6 BEST Outdoor Solar Lights (2022 Tested)

We research & test to recommend the best products; learn more about our review process here. When you buy via the links on our site, we may earn a commission.

As the world shifts towards renewable energy, solar energy will become key to powering our lives and hard to ignore.

The transition will take time, but the easiest way to ease into learning about and incorporating solar energy into your life is to start small and in your own backyard.

Whether you need an outdoor solar spotlight to snap on, stopping an intruder in their tracks, solar lights to light a path for an after-dinner soak in the hot tub – or anything in between – there’s a solar light on the market that will do the job.

We reviewed and tested over 20 outdoor solar lights on the market right now and ranked them based on their functionality. Below, you’ll find 6 of the best outdoor solar lights based on how well they achieve their purpose.

Our Top Pick

  Product Details    
01 URPOWER Solar Spotlight Best Overall: URPOWER Solar Spotlight An outdoor solar light that lasts long in its brightest setting, is compact, adjustable, and can be placed anywhere. Check Price
02 Aootek 3 Mode Outdoor Solar Lights Best Maximum Light Reach: Aootek 3 Mode Outdoor Solar Lights Adapts to different situations, can light up a deck, or help you see your dog in the middle of the yard at midnight. Check Price
03 Baxia Technology Outdoor Solar Lights Best For Security Floodlight: Baxia Technology Outdoor Solar Lights Besides having the longest run time, this solar floodlight is durable AND 4x brighter than the next brightest option. Check Price
04 Innogear Yard Solar Spotlight Best Spotlight: Innogear Yard Solar Spotlight This light can be adjusted to provide a more concentrated glow, focusing directly on whatever you want to illuminate. Check Price
05 BEAU JARDIN Solar Pathway Lights Best Style: BEAU JARDIN Solar Pathway Lights A soft, low light that will illuminate a small area or path and add a pop of decoration to your landscape. Check Price
06 Brightech Ambience Pro Solar String Lights Best String Of Lights: Brightech Ambience Pro Solar String Lights Aesthetically pleasing, durable, and the perfect string of solar lights to functionally decorate a space. Check Price

Our Process for Ranking the Best Outdoor Solar Lights

solar lights
Solar lights are a great way to add ambiance to your landscape and can even be used to deter intruders.

For this test, we considered many functional attributes of the outdoor solar lights, including brightness, charge time, ease of installation, durability, design, and how well they fulfill their purpose.

Solar lights are built in all shapes, sizes, colors, and prices so there’s a wide variety of ways an outdoor solar light might be used.

The 3 main reasons to invest in a solar light include:

  • Security
  • Illumination
  • Aesthetics

After reviewing hundreds of solar lights, we narrowed them to the best outdoor solar lights for the most common use cases.

Security

Since consistency and long runtime are vital for security, solar lights that are large, have large panels, and more bulbs work best as a floodlight or spotlight. The larger the solar light, the stronger, brighter, and longer-lasting the LED bulbs. 

These outdoor solar lights are built with security in mind, so they tend to have a motion-sensing detector that conserves the battery to keep it working all night.

Illumination

Depending on what you want to illuminate, you might need the brightest solar light on the market or the dimmest solar light that provides just enough light that you won’t trip on the path.

Aesthetics

If you have a small area where you want to bring a stylish pop of light without the wires and long extension cords, or where you don’t have electricity available, buy solar lights built with aesthetics in mind.

These use solar energy to create a relaxed, comfortable atmosphere.

These tend to be smaller and built with fewer features, but the mood lighting more than makes up for what they lack.

When you narrow your list of which solar light to purchase, keep in mind why you want to use it, think about what you hope to illuminate or catch, and consider the weather and light conditions your light will be subjected to.

Below each summary of scores, you’ll find a more thorough breakdown of why that particular light was chosen for that particular category. We’ll explain what to consider, be aware of, and what other people are saying.

Best Outdoor Solar Lights Reviewed

1. Best Overall: URPOWER Solar Spotlight

URPOWER Solar Spotlight

Product Ratings

Overall Rating4/5
Features3/5
Ease of Installation5/5
Brightness (Lumens)3/5
Durability4/5
Charge Time5/5
Running Time4/5

Form/Style: Spotlight | Brand: URPOWER | Lumen: 200lms | Charge Time: 4-5 hours | Charge Lasts: 6-10 hours | Features: Waterproof, frost and heat resistant | Placement: Ground stake or wall mount | Power Source: Solar panel

What We Liked

  • Short charging time and long-running time
  • 200 lumens per solar light – very bright for the size
  • 2 brightness settings
  • Easy to install, can be placed anywhere in the yard
  • Adjustable solar panels (to maximize charge)

What We Didn’t Like

  • Cannot adjust the angle of the light
  • Certain parts are fragile
  • An easy target for thieves

We chose URPOWER Solar Lights as the best overall because they are reliable, flexible, easy to install, and have the quickest charge time out of all the outdoor solar lights we tested and reviewed.

Because these solar lights can be placed anywhere, they easily adapt to the user’s needs. So whether you want to just light a path, spotlight the front of your house, or hang it above your garage to light the driveway, this light will do the job you need it to do.

We picked this one as best overall because it is just bright enough yet not too bright, and perfect for when the electricity goes out.

One reviewer mentioned they stumbled upon a new use when they brought them in at night to light their house after a natural disaster.

These lights are durable and made to withstand freezing temperatures, scorching summer days, and everything in between.

When we tested these lights, the soil was hard and dry, making it more difficult to stake them into the ground. We used a piece of rebar to “pre-drill” the hole in the soil so we didn’t break the stake. 

And while this solar light can be hung on a wall, the solar panel might not receive as much sun as it needs to fully charge the battery bank.

With that being said, when fully charged, this light will illuminate exactly what you want it to for up to 10 hours.

See Price on Amazon

2. Best Maximum Light Reach: Aootek 3 Mode Outdoor Solar Lights

Aootek 3 Mode Outdoor Solar Lights

Product Ratings

Overall Rating4/5
Features3/5
Ease of Installation4/5
Brightness (Lumens)5/5
Durability4/5
Charge Time3/5
Running Time3/5

Form/Style: Art deco | Brand: Aootek | Lumen: 2500lms | Charge Time: 6-8 hours | Charge Lasts: 4-10 hours | Features: Waterproof, wide-angle illumination | Placement: Wall or fence mounted | Power Source: Solar panel

What We Liked

  • Multiple lighting modes – auto-on all night, motion-sensing bright, and motion-sensing dim
  • Easy to install
  • Light reaches the farthest
  • Reasonable charge time

What We Didn’t Like

  • It has to be wall mounted or fence mounted
  • Once installed, the mode switch is hard to access
  • Remain on for only 15 seconds once they sense motion
  • Only one brightness option – bright

These outdoor solar lights won hands-down for the best maximum light reach because they detect people up to 26 feet away within a 120-degree angle.

These solar lights are hands down, the brightest on the market at 2500 lumens, making them perfect to use as solar security lights.

These solar lights have three lighting modes and can stay on all night, automatically brightening when it detects motions. Whether you decide to put it in auto on/off mode or one of the motion-sensing modes – this solar light will adapt to how you use it.

Keep in mind that in order to reach full charge potential, this outdoor solar light must be in direct line of sight with the sun. We found that after mounting them it was difficult to access the switch to change modes.

With that being said, these are easy to install and bright enough to illuminate a medium-sized area so you can have a backyard picnic at midnight.

See Price on Amazon

3. Best for Security Floodlight: Baxia Technology Outdoor Solar Lights

Baxia Technology Outdoor Solar Lights

Product Ratings

Overall Rating4/5
Features2/5
Ease of Installation4/5
Brightness (Lumens)5/5
Durability4/5
Charge Time4/5
Running Time5/5

Form/Style: Solar motion sensor lights | Brand: BAXIA TECHNOLOGY | Lumen: 2000lms | Charge Time: 6-8 hours | Charge Lasts: 8-12 hours | Features: Waterproof, motion sensor, wide-angle illumination | Placement: Wall mounted | Power Source: lar panel

What We Liked

  • Brightest motion-sensor solar floodlight on the market
  • Weatherproof for reliable longevity
  • Charge lasts 8-12 hours
  • Solar floodlight works perfectly for security 

What We Didn’t Like

  • Only has 1 mode
  • Must be mounted to a stable surface
  • Light might be too bright
  • Remains off until motion is sensed

When you need a solar light to use as a bright, intense, security floodlight – it was a no-brainer for us to rank Baxia Technology’s solar-power lights as the best.

This light is not just 4x brighter than the next brightest light on the market, but it can turn night into day for a large area, such as a driveway, with a single solar light.

However, keep in mind that this solar light does not have an automatic on/off mode. So if you need a solar light that will constantly be on through the darkest hours – this may not be the light for you. 

This light is a motion-sensing light – it only turns on when there is motion detected which allows the charge to last much longer than solar lights that are designed to be constantly on.

If the primary reason for needing a solar light is to detect movement on your property, we chose this light for that purpose. It is super bright and it must be mounted, but it does the job well.

Read our related article where we put the BEST Solar Flood Lights to the test for home and office security!

See Price on Amazon

4. Best Spotlight: Innogear Yard Solar Spotlight

Innogear Yard Solar Spotlight

Product Ratings

Overall Rating3/5
Features2/5
Ease of Installation3/5
Brightness (Lumens)3/5
Durability3/5
Charge Time2/5
Running Time3.5/5

Form/Style: Spotlight | Brand: Innogear | Lumen: 200lms | Charge Time: 8 hours | Charge Lasts: 4-6hrs on bright / 8-12hrs on dim | Features: Waterproof, removable stake | Placement: Ground stake or wall mount | Power Source: Solar panel

What We Liked

  • Functional flexibility – a wall light or a yard light
  • 2 modes – bright and dim
  • Perfect as a small spotlight

What We Didn’t Like

  • Some issues with latch reportedLong charge time for short run time
  • Light doesn’t reach too far
  • Can only rotate up-and-downSome issues with latch reported

We chose this solar light as the best spotlight because it is built with premium LED bulbs that illuminate what you want to bring immediate attention to.

Whether you mount it on a wall to light up the steps leading to your door or stake it into the ground and aim it at your flagpole, this light is flexible, simple, and surprisingly durable.

This solar light is best used as a spotlight rather than a floodlight. So if you need a light that will illuminate a wider range or work as a security light – this light might not work for you. 

We found that the illumination doesn’t travel far, and on the brightest setting, the charge only lasts around 4-6 hours. We turned the brightness down so it would last all night.

If your primary reason for needing a solar-powered light is to shine a light on something more specific, like your favorite garden bench or your lucky flower bush, this reliable solar light will survive all types of extreme weather.

See Price on Amazon

5. Best Style: BEAU JARDIN Solar Pathway Lights

BEAU JARDIN Solar Pathway Lights

Product Ratings

Overall Rating3/5
Features1/5
Ease of Installation2/5
Brightness (Lumens)1/5
Durability3/5
Charge Time3/5
Running Time5/5

Form/Style: Modern | Brand: BEAU JARDIN | Lumen: 10 lumens | Charge Time: 6-8 hours | Charge Lasts: 8-12 hours | Features: Waterproof, All-weather resistant, auto on/off | Placement: Ground stake | Power Source:  Solar panel

What We Liked

  • Decorative pattern in 3 different colors that provides great mood lighting
  • A long run time when fully charged
  • Simple and small solar light

What We Didn’t Like

  • Not a very bright solar light at just 10lms
  • Only has one mode – auto on/off
  • Recommended to “pre-drill” a hole with a wooden stake or rebarome issues with latch reported

When we tested and reviewed this light, we were immediately struck by the beauty of the solar light fixture and the striking light pattern that it casts on the ground.

If you are looking for something with style, we recommend these solar pathway lights. Especially if you are looking for a solar light that is small, dim, and brings a small pop of light to add to the ambiance of the area or light a path.

Because these solar lights only have one mode, are small, and are very simple, they will not work if you want a motion-sensing security type of light or are looking for a light to brighten up a large space. 

Again we found a need to “pre-drill” a hole with a piece of rebar because our soil was very hard and  the stake can be damaged when pushing them into compacted soil. A wooden stake would also work to pre-drill the holes.

As small accent lights along a pathway, in garden beds, or surrounding an outdoor dining area – we recommend these solar lights to help spice up the dark nights.

See Price on Amazon

6. Best String of Lights: Brightech Ambience Pro Solar String Lights

Brightech Ambience Pro Solar String Lights

Product Ratings

Overall Rating3/5
Features1/5
Ease of Installation3/5
Brightness (Lumens)2.5/5
Durability5/5
Charge Time4/5
Running Time3/5

Form/Style: Vintage string lights | Brand: Brightech | Lumen: 10 lumens | Charge Time: 6 hours | Charge Lasts: 5-6 hours | Features: Commercial grade, Weatherproof, 2 year solar warranty | Placement: Hanging | Power Source: Solar panel

What We Liked:

  • Can combine multiple solar string lights 
  • Do not need an outlet to work
  • Charming bistro-style lighting
  • Easy to install
  • Commercial grade weatherproofing

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Each bulb is dim
  • One mode – auto on/off
  • Longer 48-foot strand only has 15 bulbs
  • Might need multiple strands

Of all the solar string lights on the market, we picked this particular set of solar-powered string lights as the best because of the relaxing, warm ambiance they provide for any backyard activity.

This set comes with 12 lights on a 27-foot strand.

They don’t require an outlet so they are perfect for hanging around your hot tub gazebo, on the edge of your outdoor pergola, along the path to the backyard, or on the roof of your deck to set the mood for those after-dinner chats.

However, these lights only have one mode – auto on/off – so you can set it and forget it but it won’t detect motion or turn on until it’s dark enough outside.

Also, each LED light bulb is only 10 lumens, so the overall brightness won’t illuminate a large area. While you can purchase multiple strands if need be, these lights are not especially useful as security lighting.

However, they will provide enough light to monitor yard activities without having obnoxious lighting on all night. 

We found that the photocell works well, but it turns the lights on when the darkness is a bit deeper than we want. We found it helpful to cover the solar panel just enough to mimic darkness when we want the lights on sooner.

These decorative solar string lights are simple to use and transform your space from boring to enchanting, inviting you to linger long into the summer nights. 

See Price on Amazon

Comparison Chart

ProductsBest OverallBest Maximum Light ReachBest for Security Floodlight Best SpotlightBest StyleBest String Lights
Overall Rating4/54/54/53/53/53/5
Features3/53/52/52/51/51/5
Ease of Installation5/54/54/53/52/53/5
Brightness (Lumens)3/55/55/53/51/52.5/5
Durability4/54/54/53/53/55/5
Charge Time5/53/54/52/53/54/5
Running Time4/53/55/53.5/55/53/5

The Winner

Overall, we loved URPOWER’s Solar Spotlight. These lights are the best of all worlds.

They’re functional, bright, have a long-lasting run time, and can be used however you need.

Whether you mount them on a wall or stake them into the ground, you can count on these lights to provide rechargeable, renewable, bright illumination.

Read our related article, 4 BEST Solar Pathway Lights Guide (Put To The Test For 2022). We tested the top lights for pathways, and here’s what we discovered!

Considerations for Choosing the Best Solar Lights

As solar energy becomes the norm, there are plenty of options on the market to choose from.

Plenty of lights that can be a solution – and plenty of lights to feel overwhelmed when trying to make the best decision. 

There are two things you should keep in mind when researching solar lights – the reason you need one, and the location you will need to put it to accomplish your goal.

Consider What You Need Solar Lights To Do

Regardless of your primary reason for using solar light, there will be trade-offs in terms of which features are included. It’s important to keep in mind what features are the most vital to your situation to avoid buyer’s remorse.

Floodlights might not be decorative, but small decorative lights won’t be floodlights. Motion-sensing lights last the longest, but the auto on/off can be frustrating when you are just trying to relax on the deck.

Consider Where You’re Placing Outdoor Solar Lights

The majority of solar lights on the market are powered by a solar panel that recharges a lithium-ion battery pack.

Some models also take regular batteries so you can use them if they don’t charge outdoors or include a USB charging port to refill the battery bank in overcast weather.

When shopping for outdoor solar lights, remember that the solar panel should be placed in direct sunlight to fill the battery bank. If it’s going to be used to line a path with a wide-open view of the sky – chances are your light won’t have an issue charging.

If your light will be placed in a shady area, look for lights with detachable solar panels that can be placed in a spot with direct sunlight. Alternatively, a solar light with a larger solar panel will charge better in lower light conditions.

Regardless of which outdoor solar light option you choose, all solar lights use renewable, rechargeable energy and provide dependable lighting that you can set and forget. 

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