12 Best Outdoor Solar Lights: Brighten The Night

As twilight ebbs into darkness, are you peering out into a pitch-black yard? If you don’t want to use a flashlight (or worse, your cell phone) to navigate the yard at night, you need the best outdoor solar lights to guide your way.

But which are the best ones, and what makes them the best?

More importantly, how do you decide which ones are best for your specific garden layout? After all, everyone’s yard is different, and what works for one person won’t work for another. Perhaps you want something to brighten up the fence. Or maybe you want a warm glow casting beautiful patterns on the ground to enjoy.

We’ll explore the topic of outdoor solar lighting in-depth, going over different styles and models to find some of the top choices on the market. You’ll soon know what will be ideal in your entertaining space!

Product Features
SUNNEST Solar Powered Pathway LightsPath LightsSUNNEST Solar Powered Pathway LightsPath Lights
  • 12 per package
  • Steel & plastic
  • Warm or cool lighting
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Maggift Solar Powered LED Garden LightsGarden LightsMaggift Solar Powered LED Garden LightsGarden Lights
  • 8 per package
  • Plastic
  • Warm lighting
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Moonrays 91381 Payton Solar LightLandscape LightsMoonrays 91381 Payton Solar LightLandscape Lights
  • 8 per package
  • Plastic
  • Warm lighting
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Brightech Ambience Pro Outdoor String LightsString LightsBrightech Ambience Pro Outdoor String LightsString Lights
  • 27 foot string
  • Plastic
  • Edison bulb style
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CLY 60 LED Solar Outdoor Security FloodlightFlood LightsCLY 60 LED Solar Outdoor Security FloodlightFlood Lights
  • 60-LED floodlight
  • Aluminum
  • Great security lighting
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URPOWER 2-in-1 Waterproof 4 LED Solar SpotlightSpotlightsURPOWER 2-in-1 Waterproof 4 LED Solar SpotlightSpotlights
  • 2 in package
  • Plastic
  • Multiple light colors
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BALOOM Solar Glass Brick LightSolar BricksBALOOM Solar Glass Brick LightSolar Bricks
  • 4 in package
  • Glass and plastic
  • Multiple light colors
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LampLust Recessed Polyresin Solar PaverSolar PaversLampLust Recessed Polyresin Solar PaverSolar Pavers
  • In-ground placement
  • Glass and plastic
  • Warm white lighting
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Litom 24 LED Motion Sensor Solar LightsMotion Sensor LightsLitom 24 LED Motion Sensor Solar LightsMotion Sensor Lights
  • 270 degree range
  • ABS plastic
  • Motion-activated
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OTHWAY Solar Fence LightsFence LightsOTHWAY Solar Fence LightsFence Lights
  • 4 in package
  • ABS plastic
  • Available in black or white
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Sunwind Solar Post Cap LightsPost LightsSunwind Solar Post Cap LightsPost Lights
  • 4 in package
  • Plastic
  • Warm white lighting
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Doingart Outdoor Solar Garden Lily Stake LightsDecorative LightsDoingart Outdoor Solar Garden Lily Stake LightsDecorative Lights
  • 2 in package
  • Whimsical flower shape
  • Multiple light colors
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The 12 Best Outdoor Solar Lights

1. SUNNEST Solar Powered Pathway Lights

Solar Lights Outdoor, Stainless Steel Waterproof Outdoor Lights - 12Pack, LED Landscape Lighting...
  • SOLAR OUTDOOR LIGHTS: The solar pathway lights...
  • WEATHER RESISTANT: Finishing with stainless steel,...
  • EASY TO INSTALL: Simply assemble each part...

This is probably the most recognizable style of garden solar light, as you can find similar lights anywhere. However, SUNNEST solar lights have a steel exterior that helps keep them intact for years, unlike the plastic bodies of other inexpensive solar lights.

Installing these lights is incredibly easy. Simply pull out the tab that blocks the battery from the rest of the wiring, remove the stake from inside the shaft and turn it around, and press the light into the ground in a sunny place. The solar panel will take it from there.

As these are small lights, you’ll want many to line your pathways. They aren’t glaringly bright but do provide illumination to find your way.

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2. Maggift Solar Powered LED Garden Lights

Maggift 8 Pcs Solar Powered LED Garden Lights, Automatic Led for Patio, Yard and Garden
  • Powered by free solar energy and no electricity...
  • Weather-resistant, suitable for outdoor use, no...
  • Easy to install, NO WIRES. Push the stake into the...

Did you want just a little light to add a decorative element to the edge of your garden beds? The lacy patterns that these solar powered garden lights create will provide exactly that. These space lights provide soft, decorative illumination.

They also work extremely well in planters or raised beds. They can be used year-round, but in winter bring in your garden lights: solar panels get covered with snow!

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3. Moonrays 91381 Payton Solar Light

Sale
Moonrays 91381 Payton Solar LED Plastic Path Light, 2X-Brighter, Hammered Glass Look, provides 360...
  • TWICE AS BRIGHT: With powerful LED light bulbs...
  • EFFORTLESS INSTALLATION: Simply insert the spikes...
  • SOLAR PATH LIGHT: Charges during the day in...

While it is by no means the fanciest model out there, the Moonrays Payton design of solar lighting for garden spaces has double the average illumination normally available from a path light. However, their size puts them in the range of landscape lights, at 15″ in height and 4.7″ in width.

Traditional wired-light shaping lends these lights the look of a permanent fixture, but they’re easily picked up and moved elsewhere when needed. Like path or garden lights, they are stake lights, and can simply be pressed into the ground where needed.

I personally consider this style to be one of the best solar landscape lights. It isn’t flashy, but it blends seamlessly into the landscape of your yard and provides a steady, functional light in the dark hours.

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4. Brightech Ambience Pro Outdoor String Lights

Brightech Ambience Pro - Waterproof, Solar Powered Outdoor String Lights - 27 Ft Vintage Edison...
  • "ITALIAN CAFE" LIGHTS USE VINTAGE EDISON BULBS TO...
  • COMMERCIAL GRADE WEATHERPROOF BISTRO LIGHTS WITH...
  • INSTALL FLEXIBILITY MAKES THIS THE BEST CARNIVAL...

One of the most annoying parts about choosing solar string lights is finding ones that are made for consistent outdoor use. Often, they simply aren’t weatherproof enough, and moisture can slowly penetrate into the wiring and cause corrosion.

Not so with these Brightech lights. I consider these to be the best outdoor string lights because they’re extremely durable and weatherproof. Plus, they provide the perfect romantic space lighting for a meal or illumination for a relaxing garden party as twilight fades.

Designed to meet commercial-grade standards, these will last you for years and years. The solar panel can be oriented to where it will gather the most sun, and the lights will automatically flick on at dusk, giving you up to six hours of charming light.

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5. CLY 60 LED Solar Outdoor Security Floodlight

CLY 60 LED Solar Lights, Outdoor Security Floodlight, 300 Lumen, IP66 Waterproof, Auto-induction,...
  • 60 SUPER BRIGHT SOLAR LED: 300Lumen,120 degree...
  • 4W/6V SOLAR PANEL, 4000 mAh LITHIUM-ION...
  • TWO EASY WAYS TO INSTALL:adjustable wall mount...

LTE has made a solid solar floodlight. Sixty super-bright LEDs are mounted into a die-cast aluminum body that’s been fully weatherproofed. This can be mounted on a wall with its solar panel up to 16 feet away to be in the best position to catch sunlight.

Fully charged, this solar flood light can be on continuously for 8-10 hours without any problem. 120 degrees of light provides ample light to see and move around, lighting an area that’s roughly 20 feet by 15 feet with no problem.

This is an excellent security light or just a solid night-time solution for yard lighting. It’s one of the best solar flood lights you can find on the market right now, and well worth the money spent!

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6. URPOWER 2-in-1 Waterproof 4 LED Solar Spotlight

URPOWER Solar Lights, 2-in-1 Waterproof 4 LED Solar Spotlight Adjustable Wall Light Landscape Light...
  • URPOWER 3rd Generation solar outdoor...
  • Fully Adjustable Light & Solar Panel - Adjust the...
  • 2 in 1 Functions - Stick into the ground./Use...

I’ve got a pair of these URPOWER solar lights as backup lighting for my front porch, and they work extremely well. They can be wall-mounted or stake-mounted depending on your needs, and as long as the panel has full exposure to sun, they’re wonderful!

Two modes, high or low, allow you to determine how much light these produce. High mode will run through the battery power quicker, but if you only need light for a few hours it’s perfect. Low mode will provide soft light from sunset to sunrise.

The solar panel is adjustable in a 180-degree range to angle it towards the sun. However, be aware that the light remains in line with your solar panel, so you’ll need to plan your positioning to provide the most light to the solar collector during daylight hours.

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7. BALOOM Solar Glass Brick Light

Solar Glass Brick Light,Ice Cube Lights,LED Landscape Light Buried Light Square Cube,Frosted Glass...
  • ►【 SOLAR POWERED】These Solar glass brick...
  • ► 【 DURABLE】Constructed from durable glass,...
  • ► 【 EASY TO USE 】Ice cubes light, no wiring...

I just love the concept of having a glowing brick settled on the edge of a raised bed or tucked along the side of a garden path at night. The BALOOM solar bricks provide either a warm or cool white ambient light as well as a decoration that blends in during sunlit hours.

It’s important that you do not try to set a solar brick into a pathway, as these are not meant to be built into place like a paver might be. Submerging it in water may damage the internal wires inside the glass body.

But when placed above soil level in a dry location, these can be outdoors rain or shine. Keep the exterior glass cleaned off to allow for optimal solar charging, and they’ll illuminate your yard all night long!

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8. LampLust Recessed Polyresin Solar Paver

Solar Brick Landscape Path Light, 8x4 Recessed Polyresin Paver, 12 Cool White LEDs, Waterproof,...
  • VERSATILE & RECESSED ✓ - Features one 8"L x 4"W...
  • WEATHERPROOF & WATERPROOF ✓ - Constructed from...
  • RECHARGEABLE - SOLAR POWERED ✓ - With the sun's...

Looking for a recessed light to edge your driveway or inset into the gravel between paving stones? Look no further, because LampLust also makes a solar paver which is designed to be recessed and flush with the ground!

Creative placement of these solar pavers will allow you to add ambient ground-level illumination exactly where you need it most. The resin keeps moisture out of the wired elements inside the lightbox, and cool and warm light options are both available.

In areas where you have full sun during the daylight hours, a few of these will ensure you don’t have to spend another dime on power to light your way. I definitely consider these to be among the best outdoor solar lights available right now.

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9. Litom 24 LED Motion Sensor Solar Lights

LITOM Original Solar Lights Outdoor, 3 Optional Modes Wireless Motion Sensor Light with 270° Wide...
  • 【World-leading Solar Light Brand】As the leader...
  • 【Brighter & Wider Lighting】Equipped with...
  • 【All-Day Working Light】LITOM LED light absorbs...

Three different modes are available with this Litom solar light: one consistent, always-on option and two motion sensing options.

In one of the motion sensor choices, you can opt for a low-level constant light from dusk to dawn, and when the sensor’s engaged it’ll turn to high-powered bright lighting. The other choice keeps it off until motion is detected, at which point it goes blindingly bright.

While the one I’m covering is the version with 24 LED bulbs, there is also a version with 40 LED bulbs that will provide even more light. Having it suddenly flick on in the dead of night will scare away most wild animals and unwelcome guests, keeping your property safe and secure.

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10. OTHWAY Solar Fence Lights

OTHWAY Solar Fence Post Lights Wall Mount Decorative Deck Lighting, Black, 4 Packs
  • Nice design and decorative light: it gives off a...
  • Build in sensor and automated switch: the light...
  • Durable plastic: these solar fence post lights can...

If you’ve got a nice fence, why not show it off at night with a set of these OTHWAY solar lights for fences? These half-round lights create a sunburst of lighting that will bounce off the fence and provide a nice, ambient glow.

These are great accent lights, plus when combined with other solar options you can provide plenty of electricity-free lighting for your yard. They can be great for security purposes as well, helping ensure that unsavory sorts stay off your property.

Best of all, if mounted out of the reach of little kid fingers, you don’t have to worry about your children wandering off with them – and as anyone who’s ever tried to keep a toddler in check knows, that can be an incredibly good thing.

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11. Sunwind Solar Post Cap Lights

Solar Post Cap Lights Outdoor- 4 Pack LED Fence Post Lights for Wooden Posts Warm White Waterproof...
  • Application: These Solar Cap Post Lights will Only...
  • EASY DIY INSTALL: Included 2x wall plugs and...
  • Energy Saving & Convenient--No need any...

Anyone with a ranch-style post fence or deck railing will love these low-profile solar lights. Designed to cap off a 4×4 fence post or deck railing, they slide right into place and then start soaking in the sun’s rays. At night, soft light spills out from the sides of the cap.

A wired deck railing costs a small fortune to install, but these are comparatively only pennies and require only a screwdriver to secure in place. With these, you can have a warm, ambient glow along your railing or fenceline through the night.

Please note that these do not fit PVC posts — they’re designed for wood posts only!

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12. Doingart Outdoor Solar Garden Lily Stake Lights

Outdoor Solar Garden Stake Lights - Doingart 2 Pack Solar Powered Lights with 8 Lily Flower,...
  • LILY FLOWER SOLAR LIGHT. 2 Pack beautiful...
  • COLOR CHANGING LIGHT. Lily shaped stake light with...
  • HIGH QUALITY OUTDOOR SOLAR LIGHTS. Beautifully...

I freely admit that these are a little bit silly, but they illustrate the point of decorative lights incredibly well. Anyone who’s wished they could see their prized plants more readily at night will enjoy these whimsical, lily-shaped solar garden lights.

Built-in LEDs hidden in the center of each flower shape will slowly change colors in the dark hours, and your flowers will appear to magically glow from deep within. When tucked amongst shorter bedding plants, these will spark a bit of life all through the night!

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Why You Need Outdoor Solar Lights

Maggift solar powered garden lights
These Maggift solar lights offer a decorative lighting solution for your garden.

The obvious need for lights in general exists. When the sun goes down, you can’t see a thing out there. But why should you be investing in the best outdoor solar lights, and what will they do for you?

First and foremost, they can go in places where normal lights can’t. Wiring a yard is a complex process that involves laying protective pipes, serious waterproofing of wires, and similar mental gymnastics. But with a solar light, you can just pick a sunny place and put a light in it.

They can reduce your power bill. If you spend a lot of time in your yard in the evening hours, regular lights are drawing power. Older light fixtures on houses may be drawing an awful lot of power (I’m looking at you, old sodium light on the porch!). Solar lights power themselves.

You can establish travel pathways. Solar path lights mark the way, as do solar bricks or pavers. It’ll be easy to find the safest path through the yard at night once these light up at dusk!

Deterring large animals and criminals is also a perk that solar lights can offer. Motion-sensing solar lights will only turn on when movement is detected, immediately shining a light through the yard and scaring critters and people away.

Finally, you can liven up your nighttime environment. With the vast array of solar light options that are out there, you can decorate with strings of solar lights or place a solar lantern in a prime seating area. There’s plenty of decorative options available!

Types Of Solar Lights For Gardens

Othway fence lights
Solar fence lights form pools of light on the lawn.

There’s tons of different types of solar lights available, but which are the best outdoor solar lights

There are tons of different types of solar lights available, but which are the best outdoor solar lights for your needs? Let’s break them down and see what might be perfect for you.

Path Lights / Garden Lights

The smallest of the outdoor solar path lights are usually used to line the edges of pathways or to provide illumination in your garden beds. Whether used for decoration or for actual light, these devices create a soft glow that will chase some of the darkness away.

Landscape Lights

Slightly larger than path lights or garden lights, landscape lights are also used to line paths, but can also be used to highlight particular areas of the yard. While these aren’t daylight-bright, they can direct attention to the edges of the pool deck or help you find your way to the storage shed at night.

String Lights

A string of lights around one’s deck or gazebo can invigorate the nighttime landscape. Available in multiple colors and even color-changing varieties, these can perk up the patio during your next barbecue party.

Flood Lights / Spotlights

Need a lot of light? Consider picking up a solar flood light or solar spotlight. Multiple LED lights and good reflectors produce significantly more illumination than the single LED lights will. Many turn on when motion is detected, offering security as well.

Solar Bricks / Solar Pavers

Don’t want a traditional light-shaped light? Perhaps solar bricks or solar pavers will be good for you. These bricks can be placed above ground at different points to light the way. Meanwhile, the pavers can be inset into your tile or brick patio surface, creating light at ground level.

Motion Sensor Lights

Are the neighbor’s cats driving you nuts at night, or are you considering adding lights to deter potential home intruders? Motion-sensing solar lights will help. These will go anywhere that receives a lot of daytime sunlight and will turn themselves on when motion is detected.

Fence Lights

If you’d like a soft glow that can suffuse the entire yard, consider getting a set of fence lights. Once attached to the fence, these will soak in the sun’s rays during the day. At night, they provide a gentle glow which can mark off your yard’s boundaries.

Post Lights

Speaking of fences, most have fenceposts. Decks also have posts. Why not top these with a great solar light to provide ambiance in the yard? Many varieties are available to fit multiple sizes of fence or deck posts, and they provide a nice cap right along with the lighting.

Decorative Lights & Lamps

Finding the best outdoor solar lights to decorate with is important. Whether it’s a lantern-shaped solar light or faux fireflies in a solar mason jar, these little gems can brighten our lives.

Solar Light Maintenance

Best outdoor solar lights
Keep solar panels clean for good charging capabilities. Source: dslwc

Solar light maintenance is actually pretty easy on the whole, and is something you should likely do a couple times a year.

First, check your solar panel. Whether big or small, it needs to be clean and free of dust and debris.

If it’s dusty, hose it off to remove loose material. Use a soft-bristled brush and soapy water to clean the panel thoroughly. Rinse, taking care to ensure that no soap scum remains, and dry off completely with a towel.

Once your panels are clean, make sure that light is easily hitting them. Prune back excess foliage on trees or overhanging bushes that block sunlight.

Check the protective shield around the LED as well and make certain that’s clean, as well as any reflectors inside. This will ensure you get good illumination.

If your solar lights seem to be on for shorter times each night, it may be time to check the battery connection. Remove the batteries and examine them for corrosion or damage. Replace inexpensive lights if necessary.

Keep in mind that your batteries will also wear down with regular use. Rechargeable batteries don’t last forever and store fractionally less with each solar charge. Over time, this really adds up!



The Green Thumbs Behind This Article:

Lorin Nielsen
Lifetime Gardener

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Last update on 2020-09-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API