What better place to take advantage of the sun’s free energy than the great outdoors? As solar energy tech has become cheaper and more accessible, outdoor lighting has freed us from the tyranny of burnt-out batteries and tangled electrical wiring.
The operation of solar-powered lights is quite simple: Solar cells absorb sunlight in the daytime, storing it as battery power to use come evening. When paired with energy-saving LED bulbs, many of these outdoor lights can shine brightly throughout the night on a single day’s charge or less.
Solar lights are perfect for illuminating a garden path, brightening up a porch or spotlighting a driveway. They can function as an essential safety feature, preventing stumbles in the dark or deterring unwanted nighttime visitors. But as anyone who’s shopped for outdoor lights can tell you, the market is brimming with solar-powered options — not all of them of the highest quality.
The good news is we’ve created a guide to shopping for sun-soaking outdoor lights to help you choose from this crowded field. We selected the best solar outdoor LED lights for all functions and for different outdoor spaces, looking at features like battery life, ease of use, durability and style. Read on for our shining examples of the best solar-powered outdoor lighting.
1. Best Solar Pathway Lights
Tommy Bahama Solar LED Pathway Bollard Light
Setting up these solar pathway lights from Tommy Bahama is the epitome of “set it and forget it.” Simply stake them in the ground wherever you need outdoor lighting. They take care of the rest on their own, gathering sunlight and lighting up automatically as night falls, with each providing up to 8 hours of evening light on a full charge.
Why We Love It: The biggest draw of these wildly popular lights is their appearance. Their gorgeous wrought tree pattern throws branching shadows across the ground when lit at night. In the daytime, visitors will admire their oil-rubbed bronze finish.
2. Best Outdoor Solar String Lights
SUNTHIN Outdoor Solar String Lights
A vintage look meets new tech in these 48-foot solar string lights from SUNTHIN. This chain of Edison-style bulbs is connected to a small solar panel, which can provide up to 8 hours of charge on a sunny day. The bulbs themselves are shatterproof and waterproof and feature four different lighting modes: steady, fast flash, slow flash and pulsating light. If you feel like taking the party indoors, they can also be charged via USB-C.
Why We Love It: Plug-in string lights have always been limited to spots with a nearby outlet. SUNTHIN’s lights are powered by a chargeable battery, allowing you to hang your string lights pretty much anywhere.
3. Best Solar-Powered Security Lights
OTDLIGHT Solar Outdoor Lights
Among the many solar-powered security lights available, OTDLIGHT’s Solar Outdoor Lights stand out for their clever design. The five different LED panels pivot and rotate 360 degrees, allowing for total control over which areas of your property you can light up. It also comes with a handy remote to switch between motion-detecting, always-on and dusk-to-dawn modes.
Why We Love It: In terms of performance, OTDLIGHT’s security lights hold up against the competition: They offer 19 feet of motion detection, 2,700 lumens of bright light, and a solar-powered battery that can last through the night. But where other solar flood lights usually have two or three fixed LED panels, our pick has five rotating ones — making it the most customizable option we’ve come across so far.
4. Best Solar LED Landscape Lights
AloftSun Solar Motion Sensor Outdoor Lights
Landscape lighting can accent plants, trees or other landscaping features while enhancing the safety of your property, and the Solar Motion Sensor Lights from AloftSun manage to excel at both of these tasks. The 800-lumen solar-powered lights feature three different modes: Dim Light, Medium Light and High Light Motion, allowing them to be used as landscaping spotlights or security flood lights.
Why We Love It: With a practical, sturdy design, Aloft Sun’s solar LED landscape lights are built to shine bright for a long time. They’re weatherproof and rated for over 40,000 hours of use — making them an easy choice at their price point.
5. Best Solar Deck + Fence Lights
Generep Solar Fence/Deck Lights
Whether you’re looking for solar fence lights or solar deck lights — or both — Generep offers an attractive outdoor light that’s easy to mount on any vertical surface and completely weatherproof. Each light is equipped with its own solar panel, so you don’t have to worry about hiding any unsightly connecting cord either. After six to eight hours of sunlight, these mellow ambient lights will stay lit for eight to 10 hours.
Why We Love It: The design of Genereps lights has a subtle but modern look that feels right at home in any outdoor décor. At 25 lumens, they emit a pleasantly soft white light that’s neither too dim nor too obtrusive for a relaxing night in the backyard.
5. Best Solar LED Garden Lights
Anubarak Solar Powered Firefly Lights
Lighting up a garden path with solar LED garden lights allows your handiwork to shine even after the sun goes down. Anubarak’s Solar Powered Firefly Lights are an attraction all their own — not just spotlighting the natural beauty of the garden, but enhancing it. The flexible stalks of each LED globe light gently sway in the wind, their movement reminiscent of a sparking swarm of lightning bugs. These charming lights come in a pack of four, each connected by a wire and powered by a single solar panel.
Why We Love It: They’re not just good-looking — these Firefly Lights back up their endearing appearance with an impressive 24 hours of lighting on a full charge.
7. Best Solar Christmas Lights
Renohef Outdoor Solar String Lights
Christmas lights have evolved into year-round decorations, illuminating not just the holidays but weddings, backyard parties and chic patio design schemes. Whatever the reason or the season, we recommend Renohof’s Outdoor Solar String Lights. These twinkling solar Christmas lights feature eight different flashing modes for the 200 lights along the 65-foot string, all powered by a single solar panel that can be staked in the ground.
Why We Love It: The bendy copper wire of these solar Christmas lights makes them a DIY dream. Whether curled up in jars, strung between climbing vines, or arranged to spell out words, these lights will accommodate any configuration you can think of.
8. Best Solar Streetlight
A-Zone 300W Solar Streetlight
A popular choice among business owners and rural property owners, solar streetlights can provide security and safety in places where electric hookups are difficult. Our favorite in this category is from A-Zone, a dazzlingly bright streetlight that can illuminate up to 960 square feet. With its efficient solar cells that convert 25% of solar energy into electricity, this light shines for up to 12 hours after five to six hours of daylight.
Why We Love It: The best feature, in our opinion, is the motion detector built into A-Zone’s streetlights, which is calibrated to recognize human bodies. The Solar Streetlight glows at 30% brightness until it detects a nearby person, then it kicks up to 100% brightness — a security and energy-saving feature rolled into one.
The post 8 Outdoor Solar LED Lights That Outshine the Competition appeared first on The Real Deal by RetailMeNot.