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Updated November 2021
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
Bottom line
Pros
Cons
Best of the Best
Brightech Ambience Pro LED Outdoor Solar String Lights
Brightech
Ambience Pro LED Outdoor Solar String Lights
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Best for Patios
Bottom Line

If traditional string lights aren’t an option for your outdoor space, consider these Edison-style lights equipped with a solar panel. Create a sophisticated dining area in your backyard.

Pros

Durable bulbs hang from a 27-foot string. Attractive vintage style. Solar panel may be clipped or staked. Emits soft white light. Lifetime of about 20,000 hours. Charge only requires six hours of sunlight. Easy to install. Includes a sensor so lights turn on when sun sets. Wiring is thick. Choose between 1W or 2W lights.

Cons

The sensor isn't very sensitive.

Best Bang for the Buck
Pandawill Color-Changing Mosaic Solar-Powered Glass Globe
Pandawill
Color-Changing Mosaic Solar-Powered Glass Globe
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Bright Centerpiece
Bottom Line

A decorative tabletop option for a bit of extra ambiance during outdoor evening gatherings or parties. An inexpensive piece of decor that adds plenty of oomph to a patio space.

Pros

Waterproof construction. Two available lighting modes. Choose from steady soft white light or multi-color mode that switches through hues. Creates an impressive mosaic effect. Automatically turns on when sun sets. Very durable design. Once it’s charged and on thanks to the sensor, light lasts all night.

Cons

Light is not bright enough to be functional. Works best as a decorative centerpiece.

GIGALUMI Solar Hanging Lanterns, 8-Pack
GIGALUMI
Solar Hanging Lanterns, 8-Pack
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Light Your Path
Bottom Line

An excellent choice for lighting your walkway from the driveway to the front door or tables at a party or wedding. Equally beautiful for adding a subtle glow to a rustic deck area.

Pros

Set of eight lanterns is enough to decorate a medium-size deck or pathway. Produces a realistic lantern effect. Can be mounted a variety of ways. You can hang, clamp, or stake these solar lights. Two power-on options: auto-on at sunset or simple on and off. Lanterns are waterproof and include a rechargeable battery.

Cons

Customers report that the lanterns seem to dim over time.

TomCare Flickering Flame Solar Light Torches, 4-Pack
TomCare
Flickering Flame Solar Light Torches, 4-Pack
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Faux Flames
Bottom Line

Stake-style solar lights designed for pathway use. Add additional light to your walkway, or stick these in the ground around your landscaping or garden. Includes four lights.

Pros

Appealing flickering flame effect that looks incredibly realistic from afar. Once charged, these torches stay lit for up to 12 hours. Plant stakes along driveways, pathways, or in gardens. Waterproof design. Excellent customer service from the company. Very bright. Built-in sensor turns lights on at sundown.

Cons

Expensive. Plastic stems are not as high-quality as the rest of the lights.

SURSUN Solar Pathway Lights, 12-Pack
SURSUN
Solar Pathway Lights, 12-Pack
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Torch Lighting
Bottom Line

A cheaper alternative to other stake-style solar lights for lining pathways and driveways. The 12-pack is a good value, and the lights are sleek and simple.

Pros

An affordable pack of solar stake lights for outdoor pathways or gardens. Long-lasting light. Weather-resistant design. Easy to stick into the ground. Easy to change the batteries (requires AAA batteries). Compact design makes these solar torches perfect for spotlighting potted plants.

Cons

Provides accent lighting only. Stakes are low-quality.

HOW WE TESTED

We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.

33
Models
Considered
205
Consumers
Consulted
28
Hours
Researched
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String solar lights around your patio and create a veritable outdoor oasis. Add solar lanterns to your deck’s sitting area to increase available light and set the mood. Solar light options run the gamut from colorful tabletop units to elegant string lights. With a set of decorative solar lights, you won’t need to scramble to find an available outlet. Instead, all you need is the power of the sun. Pop in a few batteries and be sure to place the solar panel in an area exposed to sunlight to enjoy a bright scene when the sun goes down. Pay a premium for lights with sensors and timers that allow you to customize the length of time your lights run. Decorative solar lights are perfect for outdoor spaces where an outlet is nowhere to be found or for spots around your yard that lack light.

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