You spent all that time landscaping, only to find that when night falls, all the beauty is lost.
Whether it’s to accent your lawn at night, or to light up the backyard so you can enjoy that Friday night mimosa on the deck, you need something powerful to
That’s why we have the best solar landscape lights on this list, to help you light up that lawn and keep it the center of attention for all your neighbors to see, even in the dead of night.
Don’t worry – these aren’ the 2004-era outdoor solar lights that we all still have nightmares about.
Solar has come a long way, especially in small applications like lighting. Thanks to LED technology and the increased number of lumens available for less money, not to mention solar panel effectiveness, we’re able to seriously illuminate our lawns.
Best Solar Landscape Lights – Reviews & Buying guide for 2020
Best Overall: TPK Solar Ground Lights
TPK is a brand you probably haven’t heard of before, but that’s what makes them a hidden gem. These solar lights come with some excellent features that honestly shocked us in the best of ways.
To kick things off, you have a total of eight hours of use after just eight hours of direct sunlight. With any solar landscaping lights, this is going to vary by the day, cloudiness, things like that, but optimally it will output just about as much as it intakes.
These are the best solar path lights for more reasons than that, though. You get an IP65 waterproof rating, which is good enough to withstand rain for extended durations of time and still work wonderfully when the night comes rolling around.
Solar lights are naturally environmentally friendly, too, so you don’t have to worry about increasing your carbon footprint, or your utility bill for that matter. You won’t even waste the battery on these, because this 600mAh battery (in each light) automatically turns off when the sunlight hits a certain peak.
It’s completely self-sustaining; you don’t have to worry about turning the switches on and off. You just set them and forget about it. These lamps are also made with stainless steel, which means there’s no concern about rusting for years to come until the chromium wears down.
As far as tech specs go, these are great, but we also have to talk about the physical design. There are these small, sharp, triangular pegs slats that you get to attach to the bottom of the actual solar panel and light. To be honest, I don’t really know how I feel about them, and I’ll tell you why.
On the one hand, they’re inexpensive and keep the total cost down. On the other hand, they’re not the most durable. Yes, they’re jagged on the bottom to stab right into the soil, but it means they’re also going to be fairly fragile.
One really strong wind might knock them over. They’re subtle, though, so if you don’t want major attention on the fixtures themselves, this is a god pick.
These specifically come in a warm white light color, so if you’re looking for ambient blues or warm yellows, you won’t find those with TPK. Inexpensive, solid, and just bright enough to outline your walkway or bring attention to the garden beds.
- Dimensions: 14.2” x 5.2” x 5”
- Lights in Pack: 12
- Duration: 8 hours
Runner Up: LITOM Solar Landscape Spotlights
What really makes the best solar lights for yard use? Is it just about output time, or about personalization?
Honestly, that depends on you – we’re here to look at the objective benefits that everyone can enjoy, but there are some really cool added features on LITOM’s solar landscaping spotlights that we think you’ll be really excited about.
These are spotlights, so they focus light in a 120° angle instead of the traditional 360° angle that lantern-style outdoor lights do. That focused light comes from a 3.7V lithium battery with 18650mAh, meaning it lasts for a long time and has a fairly bright output.
Here’s the cool thing: you can opt for colored lights if you want. There’s no changing RGB function in these lights, but they offer an assortment of multicolored lights, cold whites, and warm/white blends (yellow and white) so you can pick whatever you want.
Personally, I would go with the basic cold whites that we have selected for this review. They tend to last longer than colored plastic lenses, but the option is still pretty cool.
Your solar panels in these are monocrystalline silicon, which is the same stuff that full-sized roofing solar panels are made of. It’s how the magic of solar panels work.
Adjust to two optional modes: high output, and low output. For rainy conditions when you have someone coming over and they need to find the place, the high output does well to cut through the egress. Otherwise, you can leave it on the low output to get twelve long hours out of these each night.
They’re going to turn on and off on their own thanks to the sensors embedded in the unit, but you’ll have to choose high or low outputs on your own. The issue with high light output is that it drains the battery in just six hours, which is pretty inconvenient since they’ll fizzle out around 2:00 AM for most people.
Last but not least, LITOM went full frontal defense with the protection on these lights. UV-resistant, heat resistant, and IP67 waterproof ratings are nothing to scoff at. These are durable lights that are meant to last you for as long as possible.
- Dimensions: 11” x 4.9” x 2.7”
- Lights in Pack: 12
- Duration: 12 hours (low mode)
Best Alexa Compatible: Ring Solar Pathlight
“Alexa, turn on the Ring Solar Pathlights.” Yes, you can command Amazon’s Alexa from your smart hub and tell her to turn on the pathway lights. How cool is that?
Homes are getting smarter, that’s for sure.
When we set out to provide the best solar landscape lights reviews, we wondered how well this worked. Turns out their connectivity is spot-on, but it does have some caveats we need to talk about before you go through with a purchase.
Each light outputs 80 lumens of light when the motion detection goes off. The solar panels themselves are fairly durable and powerful, providing light for about six to eight hours on average. This isn’t stated by Ring, but rather from our experiences.
But this is where they might have jumped the gun. You only get one light in this purchase, which means the cost per individual light is above 10x more than most of the light packs on this list. That’s a big thing to consider, but if you’re already optimizing a smart home, it’s to be expected.
The kicker is that you can’t even connect this directly to your smart hub out of the package.
You actually have to purchase the Ring Bridge, which is completely separate. It runs you an average of $50.00 with the current model. The good news is that you could hook up fifty different Ring lighting devices to it, so it’s a worthwhile investment.
Is this light good? Yes. Is it specific?
For sure. It’s not going to meet all of your criteria, but it looks smart and attractive, and works well if you want to optimize your home for smart innovations and the future of IoT devices.
- Dimensions: 16.8” x 4.3” x 4.3”
- Lights in Pack: 1
- Duration: 6-8 hours
Runner Up: Sumaote LED Deck Lights Kit
I want to say right now, this is not a set of solar lights. This is a set of lights, strung together with the intention of being used with a 12V DC adapter.
However, those adapters can absolutely connect to individually purchased solar panels and an inverter. This is like half of what you need to go solar with outdoor energy.
Yes, this is a solar landscape lights review, but because this can be hooked up to some well-placed panels in five minutes, it still constitutes.
Plus, we couldn’t say no to those fantastic lights. You get a remote that commands multiple colors, allowing you to turn your walkway into different mood lighting depending on the season.
Bear in mind, the colored lights will burn through more electricity than white lights will, but they’re still a lot of fun to use. They’re kind of the focal point of this entire LED deck light kit. That, and it connects well with Amazon Alexa.
Because your lights are strung together, they’re not relying on individual receivers to turn on or off from your smart hub commands. It’s like one command turns every single light on, so you won’t have to worry about connecting this to a Ring Bridge and running out of room with this twenty-piece kit.
Each light is made out of stainless steel, giving you plenty of rust resistance for years to come. Individually, each LED should hold on for about ten years, so you could install these and be in a new decade before you ever have to worry about replacing them.
Everything is hooked up to a Wi-Fi connected remote as well, so you can just keep it near the front door, flick the lights on, and call it a night if that’s what you want to do.
- Dimensions: 13.1” x 11.1” x 2.3”
- Lights in Pack: 20
- Duration: Depends
Best Scenic: GIGALUMI Waterproof Solar Pathway Lights
GIGALUMI didn’t hit the peak of our best solar yard lights list, but there’s a reason they’re on here at all.
Primarily, they offer an excellent value for such an aesthetic light. Usually you get those basic black lights with the not-so-clear acrylic window, and it just reminds you of those old-school solar lights that didn’t work in the first place.
Not here. With GIGALUMI, you get an excellent eight hours of shine from just four hours of exposure to direct sunlight.
That means as long as it’s not a rainy day, these things are at a full charge by about three in the afternoon at the latest. Your pathway will slowly flicker to life all on its own as the night hits thanks to the daylight sensors.
Installation is simple; you just twist the pegs onto the bottom of the lamp, and set it in the ground. The spikes make it easy to drive it through tough soil, while the water resistant top will protect your solar panels from harsh rain all throughout the night.
Altogether, it’s a budget-friendly option for some quick, durable scenic lights. You get twelve in a pack, and they can be placed all around the yard for low levels of illumination.
GIGALUMI provides reliable, simple lights that don’t fade out on you in a few months’ time. They also offer a sixty-day money-back guarantee or a complete replacement if something happened during shipping/manufacturer errors.
- Dimensions: 3” x 3” x 15”
- Lights in Pack: 12
- Duration: 8 hours
Best Solar Landscape Lights Buying Guide and FAQ
Do Solar Landscape Lights Really Work?
We didn’t pick the best solar walkway lights for nothing. Yes, these really do work, and they work well.
Solar landscape lights still have this stigma attached to them because of the failed efforts of solar light manufacturers in 2000-2004, and to be fair, those things were a nightmare.
They often wouldn’t retain any amount of energy, would only produce low-level light for about three to five hours at night, and they didn’t look that good. They were just black plastic and clear lenses, and that wasn’t enticing enough.
Nowadays, with the advances in solar panel efficiency over the last twenty years (even in smaller applications like this), solar lights are popular once again.
How Long Do Solar Landscape Lights Last?
Well, some of the information surrounding solar landscape light longevity really comes down to environment. Are you taking them in during rainstorms and snowstorms? Do you have high wind in the area? Is your dog secretly chewing on the casing of each light? There’s a lot to think about.
For the most part, solar batteries (which retain energy gained from sunlight) are the first thing to go. In high-end solar landscape lights, you can simply buy battery replacements and put them in, discarding the old batteries safely. This is something you can expect to do once every four to five years.
However, pretty much all of these outdoor solar lights reviews feature LED as the primary lighting method. LEDs are a great choice because they draw a lower amount of energy, but they also last for up to ten years before you might need to replace them.
LED technology is fantastic, and once you’re able to properly use these solar lights, you’re going to find that these are easy to replace, inexpensive, and don’t run out all that often.
Should You Turn Solar Lights Off at Night?
What would be the point? You got the best solar lights for garden and yard placement only to turn them off?
I don’t think so!
A home that’s lit-up at night is actually less likely to be burglarized. Criminals go for darker homes, because they’re able to creep across the lawn or enter a home without being spotted by the neighbors. All it takes is one phone call from your neighbor to send the police coming.
Criminals will “case” a home, meaning they’ll see how vulnerable it is and if it’s worth breaking into or not. Homes with better landscaping typically mean the owners have more money than your average joe, but with the right defense systems in place, you can still avert unwarranted attention.
If you absolutely need to shut your light off at night, you can do so, but it’s worth letting them burn through their uses rather than shutting them down if you have any fears of this.
How do I Make my Solar Lights Brighter?
Well, there’s nothing you can do to actually amp the solar light output itself. You can’t make it take in more energy.
But there are a few tips and tricks that you can do to maintain a high brightness level, or revitalize older lights to bring that illumination back in full force.
Both the solar panels and the glass/plexi panels that surround the actual light source, It’s so easy for dust, dirt, and debris to coat the outside of these. That means less energy coming in, and less brightness coming out.
On top of simply cleaning the panels, you can use a plexiglass restorative spray and disassemble the solar lights, wiping down the plexi every few months or so. This keeps it super clear like a Windex commercial.
Understand Sun Positioning
One of the most common reasons that you aren’t getting enough light coming out of your solar lights is underwhelming sunlight during the day. You need to know where the sun positioning is, and when shade is cast from your home down onto the lights.
Find a proper strategy before you place these down, otherwise you’re robbing these lights of about half the sun exposure they need during the day.
It could just be that you’re not getting enough sunlight on your solar lights, and they’re fizzling out a bit early. You can do a one-day cycling, where you let the panels absorb sunlight, and bring them in during the night.
Keep them in a room with the light on to trick the lights into thinking they’re still absorbing light. When you place them outside the next morning, they’ll still intake sunlight.
This could be enough of a charge (two days input, zero days output) to get their brightness back to where you want it. Just consider that if you have to do this once, you might have to do it again in the future. Some lights will have switches, but not all will.
Is it Okay to Leave Solar Lights Out in the Winter?
That depends on the region that you’re located in. More often than not, you can just leave them out throughout the year in many areas of the country, like in the south-east section of the US, California, and southern areas like Texas and New Mexico.
But as we creep up the map, there are less hospitable environments. You’re going to have adverse conditions to worry about, like nor’easters and regular snowfall.
You might find information on some of these sales pages that state these lights are good in the snow, but do you really want to risk it? We are dealing with electronics, after all.
Most solar panel manufacturers tell you to clear the snow off of the panels and inverter as soon as possible for a reason, and I can’t imagine in smaller applications like this that you’d have even more durability.
It’s not a good idea to leave them out in the winter. If for no other reason, they’re going to get stuck underneath those snow mounds when the snow blower comes rolling through (crunch crunch), which literally chews up and spits out your investment in your landscaping.
Instead, bring them in during the winter months if you live in an area with snow. Otherwise you might just wake up to find a freak flurry in the middle of the night, and some wet lights that allowed melting water to seep into the panels.
It’s Time to Light up the Night
Are you prepared to actually add some light to that dreary backyard patio, or to turn your front walkway into a solar light show? I think you are.
With the right solar lights, you can provide years of stunning, maintenance-free light to your yard and maintain an aesthetic, one-of-a-kind outdoor environment. We just gave you the best lights for the long haul; now it’s time to pick one.