Landscape lighting is a great way to highlight plants, architectural features, and any other outdoor areas you want to emphasize with lights. “It’s pretty inexpensive, and it really helps to draw attention to focal points in the garden like trees, statues, fountains, or favorite plants,” says Amber Freda, a landscape designer based in the New York City area. When researching the best landscape lighting, we evaluated products based on their power source, brightness, ease of installation, and energy efficiency.
Here are the best landscape lights to brighten up your yard.
Greenclick Landscape Lighting
Exceptionally bright and energy-efficient
Head adjusts 270 degrees
Durable, water-resistant aluminum
Extension cable sold separately
Our top pick, the Greenclick’s Landscape Lights, comes in a pack of six, with each light producing 300 lumens, an exceptional amount of brightness. Equipped with LED bulbs, these fixtures are much more energy efficient than incandescent options. With an average life span of 50,000 hours, they last a lot longer too. The 45-degree beam angle has a head that can be adjusted 270 degrees, making these lights well-suited for illuminating home facades and taller trees. Due to their durable aluminum construction and IP65 waterproof rating, these lights can withstand extreme weather without rusting or cracking.
These lights are compatible with 12-volt or 24-volt electrical systems. Out of all the picks in this roundup, this is the only set that includes a transformer, which is a nice convenience. (A transformer is required to reduce your home’s 120-volt electrical system to the 12 used by low-voltage lights.) Installation is simple and straightforward, and usually only takes a couple of minutes.
Once these landscape lights are wired, the total length of these landscape lights is 68.9 feet, with 9.84 feet between each light. If you need to illuminate a larger area, you can purchase an extension cable and two extra packs of lights. Although we found some reports that the lights stopped working after a short period of time, the manufacturer offers an 18-month replacement service.
Price at time of publish: $68
Type: Spotlight | Dimensions: 1.6 x 2.5 x 9.25 inches︱Power Source: Corded-electric︱Brightness: 1,800 lumens (300 lumens per light)
Mainstays Classic Column Solar Powered LED Path Light
Very easy to install
Solar powered (no wiring or electricity required)
Not very bright
Made of less durable plastic
These budget-friendly path lights from Mainstays are designed to illuminate dark areas along walkways, pathways, and gardens. We love that these lights are very easy to install; you simply drive the stake into the ground. Because they run on a solar-powered rechargeable battery, you place them anywhere that gets direct sunlight. Since they don’t require wires or electricity, they are an eco-friendly option for landscape lighting. The lights are sold individually, or in packs of six or 12, at a very affordable price point.
Made of plastic, these lights are weather-resistant to a degree but not as durable as aluminum or stainless steel options. Be sure to take advantage of the one-year warranty if you encounter any damage or defects. With a light output of 2 lumens, these lights aren’t all that bright—you can expect subtle illumination rather than intense beams. Like most solar-powered lighting options, their performance can be a bit finicky, especially during stretches of cloudy weather.
Price at time of publish: $2
Type: Pathway lights | Dimensions: 1.85 x 1.85 x 12.80 inches︱Power Source: Solar | Brightness: 2 lumens
Vont Solar Landscape Spotlights
Two placement options
Pivots up to 120 degrees
Only two settings
If you are looking for solar powered spotlights to illuminate a specific focal point on your property, we recommend the Vont LED Outdoor Solar Lights. During testing, these two spotlights were easy to set up and install—we chose to stake them in the ground, but they are also wall-mountable and include screws. You can also pivot them up to 120 degrees, so they can shine in the direction you need.
Weather-resistant, these lights come with a lifetime warranty, and during testing, we noticed no changes when we poured water on them, froze them, or dropped a golf ball on the solar panel. It’s worth noting that aside from operating from dusk till dawn, they only offer two brightness settings and no other features. But if you are looking for the convenience of solar power, and durable, bright lights that can withstand the elements, this pick stands out.
Price at time of publish: $40
Type: Spotlight | Dimensions: 5.5 x 4.2 x 12.2 inches︱Power Source: Solar︱Brightness: 100 lumens
Best Pathway Lights
Hampton Bay Solar Warm White Landscape Path Lights, 10-Pack
Set of 10
Stylish, unique look
Durable and bright
No special features or settings
The Hampton Bay Solar Warm White Landscape Path Lights allow you to illuminate a longer area such as a walkway or driveway, and since they are solar-powered, you don’t have to worry about cords or electricity. We tested this set in our lab and were surprised by the bright lighting these lights emit, despite their crackled look—our testers could even read under them! We also appreciated the “sparkly effect” on the ground from the crackled glass.
Sold in a pack of 10, this set is a great value, although it’s worth noting that they do not offer any special settings or features, aside from automatically operating from dusk until dawn. They are also a breeze to assemble and set up (just three pieces per path light). And while testing, these lights proved to be durable, holding up well while we poured water on them, froze them, and dropped a golf ball on the solar panel. The manufacturer also offers a two-year warranty.
Price at time of publish: $114
Type: Pathway lights | Dimensions: 18.1 x 4.92 x 4.92 inches︱Power Source: Solar powered︱Brightness: 10 lumens
Rayolon Solar Ground Lights
Easy to install
Great for gravel landscaping
If you want to enhance the beauty of your gravel landscaping with a lighting solution that doesn't require a solar light with a long stake, you might want to consider this in-ground option. These lights emit warm white lighting and have eight LED bulbs in each of the 12 units, which makes them ideal for brightening up pathways, driveways, or pool decks. We tested the solar lights in our own home and discovered that they functioned exceptionally well when positioned in close proximity to one another. We conducted a rain simulation test by using a watering can to check the water resistance of the product. The solar lights proved to be highly resilient and withstood the test with no issues.
Keep in mind that in order to achieve their maximum brightness, these lights require an extended initial charging period of three days. When you're setting up the lights, it's also important to dig a shallow hole for the stake. This will prevent any damage, especially since we found the base to be a bit fragile. To keep your solar lights functioning properly, conduct regular maintenance checks and clean them regularly to ensure they stay charged.
Price at time of publish: $40
Type: In-ground | Dimensions: 4.72 x 4.92 x 5.2 inches | Power Source: Solar | Brightness: Not listed
Gama Sonic Contemporary Square Solar Bronze Integrated LED Path Light
Sleek and modern design
Features high and low settings
Durable cast aluminum construction
Three stake-mounting options
Require direct sunlight
Although the price is pretty steep for a single light, this pathway light makes an elegant addition to a walkway, garden, or driveway. Aside from its sleek, geometric design, this light has some key features that set it apart from the competition. Running solely on solar power, no wiring is required, and you don’t have to worry about energy bills. With 80 lumens, it’s impressively bright for a solar-powered unit. It has two settings, allowing you to switch between low and high modes. The higher mode provides a brighter light with a shorter lifespan; low mode creates softer light for a longer duration.
Thanks to a durable cast aluminum frame, the light can be used year-round. It’s available in two smart-looking finishes—bronze or black. The light requires some minor assembly, then you can simply stake it into the ground. Another plus is that you have three options on where to mount the stake in the light: in the side, center, or corner mount. This unique feature allows you to customize the look according to your space and preferences. As you consider placement, the Gama Sonic, like all solar-powered lights, requires direct sunlight daily for adequate performance.
Price at time of publish: $70
Type: Pathway lights | Dimensions: 6.13 x 6.13 x 26.75 inches︱Power Source: Solar︱Brightness: 80 lumens
Hampton Bay Millennium LED Landscape Flood Light (4-Pack)
Easy to install
Maintenance-free, long-lasting LEDs
Adjustable lamp head
Choice of three light colors
Only available in one finish
With 200 lumens of light output, Hampton Bay’s Millennium Landscape Floodlights are ideal for improving your yard’s aesthetic and increasing visibility. Thanks to quick-install wire connectors, the setup process is a breeze. The durable cast aluminum construction is designed to resist weather damage and rust. Since these lights rely on an LED system rather than bulbs, they are maintenance-free and should last up to 50,000 hours. They can be connected to a 12-volt or 15-volt compatible transformer, which is not included. For added peace of mind, these lights are also backed by a five-year warranty.
Thanks to an adjustable lamp head, you can find just the right angle for illuminating specific objects. Another noteworthy feature is an integrated switch, which allows you to choose between three light colors: warm white, soft light, or daylight color. However, the light itself only comes in one finish, a powder-coated black that is neutral enough to blend in with almost any decor or landscape (although we would have appreciated other finishes). Also, note that these lights are not dimmable, and they don’t have motion sensors. If you’re looking for a flood light specifically for home security, you may want to check out other options.
Price at time of publish: $114
Type: Floodlight | Dimensions: 2.75 x 2.75 x 5.13 inches︱Power Source: Low-voltage︱Brightness: 200 lumens
Best Low Voltage
LEONLITE Low Voltage LED Landscape Spotlight (12-Pack)
Easy to install
Waterproof, corrosion-resistant design
Must be used with a transformer
Sold as a pack of 12, these low-voltage landscape lights are a great choice for accentuating home and garden features. Thanks to a 48-degree narrow beam angle, these LEDs provide sufficient, glare-free accent lighting, allowing you to illuminate key elements without disturbing your neighbors. The light heads sit above ground and are adjustable by 180 degrees, making it easy to aim them at a particular area. Available in three color options—warm light, cool white, or daylight—you can choose your preferred ambiance.
These lights have an IP65 rating, which means they’re safe to use in wet conditions. Both the housing and the stake are made of aluminum, which is waterproof and resists corrosion. To ensure long-lasting performance, these lights have a 40,000-hour lifespan and they’re backed by a five-year warranty. They easily connect to a 12-volt lighting system, and the instructions are clear and straightforward. Note that you need a compatible transformer, which is not provided.
Price at time of publish: $170
Type: Spotlight | Dimensions: 4.76 x 3.03 x 11.73 inches︱Power Source: AC/DC︱Brightness: 164 lumens
Best Well Light
Sunriver Low Voltage Landscape Well Lights
Ideal for uplighting
Versatile 90-degree beam angle
Durable, watertight construction
Compatible with 12- and 24-volt transformers
On the pricier side
Installation can be tricky
Since well lights are installed in the ground and endure lots of pressure, an extremely durable option like this six-pack from Sunriver is a must. These fixtures resist shock and vibration, and lamps feature tempered soda-lime glass lenses, which can withstand the impact of heavy yard equipment without breaking. Thanks to a stainless steel cover and a watertight rubber seal, you don’t have to worry about water interfering with the wiring.
Each 3,000K bulb emits 100 lumens and produces warm, white light. The 90-degree beam angle allows you to illuminate landscape features of various heights, from flower beds to stone walls, trees, and swimming pools. These lights are compatible with 12-volt or 24-volt transformers. While installation might be easy for a DIYer, the process is likely more complicated for a newbie.
Price at time of publish: $48
Type: Well lights | Dimensions: 2.99 x 2.56 inches︱Power Source: AC/DC︱Brightness: 100 lumens
In the low-voltage category, the Greenclick Extendable Landscape Lights are a clear winner thanks to an impressive amount of brightness, an adjustable 45-degree beam angle, and solid construction. As an alternative, Mainstays LED Path Light and Landscape Lights are solar-powered and come with a more affordable price tag. These lights don’t require any wiring and are ideal for subtle illumination.
How We Tested The Landscape Lighting
We conducted research on a variety of outdoor solar lights and chose 27 to test in our Des Moines, Iowa lab. We evaluated each product according to various factors, including ease of assembly and installation, features, brightness, durability, and value.
After assembling the lights, we placed them in direct sunlight outdoors or near a window with ample light as directed in the instructions. We allowed them to charge for the specified time and then took them into a completely dark room to test their dusk sensor. We also took note of the brightness of each light in the dark space. We tested the motion sensor lights by leaving the room for two minutes and then re-entering to observe if they turned on automatically. As part of our evaluation, we tested the brightness of each light by trying to read a book under it.
In order to ensure solar lights can withstand different weather conditions like rain, hail, and subfreezing temperatures, we replicated these elements during our testing process. To mimic rainfall, we used a watering can to sprinkle water onto the solar lights. For "hail," we dropped a golf ball from a height of 6 feet onto the fixture and 4 feet above the solar panel. We also froze each light for an hour, noted any changes, and checked that all features were still functioning.
We also set up each solar light in an outdoor area to evaluate them in their natural surroundings. We positioned them within range of a GoPro camera to capture the light output and reviewed the footage the next day. We took note of the time when each light turned on and off.
What to Look for in Landscape Lighting
Floodlights project a white beam of light, which is ideal for illuminating a wall, fence, or the facade of a house. Since flood lights tend to be much brighter than well or pathway lights, their effect is more dramatic. With 200 lumens of light output, the Hampton Bay LED Landscape Flood Lights are ideal for improving your yard’s aesthetic and increasing visibility.
Pathway lights are ideal for illuminating footpaths, garden beds, and other objects that are close to the ground. Solar-powered pathway lights usually only emit a few lumens and are not very bright. However, they’re a great choice if you’re looking for subtle accent lighting. If you want to brightly light up a pathway, consider a low-voltage product with higher lumens. The Hampton Bay Jefferson Solar Path Lights are stylish, durable, and bright, and can illuminate a long path without electricity or cords.
Spotlights focus on specific objects such as statues, water fountains, and other architectural features. The beam width of a spotlight is measured in degrees. An adjustable beam angle and head are key features to consider because they can help you get the angle just right.
Well lights are buried in the ground, allowing them to project light directly upward. These lights are ideal for highlighting a home’s architectural features, as well as landscaping elements such as trees and plants. Most well lights feature shock-resistant tempered glass, which can absorb impacts from foot traffic and heavy yard equipment.
As the name suggests, low-voltage landscape lights are powered by a 12-volt to 24-volt electrical system. If your home has standard 120-volt electricity, you need a transformer to convert the voltage.
Some landscape lights rely on solar power rather than low-voltage electricity. Solar-powered lights are easier to install because they don’t require any wiring. Instead, they have an internal battery that charges during the day. Once fully charged, solar lights usually can remain illuminated from dawn until dusk. However, they require about six hours of direct sunlight daily for optimal performance.
Since low-voltage systems pose little to no risk of electric shock, homeowners can install them without the help of a professional. (For that reason, low-voltage landscape lighting can be installed where children and pets congregate.) You’re likely to need an electrician to install a transformer, however. Some landscape lighting fixtures are staked into the ground, while others are mounted on trees or fences.
Low-voltage landscape lights are connected by a series of wires, which are daisy-chained to the transformer. Since solar-powered lights are freestanding and require no wiring, they can be staked into the ground in almost any location, provided that area receives at least six hours of direct sunlight every day.
The brightness of landscape lighting is measured in lumens: The higher the number, the brighter the light. Landscape lighting fixtures powered by 12-volt electricity have considerably higher lumens than solar-powered lights. Low-voltage lights might generate anywhere from 100 to 1,500 lumens, while a solar-powered pathway light might only produce 2 to 6 lumens. Thanks to a 48-degree narrow beam angle, the LEONLITE LED Landscape Spotlight provides sufficient, glare-free accent lighting.
What are landscape lights used for?
Landscape lighting is a great way to illuminate certain features of your home, whether architectural details or landscape features. “Most landscape lights are used as ambient lighting since they are typically low-voltage LEDs that are equivalent to about a 20-watt halogen,” Amber Freda, a landscape designer based in the New York City area, says. If you need greater light intensity, “You can also get low-voltage floodlighting, which are LEDs equivalent to about a 50-watt halogen.” In addition to adding warmth and depth to your outdoor space, landscape lights also can help you and your guests navigate walking paths, driveways, and entryways.
How do you install landscape lighting?
The easiest landscape lighting to install is solar lighting, because it doesn’t require any wiring. All you need to do is stake the lights into the ground, but be sure to choose a location that gets plenty of direct sunlight. Most low-voltage landscape lighting can be installed by a seasoned DIYer. The process is fairly straightforward and involves connecting the lights via wires that are daisy-chained to the transformer. If your home doesn’t have an outdoor outlet, however, you're likely to need an electrician to install one.
How long do landscape lights last?
With a fully charged battery, solar lights can usually provide eight to 12 hours of nighttime lighting. Note that they need at least six hours of direct sunlight each day to fully recharge. Most landscape lights equipped with LED bulbs have an average lifespan of 50,000 hours, which translates to years of reliable use. According to Freda, “Landscape lights usually last around five to 10 years, but they can last longer with some maintenance such as rewiring or re-painting the fixtures when they start to wear out.”
Why Trust The Spruce?
Sage McHugh is a freelance writer specializing in home decor and lifestyle content. She makes sure to recommend products that are stylish, functional, and well-reviewed by consumers. For this roundup, she considered dozens of landscape lights, carefully evaluating each product’s power source, brightness, ease of installation, and energy efficiency. For expert insight on landscape lighting, she interviewed Amber Freda, a landscape designer specializing in city gardens in the New York City area, including rooftops, terraces, and townhomes.
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