Light up your yard with the best outdoor solar lights

·Contributing Writer
·8-min read

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Outdoor solar lights for garden
Outdoor solar lights for garden

Want to enjoy your backyard, even after the sun sets? If you do, a set of outdoor solar lights may be just what you need. These handy little devices absorb solar energy throughout the day and then light up once the sun goes down.

They emit a lovely, illuminating glow that can not only light up your yard and make it look more beautiful but also help make it more functional, allowing you to enjoy the outdoors for longer, rather than having to go back inside when it gets too dark.

With so many outdoor solar lights on the market though, many people find it hard to pick the perfect set for their backyard. In this guide, we’ll take a look at some of the top-rated outdoor solar lights for 2022.

Top Picks

Best overall: Aootek Solar Lights

A strong, durable and easy-to-install set of solar lights
A strong, durable and easy-to-install set of solar lights

Taking the top spot on this list are these outdoor solar lights from Aootek. Strong, durable and easy to install, this option has a lot of advantages. They're sold in sets of four, and each light features 120 LEDs in total to provide incredible levels of brightness. It also comes with a large solar panel on top for maximum energy absorption. This product uses a wide-angle design to illuminate larger spaces and can run all through the night, making it work really well as security lights for illuminating key entry points or any dark spaces around your property. With their strong, waterproof design, easy installation, and quality performance, these lights earn the best overall title for this list.

Key Features:

  • 120 LEDs per light

  • Three power modes

  • Motion sensor detection

  • Heatproof and IP65-waterproof design

Perfect for paths: Innogear Outdoor Solar Lights

A set of outdoor solar lights
A set of outdoor solar lights

Next up, we have these fabulous outdoor solar lights from Innogear. Available in two different colors, they're ideal for illuminating pathways or key areas of your garden. This option features strong plastic stakes that you can stick into the ground beside a pathway, but you can also mount them on a wall, giving you two different installation options and lots of versatility. These lights are super adjustable as well, and you can move the solar panel 180 degrees to capture extra energy. You can also angle the heads 90 degrees to help illuminate those hard-to-reach spaces. The performance is impressive in this product, too, it soaks up solar power 30% faster than most competing models and can shine for up to 12 hours at a time.

Key Features:

  • four LEDs per unit

  • Two lighting modes

  • Two mounting options

  • Heatproof and waterproof

Elite design: Brightech Ambience Outdoor Solar Lights

An attractive set of outdoor solar lights
An attractive set of outdoor solar lights

If you're looking for outdoor solar lights to help beautify your backyard, you may want to consider this lovely option from Brightech. With an attractive Edison-bulb design, they can be strung along garden paths and fences to give your backyard a friendly and inviting ambiance. You can also wrap this product around decks, pergolas, and other outdoor structures to create some gentle mood lighting during evenings. This is ideal for romantic moments in your backyard or dining outdoors with friends. They're really easy to install with the included stakes and clips too, and you get 48 inches of string lights in every pack.

Key Features:

  • 15 LED lights per set

  • Lasts up to six hours per charge

  • Flexible installation

  • Weatherproof and shatterproof bulbs

Best aesthetics: Kyekio Outdoor Solar Torches

A stunning set of outdoor solar torches
A stunning set of outdoor solar torches

If you're looking for a set of lights that can really add some elegance and class to your outdoor space, take a look at this stunning option from Kyekio. They're designed to look like torches, with flickering flames dancing around the inside. This product is great for adding some mood and atmosphere to your decks and backyards, and they are a joy to look at and are just perfect for barbecues, dinner parties, and other outdoor events. With their simple stake design, you can stick these lights right into the ground or attach them to walls and posts, whatever you want. This option is also crafted using top-quality ABS for maximum durability and the brand offers a 45-day return period, during which you can send the torches back if you're not totally satisfied.

Key Features:

  • 12 LEDs per set

  • Up to eight hours of runtime

  • Stake or mount installation

  • IP65 waterproof, dustproof, heatproof, and frostproof

Perfect for decks: Solplex Solar Deck Lights

The solar lights are perfect for illuminating your deck
The solar lights are perfect for illuminating your deck

These deck lights from Solplex are absolutely perfect for illuminating decks. They've got a special-angled design that makes it easy to install them around the edge of your deck, and it keeps the solar lights pointing directly up to the sky and absorbing as much power as possible throughout the day. The bulbs are placed around the interior of your deck to light up the inside. You can also install them around your fences or on other garden structures like outdoor steps. Available in both warm white and multicolor options, this option can charge up in as little as four hours and run through most of the night. They're also very well-made and crafted using quality ABS plastic to withstand rain, wind, and other outdoor conditions throughout the year.

Key Features:

  • 16 lights per set

  • Over eight hours of runtime

  • Deck or fence installation

  • Waterproof and weatherproof

How to find your next set of outdoor solar lights: A buyer’s guide

In this section, we’ll look a little closer at some of the applications of outdoor solar lights, as well as give you some tips for installing and using them.

How do outdoor solar lights work?

These lights work using solar energy. They have small solar panels attached which absorb power from the sun during the day. That energy is used to charge up a small battery inside the lights. Then, when the sun goes down, a small sensor detects the low-light conditions and automatically turns the lights on.

The uses of outdoor solar lights

Outdoor solar lights offer a wide range of uses.

1. Security

Many people use these lights for security purposes. You can position them around entrances to your home, like a garage door, to deter intruders. You may also place them in areas around your backyard that get very dark to help eliminate possible hiding places.

2. Decoration

A lot of people simply like the way outdoor solar lights look and use them for decorative purposes. They can help make your backyard, deck, or garden more enjoyable to look at in the evenings, too.

3. Events

Outdoor solar lights are awesome to use during events. They can work well for weddings, BBQs, parties, and neighborhood get-togethers, helping light up the outdoor area so that everyone can see clearly and enjoy the fun late into the night.

4. Practical

Outdoor solar lights can also serve the practical purpose of making your yard more usable after dark. Maybe you’d like to get outside more in the evenings, but don’t want to just sit in the dark. These lights give you an energy-efficient way to get outside more and for longer.

Ways to install and use outdoor solar lights

There are several different ways to install and position your solar lights. Here are some options and tips to keep in mind:

  • Stake installation: A lot of outdoor solar lights feature built-in plastic stakes. You can stick these stakes directly into the ground and leave the lights to absorb energy. Just make sure to pick spaces that aren’t too shady due to obstructions like plants.

  • Fence-mounted: It’s also possible to mount outdoor solar lights on fences. Most sets of lights will come with the hardware you need for mounting. Again, look for areas along the fence that get lots of sunshine to maximize the light from your bulbs.

  • Decks and stairs: You may also like installing your outdoor solar lights on your deck or stairs. You can position them along the outside rails of decks or staircases and point them inwards to light up the usable space.

  • Security: If you want to boost your home’s security using outdoor solar lights, position them near entry points to your home or in dark spots that are hard to see, like the area in front of your garage or back door.

How long do outdoor solar lights last?

It depends on the quality of the products you buy. Some less expensive solar lights may only last a few years before the battery cells die, but others can last for 10 years or more.

People also asked

Q: Is it okay to leave my solar lights out during the winter?

A: It depends. Some solar lights are strong enough to resist cold temperatures and snow, but others aren't as strong and should be taken down during winter.

Q: How long will my solar lights stay on?

A: This also depends on the product you buy. Some can run for about three to four hours, but others can stay on all night.

Q: Can I leave my solar lights on all the time?

A: Yes, you can simply leave solar lights switched on in your backyard to do their thing. They'll absorb and use energy automatically, without you needing to press any buttons.