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In this article we provide in-depth look at many of the best outdoor solar lights for your home and garden. We think it’s important that you understand some of the facts about outdoor solar lights because it will help you make the right decision for your needs.
For example, we explain how solar lights work, do solar lights work when it’s cloudy, do they work in winter, how bright are solar lights, lumens vs watts, and so much more.
If you simply want to see our recommendations then I suggest you skip the first half of this article. We believe that knowledge is power and the more you know, the more likely you are to spend your money wisely.
Table of Contents...
- 0.1 Outdoor Solar Lights for your Home & Garden
- 0.2 How do solar lights work?
- 0.3 Do solar lights work when it’s cloudy?
- 0.4 Do solar lights work in winter?
- 0.5 How bright is a solar light?
- 1 Best Outdoor Solar Lights
Outdoor Solar Lights for your Home & Garden
Although the concept behind solar garden lights is very simple, it took quite a while for these products to become readily available. It’s the invention of the high-power Light Emitting Diode (LED) that played the biggest part in making solar-powered garden lights a reality. Because LEDs use very little current to generate a usable light, they are ideal for use with a small solar panel and don’t need a lot of battery storage.
Now, after quite a few years of being on the market, solar lights are everywhere. The reason for this is not just because solar lights reduce your lighting bills, LED lights don’t really use much electricity, so their popularity is mostly because of their practicality. The biggest advantage to using solar lights in your garden is because they don’t need any underground wires.
Running electric wires under the ground to supply power for outdoor lighting is quite an arduous task when installing the lights. Over time, the electric cabling under the ground can easily be damaged and cause many problems. Most garden solar lights require absolutely no effort to install. You peg it into the ground, switch it on and, pronto, you have a light wherever you want it. You can move it whenever you want to without any effort.
Some solar lights, especially security floodlights, may have a separate solar panel and this means that you’ll have to run wires from the panel to the light. This is usually a very simple process and you should get all that you need in one, easy to install kit. While having a panel that is not attached to the lighting fixture will require a bit more effort to install, there is a distinct advantage to this, in that you can place the light anywhere that you want – it doesn’t have to be placed in direct sunlight. You can position the panel where it’s going receive the best solar radiation through the day and then run the wires to the lighting fixture. So you have a better choice as to where you place the light.
Anyone can see why solar garden lights have become so popular, but few understand them properly. Most homeowners have a load of questions about outdoor solar lights and this article is going to answer them for you. How does a solar light actually work? How much sunlight does a solar light need? Will they work on cloudy days? Will they work in winter? How much light do you get from a solar light?
These are just a few of the common questions that people everywhere are asking. I’m going to set about answering all these questions and more. We’ll also be reviewing a large selection of outdoor solar lighting products, to help you find the best solar lights for your garden and outdoor areas. Some of these lights can be used indoors, by running a long enough wire from the solar panel to the lighting fixture.
Though before you look at what amazing products are available to you, let’s first provide you with the information that you’ll need to make the best decision. After reading this article, you’ll be well-informed and should know a lot more about solar lights than when you started.
How do solar lights work?
A solar light consists of a few basic components. It obviously needs a solar panel. If you want the correct technical description for a solar panel – it’s a Photovoltaic (PV) panel. Most solar panels are made of crystalline cells. The most common material used in PV cells is silicon but they usually have other elements combined with the silicon to make them more efficient. The simplest way to describe how a solar panel works is to say that the electrons in the cells become stimulated or excited by the photons when it is exposed to light. This can be any light, not just sunlight. Solar-powered calculators have been around for years and they can derive enough power from the electric lighting in your room to function.
Amorphous solar panels are very popular with outdoor solar-powered lights. One of the reasons for this is that amorphous panels are cheaper than mono-crystalline or poly-crystalline solar panels. Though they have some practical advantages. Amorphous panels are more compact, so you can get more watts/volts from a smaller panel and they can take any shape – they’re flexible and don’t need to have a flat surface like traditional solar panels. While they’re not as efficient as other panels in bright sun, they are better at providing power in poor lighting conditions like on cloudy days. Amorphous solar panels don’t last as long as other panels but do provide usable power for up to 10-years.
Essentially, the combined elements used in the solar panel have a valence band of “loose” electrons – these electrons are easily removed from their orbit around the nucleus. So when they are exposed to light, they become energized, producing a negative charge. In between the solar cells are positive receptors and the electrons will be attracted to these positive “gaps”. The positive receptors are connected to conductors (usually thin copper wires). The cells are connected in series to achieve the correct voltage.
Most solar lights will use an AA rechargeable battery (usually a Nickel Cadmium battery). These batteries produce a charge with a nominal rating of 1.2-volts. A solar cell produces a maximum open circuit voltage of 0.45V. This means that a typical solar panel charging an AA battery will have a maximum open circuit charge of 1.8V, this will provide a charge to the battery of between 1V and about 1.4V.
Several groups of cells that have been connected in series will then be connected in parallel to achieve the desired wattage. The higher the wattage that a solar panel produces the more charge it will send to the battery when the sun is shining. From this point, the panel is connected directly to the battery through a diode – the diode acts as a gate that prevents the power of the battery from flowing back into the solar panel.
The battery is then connected to a manual on/off switch that allows you to switch the light off completely if you wish to. From there, it is connected to a Photoresistor, this is a very technical name for a day/night switch. So the photoresistor will switch the light off when the sun is shining and switch it on when darkness falls. More sophisticated units might have a sensitivity dial that allows you to set the level of darkness required to switch the light on.
The photoresistor is connected to a simple LED driver. The LED driver controls the current to the LED to pulse the current at the correct amperage and voltage in order to produce light from the diode. The driver is connected to the LED.
This gives you the basic technical functioning of an LED outdoor light. When it comes to your practical implementation of this technology, the combination of these functions will determine what type of light is produced, how much sunlight is needed to charge the battery or batteries and how long the batteries will continue to provide power to the light. Now it’s time to unpack these facts and see how all of this affects the way you use a solar light. By answering the frequently asked questions pertaining to solar lighting, we’ll discover what role these components play in our everyday use of these products.
Do solar lights work when it’s cloudy?
The immediate response to this question is yes. Though we need to into account for the obvious – a solar panel needs light to charge the battery and cloud cover obscures light.
Depending on the quality of the panel and what type of panel is used, cloud cover can severely hamper their performance. The crystalline structure of the panel determines its efficiency. A mono-crystalline solar panel is much cheaper but is less effective and will, therefore, be the most affected by cloud cover. Poly-crystalline panels are more efficient and are less affected by cloud cover, but are more expensive. Amorphous panels are the cheapest and although not the most efficient, they work better under cloudy conditions.
LED garden lights are usually quite cheap and while we can’t say for sure what type of solar panel is used in their construction, we can safely assume that most will use a cheaper, mono-crystalline or amorphous panels. This means that your garden solar light won’t charge very well when there’s cloud cover if it uses a mono-crystalline panel, but it should last longer. An amorphous panel will perform better on cloudy days and will be cheaper but won’t last quite as long.
Light cloud cover won’t have much effect on the efficiency of the solar panel. So, if enough light is able to pass through the clouds, you probably won’t notice the lower charge going to the battery. Cloud cover usually affects the solar light when you have continuous heavy cloud cover for several days. What happens in a situation like this is that battery only receives a limited amount of watts through the day, less than what it discharges through the night.
The better solar lights will compensate for this. For example, if the light is going to use a total 15W through the night (over a period of approximately 8-hours), the solar panel will produce a total of 20W over a shorter period (say 6-hours) of direct sunlight. This means that there is a good margin to compensate for different light conditions. By adding batteries or increasing the AH of the battery, they can also increase the amount of power that the batteries store. Having more ampere-hours of battery storage will ensure longer periods of discharge.
Get Creative | AMIR Solar Powered String Lights
All of these factors are calculated by the manufacturer and it’s therefore important to check the specs very carefully when buying the solar light. One can’t always get the correct specs but, where possible, having the information on the battery AH and panel wattage relating to the LED wattage will help one in determining how effective these lights will be on cloudy days.
In the end, no amount of battery storage and panel efficiency will give you enough power storage to keep the light working for a week of continuous heavy cloud cover. At some point, the watts used will exceed the watts stored. So this means that even the best solar lights will have their bad days. It all depends on the local weather conditions.
It’s important to remember that most rechargeable batteries are affected by low charge rates. In other words, if the battery is continuously discharging a higher wattage than it receives during its charge cycle, the battery will be harmed. This means that when you go through a period of long cloud cover, it’s better to switch the light off and allow the limited charge that it receives during the day to charge the battery without it discharging through the night. Doing this will increase the battery life – you won’t need to replace the battery as soon as you would have if you left the light on under these conditions.
Do solar lights work in winter?
This question has a similar answer to the previous one but with a few more things to consider. It all depends on how much sunlight you get in winter, but you will always get some sunlight so there will be solar lights that perform quite well in winter and some that are almost useless.
You first need to look at where you live and what your weather conditions are like. The further you are from the equator, the shorter your winter days will be. So if you live in Southern Florida, winter conditions aren’t really going to affect your solar lights. If you live in Northern Canada, it’s whole different story.
So you need to look at how many hours of sunlight you get in winter. You also need to consider the winter cloud cover and if it snows a lot where you live. Snow collecting on a solar panel will block out any sunlight that may be able to charge your battery.
In the same way as we look at using a solar light on cloudy days, we need to look at what type of panel and batteries your solar light uses. There are some solar lights that only need 4-hours or less of direct sunlight to keep the light going for up to 12-hours. Of course, if you have short winter days, you’re going to have longer nights and the solar light will be burning for longer and charging over a shorter period. If you live in an area that experiences long nights in winter, you’re going to want a solar light that has a more efficient panel with a higher watt rating and better battery storage.
The right solar light for these conditions will mean that it will work most of the time during winter. There may be times when combinations of heavy snow and cloud cover will cause the solar light not to work for a few days.
Just as it’s recommended that you switch the solar light off when there’s continuous cloud cover for several days, the same applies to long periods of snow. If your solar light isn’t up to the task of charging the battery during the short winter days, it’s better to leave it switched off during the winter.
How bright is a solar light?
This question is filled complications and will require some detailed explanation. The question should really be: how bright do you want your solar light to be? There are hundreds of different solar lights on the market. Some will be very bright lights for security or work lights while others will be more suitable for soft ambient lighting and there are those that really just for effect and aren’t actually designed to give you a usable light.
So when deciding on how bright we want a solar light to be, we need to understand more about how lights work. This is because LED lights work in a very different way to all other types of lighting devices. Traditionally, we have always measured the power of the light in terms of wattage. This means we’re not actually measuring the light output, but rather the power consumption of the light. This is fine if we’re comparing similar lighting products – all incandescent lights of a similar wattage will produce roughly the same amount of light, the same can be said for fluorescent or halogen lights.
LED lights are completely different because the light output depends very much on the light temperature. This is going to take a little bit of explaining and I’ll try to keep it as simple as possible. You’ve seen terms like cold light, bright white light, and warm light when describing LED lights and I’ll start by explaining this.
The color of a light is determined by its frequency. Ultraviolet (UV) light has a very high frequency and infrared light has a very low frequency – all the visible light spectrum’s lie somewhere between these two extremes. In its purest form, an LED produces a large quantity of UV light. As we all know, UV light is dangerous and, for this reason, an LED is doped to change its light frequency. Before you go thinking that there are a bunch of LED lights smoking weed in the factory, I should explain this.
Doping is common with semiconductors. The term describes a process whereby the primary element of the semiconductor (usually silicon) has other elements added to it in order to alter the way the electrons behave inside the semiconductor. So when an LED is doped, materials are combined to alter the light frequency. This results in varying color temperatures – cold light, warm light and anything in between. Cold light has the highest frequency and therefore has the least amount of doping. This means that a cold light will have the highest light output per watt. A warm light which will be more yellow to brown than pure white cold light will have a higher level of doping and will, therefore, produce a lower output per watt. A warmer light (one with the least amount of white light) will have the lowest output of all LED lights.
We measure the color temperature in Kelvin. This is a unit that gives you an indication of how cold or hot a light is. When we look at LED lights, a light temperature of around 6000K (Kelvin) is going to be a very white light and will be among the brightest. A very warm light that gives a yellow-amber light quality will be around 1000K and won’t be as bright. White light with a high Kelvin rating will also travel further and this means that it will light a greater area, regardless of the actual power of the light.
For this reason, we can’t measure an LED light’s output in terms of watts. A cold (bright white) LED that draws 3W of power will be much brighter than warm light LED of the same wattage. This means that it’s more accurate to measure LED lights in terms of lumens.
So, what are lumens?
Lumens (lm) is a unit of measurement to indicate the amount of visible light that is emitted from a light source. This is the amount of light that can be detected by the human eye. People also use the term usable lumens and this really describes how much light is deflected toward an area to make it useful. So it takes into account how much light is deflected away from the area that it’s intended to light. When we look at outdoor LED lighting, the actual lumen rating gives us a good enough idea of what we’re looking at, usable lumens will just be an unnecessary complication.
This is all good and well, but what does this mean in reality? To place LED lights into context, we need to compare the lumen rating to one that we understand. I think everyone is familiar with a 60W incandescent light bulb – they’ve been around since the beginning of electric lighting. So, how many lumens are there in a 60W incandescent light bulb? The answer is 800-850 lumens.
When comparing LED lights, you can compare their lumen rating to this benchmark. Many outdoor solar lights produce less than 20 lumens and these are used to light a small area like walkways. For a reasonable area light that you can read by, you’ll need at least 200 lumens and, even then, you’ll need to be quite close to the light to use it for reading. For a bright work light or security light, you’ll want at least 800 lumens of pure white light. For a subtle warm ambient light, around 200-400 lumens should be perfect to give you quite a wide coverage. You can always use several solar LED lights together in order to increase the number of lumens in that area.
Getting the Most from Your Outdoor Solar Lights
Installing an outdoor solar light is really easy. Most garden LED lights come fully assembled and all that you need to do is place them where you want them and switch them on. Others may have the solar panel separate from the actual light. This means that you’ll need to connect the wires to the panel and the light but this is a very simple and safe process – connect the positive wire (red/+) to the positive terminals and the negative wire (black/-) to the negative terminals and you’re set to go.
Before you start using your solar light, place the solar panel in good sunlight for 2-3 days. It’s important not to switch the light on until the battery is fully charged. The first charge of your battery is the most important. By making sure that the battery is fully charged before you use it for the first time, you’ll ensure that the battery performs at its optimum and will last as long as it’s supposed to. Most solar lights use regular rechargeable AA batteries, so it’s very easy to find replacement batteries.
From here, all you really need to concern yourself with is maximizing the sunlight that your solar panel gets. This means placing it where there’s the best sunlight, which will be out of the shade that’s created by plants and buildings. You also need to keep them clean – any dirt on a solar panel blocks out the sun and reduces its ability to charge the battery. If you experience snow in winter, clear the snow from your solar panel whenever you can. If you’re going to experience long periods of low sunlight (heavy cloud cover or snow), switch the solar light off to protect the battery.
Best Outdoor Solar Lights
Hopefully, this has answered all your questions regarding solar lights. Now, armed with all the information that you need, let’s proceed to review some great solar lighting products. Because these are fairly basic items, it’s not easy to get all the specs and information that one would want. I’ll try, where ever possible, to gather as much information as I can get about the individual items but, in some cases, that information simply isn’t available. I’ll also try to do some basic calculations, where I can, to help you decide whether a particular solar light is going to meet your needs in terms of brightness, battery storage and charge times.
Apart from the technical performance of these lights, we should also look at durability and waterproofing as this is quite important for outdoor lights.
GIGALUMI Solar Pathway Lights
- High lumen: 10 times brighter than other cheap pathway lights. Each solar-powered path light has a super-bright warm white led lights for clear, brilliant illumination
- Bronze finish metal: looks noble and elegant, add a special flair to your lawn, garden, yard or patio.
- Tier ripple glass lens: Excellent clarity for light compare to plastic, it creates vivid and attractive pattern.
- Easy to install: turn on switch under the cap and push the stake into the soil. These solar garden lights automatically turn on at night and turn off at dawn!
- Long working time and weatherproof: 10+ hours run time with full charge. Designed to withstand sunny days, rainy nights, and light snow days.
Gigalumi offers a wide range of outdoor solar lights. Some have a classic look, finished in bronze and others have a more modern design. They also have some novelty type solar lights that are not designed to provide practical light but are more about providing fun aesthetic lighting with a range of bright colors and color changers with lighting effects. They all seem to be high-quality products made from durable metal, they have good weatherproofing and quality lenses. Because there are so many outdoor solar lighting products from Gigalumi, I’m going to focus this review on one of them. These seem to be the most popular and are brighter than most.
The bronze 6-pack pathway lights have an elegant classical design with a bronze finish. The patterned glass diffusers are very durable and give an amazing lighting effect.
These pathway lights give off a warm light, which enhances their classic feel. Each light gives off 30 lumens which great for lighting up a small area (like a pathway) without flooding the garden with light. The lights stand 19” tall and the top of the lamp housing is 5.3” wide. They have a really great weatherproof design and finish, so they can withstand the rain and light snow. All the materials look like they will be able to bake in the sun without perishing.
GIGALUMI Stainless Steel Solar Lights with Pineapple lens
From a technical perspective, these lights look like some of the best. Each light has a 0.8W 2V solar panel charging a 400mAH Ni-MH AA battery. Gigalumi claims that this setup will give the light up to 10-hours of working time on a full charge. After reading quite a few customer reviews, this appears to be the case. People are saying that these lights keep going for 10-hours or more and don’t require a full day of cloud-free sunlight to keep them charged.
While the majority of customers have been very impressed with this product, there have been a few complaints about out-of-box failure – some people have received faulty units. This is not uncommon with this type of technology. I’ve found that if solar lights work perfectly when you first use them, they will do so, without any problems, for a long time. If you receive a solar light that is defective in any way, you should return it immediately and get a replacement product that works properly. I will say that I prefer the metal housing of these lights over most of the plastic units that one gets.
Outdoor Solar Motion Light
- Ideal for all locations: entryways, garages, pathways, sheds, and remote areas
- Amorphous solar panel charges in all daylight conditions, does not need direct sunlight
- Charges during the day and works at night
- 2 adjustable settings: detection distance and light duration
- Fully weather resistant and can be mounted almost anywhere
- No main power or wiring required
- Amorphous solar panel with 15 ft. (4.5m) of wire, 80 LED solar motion light, 3 x AA rechargeable batteries, and mounting hardware
- Fully weather resistant and can be mounted almost anywhere
- Amorphous solar panel charges in all daylight conditions– does not need direct sunlight
- Detection distance: 30 feet, detection range: 180 degrees
- Lumen output: 900
- 80 LED motion light
- Solar panel with 15 ft. (4.5m) of wire
- 3 x AA rechargeable batteries
- Mounting hardware
The Sunforce 82080 is a bright white light with a motion sensor and is designed to give you good visible lighting over a large area – excellent for security lighting.
VIDEO | See the Sunforce 82080 up close
It uses a total of 80 LEDs that give off a cumulative 900 lumens with a 180° beam angle, so it lights a wide area and it covers a distance of up to 30 Ft. The panel mounts separately from the light and the kit includes 15 Ft of electric wire for installation. This means that you can mount the light on a patio or under a roof awning and place the panel where it will get the most sunlight. This is a wall mounted light and has settings to adjust its sensitivity for motion and distance.
There are very few technical specifications for this product, so I’ll do what I can to give you the best possible information. It uses 3 AA rechargeable batteries, I would assume these are connected in series to give an operating voltage of 3.6V. I don’t have specs for the solar panel, but judging by its size (7.5” X 7.5”), I would guess that it produces around 5-8W. Because this light never shines continuously (it switches on and off with a motion sensor), I would think that with the size of the solar panel and 3 X AA batteries it should always have enough battery power to keep working – even after a few days of heavy cloud cover or snow. Of course, this would depend on how times it switches on and off through the night.
You can set the light to stay on continuously and then it will probably run for about 6-hours, possibly more. The amorphous solar panel is great for providing a good level of charge to the batteries when there is cloud cover.
The plastic used in its construction looks to be very durable and this light should last for many years. Sunforce gives a 1-year warranty on the solar light but not the batteries.
Tech Specs (Sunforce 82080 80-LED):
- LED Technology: : SMD (Surface-Mount-Device)
- Lumen Output: : 900
- Detection Distance: : 30ft. (9.1m)
- Detection Range: : 180 degrees
Best decorative outdoor solar lights…
- 100 Brilliant LED lights – 100 Super Bright LED bulbs on 33ft high quality copper wire, with steady 360 degree viewing angle they illuminate in every direction. Ideal for decorating your gardens, patio, gate, yard, wedding, party etc.
- High Quality & Flexible Copper Wire – Made with thin and flexible copper wire, coiled with bobbin winder to avoid a mess, the solar powered string lights (low voltage, no transformer included) is easy to storage and ready for the next use. Also, it is environmental- friendly, high energy conversion rate, durable and safe to use.
- 2 Switch Buttons – POWER ON/OFF. Auto on at dusk, auto off by day. MODE (Steady on / Flashing)
- Water Resistant – Both the string lights and the solar panel are IP65 Waterproof. No worry to use them in the rain.
- Easy to Shape – Flexible Copper wiring can easily build the shapes you want; wrap around tree trunks or gazebos; in the dark, the wire fades to invisible, leaving only the bright lights.
Amir has an incredible selection of solar-powered decorative string lights that provide an original and classy alternative to regular fairy lights. These are not meant for area lighting so details like power and lumens are not that relevant.
They come in a range of colors and lengths to provide a beautiful decorative effect for your garden and are great for parties or functions. All of them come with a free-standing solar panel that pegs into the ground for effortless installation.
The thin copper wiring is almost invisible and you end up with a magical lighting effect with different operating modes. They all differ slightly but, generally, you can choose between three switching options – on, off, or flashing.
The Amir solar-powered string lights will add a touch of ambiance and fun to festive season decorating, weddings or just give you a year-round glimmer in your garden or around your home.
Cast-Aluminum Solar-Powered LED Streetlight
- 4 Large high quality solar panels in top of light
- Made of cast aluminum with a clear glass lens
- Out of the box onto the ground installation
- Provide high battery charging capacity, includes 3 AA Ni-cad rechargeable batteries
- Provides high light output
- Safe, no wiring required
- Anchored via bolts
- Color Temperature : 5000 Kelvin
- Charming traditional design is reminiscent of old-fashioned street lamp
- LEDs are charged by the sun and automatically turn on at dusk.
The paradise GL23716 is not a cheap solar garden light. Then again, it’s very different to most of the small solar outdoor lights that simply peg into the ground. This is a full-sized light, resembling an old-fashioned street light. It has a charming old-world feel to it and is manufactured from cast aluminum with a durable rust-resistant black coating.
These lights need to be screwed into a base – concrete or some other form of solid paving is needed. They have four amorphous solar panels per light that charge 3 X AA Ni-MH batteries. They give a reasonable amount work time through the night (I don’t have exact times, but I would think it would be at least 6-hours). The panels will charge the batteries well, even on cloudy days. The light is cool white which means that despite not being very bright (14 Lumens), they cover quite a large area. Each fixture will light an area of about 40 Ft – though I wouldn’t say that this would be the kind of light you want to read a book by. It’s more of a soft and subtle light to highlight the area.
These are quality fixtures that will last a long time and come with a 1-year warranty.
Best outdoor solar lights for your garden, driveway or pathways.
- Frosted solar panel, no protective film needed. IP65 waterproof, heatproof and super bright-200 lumen output, 4 x 50 lumen enhanced LED
- 2-in-1 Tool-free Installation – Stick into the ground / Use included screws to mount on the wall.
- Auto on at night / Auto off at sunrise; 2 Level Brightness working modes; Longer Working Time with built-in 18650 lithium rechargeable battery (2200mAh)
- Adjustable Light and Solar Panel – Full range adjustable light angle to illuminate perfect spot and adjustable solar panel angel for optimum sun exposure
Note: Please make sure to turn on the switch before use. The spotlight is light sensitive and won’t light up in bright place. To turn on the light in the daytime, please fully cover the solar panel and make sure there is no light source or sunshine detected.
Of all the outdoor solar lights that we’ve looked at so far, the InnoGear are (in my opinion) the best if you’re looking for a practical and versatile solar LED light with the power to give you excellent usable lighting.
These are very durable directional spotlights that can be pegged into the ground or mounted to the wall. What I like most about the InnoGear solar lights is that they use really top-notch technology and are not looking for a cheap and quick solution. They’re one of the few solar lights to use a lithium-ion battery. This battery not only gives really good power storage but won’t be harmed if left uncharged for long periods – which is perfect when using solar power when there are prolonged periods of poor sunlight. This is a 3.7V 2200mAH battery, providing way more power for a longer period than the Ni-MH batteries used in most other solar lights. It also has a much more powerful 5.5V 1.5W solar panel that can be adjusted to maximize the angle of the panel in relation to the sun.
The extra-powerful panel and superior battery are very important for these lights as they produce a whopping 200 lumens, using four powerful LEDs per fixture. The 0.5W LEDs have a color temperature of 6500K which means they’ll cover a really large distance with bright white light. Obviously, to generate this amount of light, these units are going to use more power. So despite the higher voltage and watts that the panel provides and the higher AH battery, you’re only going to get around six hours of lighting at full power. Fortunately, they have a lower power setting that will increase their working time to 8-12 hours.
Very few products get the amazing customer reviews that you’ll see for the InnoGear solar lights. People love the quality and performance of these lights and I agree with them. These would be my first choice. They are durable, high-quality products with an IP65 waterproof rating. You get a 1-year warranty on this product. Out of almost 3000 customer reviews, I could only find 3 complaints about quality. Any product will have some that leave the factory with a defect, so these few complaints don’t reflect on the general quality of the light. The vast majority of people rave about these lights.
- Solar panel: 5.5V 1.5W
- Battery: 18650 lithium battery 3.7V 2200mAh
- Battery life: 3 years
- LED: 10mm 0.5W color temperature: 6500
- Flux: 200 lumens 50 each
- Working time: Sunny Day：4-6 Hours (High Light Mode) 8-12 Hours (Low Light Mode)
- Features: light control + switch control
- Waterproof class: IP65
- Charging time: 8 hours
Prestige Solar Post Cap : Best outdoor solar light for your posts
- High performance solar lights stays lit for up to 12 hours
- Lights up automatically every night auto off switch
- 2 high output led’s for brilliant white light
- 2 long life AA rechargeable batteries included
- Will fit over an ACTUAL 4″x4″ PVC or nominal 4″ x 4″ wood or 3.5″ x3.5″ post ( includes 3.5″X 3.5″ adapter)
Classy Caps has a range of 4”X4” solar light fittings designed to fit on top of a regular post. The SL079W is an elegant white fixture that will fit in with a classic style just as easily as it would in a modern setting. It’s a very good-looking solar lighting fixture.
There is absolutely no technical information available about this product, except that it uses 2 X AA NI-MH rechargeable batteries and has a solar panel. So I can only go on user experiences to determine what you’ll be getting.
By all appearances, they seem to be quite bright and will work for up to 8-hours after a full day of sunshine. This is pretty much average to slightly above average for a solar light.
The Classy Caps range has been met with mixed reactions from customers. Some love them and some don’t. Like many solar lighting products, there have been a few complaints about some units that arrive in less than perfect condition. Fortunately, these lights come with a 2-year warranty (longer than most), so if you do have a problem with your purchase, you have plenty of time to rectify this.
Qedertek Outdoor Solar Christmas Lights
- Perfect Decorative LED String Lights: The string lights illuminate during night, creating a warm and charming atmosphere to your home, garden, patio, lawn, porch, gate, party, yard, etc
- Solar Powered String lights: 200 bright warm white LEDs on the 72ft light strand (6.5ft lead cable included), powered by built-in 1800mA NI-MH batteries
- Long Working Time: Solar panel convert sunlight into electricity during the day, and it lights up automatically at night. Lights for more than 8 hours at night if the solar panel absorbs enough sunlight during day.
- Easy to Operate & Install: Solar panel with ground stakes stand, 2 switches, On/Off and 8 Mode switch
- IP65 Waterproof: Can withstand all kinds of weather, including heavy rain and snow, suitable for indoor and outdoor decorations.
This is another novelty outdoor solar lighting product. The Qedertek solar Christmas light is a long 72 Ft string of green LED fairy lights. They are perfect for outdoor Christmas lighting or any type of festive or decorative lighting. They’re also available in purple and warm white.
It has a free-standing solar panel with a great 1800mAH Ni-MH batteries that will keep them powered for up to 8-hours when fully charged. With IP65 waterproofing, they’re perfect for any outdoor use, come rain or snow.
You can choose to use them as static lights that remain on constantly with the on-off switch, or you can switch them to flash. Qedertek has a substantial range of other string lights in different colors and lengths. Some have up to eight different lighting effects.
People seem to love this product and user experiences indicate that they exceed the manufacturer claims, with some people getting up to 12-hours of light from the battery. They also don’t seem to require much sunlight to charge the battery – great for the winter holidays. Qedertek state that they will replace the product or refund you if you’re not happy with your purchase, but they don’t give a warranty period.
Smart Solar 3960KR1 — San Rafael II Solar Mission Lantern
Best outdoor solar light if you value style and character. Highly atmospheric.
- Elegant mission style lantern made from all weather poly with seeded glass effect
Sits on any surface, or can be hung using the integrated hanging loop
- Lantern is illuminated by 2 high performance warm white LEDs in the top
- Pillar candle inside lantern contains 1 amber LED for a warm glowing effect
- Automatically turns on at dusk and off at dawn
- Ambient lighting ideal for your patio, deck or garden
- Assembled Dimensions: 6.60″ L x 6.60″ W x 15.00″ H
The Smart Solar 3960KR1 is a solar-powered lantern with a quaint old-world charm. The lighting fixture inside the poly-plastic housing looks like a candle and has a warm glow.
It’s designed to stand on any flat surface or it can be suspended using the hanging ring at the top of the lantern. There aren’t any specs for this light except that it uses a mono-crystalline solar panel and a Ni-MH battery. By the looks of it, it gives the light that resembles that of a candle and you’ll need a few of them if you’re going to provide enough light to use at your porch table.
This product has a 1-year warranty.
- 21% Higher Conversion Rate. Bigger solar panel and monocrystalline silicon ensure higher conversion rate, which up to 21% while other solar panel only offer 17%
- Adjustable Light & Solar Panel. This solar landscape light allows to adjust light angle (90 degree) to get perfect illumination and adjust solar panel (180 degree) to place it in well-lit location
- Super Brightness & Automated Switch. Auto on at night / Auto off at sunrise. With 4pcs 0.5w led beads, it is much powerful and brighter (every led light is 50lm). With one button, you can choose lower or higher light intensity
- 2-in-1 & Easy Installation. Use as Solar Wall Lights / In-ground Lights. Either stick it into the ground or mount it on the wall via included screws. It supports 6-9 hours working time after fully charged
- Waterproof. Adopted solid hard plastic, the VicTsing spotlight is waterproof and suitable for illuminating driveways, pathways, sidewalks, and other areas of your lawn, garden, etc, which can withstand harsh weather
These are almost identical to the InnoGear spotlights that we reviewed a little earlier in the article. They’re adjustable spotlights that can be mounted in a variety of ways or they can be pegged directly into the ground.
They’ve used high-quality mono-crystalline solar panels that can be angled to maximize their use of the available sunlight. I’m not sure what type batteries have been used, but they are rated at 3.7V and 2200mAH, which will give you 6-9 hours runtime from a fully charged battery. The lights have a high-low setting so you can choose whether you want a brighter light or a longer battery time. Each fixture uses 4 X 0.5W LEDs, each producing 50 lumens – giving you a total of 200 lumens per light. Color temperature is 6000K-7000K, they have a very bright white light.
These lights are waterproof and come with a 1-year warranty and 45-day money back guarantee.