. In the following sections, we will explore each component in detail so that you can choose the perfect solar light for your needs.
Types of Solar Lights
The most suitable type of solar light depends on its intended use. For example, if you are buying it for security purposes then an LED solar light is powerful enough to deliver over 1000 lumens will be suitable. If the purpose is to decorate your outdoors, then a lamp-shaped solar light with less than 10 lumens will be best suited.
These are used for decoration purposes and for the Christmas tree, patio, roof, or garden. You can wrap string lights easily around the objects or hang them on the wall. Each bead contains a few LEDs and creates a beautiful pattern without any hassle of electrical wiring.
Spotlights and lamps
As the name suggests, they illuminate a specific spot, like a decorative landscape in your garden, the entrance to your home, or a dark alley in the backyard. Spotlights are usually used at the focal points that are required to be illuminated. Solar lamps shaped like a shed light are also available.
Solar post lamps
These solar lights are used for decorating the gardens or their entrances. They are also used for lacing the pathways in your garden, and they are very easy to install.
They serve exactly the same purpose as lanterns but are cleaner, more efficient, and wireless. You can hang them in any area that needs light, whether it is your patio or your backyard. Although they provide less light than electric lamps, their long life and wireless design make up for it. In most cases, homeowners install multiple lanterns in a series if more light is needed.
Solar flood lights
Flood lights are used for security purposes to light up large and wide spaces. These solar lights deliver over 250 lumens and have LEDs installed to light up the area at 180 degrees. They can be installed in combination to produce more light and cover more ground.
Indoor solar lamps
While this may come as a surprise to you, solar lamps can be used indoors. Solar panels work more efficiently under exposure to direct sunlight, but they can also generate electricity using reflected light or artificial light. Solar panels can also be installed separately on your rooftop or any other place where there is an adequate amount of sunlight exposure. In addition, solar panels can save the backup energy in the battery, which you can use as an alternative energy source.
Solar lights for your driveway or walkway illumination can be one lumen or more, depending on your decor and how closely you install them. On the other hand, a security light will need much more power, deliver hundreds of lumens, have an ambient light sensor to stay off during the day, and a motion sensor to further preserve the battery. As you increase the brightness level, the size of solar light and its underlying sophistication will increase.
Here are the battery types and capacities most commonly found in solar lights:
Four types of batteries usually come with solar lights and lamps: lead-acid, NiCad, NiMH, and Lithium-ion. If solar lights have to be used for longer hours, then Lithium-ion batteries are the best choice. They are long-lasting and work efficiently because of their higher battery capacity. Battery capacity refers to the energy units (mAh) that can be stored. Lead-acid and Lithium-ion batteries used for solar lights can hold up to 6000mAh and run longer than NiMH or NiCad batteries, which are more popular in smaller solar lamps.
Solar panel efficiency
The most advanced solar panels can convert up to 20% of solar energy into electricity. Monocrystalline solar panels are the most efficient, converting up to 21% of solar energy. Polycrystalline solar panels can convert up to 16%, while amorphous solar panels can convert only 10%. The value for money of polycrystalline panels is considered the best among all types, and it is most commonly found in solar lights.
Solar light efficiency
You need a good battery and an efficient solar panel for solar lights to work. Solar lights recharging time and running time will depend on how well the battery is working and how solar lights are utilizing the battery capacity. A well-engineered solar light takes up to seven hours to fully recharge and should run for up to 12 hours. Running time also depends on the solar light model.
For illuminating your outdoors throughout the night, choose the model that can run for more than 10 hours.
Other Buying Tips
If the solar lights do not operate the first time you turn them on, let them stay in the sun directly exposed to sunlight for at least eight hours. This direct exposure to sunlight will recharge the lamps' batteries, and LEDs should start working again.
If you want to put solar lamps in a covered area, consider corded solar lights in which a separate solar panel is connected.
Mumtop solar lanterns are perfect for patios and lawns because of their vibrant colors and cardinal designs. The lamp has an oval, cylindrical shape and has a tiny solar panel on top that can charge a AAA battery. This battery can power 20 LED beads for almost 10 hours. Leading with a seven-hour charging time, it automatically turns on at dusk and stays bright until dawn. The glass on the sides is heavy and gives a premium look.
The unique design, large size, and natural patterns make this hanging solar lantern the finest product on the market. You can also choose from eight different patterns that look like hand-painted glass.
Pearlstar solar-powered lanterns have a timeless, retro shape and design and generate a light output of up to 30 lumens. They are sophisticated and high-quality lamps made with high-impact ABS plastic, featuring an IP44 waterproof rating. They are truly modern reincarnations of gas lamps and provide the same warm feeling of a home with its warm, white light. The flat base makes it possible to use them as a table lamp, and a large handle can be used to hang on any wall.
Mlambert’s corded magical shed lights come with a separate solar panel connected through a wire. The detachable connector makes it possible to extend the distance between the solar panel and the shed light. The shed design can withstand rainy weather, snowstorms, and dust storms. With a luminous flux of 300 lumens, you will need only one light at a fair height to illuminate a seating arrangement of eight persons. If your outdoor seating is smaller, you can adjust this flux down to 70% or 50%.
Westcharm’s solar lamp post is a complete and autonomous solution to highlight your landscape. This lamp post stands 80 inches tall and is made of weather and rust-resistant metal with a powder coating of black finish. You can mount it in your large flower pot or simply fix it in the ground as a permanent fixture.
The three LED-powered lanterns of this solar lamp are covered in premium beveled glass. There are six bright LEDs in each head that produce a 360-degree illumination and make a total of 600 lumens of brightness. With two AA batteries, you get over eight hours of charge.
Tomshine solar lantern is a very artistic solar lamp in its every detail. The solar panel is connected with a wire and kept separate so it doesn’t diminish the artistic design of the lamp. The lamp itself is made of high-quality glass and covered in a metal frame that has a floral pattern. This pattern looks great during the day, and at dusk, it illuminates and decorates its surroundings with a gentle light.
Features 360-degree metal cut-out
Unique inverted droplet shape
A hanging lantern design
A premium build quality
Light pattern forms only when close to the ground
People Also Asked
Q: Is it okay to leave your solar lamp on all the time?
A: Yes, solar lighting can be left to its own devices all day and night without any manual intervention. In addition, the ambient sensor on solar lamps turns off automatically when the sun is out. To promote best user practices, be sure to remember that the ability to brighten your outside space after dusk only works when the lights are exposed to enough sunlight during the daytime.
Q: What is the lifespan of a solar lamp?
A: Electronic gadgets can stop working at any given moment. Their average life can give you a good idea about their durability, and the batteries in the solar lamps should last up to four years on average before they need replacement. Theoretically, while LEDs have a 10-year lifespan they are irrelevant when the battery has died.
Q: Can I reuse my solar lamp after its battery runs out?
A: While it’s easy to think you can replace your battery with a new one, this is not recommended. Once your batteries run out, you should replace them with a new set or wait until all of your solar lamps have run out of juice so they reset at the same time.
Q: Can solar lights catch fire when directly exposed?
A: Yes, the Li-ion battery in the solar lamps is highly combustible and will catch fire when directly exposed to it. The size of the battery is small for solar light, making it all the more important to install solar lamps outdoors.
Q: Are solar lamps truly eco-friendly?
A: Solar lamps are eco-friendly in that they don’t require electricity to function. For this reason, unless they’re sourced from recycled plastics then it’s very likely your lamps were made from plastic.
Q: Can I buy recycled solar lamps?
A: Yes, you can! Just be sure to pay attention to the sourced materials prior to purchasing. To check for this you can refer to the customer reviews section of the listing or navigate the manufacturer’s website.
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.
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…