Best Outdoor Solar Light Reviews of 2020
TomCare STL01-4 Waterproof Flickering Torches Outdoor Solar Spotlights
Best solar garden torches
Enhancing flames design comes as a great alternative to the real flames, no hazards attached.
1 TomCare STL01-4 Review
The undisputed best outdoor solar lights for both efficiency and design, the TomCare impress with their flickering flames and will let you indulge in a sweet medieval dream whenever you’re sitting in your private castle’s garden.
Powered by solar batteries, they guarantee unrivaled longevity and soft, dramatic light for up to 12 hours. The only drawback is the ground spike, that’s just not as robust as we’d like.
Nevertheless, these lights are perfect for the relaxing evenings on the porch, and will even surprise your guests when you’ll throw the next outdoor party.
Beau Jardin GL002-1 Pathway Outdoor Garden Solar Lights
Best outdoor solar lights
A set of outdoor solar lights designed to light up your path in all weathers, even in rain and snow.
2 Beau Jardin GL002-1 Review
If you couldn’t care less about the fake flames and you’re looking for the best solar lights in terms of value for money, check out the Beau Jardin GL002-1 Solar Lights. They come in a pack of 8, and even if they could seem small, they are just perfect for adding a guiding path to your driveway.
A stylish case and diamond shaped lights will add an elegant touch to your patio or backyard and will provide up to 12 hours of continuous light.
Robust material adds waterproof and weather-resistant qualities. Capable of withstanding elements and all temperatures, these beautiful LEDs are even perfect to use during a summer garden party or to decorate yours outdoors before Christmas.
Although we agree they could have output more light, it’s hard not to be happy with this set that packs a wealth of unbeatable qualities at a great price.
InnoGear SL404 Upgraded Waterproof Landscape Solar Lights
A bright shining option
Outstanding lumen output for those who need bright light along a driveway or in their yard.
3 InnoGear SL404 Review
The InnoGear Upgraded Solar Lights are perfect for those who need solar path lights in their life. Efficient and versatile, they serve all purposes and needs. Mount them on a wall or stick them in the ground, and enjoy the benefits of free solar power for the entire night.
Their auto on/off mode and two levels of brightness make it easy to adjust luminosity to the circumstances. Either you need bright light to mow the lawn in the evening, or a softer one to enjoy the outdoors, the four enhanced LEDs can quickly adapt to your needs.
They even work in all weathers and come with adjustable spot and solar panel angle for optimum illumination and sun exposure. Their battery won’t last for too long though, so keep that in mind despite their benefits.
GardenBliss Outdoor Pathway Solar Lights
Best budget solar garden lights
A convenient 10-pack of affordable and reliable solar landscape lights.
4 GardenBliss Solar Lights Review
If you are looking for a no-frills and affordable solution that packs both quality and style, the GardenBliss Outdoor Solar Lights can easily fit the bill.
They are inexpensive but not cheaply made, and come in a pack of 10 lights. Their elegant, classic design fits in most landscapes, and they are even performing enough to last for the whole night.
However, don’t expect them to shine bright. They won’t truly illuminate your yard in dark conditions, but they are exceptional if you’re looking for ambiance.
Types of outdoor solar lights
Giving a new lease of life to your garden is easy with outdoor solar lights. But not all were created equal. They come in various types and are suitable either for your garden, driveway, or patio walls. Here is a bit of more information on each possibility.
- Solar garden lights: Are mainly designed for decorating and are responsible for creating ambiance. Don’t expect them to shine bright, but their warm glow is just perfect for highlighting your flower beds or adding the wow factor to your gazebo.
- Solar path lights: Look similar to the garden but are usually brighter. They typically come with stakes so that you can arrange them along a driveway or path. Most of these models are waterproof and designed to withstand harsh weather, and can be even left outdoors during winter.
- Solar landscape lights: Are similar to the spotlights and usually provide a more powerful beam. They are great if you want to highlight a specific area in your garden or to add a bit more brightness to an outdoor party.
- Outdoor motion sensor lights: Are usually used to deter potential intruders, but they can also offer powerful illumination when you enter or leave your home. Some models come with a switch that lets you keep them on, and these models are also great for your deck or patio. To have an idea of how bright they are, know that they’ll give sufficient light so that you can use a lawn mower or weed eater with no headlights even in the dark.
Type of installation
Deciding what type of solar lights you need is great, but you must also decide how you want to install them. You will typically be able to choose from the following options.
- Ground lights: These lights come on top of spikes, and you simply stick them in the ground. They are ideal for lining up along a driveway, but you can also use them to make up a path in your lawn in case of a party. Ground lights vary widely in terms of lumen output, from kind-of-bright to extra-bright. Picking the right level depends on whether you want to light up a spooky path or create ambiance.
- Torch lights: They look inspired by medieval movies and in terms of appearance, they look just like the ground ones. They also come on spikes you can stick in the ground, and the main difference is in aesthetics. Torch lights usually imitate flames, although you can also find them as just bigger versions of the ground lights. If you want to create an atmosphere and give a cool touch to your outdoors, these are undoubtedly the way to go.
- String lights: If you recall those cute bistro-style lights you see in vintage postcards, well these are them. They look like Christmas lights in some way but are perfect if you want to revamp a tired gazebo or give a new lease of life to your patio during the night.
- Wall lights: These are pretty self-explanatory, and we’re usually speaking of motion sensor lights. They are usually bright, as their main function is to provide adequate light in the dark. However, they come in a variety of sizes so that you can find the right light intensity for whatever application.
Outdoor solar lights brightness
Perhaps the most important thing to assess when buying outdoor solar lights is their brightness. In broad lines, they can output as little as 6 or as much as 50 lumens or over. How bright you need them depends on your purpose.
- If you are mainly buying them for a decorative purpose, a dimmer light can create a more romantic atmosphere and give a sophisticated look to your outdoors.
- If you care about the decorative factor but also want them to have a social nature so that you can see your friends during a party or gathering, a mid-way between bright and dim would be perfect.
- On the other hand, if you want to properly illuminate your property even in the dark or if you live at the end of a long and spooky driveway, we suggest picking the brightest possible lights.
Charge time and runtime
Their name is pretty self-explanatory, but if you still have doubts on how these lights work, know that they come with a solar battery that recharges during the day and powers up the LEDs during the night. So, an important thing to check before buying is the charge time and runtime.
- Outdoor solar lights usually need between 4 and 6 hours of sun to charge their batteries. However, know that this time refers to ideal conditions, aka full sun exposure for the indicated time. Throw some clouds into the equation, and they might not recharge completely during the day. That’s why the best outdoor solar lights are those capable of recharging their batteries in the shortest possible time.
- The runtime refers to the life cycle of the battery, or for how long it can keep the LEDs lit on a full charge. This value also varies widely, from around 8 to 12 hours. Again, remember that these numbers refer to a full charge. If the battery is not charged completely, your lights will die out faster.
Water and weatherproofing
Just because they have outdoor in their name, it doesn’t mean that all outdoor solar lights are waterproof, or weatherproof as a matter of fact.
Solar lights IP Rating (International Protection Marking)
Most types of outdoor solar lights are deemed as waterproof, but some are only showerproof and will not withstand days of heavy rain. The easiest way to check where they stand is by looking at the IP factor.
A value above IP44 is ideal for the wall-mounted type, but at this rating, the light is neither sealed for dust and water particles nor waterproof. If you want your solar lights to withstand elements, go for at least IP65.
Other features to keep in mind
Besides all the above, you might also want to consider the following:
- Automatic on/off function: If you don’t want to keep your mind busy with trivial things, such as turning on and off the outdoor lights, pick ones that come with an auto on/off function. These lights have sensors that detect dusk and dawn, and they go on and off on their own following the natural daylight cycle.
- Size: Outdoor solar lights can vary in size from very small to bulky. Depending on where you want to place them and how much light you want them to generate, this is an important factor to consider.
- Color: Most outdoor lights output a warm natural hue, but if your goal is to give a quirky touch to your exterior, know that you can choose from a rainbow of colors. Colored lights are particularly suitable to highlight elements in your garden or to create ambiance.
Best Outdoor Solar Light for the Money
Beau Jardin GL002-1 Pathway Outdoor Garden Solar LightsBest outdoor solar lights
A set of outdoor solar lights designed to light up your path in all weathers, even in rain and snow.