10 of the Best Solar Garden Lights – Tested and Reviewed

The best solar garden lights have come a long way in the last few years:

  • Batteries charge quicker, even in shade.
  • The solar lights stay brighter for longer.
  • They are far more reliable.
  • Solar lights are cheaper than ever before.

Add in the fact that you don’t need cables, won’t waste electricity and you have complete control over where to locate them, I think that now would be a great time to invest in solar garden lights.

Whether you’re looking to improve the look of your home, find a gift for someone or want to boost your garden security, explore my guide to top ten best solar garden lights:

1) Subtle Solar Garden Stakes

Subtle garden solar lights

These were the first solar lights I tested and I loved them so much I went on to purchase a total of 4 packs (with 4 lights in each pack).

I particularly like the subtleness of the solar light – just one downward pointing LED light that is complemented by a wonderful shadow pattern.

The light really isn’t very bright but would be perfect for lighting a garden path, flowerbed or border.

I have these placed around the edge of my lawn and they really do look elegant.

Key points:

  • Very subtle soft yellow light.
  • Charges via a solar panel above each light (no cables required)
  • Sits atop a metal stake which secures the light to the ground.
  • Charges even on cloudy days.
  • Looks much better than many cheaper plastic variants on sale.
  • Not the cheapest product but certainly not the most expensive either.
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2) Circular Ground Lights

Ground solar lights

These ground solar lights are so versatile, they can be inserted into almost any location. I’ve put them into my decking at the edges and they look gorgeous.

Use them in the grass, flowerbeds, decking, driveways, balcony, pool edges or even steps.

There are so many uses for these ground-based lights and they’re so practical – no cables, no overheating, no separate solar panels, just plug them into place and they’ll charge during the daytime and automatically switch on at night.

They’re 100% waterproof and you won’t need to worry about electric shocks or tripping your circuit breakers as the LED bulbs use extremely low voltage and each light has its own solar panel embedded in the light.

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3) Glass Ground Lights

Glass solar ground lights
These solar ground lights are truly unique in that they are embedded in an ice-effect glass cube.

These free-standing lights can be placed just about anywhere; on tables, lawns, decking, in flowerbeds, around patios and paths.

With a weighty feel, each pack contains either 4 warm yellow or ice white LEDs and long battery life. These solar lights will compliment any garden and there’s no ugly cables or external solar panels.

Priced at the mid-range point, you can expect these lights to work all year round, including during the greyer winter months.

I have four of these (yellow variant) that are placed on my outside table and they certainly add to the ambience.

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4) Solar Wall Vine

Solar wall vine

This solar wall vine is 2.3 metres long and has 144 soft white LEDs that will provide up to 12 hours of light from just 6 hours of charging in sunlight.

This vine light will automatically switch on as dusk falls and will start charging at sunrise.

The kit comprises one 2.3 metre tree vine with 144 LEDs and battery, a 2 metre long, flexible cable and a solar panel that can be fixed to a wall or pegged into the ground.

This beautiful wall tree vine provides a soft light, looks elegant and would add ambience to any outdoor area, including patios, decking areas, fences and walls.

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5) Hand-Painted Glass Snowdrop

Glass snowdrop

With a hand-painted glass bulb sitting atop of a green metal spike and leaf, this solar light is truly unique and will certainly turn heads in any garden.

Sitting at 45cm tall, this unit would look great amongst real plants in a border, in a plant pot or aligned next to a path or driveway.

The solar panel is clipped to the stalk and can be tilted towards the sun for optimal solar charging.

Priced at around £20 each these aren’t the cheapest solar flower-effect units around but the only ones I found that were hand-painted and oozed class and elegance.

If you’re looking for a decorative and unique solar light for your garden, try this product:

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6) Wall Lantern With Flame Effect

Soft yellow glow wall lantern

Flame effect solar garden lights can be quite dramatic or subtle, I prefer the latter and am pleased to say these lantern-effect wall lights are perfect.

The subtle flickering flame effect produces light at 500k and is complemented by a movement sensor that triggers a full bright light at 6000k. These lights act as both decorative and practical.

As with most solar lights, you can expect 8 – 10 hours of light but only if the solar array is drenched in direct sunlight for most of the day. Otherwise, expect only several hours of soft light.

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7) Solar String Lights

Solar string lights

The best solar garden lights are string lights.

Why?

Because these lights allow you to be truly creative.

This pack contains 100 LEDs which are attached to 10 metres of slim cabling.

Place these string lights around trees, shrubs, over balconies, gates and window frames, pretty much anywhere outside, the possibilities are endless.

Be as creative as you want with these fairy lights.

You also have 8 interesting modes to choose from; combination, flashing fireflies, waves, fading in and out, chase lights, slow fade, twinkling and always on.

The solar panel can be spiked into the ground or fixed to the wall for optimal charging.

For those of you that want to be truly creative, try these solar lights:

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8) Multi-Colour Ground Lights

Red Green and Blue Solar ground lights

These ground lights are truly unique in that the light doesn’t shine directly upwards like most similar products, instead, it glows sideways at 90° angles.

This allows you to be very creative with where to place them – next to steps, decking edgings, paths, driveways, even on walls – the choice is yours, just choose the appropriate mounting option.

You also have four colours to choose from – red, blue, green and white.

Want to be creative with your solar garden lights? Choose this product:

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9) Super Bright Solar Garden Security Light

Solar security light

If you’re looking for a compact yet bright security light with wide coverage, you won’t get better than this.

Powered by solar energy with a long-lasting battery and boosting over 100 LEDs per unit, this solar security is as bright as they come.

You also have three options to choose from:

  1. Always on at night with a dim light.
  2. Always on at night with a bright light.
  3. Sensor activated at night with a bright light for a short time.

The pack contains 4 units and each unit has a wide 270° coverage, perfect for many locations around the garden such s fences, near doors, porches, sheds and garages.

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10) The Best Garden Solar Security Light (We Could Find)

Brightest solar security light

This is the best solar garden light for those of you needing an ultra-bright light for security purposes.

Each unit contains a whopping 300 bright white LEDs with a wide 270° coverage.

With a built-in solar array across the top of the unit, this device requires no wiring and the motion sensor has a range of up to 8 metres.

If you’re looking for a powerful security light, powered by solar energy then this is the product for you.

Each unit has three modes:

  1. Strong light mode.
  2. Medium light mode.
  3. Dim light mode.

We think this is the brightest, most powerful solar security light you can buy:

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FAQs

Will the solar garden lights still work after cloudy days and indirect light?

Solar panels ideally require direct sunlight to fully charge the battery, most units require 7 – 8 hours of direct sunlight. For this reason, most security units use a dim light with a sensor that triggers a bright light for only a short time.

How long will the battery last?

Batteries in the best solar garden lights usually last between 300 and 500 charge/discharge cycles. So you’ll need to replace them after a year or so with new rechargeable batteries.

Do solar garden lights require maintenance?

No, just wipe the solar array from time to time to keep it clean so it charges optimally. Batteries will need to be changed after a year or so.

Must I place the solar garden lights in direct sunlight?

You may need to relocate the lights a few times until you find the sweet spot which is usually in as much direct sunlight as possible. Charging in indirect sunlight/shade will produce a weaker light or a light that switches off sooner i.e. you won’t get the full advantages of this product.

We hope you found this guide informative and you found a solution for your garden.

This guide to the best solar garden lights was written by and was last updated in October 2019.

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Author - Danny Woodley