Adjustable solar panels and optional wall or ground installation make these spotlights a flexible outdoor lighting option. Each LED offers 50 lumens for a total of 200 lumens in each spotlight. Battery gives up to 9 hours of illumination on a full charge. The lights hold up well in bad weather.
The solar panel can’t be aimed independently of the light. Wall mounting screw doesn’t always fit the mounting flange, users report. Some reports of lights not working or battery dying sooner than expected. Some users wanted more illumination than they got from these lights.
Adjustable solar panel and light that takes 8 hours to reach a full charge. Ground or wall installation options are available. Users are generally happy with customer service.
The InnoGear’s battery life is not as long as promised in some cases, users report. And there were several reports of lights not working on arrival. Over time, the battery’s life fades, dropping the number of hours the spotlight works significantly.
These stainless steel solar accent lights stand about 9 inches high when installed on level ground. Users report the lights are very bright for accent lighting, though nowhere near that of spotlights. Several were pleased with the packaging, which kept the lights undamaged.
Some users found the lights stopped working after 1 week, while others reported several lights not working on arrival. Others were disappointed with the amount of light given off. No word on customer service or returns.
At 10-15 lumens, these solar LED units provide enough light to illuminate the edges of driveways or walkways. Manufacturer offers a lifetime replacement guarantee, and users are overall happy with the customer service and rapid replacement.
Not especially sturdy, and users comment that they look cheaply made, and spikes have separated from the lights when placing or moving. After a few nights many of the lights are either much more dim or run out of juice.
A well-made pack of 4 solar powered LED lights that are loaded with features – automatic turn on, motion sensor, bright light, and up to 7 ft. range combine to make them a top pick for almost any outdoor application. Light lasts up to 40 hours on low and 10 hours on bright light setting.
Falls somewhat on the higher end of the price spectrum, considering you get only 4 lights for the price. The screws would work better at mounting them to various surfaces if they were a bit longer. A few reports of lights that malfunction after basic use.
You put the hard work into making your yard a pleasant place to spend time, so why should you only be able to use it during daylight hours? The right outdoor solar lights can turn your garden into a magical space that’s perfect for entertaining or relaxing after dark. Deciding you want some solar lights for your yard is the easy part. The tricky part is finding the right ones. You'll find a wide variety of outdoor solar lights for sale, but then you have to think about such factors as weather resistance and battery life.
We at BestReviews are here to help you find the best outdoor solar lights for your yard. In order to pick out the best products, we go through a process of lab testing, consulting experts, and assessing customer opinions. With this information, we craft in-depth buying guides to aid you in making important purchases.
If you would like more information about outdoor solar lights, our shopping guide will illuminate your way to finding the perfect lights for your needs.
First things first: to decide which type of outdoor solar lights are right for your yard, think about what you want the lights to do and then choose accordingly.
Small lights on stakes that stick in the ground.
Illuminate edges of paths or driveways for visibility after dark.
Illuminate flower beds or other attractive plants.
Low light; may need many lights, depending on desired level of illumination.
Most solar pathway lights are sold in packs of 4 to 16. Basic models cost about $1 to $2 per light.
High-end options can cost more than $10 per light.
Usually mounted on wall.
Only come on when they detect movement; switch off after short while.
Mostly used as security lights.
Not practical for illuminating outdoor space for socializing.
Most solar motion-sensor lights cost about $10 to $15 per light.
You may find cheaper options sold in multipacks.
Used to light areas for nighttime entertaining, relaxation, or family fun.
Used for landscape lighting to uplight or downlight attractive features; hiding the fixtures can be tricky – the solar panels need to get enough sunlight.
Designed to sit on top of existing posts.
May not fit non-standard-size posts.
Most solar post mount lights come in multipacks and cost between $5 and $15 per light.
More decorative options may cost $50 per light.
Perfect for adding ambience to outdoor space.
Not extremely bright; another light source necessary for entertaining or recreational use.
Solar fairy lights vary widely in price, depending on the number of lights, size, and design. Basic solar fairy lights cost about $10 per string.
More decorative solar fairy lights cost between $30 and $50 per string.
While solar lighting has many benefits, one of the drawbacks is that it's not as bright as regular electric lighting. Some solar lights are brighter than others, though, so check the manufacturer's specifications to get the full picture.
The brightness of solar lights is measured in lumens. The output of a bright solar light is about 200 to 400 lumens, while a small pathway light may only emit 10 to 15 lumens.
If you're looking to light up an area of your yard so that you can sit outside or entertain at night, we recommend outdoor solar lights that emit at least 200 lumens. Dimmer solar lighting is fine for illuminating pathways or accenting garden features.
The battery life of solar outdoor lighting determines the number of hours the lights can stay illuminated following a full day of sunlight. Most outdoor solar lights claim to have a battery life of between eight and 12 hours, but be aware that this is usually based on the assumption that the light’s solar panel is in full sun all day, which isn’t always the case.
We recommend taking a couple of hours off the maximum battery life listed by the manufacturer to account for conditions that are less than optimal.
If you want to make the most of your yard, choose outdoor solar lighting that complements your outdoor space. For example, ornate, traditional-style light fixtures would look great in a cottage-style garden. Sleek, modern-looking outdoor solar lights would look better in a more contemporary yard.
The “ingress protection” (IP) rating of your outdoor solar lighting is important because it tells you how weatherproof your lights are. Water resistance is important both for safety reasons and to keep the lights from getting damaged when exposed to wet weather.
IP ratings are expressed by the letters "IP" followed by two digits, such as "IP44." The first digit refers to the degree of protection from solids (such as dust and dirt) and isn't extremely important for solar lights. The second digit refers to the degree of protection from water, and this is what you need to pay attention to.
The second digit should be at least 4, which means your light is protected from water sprayed from all directions.
Look at the light color and temperature of your chosen outdoor solar lights. You can find both "warm” and "cool” white solar lighting, as well as more colorful options. You can even buy color-changing models that cycle among a rainbow of colors.
Check what kind of solar panels are used. Mono-crystalline solar panels are better than polycrystalline panels at converting sunlight into power. That’s good news if your yard doesn't get a lot of sunshine.
Consider changing the angle of the solar panel for optimal results. If your lights allow you to adjust the angle of the panel, the optimal angles to make the most of the direction of the light are 15° in summer, 45° in fall, and 60° in winter.
Make sure replacement batteries are available for your lighting. Solar batteries don't last forever. If you can't buy replacements, you'll have to replace the whole lighting unit.
Check the battery type in your chosen solar lighting. Lithium-ion (Li-Ion) and nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) are the two best options. Inexpensive NiMH batteries last a long time, but Li-Ion batteries are less likely to be affected by extreme temperatures.
Q. Where should I position my outdoor solar lights?
A. Make sure you place your solar lights so they get direct sunlight for at least part of the day. If you place your lights in full shade, the batteries will receive little to no charge during the daylight hours.
Q. How long do solar batteries last?
A. Solar lights contain batteries that are charged by exposure to sunlight. This stored energy then powers the lights at night. The batteries don't last forever, however, and usually need to be replaced about once every two years.
Q. What's the best material for outdoor solar lights?
A. Generally, the outer casing of solar lights is made of plastic or metal (usually aluminum). Metal is the superior choice because it’s more durable and weather-resistant. If you choose solar lights with lightweight plastic casings, the plastic is liable to crack or degrade after exposure to hot summers and icy winters. That said, some heavy-duty plastic casings are better able to resist the change of seasons.
Outdoor Stainless Steel Solar Lights, 12-Pack
Users who get 12 fully operational Sogrand lights are apparently pretty lucky, as many report 1 or more lights in the package not working. The stainless steel spikes are attractive. However, dim and nonworking lights were frequently reported, making this an iffy purchase.
Solar-Powered LED Garden Lights, 6-pack
At this price point, solar garden lights should be sturdier than these units, which tend to fall apart when placed or lifted into a new position. They provide adequate ambient illumination, but battery life fades quickly, leaving users in the dark.
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