Author: Travis Young
Last Updated: February, 2020
Solar lights are super handy to light up your garden during the night, or to bring camping for non battery-powered lighting equipment. They’ve been increasing in popularity due to the amount of designs that are available these days, from japanese type garden lights, to more modern lights that match the style of your house.
Harnessing the power of the sun (sounds more epic than it looks :)), the best solar lights can be used to illuminate both indoor and outdoor spaces.
Based on our research and reviews, the best solar lights for 2020 are:
Best Solar Lights 2020 – Reviews
This unique 2-in-1 product is designed to create flawless and effective outdoor lighting. It can function as both an in the ground standalone light, as well as a wall mounted spotlight, providing you with ultimate versatility.
The adjustable angle function makes the solar panel and the light features more useful as it can be adjusted to suit either placement. This feature also enables you to maximise its exposure to sunlight, minimizing charging time significantly.
The InnoGear Upgraded Solar Lights are the ideal solution for those looking to light up their entire garden or patio, whether for a casual nighttime family get together, or formal cocktail party. When fully charged, these lights will last for anywhere between 8 to 12 hours at a dimmer setting and 4 to 6 hours at the brightest mode.
These easy to use solar lights produce 200 lumens, guaranteeing effective and bright lighting around the entire installation area. While this product includes an on and off function, it can also be set to function automatically, giving you ultimate control and convenience when it comes to your lighting.
The Innogear light is completely waterproof and has a hardy upgraded frosted panel. Like most of the best solar lights, it’s capable of withstanding water or heat, making it a durable option.
- Easy installation
- Adjustable angle capabilities
- Bright light emission
- Operating times reduces to 4 to 6 hours when being used in the brightest mode
This dynamic product is ideal for people who are looking for something that is both stylish and functional. The GardenBliss Path Lights are designed for easy use that requires little intervention on your part.
Their industrial design makes them efficient and ideal for lighting up your garden. They sport a sturdy matte black construction, which is extremely durable and able to withstand even the harshest weather conditions.
The premium LEDs light can generate light for up to 20,000 hours. After a full charge, these lights will remain on for up to 8 hours or longer. Because each lamp features 4 lumens each, these garden path lights are ideal for lighting up a pathway or patio area.
People have stated that these are one of the best solar lights on the market mainly due to them being low maintenance as well as quick and easy to install. All you have to do is simply push the stakes into the ground. There are no wires to worry about, and the lights will automatically turn on at night, and off at dawn.
Furthermore, with 20 stakes included, this product features a versatile height adjustment option. You can use one stake for a shorter length or alternatively connect two stakes together to add some height to your lights. This way you can add variety to your outdoor area or make them stand out against taller bushes along the path.
- Good value for money
- Easy to install and use
- Stylish design
- Adaptable height options
- High-density crystalline panels
- 1-year money back guarantee
- Some reviews have stated that the plastics used in the lights can sometimes be flimsy
The Sunforce solar motion bright LED light features a separate amorphous solar panel which is used to charge and power the 60 LED solar motion light. The two are connected by a wire, and a 1 lithium-ion rechargeable battery is used to store and power the product when it is needed.
Because it is fully weather-resistant and can withstand the elements, the light can be mounted using the included mounting hardware just about anywhere. In addition to the 30-foot range, it also has a 180-degree detection angle. This gives the product a wide area in which to detect motion and light up to alert you to it.
The accompanying solar panel has the ability to charge in all daylight conditions and does not require direct sunlight, making it extremely versatile and effective. Also, the advanced motion sensor technology does not drain the battery unnecessarily. For an advanced security product, it’s also relatively affordable which is why we think it is one of the best solar lights on the market today.
- Adjustable settings
- Motion sensor functionality
- One of the brighter solar lights on the market
- Relatively affordable option
- Some reviews have stated that there can be some weatherproofing issues
- Wires are relatively thin and can be subject to damage easily
- Motion sensor can be difficult to adjust or change
For those looking to maintain their garden or patio’s stylish look with one of the best solar lights available, the Gigalumi Solar Powered Path Lights may be the ideal solution. Designed to last for up to 8 hours, this versatile product can light up an outdoor space with no hassle.
Featuring innovative and stylish powder coated design which resembles a lampshade, the Gigalumi Solar Powered Path Lights will add a charming and decorative feel to your garden, driveway or pathway. Use them to light up any place and create an ambience outdoors. The unique housing element creates a soft yet powerful warm light to look upon.
Installation is done by simply pushing the stake into the ground, so you can easily position these wherever you want them in your outside area and move them around. The solar panel on top of the lampshade will charge during the day, and as long as the switch inside the top of the roof is turned on, the light will turn on automatically at night.
For those looking for solar lighting that is weather-resistant, decorative and still powerful, this product is definitely the perfect solution for you!
- Easy to install and use
- Stylish yet classic design
- Durable construction
- Some reviews have stated that installing these lights on harder soil does require a little more effort but is still possible
Over the years, Lampat has become one of the most renowned names in the solar-powered industry. With the 62 LEDs Motion Sensor Light, they continue to demonstrate their expertise in this field, offering some of the best solar lights today. This solar-powered unit allows you to light up your outdoor space with little effort while minimising electricity consumed.
This easy-to-install product features two light modes, offering you dim and normal lighting options. An effective motion sensor turns the light brighter when movement is detected and the technology can detect up to 130 degrees within a 28 feet length.
All screws and anchors needed to mount or install this unit are included, ensuring easy and hassle-free installation. You can set it up in an outdoor space to provide general lighting, or you can use it as a security light.
The light itself features a wide-angle which offers increased brightness. The panel of 62 LEDs Motion Sensor Light is totally weatherproof and with 7 hours of charge from the sun, can shine for up to 12 hours.
In addition to the LEDs, 2 warm lights are featured on the outer edge. This increases the overall illuminated space. The adjustable light setting allows you to have ultimate control over the brightness, depending on how dark it is outside.
Reviews show that this is by far one of the most reliable products on the market, ideal for lighting up your outdoor areas for recreational or security purposes.
- Includes 62 bright LED lights
- Easy to install
- Includes all screws and anchors
- Waterproof and durable construction
- Long life span
- Wide-angle capabilities
- Compact and lightweight
- Some reviews have stated that the light pulses from dim to bright, which can be frustrating
What to Look For When Buying Solar Lights
There are many things to consider when trying to find the best solar lights for your home or workplace. From the type of lights to brightness, and battery life, this guide will help you understand all you need to know before purchasing solar lights.
Types Of Lights
Determine whether you want your solar lamps to illuminate pathways in your garden or driveway, to decorate your garden with ambient light, act as a spotlight for a specific area, or even be a motion sensor which activates when it detects movement in its range.
For small areas that don’t need much light, a standalone option will do the trick. Strings or packs of lights work best for walkways that do require a degree of illumination. Then post or wall mounted lights are great solutions for security or near doors.
They have a range of decorative or security purposes and identifying what you need yours for is the first step to making your purchase.
Range determines how much of the area surrounding the light is illuminated. This varies across product to product, and you can expect the range to be anywhere from 2 feet up to 38 feet, depending on what you buy.
Naturally, this factor will be more important for motion sensors and spotlights that serve a security purpose. Those with a shorter range will typically come in a 2 or 4 pack, and these can be placed closer together so as to eliminate dark spots.
Higher lumen ratings equal to greater brightness, so be sure to buy higher rated products for areas that require lots of bright light. If you are just looking for ambience, a lower lumen rating will do fine.
Overall, you can expect solar lighting to product less bright light than those connected to the electricity grid, although this varies across lights.
Batteries and Life-Span
It is important to note that you can’t always replace the solar batteries when they eventually reach their end of life. Although some may allow it in order to extend the life of your outdoor solar lighting, others won’t. If that is the case you will need to replace the entire unit, unfortunately.
Often lights without replaceable batteries will cost less than those that you can change out. So ultimately you will need to decide what you are willing to spend on upfront.
Most solar lights include dusk-till-dawn sensors which automatically turn the light on and off according to the light conditions. Some also include a manual switch which can be used to get light during the day. This can be handy in dark areas of your garden, carport or workshop. Obviously using a solar light during the day time in addition to at night will cause the battery to drain quicker though.
Durability is, of course, an important aspect to take note of when selecting the best solar lights, especially considering that they are designed specifically for outdoor use.
For the best quality, be sure to look for products that are weatherproof with a metal casing and a tough light screen. IP (ingress protection) indicates how resistant the solar light is to water and dust. For outdoor lights, you should look for a minimum rating of IP44, which ensures water resistance.
Before selecting the best solar lights for your home, consider where you will place them and how much space there is available.
The solar panels can be relatively large and are sometimes wider than LED lights, so take this into consideration when making your selection. The panels are generally detachable so they can be placed on your roof but they will still take up space, so ensure you have either the correct on-the-ground or roof space.
Price is always a key factor to consider when selecting the best solar lights. The products require panels, batteries and sometimes other wires or technology. You will need to weigh up whether your budget will allow for replacing the components as they go, or if it is better to replace the unit as a whole eventually.
Always check the warranty before making a purchase. As a rule of thumb, the longer the warranty, the more reliable and confident the manufacturer. This generally means a longer lifespan of your lights.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What does a solar light comprise of?
Most solar powered lights include a photovoltaic cell, NiCd battery, an LED light, as well as a light-controlled resistor.
Together, these parts release the energy, which is then used to charge the batteries during the day. Solar lights stop emitting that energy during the night. The resistor will then detect the presence of light which will then activate the battery.
Do solar lights require pre-charging?
Some solar lights need to be left in the sun for a few days before you are able to switch them on and use them. Others will turn themselves on after being installed, depending on the light.
How long do they last for?
With NiCd batteries, your solar lights can last around two years as long as you take good care of the lights and charge accordingly.
Replacement batteries are easily available online, so replacing it will never be a problem. LED bulbs are known to operate for more than 100,000 hours but sadly cannot be replaced.
How can I take care of my solar lights?
Since this product is powered by sunlight, they must be cleaned regularly from snow, dust or rain. By doing this, you allow them to store the maximum amount of energy for the night.
Generally, these products don’t function as well on overcast days or during winter. It is therefore advisable to store your lights indoor during rainy or snowy conditions.