The Best Solar Lights You Can Buy Today
Want to make your patio look like an outdoor bistro or Italian cafe? Brightechâs solar-powered string lights will do the trick. This string of LED bulbs are designed to look like retro Edison-style lights, which will cast a warm, gentle glow on your deck in the evening. The bulbs are made of shatterproof plastic, and are designed to withstand winds up to 50 miles per hour, as well as rain, snow, and temperatures up to 122 degrees Fahrenheit. When put to the test, these lights delivered in every respect here enduring two severe rainstorms, one tropical storm, heavy rainfall in a shower and four hours in the freezer, with no sign of damage.
The 12 Brightech Ambience Pro lights are connected on a 27-foot cord, with 20 inches between each light. . At the end is a solar panel, which can be clipped to a railing or some other platform, or staked into the ground. Thereâs no ambient light sensor, but the lights last for up to six hours on a full charge. The lights also come with a 3-year warranty.
These small flat disks lie flush with the ground, and provide accent lighting for garden beds and walkways. Each Aogist Solar Ground Light has a small 600 mAh battery that can provide illumination for up to eight hours. When we tested these solar lights, one didn’t work straight out of the box, which seems like an issue with quality control, but the other seven functioned effectively.
These lights are $30 apiece, but youâll also need the Ring Bridge to use them.
How Do You Hang Solar String Lights
You can hang outdoor string lights from trees, railing, posts, ceiling beams, and more. Youll need to measure the distance of the space youre planning to hang lights from to determine how many feet of lights youll need. If you want to drape your lights or have them wrapped around beams or hung loosely from posts, youll need to add to your footage.
You can use small hooks if youre hanging lights from beams and posts. If youre draping lights from a railing, simply drape the lights to your liking, and secure them with twine, wire, or even zip-ties.
What Kinds Of Brightest Solar Landscape Lights Are There
There are a ton of different solar light options that you can incorporate into your landscaping and housing. Some are decorative and add some beauty to the landscape elements of your lawn and patio, while others serve a more functional purpose.
The various types of solar lighting include:
- Pathway lights Usually small lights that line the pathway with low light to add an element of safety
- Lanterns These may be either bright lights for lighting a deck and patio or might be low lights for adding mood lights
- Security Lights These are mounted on walls at the house or garage for safety
- Driveway Lights These are similar to the mounted security lights and may have some crossover functions
- Garden spotlights These lights are decorative and may be bright for adding spots of brilliance, or they might be low lights for romantic ambiance
- Flagpole lights These are designed to light up a flagpole but may be used on other posts and poles
Zupiiy Solar Powered Firefly Lights Outdoor Waterproof 2/4/6/8/10 Pcs Solar Garden Lights Starburst Swaying Lights For Yard Patio Pathway Decor
- ãSTARBURST SWAYING SOLAR LIGHTSã— This outdoor garden solar light makes it a great creator of a romantic atmosphere. Make your garden more attractive. Watch firefly dancing when the wind blows! The pictures donât do them justice, you need to check the video on the product page to see how the firefly âFLYINGâ in the dark.
- ãNO INSTALLATION & WIRE NEEDEDã— Super easy to use because no cables or plugs are needed, just plant the solar lights in your garden, and turn the switch on to enjoy the most beautiful solar decorative lights in the world.
- ãWEATHERPROOF IP65 & HEAT RESISTANTã— The solar panel and the lampshade are both fabricated from high level waterproof IP65 material. They can stand with rain, hail and snow and work perfectly during harsh weather.
- ãPERFECT GARDEN DECORATIONS & HOLIDAY GIFTSã— These LIJIU solar garden lights can bring fabulous lights to create romantic and festival atmosphere, perfect outdoor decoration for patio, yard, lawn and walkway and any occasion such as Christmas, wedding, New Year, party etc. solar outdoor lights decorative are also ideal gift for Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day, Anniversary, Birthday.
- ãSWAYING WHEN WIND BLOWSã— The most unique solar decorative lights in the market, our solar starbust swaying lights is propped by very soft & flexible wires, so the light sways when the wind blows, you will be thrilled to see how how the solar light âDANCINGâ when the wind blows.
What Is People Tested
We created the PEOPLE Tested seal of approval to help you find the very best products for your life. We use our unique methodology to test products in three labs across the country and with our network of home testers to determine their effectiveness, durability, ease of use, and so much more. Based on the results, we rate and recommend products so you can find the right one for your needs.
But we dont stop there: We also regularly re-review the categories in which weve awarded the PEOPLE Tested seal of approval because the best product of today might not be the best of tomorrow. And by the way, companies can never buy our recommendation: Their products must earn it, fair and square.
In short, PEOPLE Tested provides recommendations you can trust every day, every purchase.
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Best Budget: Brightown 29 Feet Solar String Lights
Courtesy of Amazon
The price point for these lights is great, without sacrificing useful features. The lights are made of a shatterproof material thats also IP44 waterproof and can withstand hot and cold temperatures, rain, and wind. The lights can stay lit for up to 16 hours after 4 to 8 hours of solar charging, and the 180-degree adjustable panel allows you to move it around for maximum sun exposure.
These lights can also be charged via USB if theres no light during the day. The lights have four lighting modes, and the bulbs on this strand are spaced 1 foot apart for a total of 29 feet. You also dont have to worry about the bulbs getting too hot, as they remain cool to the touch after hours of use.
Battery Type And Capacity
It is recommended to choose lithium-ion or lead-acid batteries for powerful solar lights. These battery types have the highest capacity. Lithium-ion batteries are more expensive but they are small in size and have a longer lifespan. NiMH batteries are ideal for low-power lighting since they run for extended periods with a high capacity.
Although there are various types of lightbulbs available, LED light bulbs are the best option for solar lighting. They are energy-efficient and bright. They are durable and have a lifespan of up to 50000 hours allowing them to run maintenance-free.
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Where Is The Best Place To Install Solar Lights
When installing solar lights, you’ll need to consider both where you need light during the night and where you receive direct sunlight during the day. “In general, the best places to install solar lights would be along pathways and for highlighting focal featuresâwhether that be a structural plant in the landscape, a water feature, or a sculptural element,” says Singleton.
How We Tested The Outdoor Solar Lights
We researched popular outdoor solar lights of various styles and selected 27 to test in our Lab in Des Moines, Iowa, evaluating each on a wide and thorough array of attributes that included ease of assembly and installation, feature set, brightness, durability, and value.
After putting them together, we let all the lights charge in full sunlight for the time specified in their instructions. We then took each to a dark room to run through all of their features, including any motion sensors and lighting modes and noted how easy it was to cycle through those. For lights with motion sensors, we had testers exit the room, wait 2 minutes, then re-enter and note whether the lights turned on without any prompting. Then, we evaluated each light’s brightness by attempting to read a book under it.
Next, we wanted to see how each product withstood the elements, including rain, hail, and winter’s subfreezing temperatures. To simulate rain, we sprinkled water on them from a watering can “hail” took the form of a golf ball, dropped from 6 feet above the fixture and 4 feet above the solar panel. Then, we froze each light for an hour. After each test, we noted any changes and checked to see that all the features were still working.
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Best Overall: Magicpro Solar String Lights
Courtesy of Amazon
These solar string lights at the top of our list thanks to four lighting modes and USB charging ability. Spice up any gathering with slow flash, quick flash, pulsating, or steady light modes and rest easy knowing the set is waterproof and the bulbs are shatterproof.
The lights can illuminate for up to 8 hours with a full charge , and hold up well in different weather conditions. The warm white lights provide a cozy glow for birthday parties, wedding receptions, garden parties, and much more. This set allows you to connect 15 more bulbs if you want to illuminate a larger area.
Considerations For Choosing The Best Solar Lights
As solar energy becomes the norm, there are plenty of options on the market to choose from.
Plenty of lights that can be a solution and plenty of lights to feel overwhelmed when trying to make the best decision.
There are two things you should keep in mind when researching solar lights the reason you need one, and the location you will need to put it to accomplish your goal.
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Our Process For Ranking The Best Outdoor Solar Lights
For this test, we considered many functional attributes of the outdoor solar lights, including brightness, charge time, ease of installation, durability, design, and how well they fulfill their purpose.
Solar lights are built in all shapes, sizes, colors, and prices so theres a wide variety of ways an outdoor solar light might be used.
The 3 main reasons to invest in a solar light include:
After reviewing hundreds of solar lights, we narrowed them to the best outdoor solar lights for the most common use cases.
Consider What You Need Solar Lights To Do
Regardless of your primary reason for using solar light, there will be trade-offs in terms of which features are included. Its important to keep in mind what features are the most vital to your situation to avoid buyers remorse.
Floodlights might not be decorative, but small decorative lights wont be floodlights. Motion-sensing lights last the longest, but the auto on/off can be frustrating when you are just trying to relax on the deck.
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The Best Solar Garden Lights Of 2022 With Advice From Gardeners Question Time Expert Matthew Wilson
Here are the best solar garden lights for twinkly night-time ambience, from string lights to lanterns and even solar-powered security lights
The best solar garden lights come in a range of colours and designs to brighten up your outdoor space, whether you choose stake lights for highlighting borders, string lights for the fence or a pretty lantern for the table. As well as creating ambience when entertaining, some designs can be used for a more practical function to add an extra layer of security around your home.
Solar garden lighting can, however, be a little hit and miss – shining brightly one day, then looking as dull as a scorched August lawn the next. But with advice how to buy and how to care for your lights throughout the year, you can enjoy the best solar garden lights for more than a single season.
Below, Ive tested a selection of this year’s most eye-catching solar garden lights that you can buy online. Ive included novelty designs, festoon string lights for trees, fences and gazebos and solar lanterns to add magic to the lawn. Ive also included stake lights for showcasing your best flower borders and motion-sensor solutions for the garden path.
Will Solar Lights Still Work In Indirect Sunlight
Outdoor lights work best when they have access to direct sunlight to charge for multiple hours during the day, which is how the manufacturers calculate battery life and runtime. They’ll still work on cloudy days or in areas with indirect light, but you might notice that they aren’t quite as bright or long-lasting. “It is a fact that energy storage is much better if it’s under direct sunlight, but solar lights can still work with rain or even snow,” Jameson says.
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How We Picked And Tested
We looked at all of the smart outdoor lighting options that are currently available by searching online reviews, retailers, and manufacturer websites. Many outdoor lighting devices are similar, so we whittled the group down to what we thought was worth testing based on online feedback, useful features, and price. A few smart outdoor sconces are available, but after doing research and even testing some of them, we continue to dismiss that category based on factors such as design, price, and the installation process for now, youre better off picking the weathertight fixture of your choice and using a smart bulb or a smart light switch. We also eliminated outdoor lighting fixtures with integrated cameras, since we cover those in our outdoor security cameras guide.
We thought about the practical, real-world use for each light we reviewed, and then we judged each one based on where we thought it would work best. We also considered the following elements:
Features To Look For In Outdoor Solar Lights
The color temperature of the bulbs set the mood of the area being lit. Bulbs with lower temperatures provide warm colors similar to candles and incandescent bulbs. Bulbs with higher color temperatures provide cool colors or blue hues similar to LED or daylight CFL bulbs.
Coverage angle and distance
Coverage might not be an important factor to consider for ambiance lighting. It should however be a determining factor when purchasing a motion sensor security light. The angle of coverage determines how wide the sensor can detect motion for the light to be triggered.
A minimum of 120 degrees is recommended. Anything over 170 degrees could be bothersome as the light would be triggered frequently. The coverage distance is recommended at a minimum of 5 or 6 meters.
Outdoor solar lights are frequently exposed to rain, dust, and heat. Choose waterproof or IP 55 certified outdoor solar lights. These lights are made with durable materials able to withstand unpredictable weather conditions.
Some lights can rotate or flip from back to front. This means that you can change the direction of light by simply rotating the head. This type of light provides versatility and allows you to cover a range of areas with a single installation. Some lights even come with a rotatable solar panel, allowing you to adjust the angle of the panel so it can capture the most amount of light and fully recharge.
Settings and recharge time
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Best Spotlight: Innogear Yard Solar Spotlight
Form/Style: Spotlight| Brand: Innogear | Lumen: 200lms | Charge Time: 8 hours | Charge Lasts: 4-6hrs on bright / 8-12hrs on dim| Features: Waterproof, removable stake | Placement: Ground stake or wall mount | Power Source: Solar panel
What We Liked
- Functional flexibility a wall light or a yard light
- 2 modes bright and dim
- Perfect as a small spotlight
What We DidntLike
- Some issues with latch reportedLong charge time for short run time
- Light doesnt reach too far
- Can only rotate up-and-downSome issues with latch reported
We chose this solar light as the best spotlight because it is built with premium LED bulbs that illuminate what you want to bring immediate attention to.
Whether you mount it on a wall to light up the steps leading to your door or stake it into the ground and aim it at your flagpole, this light is flexible, simple, and surprisingly durable.
This solar light is best used as a spotlight rather than a floodlight. So if you need a light that will illuminate a wider range or work as a security light this light might not work for you.
We found that the illumination doesnt travel far, and on the brightest setting, the charge only lasts around 4-6 hours. We turned the brightness down so it would last all night.
Consider Where Youre Placing Outdoor Solar Lights
The majority of solar lights on the market are powered by a solar panel that recharges a lithium-ion battery pack.
Some models also take regular batteries so you can use them if they dont charge outdoors or include a USB charging port to refill the battery bank in overcast weather.
When shopping for outdoor solar lights, remember that the solar panel should be placed in direct sunlight to fill the battery bank. If its going to be used to line a path with a wide-open view of the sky chances are your light wont have an issue charging.
If your light will be placed in a shady area, look for lights with detachable solar panels that can be placed in a spot with direct sunlight. Alternatively, a solar light with a larger solar panel will charge better in lower light conditions.
Regardless of which outdoor solar light option you choose, all solar lights use renewable, rechargeable energy and provide dependable lighting that you can set and forget.
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