The 9 Best Outdoor Solar Lights of 2019

An energy-efficient way to illuminate your property

Solar lights by a front yard pathway

bruev / Getty Images

Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: URPOWER 2-in-1 Solar Lights at Amazon

“Plenty bright and offers versatile placement options.”

Best Budget: EZ Solar Pathway Lights at Walmart

“This set of 10 lights costs about $25 and will light up your garden and more.”

Best Path Lights: Hampton Bay Solar Path Lights at Home Depot

“Provide 17 lumens of soft light that can guide you up the walkway.”

Best Motion Security: A-Zone Motion Sensor Solar Light at Amazon

“It resembles a security camera—which is something that users like.”

Best for Winter: Aootek LED Solar Lights at Amazon

“A reliable choice, even in cold weather and low light conditions.”

Best String: Brightech Solar LED String Lights at Amazon

“Light up your outdoor space with these long-lasting LED bulbs.”

Best Flood Lights: URPOWER Solar Flood Lights at Amazon

“Each light contains 8 LED bulbs that will activate when motion is detected.”

Best Post: Davinci Solar Post Lights at Amazon

“These durable lights are designed to fit either 4x4 or 6x6 fence posts.”

Best Decorative: TomCare Solar Torch Lights at Amazon

“Mimics the action of flickering flames and gives you a safer outdoor ambiance.”

  • 01 of 09

    Best Overall: URPOWER 2-in-1 Solar Lights with LED

    If you’re searching for a solar light that is plenty bright and offers versatile placement options, our top pick is URPOWER 2-in-1 Solar Lights. These LED solar lights can be mounted on a wall or placed on a stake in the ground to brighten up your home, driveway, backyard, and more.

    Each URPOWER 2-in-1 Solar Light includes four LED bulbs with 50 lumens each—for a total of 200 lumens per light. The light itself can be adjusted 90 degrees up or down, while the solar panel can be rotated 180 degrees to capture the most sun possible. A set of two URPOWER solar lights includes spikes to mount these solar lights in the ground along your path or in the garden, or the necessary screws to mount the light to your home or garage.

    These outdoor solar lights have an IP64 rating, making them resilient in all sorts of weather—including rain and snow. They need 4 to 5 hours of sun to charge before they can maintain 6 to 9 hours of illumination. There is no motion sensor on these lights. Instead, you’ll turn them to low or high mode and once dusk arrives, the lights will automatically illuminate until daylight or the solar-powered battery runs dead.

  • 02 of 09

    Best Budget: EZ Solar Pathway Lights, 10 pack

    EZ-solar-lights
    Courtesy of Walmart.

    Pick up a bundle of budget solar lights with the EZ Solar Pathway Lights. This set of 10 solar lights costs about $25 and will light up your garden, walkway, or backyard.

    Each EZ Solar light has 2 lumens from an LED bulb and they give off plenty of light according to most users. A few people had issues with how fast the rechargeable batteries faded out, and one person took the trouble to replace it with a higher quality battery. But keep in mind that this set of ten solar lights costs less than buying new batteries for many other sets of solar lights.

    Most people agree that these budget solar lights are worth their affordable price point. They offer plenty of illumination and look great at night. They are frill-free, but their budget-friendly price makes them a good buy.

  • 03 of 09

    Best Path Lights: Hampton Bay Solar Path Lights, Pack of 6

    black-hampton-lights
    Courtesy of Home Depot.

    Solar lights are a great way to light up a walkway and provide practical illumination that also looks inviting. The Hampton Bay Solar Path Lights are pricier than some other solar lights for walkways, but this set of 6 lights is reliable and attractive.

    Like most solar path lights, these lights are a combination of practicality and aesthetics. Each light is mounted on a stake that you position in the ground. They aren’t the brightest lights possible, but they do provide 17 lumens of soft light that can guide you up the walkway. One suggestion is to group them closer together if you want maximum illumination along your pathway. Most people find that placing these solar lights about 5 feet apart from each other is sufficient. While this could become pricey if you have a long walkway, people love that the light’s design casts a decorative shadow along your path.

    These solar path lights cost about $50 for a set of six, but people find that the solar cell lasts longer than cheaper versions. A few people still did have an occasional light fail, but a variety of causes could be behind this. It is nice to know that these solar lights for walkways have a no-rust guarantee and weather-resistant construction.

  • 04 of 09

    Best Motion Security: A-Zone Motion Sensor Solar Light

    If you want a solar light for security, consider a model with a motion sensor and plenty of illumination. The A-Zone Motion Sensor Solar Light is a great choice for a solar light that looks like a security camera and is quick to shine a powerful beam of light on anything that crosses its path.

    This solar security light features a sturdy aluminum body and is IP66-rated for excellent protection against the elements. At first glance, it resembles a security camera—which is something that users frequently say they like. Powering the solar light is a lithium battery with enough charge to power the light on low-mode for up to 40 hours. A large solar panel means that 5 to 6 hours of light is all that’s needed for this solar security light to be ready for action.

    When the PIR sensor detects motion up to 26 feet away, the light will increase to bright mode—which is 800 lumens. This is considerably more brightness than many other standard solar lights. It will stay in the bright mode for 15-20 seconds after motion is detected before returning to the low light mode for battery conservation.

    Continue to 5 of 9 below.
  • 05 of 09

    Best for Winter: Aootek LED Solar Lights with Wide Angle Illumination

    Seeking solar lights that can stand up to the toughest winter weather? The popular and highly rated Aootek LED Solar Lights with Wide Angle Illumination are a reliable choice, even in cold weather and low light conditions.

    These solar lights for winter have an IP64 rating, which is important in ensuring that the lights are watertight against water that drips or falls onto them during periods of precipitation. People that have installed the Aootek LED Solar Lights have been very pleased with their operation in all sorts of weather, including harsh winter conditions. The solar panel on these lights is more efficient than many models and converts up to 19 percent of the sunlight absorbed into electricity. This is important during shorter winter days when you need the lights to recharge despite lower than normal levels of sunlight. While the cold and snow won’t damage these solar lights according to most users, you should know that a build-up of ice on the sensor may impair its function temporarily.

    Choose from three modes for operating these solar lights—always bright, dim then bright when motion is detected, or only on when motion is detected. The motion sensor is very responsive and detects people and animals alike and comes on quickly, according to users. When motion is detected by the PIR sensor, the level of illumination increases. At one time, a common complaint was that the brighter illumination only lasted for about 15 seconds, but this has been fixed in the newer model of Aootek Solar Lights. Now, the light will remain at a brighter illumination until no motion has been detected for 30 seconds or more.

  • 06 of 09

    Best String: Brightech Solar LED String Lights

    If you want to add some illumination and ambiance to your backyard, patio, gazebo, or any other outdoor space, consider a set of solar string lights. The Brightech Solar LED String Lights are a durable option with long-lasting LED bulbs.

    Each 27-foot strand has 12 globe lights spaced 20 inches apart. This means that 20 feet of each strand are illuminated; the remaining length runs to the solar panel and the anchor point for the strand. Each individual LED light is protected in a heavy-duty plastic globe to ensure that it’s protected against breakage from wind or debris.

    According to users, these solar string lights give off plenty of light for casual outdoor use. They put off enough illumination that you can move around outdoors with their light, but they’re not bright enough to read a book by. The lights need about 6 hours of daylight to charge, then automatically come on at dusk. After 6 hours, they shut off to conserve battery power—which isn’t an issue unless you were hoping to enjoy your solar string lights in the middle of the night!

    Set up of the Brightech LED Solar Lights is easy. You can clip the solar panel to a pergola or fence and then run the string light along the length of the structure, or the set comes with a stake to mount it in the ground. While these solar string lights aren’t IP-rated, the manufacturer does state that they’re waterproof and many people have been happy with their durability.

  • 07 of 09

    Best Flood Lights: URPOWER Solar Flood Lights with Motion Sensor

    Use the sun’s power for energy-efficient solar flood lights that will give you major illumination when and where you want it. The URPOWER Solar Flood Lights with Motion Sensor are a good choice if you want a motion-activated solar light.

    In fact, the URPOWER Solar Flood Lights only come on when motion is detected, but that is probably best since these LED lights are very bright and you wouldn’t want that light shining in your windows all night long. Each light contains 8 LED bulbs that will activate when motion is detected up to 3 meters away and within a 120-degree range. The light stays on for a full 30 seconds so that you can spot what set it off.

    These solar flood lights need 6 to 7 hours of sunlight to provide up to 12 hours of operation. Users find that they work well and provide plenty of illumination. In fact, some people were surprised at how well they worked even in areas that don’t get direct sun.

  • 08 of 09

    Best Post: Davinci Solar Post Lights, 2 Pack

    Searching for solar lights that fit on posts for your fence, stairs, or deck? The Davinci Solar Post Lights come in a pack of two and are designed to fit either 4x4 or 6x6 fence posts.

    These solar post lights have a 100,000 hour LED light that should last for years. They’re also IP44 rated, meaning that they are able to withstand water falling or spraying on them. According to users, these lights are easy to install on a post. However, you may want to know that these solar post lights are larger than a 4x4 post but just slightly smaller than a 6 x 6 post. Most people are satisfied with how they look once installed, but a few people were hoping for more perfect alignment—which you’re not going to get with solar lights that can be used for either post size.

    Wherever you have a post and need some extra illumination, consider adding these energy efficient Davinci Solar Post Lights. They make an easy and affordable choice to ensure that you can see stairs or fences easily and navigate safely in the dark.

    Continue to 9 of 9 below.
  • 09 of 09

    Best Decorative: TomCare Solar Torch Lights, Set of 2

    If you want solar lights that do more than just provide practical illumination, look for a decorative set like the TomCare Solar Torch Lights. This set of 2 solar lights mimics the action of flickering flames and gives you a safer outdoor ambiance without the worries of torch lighting.

    Each set of two solar torch lights has a solar panel capable of converting up to 17 percent of the sun’s rays into stored energy. After a full charge of 8 hours, the TomCare lights will stay illuminated for up to 12 hours with a realistic looking flame that gives off soft, ambient light. Out of the box, these lights are 12.6 inches tall but add the nearly 8-inch ground stake and the optional 12.2-inch extension stake for a light that is up to 32 inches tall. 

    Most people that have tried these decorative solar lights consider them a 5-star product. In fact, many purchasers bought more sets after seeing the realistic looking flames. If you want decorative solar lights, it’s hard to beat the ambiance of the TomCare Solar Torch Lights.

Our Process

Our writers spent 2.75 hours researching the most popular outdoor solar lights on the market. Before making their final recommendations, they considered 14 different outdoor solar lights overall, screened options from 13 different brands and manufacturers, and read 110 user reviews (both positive and negative). All of this research adds up to recommendations you can trust.