We all need lights in our backyard. Lamps or lights that shine on the walking path people might traverse into the yard, areas around the pool, the deck, or other gathering points, and the garage all need some visual assistance for safety. Most of us also want attractive lights that will enhance the aesthetics of our homes through attractive options that decorate, not just light, the place up.
But running the lights in your backyard can get expensive, especially if you spend a lot of time out there. Plus, we want to help the environment. And that means that outdoor solar lights are going to be the best option.
Some solar powered lights are low-powered and perfect for just adding hints of light here and there, while others are designed for full lighting for shining on that backdoor lock or poolside table where you read. There are thousands of options, though, so for help narrowing down the list, we’ve compiled our top choices into one place to help you determine which are the best outdoor solar lights for you.
How We Chose the Outdoor Solar Lights
We scoured the internet looking for solar powered outdoor lights. We found a lot of professional reviews and casual reviews and brought together the fifty or so most recommended lights into one large list to start our reviews from.
Of course, fifty is still too many options, so we then looked at the options that were most highly-rated by real-life reviewers and had received at least 3.5 or higher ratings, meaning that they’re above average to amazing in range.
From this list, we knocked off the lights that seemed to take too long to charge, were unattractive, or otherwise didn’t seem to fit the requirements for our best suggestions. This left us with the list we present to you below.
Our Top Choices for Outdoor Solar Lights
Below you’ll find a variety of types of outdoor solar lights, ranging from stake lights for planting in the garden or along the pathway to sconce lights for permanently affixing to your home. Read the information, check out photos and prices, and see which options are right for you.
5 out of 5 stars
For the cute factor, we chose this set of 8 solar powered Paw Print Garden Lights. They’re perfect for planting in the garden, to add some bright, adorable fun to landscaping you’ll enjoy after darkness has fallen. They’re also bright enough to line the pathway for someone making their way from the garage to the house.
The set of eight lights is connected via a strand of 22-feet and has a solar panel that’s 17-inches high. The lights are LED, and there’s a one-year limited warranty for the set.
4.9 out of 5 stars
If you’re looking for a solar light pathway set, this set of four LED solar lights is a great option. They stake into the ground along the garden, pathway, or along the side of the house, to add some light wherever needed.
The lights have an output of 10 lumens per light and are made from metal with an oil-rubbed bronze finish. The lights have a glass lens for the best clarity and quality. The lights come with a one-year limited manufacturer’s warranty. They stand – without stake – approximately 13 and 9/16th-inches high.
4.7 out of 5 stars
For a unique and attractive take on the staked pathway solar lights, check out the Gold Armour Flickering Flame tiki torch lights. Their beautiful design offers a safer alternative to real flames when you’ve got kids and pets roaming around the backyard.
The LEDs provide a mellow, warm “mood-lighting” for any space, and stand 30.7-inches tall. The lights collect solar power all day and turn on automatically at dusk. They’re weather-proof and durable, and super easy to set up. Simply place them wherever you’d like the lights, and they’re all set.
They last with as long as 12-hours of light after they’ve been fully charged in the sun, which takes about eight hours. They come in a pack of four lights.
4.4 out of 5 stars
For gorgeous ambiance from an overhead, solar-powered light, look into the Brightech Ambiance Pro Waterproof LED solar string lights. They’re designed to look like Italian style Bistro lights, specifically for use in pergolas and decks with high posts.
These lights are bright enough to grill and eat by, while still giving off a warm, inviting ambient feel. You can clip or stake the lights in place, as desired, and give off 3,000K warm light with a lifetime of up to 20,000 hours. It takes them about 6-hours to fully charge.
The bulbs stay cool, so they’re safe for kids and pets, and are weather-proof and able to withstand extreme temperatures, wind, rain, and nearly constant damp climates.
Each strand of lights is 27-feet long and has 12 bulbs with twenty-inches of space between each bulb. There’s six-feet between the solar panel and the first bulb, meaning you can easily disguise and place the panel without intruding on the looks over your lights.
The lights come with a satisfaction guaranteed warranty for three-years.
4.2 out of 5 stars
For a higher-tech looking solar powered spotlight for the backyard, you’ll want to consider the DrawGreen DG08-A motion sensor light. The light puts out 1400-lumens of bright, LED light, at 110-watt equivalent white light.
This is a true flood/security light, with an optics-grade PMMA lens, making it brighter and stronger, up to 55-feet. And it only takes 5 or 6 hours to charge on a sunny day. It also offers low light on rainy days without sunlight that can last up to three days.
The light is made of quality aluminum alloy for a durable casing that can handle the weather and is expected to last up to five years.
The light has a built-in photo-cell sensor to save energy and turns on the dim-light mode automatically at dusk, only lighting to bright light when it senses movement. The built-in PIR motion detection sensor can detect movement up to 26-feet away, with a range of 120-degrees.
The light has a lifespan of 50,000 hours and comes with a 160-week warranty.
4 out of 5 stars
These modern lights from InnoGear offer a unique aesthetic while working in four different modes: 1/4 brightness, 1/2 brightness, dim light+ motion sensor full brightness, and straight up full brightness mode.
The solar panel is large, with a 2600 mAh capacity, which provides faster charging in lower sunlight environments. The whole thing is waterproof and tightly sealed to withstand rain on the regular, as well as other inclement weather issues.
The light fixture has 36 super-bright LED bulbs, which produce over 450-lumens.
The light can be mounted easily and quickly with the aluminum mounting poles, providing distance for the eaves that don’t quite have sunlight.
The InnoGear Motion Sensor lights are perfect for barns, porches, and more, and comes in a pack of two lights.
4 out of 5 stars
There’s absolutely no electricity required for these powerful solar-powered hanging lights from Maggift. They come with shepherd’s hooks for lawn placement and provide a vintage feeling while giving off enough light to gently brighten pathways, pool aprons, and lounging nooks. They are not suitable for reading, but certainly add a lot of ambience to your favorite perch in the backyard.
You can either install these gorgeous lanterns by hanging them from branches, or by staking the shepherd’s hooks into soft earth. These lights stand 26-inches from top to bottom on their stakes, with about 20-inches height after they’ve been installed.
The Maggift lights come with a 180-day warranty, with 100% satisfaction guaranteed. They come in packs of two lanterns.
3.8 out of 5 stars
For charming, warm lighting in your backyard, the Paradise lanterns by Sterno are one of the best outdoor solar lights you can find. They’re made from durable plastic in the design of a rattan basket. The light inside is a flickering amber LED light. The light is completely powered by the sun and stand 8.1-inches high.
This is the perfect option for ambient lighting. You can place them on tables, hang them from tree branches, hang them on shepherd’s hooks or posts, or just about anywhere else. These would be especially fantastic for use around a hot tub, spool – spa pool – or similar features where you’re relaxing and enjoying the night outdoors.
3.7 out of 5 stars
If you’re looking for an elegant lantern, check out the San Rafael II Mission Style lantern from Smart Solar. These gorgeous lanterns blend in with any rustic, Spanish or Italian colonial-style setting, and can be placed on surfaces or hung up by using the integrated hanging loop.
The lantern has two high-performance warm, white LEDs in the top, as well as an amber-colored LED in the pillar candle inside the lantern.
The lantern automatically turns on and off at dusk and dawn. Simply place the lantern where it will be able to charge in sunlight and reposition as desired.
This lantern is ideal for ambient lighting, rather than reading light.
3.5 out of 5 stars
If you’re hosting an outdoor event, or simply love the ambience that Christmas light strings provide, this solar powered Christmas light strand is the perfect option. The string is 72-feet long, with 200 LED lights powered by the sun and nothing else.
The lights work in either steady-on mode, or flashing mode, as you desire, and are waterproof for outdoor settings. They stay lit up for 6 hours, and turn off automatically, though you can press the on/off button to reset them.
The lights can also be charged by USB if you’ve gotten a lot of bad weather, or just need to charge up extra for an event. If you desire, the lights can be run off of USB for 20-hours without solar energy. Standard solar charging period is 6 to 8 hours.
Buyer’s Guide for the Best Outdoor Solar Lights
Every single one of these solar lights is top-rated. They all come highly recommended by professionals and real-life users and offer a variety of options.
For the absolute best high-powered solar lights, though, we recommend the DrawGreen DG08-A motion sensor light. It offers low lights when it’s rainy out, or after dark, with a motion sensor that kicks in enough light when it senses movement that you can safely move from car to home without issues.
For ambient lights, we most highly recommend the Solar/USB powered Christmas lights for versatility and the San Rafael II Mission Lantern from Smart Solar for attractive usability.