Published September 18, 2023 at 12:40 pm
Transform your backyard or patio into additional livable space with solar powered lights. Forget about excess extension cords or the extra cost of lighting your garden by choosing eco-friendly solar generated lights. These innovative lighting solutions reduce energy use and provide added convenience with easy wireless illumination of your outdoor spaces. Whether you’re looking to create a relaxing oasis or simply enhance the safety and ambiance of your driveways, choosing the right solar garden lights can make a big difference. There are a range of options flooding the market, however, this guide is here to help you stay up to date on the latest trends, technologies and designs to make the best choice for your home. From dazzling string lights that create a magical atmosphere to security lights with motion sensors that keep your property safe, we’ve done the research to help you make informed choices about the best solar garden lights.
How we chose the best solar garden lights
Our recommendations for solar garden lights are based on extensive research. We surveyed peer recommendations, critical reviews, and user sentiment to create a list of contenders and then put them through their paces. We’ve drawn on our experience with everything from solar landscape lights to solar roof lights. We’ve looked at a wide range of solar garden lights suitable for different purposes, different outdoor spaces, and user needs to develop a comprehensive list of the best solar garden lights.
The best solar garden lights: reviews and recommendations
The sun is a powerful source of energy, and we recommend harnessing it for everything from the best solar generators to the best solar panels. Using the power of the sun to light your garden can help illuminate and beautify your landscape while using renewable energy. Whether you’re looking for floodlights, track lights, or motion sensors, we’ve compiled a list of recommendations.
Best overall: URPOWER outdoor solar lights
- Shipping time: 4-5 hours
- Runtime: 8-10 hours
- Number of lights in the set: 2
- Bright light
- fast charging
URPOWER outdoor solar lights are our top choice because they provide bright, beautiful light in specific areas of your home or garden, and are useful as a security feature and as an outdoor ambience. You can easily adjust it to direct the light 90 degrees to where you need it most, and with 200 lumens of bright light, it provides excellent illumination.
It is heavy duty and durable even in cold and rainy weather. Take your pick when it comes to installation; You can either mount them to the wall or use pegs to place them on the floor, depending on your space and design aesthetics. Both types of hardware options are included in the package. It turns on and off automatically at dusk and dawn, providing peace of mind and ease of use. Choose from cool or warm white tones and two different lighting modes to create the perfect effect. The design is fairly simple, especially compared to other nicer options on the market, but for a reliable light source, URPOWER solar lights are the top-rated option.
Best motion sensor: Aluftsun Solar Motion Sensor Outdoor Lights
- Shipping time: First use 1-2 days, then up to 8 hours on cloudy days
- Runtime: 6-12 hours depending on use
- Number of lights in the set: 2
- Large range on motion sensor
- Easy installation
- Good light coverage
Motion sensor solar garden lights provide a convenient, eco-friendly and cost-effective lighting solution for outdoor spaces while improving security and reducing curb appeal. They offer many advantages over regular outdoor lighting. They only activate when motion is detected, which helps conserve battery life, and this limited use extends the life of the LEDs and batteries, reducing maintenance and replacement costs. They can also deter potential intruders by lighting up areas when motion is detected, enhancing the security of your property (making them a great pair with outdoor security cameras).
The Aloftsun Solar Motion Sensor outdoor lights have three different lighting modes, allowing you to customize their use to your needs by either wall mounting or stake mounting. The 120-degree detection angle and 33-foot sensing range provide peace of mind for various stimuli, including visitors, animals or cars. They give off a bright, cool-coloured light and are incredibly durable, able to withstand even extreme weather conditions.
Best String Lights: Brightech Ambience Pro Solar Powered Outdoor String Lights
- Shipping time: 6 hours
- Runtime: 5-6 hours
- Number of lights in the set: Comes in 27 or 48 feet options
- Beautiful ambient lights
- Create a romantic atmosphere
- Safe, break-resistant plastic bulbs
- It is not possible to link more than one together
Brightech Ambience Pro solar powered outdoor lights provide beautiful ambient lighting, perfect for outdoor parties or get-togethers. Bulb-shaped Edison lights provide a romantic look but can be brighter. They are best used for atmospheric lighting, but if used with other lights, you can create a brighter outdoor space with accent and task lighting options, which may be better suited for outdoor reading or even dining.
It’s disappointing that you can’t connect different cables together for larger spaces, but these string lights look great on a smaller porch or patio. They provided the lowest runtime of any lights we reviewed.
Best road lights: Hampton Bay Solar Powered Outdoor Black LED Light, Built-in 3000K, Warm White Natural Path Light
- Shipping time: 10-12 hours
- Runtime: 8 hours
- Number of lights in the set: 10
- Good value
- Bright light
- Striking design
Hampton Bay Solar Powered Path Lights allow you to easily illuminate driveways, driveways and walkways, enhancing safety by preventing trips and falls in the dark. With no wires or plugs to deal with, you can simply hit the road and place the lights where you want them for optimal safety. They also help create a charming and inviting atmosphere in your garden or outdoor space, accenting entryways, seating areas or aisle.
The 10-pack size provides good value and allows you to draw longer sections of lighting. However, it also means that if you only need one or two extra bulbs, you have to purchase a complete set. These lights are very bright, and the bulb has an attractive cracked glass effect that makes it look more expensive than it is. Dusk to dawn operation creates a hassle-free option for your garden or outdoor walkways.
Best budget: Better Homes & Gardens Ellis Solar Powered Path Lights
- Shipping time: Unlisted
- Runtime: 8 hours
- Number of lights in the set: 2
- Easy to assemble
- Long share for maximum coverage
- Not as bright as competitors
At under $30, the Better Homes & Gardens Ellis solar lights offer great value for money. They come as a single unit and are perfect for small yards, courtyards, or for specific areas you want to highlight, such as near your front door, a specific shrub or flower bed, or to light the path to your car. An attractive lantern style with some weight, it looks good in a uniform row as disposable lanterns. It gives off 20 lumens of warm white light, and the automatic shut-off helps conserve energy. The long wedge means you get good coverage, and the light produces a sun-ray pattern. This is a very simple design that only features an on/off switch, but as a budget model, it does the job very well.
Things to consider when choosing solar garden lights
When choosing your solar garden lights, keep the following factors in mind:
Determine the primary purpose of your lights, whether that be security, focus, path, decorative, or a combination of different needs.
Check the lumen rating to ensure the lights provide the level of brightness required for their intended use.
Look for lights with larger battery capacity for longer run times, especially during cloudy days.
Check the IP rating to ensure the lights are weatherproof and can withstand rain, snow, and extreme temperatures for four-season use.
You may want to choose lights that also complement your outdoor decor and landscaping style.
If you plan to add more lights in the future, consider whether the brand offers expandable options that can be easily integrated into your existing setup.
Q: How do solar garden lights work?
Solar garden lights contain photovoltaic panels that convert sunlight into electricity. This energy is stored in batteries, which power the LED lights when it gets dark.
Q:Do solar garden lights need direct sunlight to charge?
While direct sunlight is optimal, most solar lights can charge in indirect sunlight or on cloudy days, albeit at a slower rate.
Q: Can I replace the batteries in solar garden lights?
Many solar lights have replaceable batteries. It is a cost effective way to extend the life of your lights. Check the manufacturer’s details when purchasing your bulbs.
Q: How do I clean and maintain solar garden lights?
Wipe the solar panel regularly to ensure optimal charging. Replace the batteries as needed and check for loose connections or damaged parts from time to time.
Final thoughts on the best solar garden lights
Our top choice for the best solar garden lights overall is the URPOWER Solar Lights Outdoor. It scored well for its extremely bright lighting, ease of installation, durability, and adjustability for optimal performance. But we hope we’ve provided enough options that your face will light up when you find the right lights for your home and budget.
Why trust us?
Popular Science He started writing about technology more than 150 years ago. There was no such thing as “clever writing” when we published the first issue of our magazine in 1872, but if there was, our mission to demystify the world of innovation for ordinary readers meant we were going to get the hang of it. Here in the present, PopSci is fully committed to helping readers navigate the increasingly intimidating array of devices on the market today.
Our writers and editors have combined decades of experience covering and reviewing consumer electronics. We all have our own geeky specialties—from high-end audio to video games to cameras and beyond—but when we review devices outside of our immediate wheelhouses, we do our best to seek out trustworthy voices and opinions to help guide people to the best recommendations. We know we don’t know everything, but we’re excited to live through the analysis paralysis that online shopping can induce so that readers don’t have to.