Do you have a stunning garden that needs some final tweaks to make it perfect? Maybe you are just starting to develop a passion for gardening and want a quick way to improve the look of your patch?
There is nothing better than sitting out on a warm evening and watching your garden come to life in a new way, lit up in a way that shows off the very best parts of your slice of heaven.
Lighting is an effective and wallet-friendly way of creating a space that looks magical and enticing.
So, we’ve taken the time to set out all the important considerations you need to have before investing in solar lighting for your garden space.
This article will guide you through decorative solar garden lights (we’re saving security lights for a future review).
Take a look through our thorough guide and be amazed at what solar powered garden lighting can do for you!
- Best Solar Garden Lights
- 1. GIGALUMI Hanging Solar Mason Jar Lid Lights
- 2. TomCare Solar Lights
- 3. GOGOMY Solar Flame Lights Garden Lights Solar Powered
- 4. Solar String Lights [UK]
- 5. SURSUN Outdoor [16pack]-Solar Powered Pathway [USA & Canada]
- 6. Solar Deck Lights [USA & Canada]
- 7. Solar Lights Outdoor Super Bright [UK]
- 8. Smart Garden Solar Daisy The Cow Silhouette Light
- 9. GIGALUMI Cracked Glass Ball Dual Led Garden Lights
- 10. CGN Garden Solar Lights
- What are Solar Garden Lights?
- How Do Solar Lights Work?
- What Makes a Good Solar Garden Light?
- How to Install Solar Lights
- Solar Light Ideas
Best Solar Garden Lights
We have curated a list of our ten recommended solar garden light options for a range of garden styles and budgets. Take a look through and start planning what you need.
1. GIGALUMI Hanging Solar Mason Jar Lid Lights
|GIGALUMI Hanging Solar Mason Jar Lights, 6 Pack 30 Led String Fairy Lights Hanging Solar Lanterns...||5,497 Reviews||$29.99||Buy on Amazon|
Not all lights were built to be driven into the ground and these hanging masons hard filled with fairy lights will give your garden a homely feel.
Imagine hosting a summer party and having these hung all over, people will marvel at their beauty and yet be pleased that they are functional enough to provide light long after the sun has gone down.
These lights will add the spark of magic that your garden needs and they come in a packet of 6 so that you don’t have to spend ages buying them one by one!
2. TomCare Solar Lights
|TomCare Solar Lights Upgraded, 43" Waterproof Flickering Flames 96 LED Torches Lights Outdoor Solar...||9,567 Reviews||$64.99||Buy on Amazon|
Are you the proud owner of a long driveway or a garden with meandering pathways?
These are the first of our solar garden stake lights.
These solar lights are not only atmospheric but are a solid choice to help you make your space the envy of all the neighbours!
They come in a pack of 4 and are incredibly easy to install with their stake.
Think of paradise island filled with Tiki lights and you will get some idea of the way these lights will transform your garden or driveway.
3. GOGOMY Solar Flame Lights Garden Lights Solar Powered
These lights are the epitome of style and will bring your garden to life.
They look great in a border or used to show paths but it’s the flicker that sets them apart.
The solar light continuously flickers, giving you the feeling of candlelight in your garden without the fear of fire! So, if you are trying to create a romantic or relaxing space these lights must be on your list without a doubt!
4. Solar String Lights [UK]
Forget traditional solar lights; these string lights can be used to brighten up features of your garden that would benefit from a little sparkle.
Maybe you want to drape them over fences to give a warming feel to the space or maybe they could be wrapped around an outdoor Christmas tree or bush to bring them alive after dark.
The lights come in a two-pack so that whatever you decide to do you can do it in double and the panels are so easy to install that we are certain you will be going back for more!
5. SURSUN Outdoor [16pack]-Solar Powered Pathway [USA & Canada]
If you want to light up a path and need to buy in bulk then these stunning stake lights are a great option and they come in a pack of 16.
When they arrive all you need to do is map out where you want to place them, put them together and then stake them into place.
Your pathways will look better than you can imagine and the ease of ordering in bulk will save you time trying to find a supplier with enough lights in stock!
6. Solar Deck Lights [USA & Canada]
|SUNFACE Solar Deck Lights, Led Outdoor Garden Decorative Wall Mount Fence Post Lighting, 6 Packs||6,898 Reviews||Buy on Amazon|
The great thing about solar lights is the variety they bring and these lights are far from the traditional stakes that you put into the ground.
If you have a deck or fences that need to be illuminated then these lights will brighten up any expanse of wood.
They are decorative and functional, lighting up your seating area without the risk of tripping up when it’s time to go inside.
They are made from durable materials and will last as long as your deck!
7. Solar Lights Outdoor Super Bright [UK]
If you want to light up your path to make it functional all night long then these super bright and stylish lights may be the best choice.
They come with the ability to be dimmed when you want to change up the atmosphere and are easy to install with a range of height options that will suit your design.
If you buy these lights you are getting access to quality materials that will withstand the test of time and keep your garden looking great all year round!
The motion sensors will brighten your garden when motion is detected (yes, we know we said no security lights in this article – but this is so bright and multi-purpose we had to include it).
8. Smart Garden Solar Daisy The Cow Silhouette Light
|Smart Garden Outdoor Solar LED Garden Light Daisy Cow Design, Changing Colour||858 Reviews||Buy on Amazon|
The great thing about this cow is that by day she is a pretty and fun ornament that can be enjoyed but at night she turns into a shining and colour changing animal that sparks interest in whoever looks at her.
Easy to move whenever you want to place her in a different spot!
This light is the perfect example of hiding solar capabilities in an ornament so that your garden looks and feels fun and functional all day long.
With Daisy, you will never have to be worried that visitors will think you have cheap lights that spoil the garden you have worked so hard to create.
9. GIGALUMI Cracked Glass Ball Dual Led Garden Lights
|GIGALUMI Solar Lights Outdoor, Cracked Glass Ball Solar Garden Lights, Cold White/Color Changing...||4,304 Reviews||$20.99||Buy on Amazon|
If you want colourful orbs that sit anywhere in your garden then these beauties may be a perfect choice. With their crackle glass and silver stakes, you will have all the neighbours asking where you got them from.
Stake lights are so versatile and can be used to mark out a path, popped into borders or even to give your driveway a clear boundary. You won’t regret buying such lovely lights as these, trust us!
10. CGN Garden Solar Lights
There is no missing these stunning solar garden party lights that act like bubble tubes in your garden.
They are colour changing and easy to install with a stake to place directly into your garden.
The great thing about them is the practicality they offer combined with the attractive design; they are suitable for all weather conditions and only need 4 to 6 hours of daylight to provide the charge you need to fully enjoy them.
These lights are perfect for households that want a bit of fun or have children that love the outdoor space a garden brings.
What are Solar Garden Lights?
Solar panel garden lights are made to store power using daylight ready to be converted into hours of light at night-time.
They come in a range of different styles and prices and are often incredibly easy to install, weather resistant and look extremely effective when placed.
They provide practical light that can be used to extend the time you get to spend in your garden and also are an ornamental feature that is great at highlighting paths and other areas of your garden that you want to draw attention to.
How Do Solar Lights Work?
Solar garden lights are both fascinating and incredible as they harness the power of daylight and convert it into energy that lights your garden up at night. Rather than guessing how a solar light works, we have broken it down so that you can be in the know:
- Each solar light has a battery and solar cells; the solar cells absorb the light and charge the battery that is linked to it. When the battery is full the light waits until it gets dark before using the energy it has inside.
- When it gets dark the solar cells stop creating power and there is a component called a photoresistor that helps it to understand that it is dark and turns the light on.
- Once the night is over and there is daylight again, the photoresistor switches off and the solar cells get straight back to harnessing the light.
- Solar lights seem so straight forward but the makeup of even the smallest ones means that your garden could be filled with some of the most awesome science ever invented!
What Makes a Good Solar Garden Light?
When you begin your research into the best solar light for your needs you need to consider certain elements:
The size of the light you choose has impact both on the visibility of the light in the daytime, the size of the solar panel and the amount of light that can be emitted. It is sensible to consider these factors when purchasing new solar lights:
Very large lights can be detrimental to the flow of your garden and don’t look as effective in the daytime as they do at night.
If you specifically want a larger solar light for your garden then consider getting one that comes in a novel shape, like an animal for example.
By covering up its actual use you can have larger lights dotted across your garden.
Lights with large solar panels have more solar cells and can store much more energy ready to convert into light at night-time.
This is a good choice if you need a light to show off the way a specific item looks in the garden or feature a specific area or large expanse rather than providing multiple smaller lights.
Don’t be fooled into buying what seems like a bargain packet of solar lights without doing your research first! You will want to get the most from your purchase and getting longevity from your choice of lights is optimal.
There are so many cheaper options on the market that come with substandard panels that you may find you are better off spending a bit more on your initial outlay to get lights that will last more than one season.
Brightness is a key factor in choosing the best solar lights for your garden as they need to fit in with the ambience you are trying to create.
Imagine putting the final touches to a tranquil space and then finding out your lights are so bright that they look silly or too dim that nothing is illuminated!
You can buy lights that have adjustable brightness but this typically comes at a premium and so it is worth doing your research and looking at a range of different lights before settling on a final choice.
In this day and age, it is imperative that any purchase conforms to the strictest environmental standards. Climate change is something that is affecting gardens all over the world and buying cheap plastic solar lights is not helping to stem the flow of junk that ends up in a landfill.
Therefore, it is best to choose solar lights that are made from materials that have the lowest carbon footprint and are sturdy enough to last the test of time.
The range of light designs means they are viable for any type of landscape. Many people have pebbled areas, rough ground or grass that could do with livening up and so solar lights need to be able to fit with anything.
- The main types of design are uplighters, ground lights and stick lights:
- Uplighters produce a steady beam that projects from the top of the light casing and are great if you want to show off an ornament or specific plant.
- Ground lights are typically used to show a path and are less noticeable during the day so that they don’t feature heavily in the design of the garden.
- Stick lights are used to create areas that are well lit such as around a patio or seating area so that you can stay outside for longer.
You can get solar lights that are waterproof and will survive even the worst weather conditions but these models can cost more than their cheaply produced counterparts.
You just have to decide what suits your budget and your design the best before buying.
You can also get lights that have different effects and therefore change the way your project will eventually look; imagine having lights that give off flame effects rather than having a dangerous fire pit or maybe you’d prefer coloured ones to demark different zones.
Ultimately, there are so many different lighting effects to choose from you really can create something unique.
How to Install Solar Lights
Whilst most lights come with stakes that you just place into the ground, there are several other factors you need to consider when installing your newly purchased solar lights.
Where you choose to place your lights will have a huge effect on how they operate and as such you need to consider the best spot for them.
Remember that solar lights need access to daylight to charge up and shady spots or dark areas are not a good choice if you want a reliable source of light come the evening.
When you have decided on the locations that are suitable in your garden you need to take a sensible approach to placement and avoid overcrowding one area with too many lights. Use markers to help you decide on an even coverage before you place the lights in their final sites, it is much easier than making a mess of your garden!
Don’t put your lights in on the same day that you want to use them as they will need time to fully charge and be checked.
Allow a minimum of one full day before you invite friends over to see the newly lit area. This will give you time to ascertain if any are faulty or if some have been placed in areas that don’t need light. By allowing this initial charge phase you can avoid embarrassment later.
Once you have placed your lights don’t assume that that is it forever! Gardens grow and can block solar panels from working.
You need to make sure you include the maintenance of your lights in your monthly gardening duties; clean them off and check all the parts are in good working order. Replace any faulty lights and keep them free from weeds and fast-growing plants.
Solar Light Ideas
Once you have decided to get some solar lights the fun begins! You need to decide what function they will have and then enjoy mapping out and planning how to use them. Solar lights when placed well will make a garden shine!
You may want to use them for a party or maybe for a season, like Christmastime. You may just want them all year round to add interest so that you always have something pretty to look at. Whatever your motivation, garden solar lights are a great choice. Here are some of our best ideas for using solar lights in your garden:
If you are lucky enough to have a space that can be turned into a wedding venue for members of your family or even friends then solar lights can be a great choice.
No wires getting in the way and lighting that is soft and cheery will help you to create the perfect atmosphere for your guests.
Place them around the outdoor dance floor or have jars on tables with solar lights so that guests can see each other all night long.
Do you love to barbecue or just sit out with a nice glass of your favourite drink but feel like the evenings get dark too quickly?
Using solar lights can give you those extra precious moments with loved ones; all you need are blankets to get cosy and a top-up, you’ll be able to chat until the small hours creep in.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year and if you have little ones or are just a fan of the festive season then solar lights can transform your garden into a winter wonderland.
Some lights project images or there are ones that change colour so that you can create zones in your garden that show everyone how much you love Christmas!
If you have a special plant, tree or ornament that you want to showcase then solar lighting is a great way to do this and by selecting uplighters, your favourite areas can be enhanced to the max.
There is nothing worse than buying a precious plant and not getting to see it enough when you are out at work all day, use solar lights to extend time amount of time that it is visible and enjoy every minute with it.
Selling Your Property
If you are selling up and have viewers that want to pop by in the early evening then solar lights can help to show off your garden so that they get a real understanding of how great their outdoor living can be.
Use the lights to display the areas you are most proud of and give them an impression of your home that leaves with them so that they are more inclined to submit that elusive offer!
It’s clear that solar lights can bring many benefits to every type of garden and event but more importantly, you can use solar lights to show off your gardening personality all day and night.
Be it traditional stick lights, or fun and interesting solar ornaments, there are so many fun and exciting options on the market for you to choose from. Our advice?
Take your time, do your research, consider placement and then enjoy them.
Gardens are designed to bring us joy and we think solar lights are an important part of the joy for people all over the world.
Like our choices? Have your own? Comment below or visit our Facebook page.
You should also consider operating time. Some of these lamps will last all night with a fully charged battery while others might last a few hours. Decide if you definitely need something that’s going to last all night or if just a few hours after dusk is enough. Finally, what kind of design fits the rest of your landscaping? Do you want something simple or something with a bit of edge or whimsy?