Who doesn’t love a beautiful lantern that’s sustainable and great for the environment?
Giving character to an outdoor space is easy with a final touch that unites a functional piece with decorative elements. In our opinion, that final touch is a hanging solar light.
Solar lights, in general, are the epitome of functionality because they come in many beautiful designs, but they also eliminate the need for wires, plugs, and electricity.
They rely instead on solar-charged batteries.
Whether you prefer a lantern, a string of cafe lights, fairy lights, or something else, there is a solar option out there to meet all of your unique needs.
We tested 12 of the best outdoor hanging solar lights. 5 became our top picks, and 5 landed on our honorable mentions list. Read on to see why!
Our Top Picks
|Best Overall: Outdoor Black Solar Candle Lantern||Who wouldn’t fall in love with this black solar candle lantern? A vintage look with a candle design to light up homes!||Check Price|
|Best Fairy Lights: Solar Hanging Fairy Light Lantern||A close second and can dazzle any patio! Fairy lights inside are perfect to create warm feelings all year round.||Check Price|
|Best Vintage-Style Lights: Hanging Solar-Powered Edison Light||These decorative hanging Edison light bulbs are stylish, affordable, and sustainable.||Check Price|
|Best Value Lights: GIGALUMI Cracked Globe Hanging Solar Light||These cracked-globe hanging solar lights are a perfect addition to any outdoor space needing a spark of light!||Check Price|
|Best Solar String Lights: Brightech Solar String Lights||The best string light set on the market! They are easy to hang and weatherproof.||Check Price|
How We Narrowed Down The Best Outdoor Hanging Solar Lights
It’s a process to figure out the details and important features present in solar lights and lanterns.
However, the first thing we did was research exactly what features people were looking for.
Hanging solar lights and lanterns are decorative light that uses solar power to brighten up any outdoor space.
They are perfect for hanging outside and used as an outdoor decoration for long summer nights.
We found the highest-rated outdoor hanging solar lanterns and looked for ones that had the best features and longest running time.
Of these, we chose 12 to test outdoors in all kinds of weather. 5 of those lanterns outshined the rest, and 5 were worthy of honorable mentions.
Best Outdoor Hanging Solar Lights Reviewed
1. Best Overall: Outdoor Black Solar Candle Lantern
Sizes: 5.5 in. x 11.5 | Light Type: Lantern| Brand: LampLust | Pattern: Black, clear, and white | Features: Long runtime, comes in a two-pack | Uses: Outdoor, hanging
What We Liked
- Large size
- Convenient Pack of 2
- Realistic flickering effect
What We Didn’t Like
- Expensive compared to some others
- Lower battery life than we like to see
It was easy to choose this product as the best overall on this list because of its waterproof features and realistic look.
Stylish and easy to use, this beautiful lantern comes in a stylish and sleek black color.
Our favorite part about this solar-powered lantern is the flickering light! We loved this realistic-looking solar-powered lantern.
Although black is a popular color, we also saw you can purchase this in a vibrant and retro shade of red.
Possibly the best feature that this gorgeous hanging solar light lantern has to offer is its weather-resistant feature. Need to use this in the rain?
The self-timer will still work and understand when to change the light intensity from dawn to dusk.
Each purchase comes with a rechargeable pack of solar batteries that work well and allows you to swap out batteries if they get dim while you’re using the lights.
KEEP IN MIND that even though the brightness of the light works well to set a mood, it is not the best for lighting a path.
Instead, we recommend using this decorative lantern as a beautiful addition to outdoor decor.
The easy-to-use quick switch on this solar lantern model is also smooth. It requires no maintenance, which is a feature that we appreciate and love!
With how durable, reliable, and gorgeous this environmentally friendly light is, it’s no wonder it’s at the top of our list!See Price on Amazon
2. Best Fairy Lights: Solar Hanging Fairy Light Lantern
Sizes: 3.5 in. x 5.5 in. | Light Type: Lantern | Brand: SHANNA | Pattern: Black, clear, white, and gold | Features: Comes in a two-pack, fairy lights | Uses: Outdoor, hanging
What We Liked
- Easy to use clips
- Glimmering twinkle lights
- Automatic lighting options
What We Didn’t Like
- Small Size
- Not Weather Resistant
The Solar Hanging Fairy Light Lantern is a flexible wonder. Its clip-based hanging mechanism gave us many options for mounting it.
- Clip it onto a string of lights or another thin area (onto a wire or thin metal, perhaps).
- Hang it as we would any of the other lights with the wire loop, such as onto a hook.
- The square base allows the Solar Hanging Fairy Light Lantern to sit comfortably on any flat surface.
This lantern also will stay on for a long time. Its estimated run time on a full battery is up to 10 hours. That is in part because of the delicate fairy lights.
They efficiently give off bright but low-energy consuming light.
We also love the aesthetic of this light. Although its overall size is small, the little fairy lights that populate the inside of the glass box call attention because of their dainty brightness.See Price on Amazon
3. Best Vintage-style Lights: Hanging Solar-Powered Edison Light
Sizes: 5 in. x 11 in. | Light Type: Hanging lights| Brand: SUNWIND | Pattern: Black Features: Two-pack, retro design | Uses: Outdoor, hanging
What We Liked
- Stylish design of light and cage
- Easy to hang
- Completely mobile to take anywhere
- Pack of two
What We Didn’t Like
- Shorter run time than we would like
For a Hanging Solar Light with a moderate price tag and simple but effective design, the Hanging Solar-Powered Edison Light is our go-to.
The light features a caged Edison-style light bulb powered by a solar-charged battery.
We love the size of this particular light. The bulb is big enough to distribute the light well, and the cage protects the bulb.
At the same time, it also is convenient enough to bring along on a camping trip, a picnic, or hang in a backyard without stealing all the attention from the space.
It comes in a 2-pack, and the two bulbs should be enough to light up a small area. Each bulb gives off 5 lumens, which is normal for a decorative light with some functionality features.
The best thing about this light is that the company offers dissatisfied buyers a full refund before 30 days, so it’s risk-free to try and hang this light at home!
We also really liked how weather-resistant this light is. It’s a perfect solar-powered decoration for patios and outdoor events in rain and sunshine.
The battery quickly recharges with the power of the sun, but it doesn’t have a long runtime.
We recommend using this solar-powered lantern in a light and open space that receives plenty of sunlight. This gives us the best chance at storing the solar energy necessary to function.See Price on Amazon
4. Best Value Lights: GIGALUMI Cracked Globe Hanging Solar Light
Sizes: 5.2 in. x 2.4 in.| Light Type: Hanging lights| Brand: GIGALUMI | Pattern: White Features: 4-pack, crystalized design | Uses: Outdoor, hanging
What We Liked
- Great run time
- Comes in a pack of four
- East to hang
What We Didn’t Like
- Takes a long time to charge
- White light is too bright for some situations
For shoppers on a budget that still want to hop on the solar bandwagon without breaking the bank, the GIGALUMI Cracked Globe Hanging Solar Light is a good choice.
You get a lot of bang for your buck, with this 4-pack being the cheapest option on our list, while still getting to enjoy the luxury and environmental-friendliness of solar lights.
The GIGALUMI Cracked Globe Hanging Solar Lights look a little bit like they belong on a Christmas tree.
They give off a bright white light from inside a gray-transparent “cracked glass” orb. The “cracked” fragments are shiny and reflective, making these dazzling little lights.
For those of us who love hanging solar lights that are programmable, we are in luck! It’s easy to program these lights for long-term use.
Some options dim the light and brighten the light depending on the time and amount of sunlight left outside. Once set up, the lights will continue to perform as programmed.
Our only complaint was that the presence of other bright lights in the area occasionally kept these little lights from turning on, due to the light-sensors on the bulbs.
If this occurs, we move these hanging solar lights with a cracked and crystal-like design to a dark area away from the lights.
Since they automatically turn off when light or the sun is detected, other light decorations can disturb their automatic features.See Price on Amazon
5. Best String Lights: Brightech Solar String Lights
Sizes: 2-inch bulbs | Light Type: Hanging Lights | Brand: Brightech | Pattern: Black, white, and yellow | Features: 27 feet of lights, simple and modern design | Uses: Outdoor, hanging
What We Liked
- Great Quality
- Long Life
- 27ft of lights
What We Didn’t Like
- Bulky design
String lights are a must-have for any outdoor space. New bars and restaurants often feature them, as well as classic outdoor seating in cafes and breweries.
They’re great for lighting up a space while creating a welcoming atmosphere.
These best outdoor hanging solar lights come with 12 2-inch bulbs placed 20 inches apart on a 27-foot strand.
The design is excellent for either layering them side-by-side to get maximum brightness or stringing them out to take advantage of the long strand to cover as much ground as possible.
We noticed that the parts require multiple tools to be set up fully, and they took longer to hang than other lights we tested.
Thankfully, once they are hung, they look amazing, light the area well, and will last for a long time.
Brightech’s Solar String Lights run for a shorter time that we generally like, but they are a great option for those who want a solar light that lasts between 5 to 6 hours.
Although it is not a perfect night light, it’s a great decorative piece! The beauty of the design is also a wonderful addition to any home.See Price on Amazon
|Products||Best Overall||Best Fairy Lights||Best Vintage-style Lights||Best Value Lights||Best String Lights|
It wasn’t that easy to pick an ultimate winner from the lights on our list. They’re all different and beautiful in their own way.
However, after our testing, the best outdoor hanging solar lights option fell down to the Outdoor Black Solar Candle Lantern.
The style of these lights are unique and work perfectly to set the mood in an outdoor location, while also being sustainable and affordable!
We also love the flexibility and portability of these lanterns, whereas other lights have to be strung and left where they are installed.
We used them during the winter by charging them outdoors in direct sunlight during the day and then bringing them inside in the evening to enjoy the warm glow.
How to Choose the Best Outdoor Hanging Solar Lights
We like to look at the bigger picture when finding an outdoor hanging solar light for our homes.
We think you should be on the lookout for the main 3 components: weather resistance, style, and price!
Not surprisingly, the weather can severely mess up solar lights that aren’t resistant to frequent weathering from the sun, rain, or natural disasters.
For your product to be weather resistant, it needs to state it on the website.
Who wants a solar light or lantern that does not work for longer than a few weeks? The light or lantern should be completely sealed to keep out the elements.
If necessary, look at the reviews to see what recent shoppers are saying!
What about the style? What look do we want to see reflected in our backyard or living spaces?
Throughout this product review, we have noticed that each hanging solar light and lantern is unique and gives spaces different auras.
With style comes many different categories and features, like the color of the lanterns.
Darker reds and browns can make a solar-powered lantern feel vintage instead of modern.
Lighter hanging lights with sleek and shiny colors are more modern and give a backyard a splash of color. These are festive and great options. Always look at the pictures before deciding on a solar-powered light or lantern.
Price points are also important, and it’s a good idea to have a working budget in mind. We like to set a number before looking at all major options online.
While it makes sense to pay a large amount of money on a high-quality lantern, not all lanterns are worth it.
The price should be worth the quality of the lantern. Some solar-powered lights can cost as low as $7 and rise to $350 depending on the style, size, and effectiveness.
So consider how many lights you need and how much you want to spend on each one before looking at your options.
Here’s a brief look at the 5 options that didn’t make our best outdoor hanging solar lights list.
1. Lights4fun, Inc. Large Black Metal Solar Powered LED – Considered for Best Overall
This Lights4Fun hanging light option is a favorite because of its gorgeous design.
However, it did not make the list as best overall because we like the style of the Outdoor Black Solar Candle Lantern better.
2. Vintage Solar-Powered Candle Lantern – Considered for Best Overall
Who doesn’t love adding a flare of vintage design to their home?
This beautiful and sustainable lantern has a candle in the center, is at an affordable price, and looks wonderfully realistic!
While it was close to taking the cake as best overall, we still enjoyed the style, brightness, and functionality of the Outdoor Black Solar Candle Lantern.
However, this lantern is still worth considering.
3. Solar Powered Waterproof Globe Light– Considered for Best Hanging Lights
The best hanging lights are hard to find, which is why we were so pleasantly surprised when finding these globe lights!
Not only do they work with only the energy from the sun and light, but these lights change color and can be placed individually.
Sadly, it did not make this list as the best hanging lights because we like the Brightech Solar String Lights better for their unique bulb design and long-term installation.
Some lights use animals and figures to add flair and energy to a backyard!
This affordable option does cost more money than half of this list, but it may be worth it depending on your asthetic.
The owl hangs and shines colors and lights throughout the night.
Although it’s an adorable solar light, it may not match everyone’s decor, so we recommend the Hanging Solar Powered Edison Light as a more universal solar lighting solution.
We love these color-changing lilies that feature a hidden solar panel. They charge great and cast a romantic glow all night.
While these are cute, they are staked into the ground instead of hanging, making them better as garden accent lights.
Instead, the GIGALUMI Cracked Globe Hanging Solar Light wins for style, usefulness, and overall affordability.