The Best Solar Pathway Lights to Brighten Your Walkways

The Hampton Bay No Voltage Solar Landscape Path Lights are our top pick

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When you need to add lighting to your driveway, to your pathway to the front door, or other outdoor space, solar pathway lights are an eco-friendly and affordable alternative to wired lighting. We researched the best solar pathway lights, and we recommend this collection based on their design, durability, ease of use, type of lighting, charging and retention capacity, and longevity. 

Our top pick, the Hampton Bay No Voltage Solar Landscape Path Lights, are weather-resistant and produce 10 lumens of light—which is bright enough for hiking and reading—and have an eight-hour run time when fully charged. 

Here are the best solar pathway lights to brighten your home.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Hampton Bay No Voltage Solar Landscape Path Lights

4.8
Hampton Bay No Voltage Solar Landscape Path Lights

Home Depot

What We Like
  • Classic lantern design

  • High brightness

  • Weather-resistant materials

  • 10 lights per pack

What We Don't Like
  • Flimsy stakes

The Hampton Bay No Voltage Solar Landscape Path Lights are our best overall pick because they’re reliable, affordable, and classically designed. The durable, weather-resistant metal withstands the changing seasons. Their design is also maintenance free, with integrated LED bulbs and rechargeable batteries. 

Standing 18.1 inches tall, these solar path lights make a statement without being too bold or obstructive. They provide warm white light, ample to navigate your landscaping in the evening and safely traverse a footpath or steps. An automatic dusk-to-dawn feature turns them on and off each day. 

Compared with other light sets, which generally consist of six or eight lamps, the Hampton Bay No Voltage Solar Landscape Path Lights are an affordable option, with 10. The set also comes with a two-year warranty for faulty materials or workmanship to be replaced or repaired.

Dimensions: 18.1 x 4.92 x 4.92 inches | Material: Aluminum, Glass | Lumens: 10 | Power Source: Solar | Charging time: 10-12 hours | Operating time: 8 hours | Lights in set: 10

Best Budget : SUNNEST Solar Lights Outdoor

SUNNEST Solar Lights Outdoor

Amazon

What We Like
  • Stainless steel

  • Easy assembly

  • Sets come in 3 colors

What We Don't Like
  • Dim

This set from SUNNEST takes the top spot in the budget category for durability and variety, as well as price point. These small but mighty solar lights charge in just six to eight hours and stay lit for eight to 10. Because of their compact, modern design, you could use these in a variety of ways around your yard, garden, and patio. Their durable, rainproof plastic and stainless steel withstand weather elements. 

Once you’ve assembled all 12 lights, be sure to turn each light’s switch to “On” before arranging them around your yard. (This ensures that the solar panel charges fully before the first night; if you don’t do this, the light doesn't charge.) You can choose a set for cool white or warm white light or even a set that alternates colors (fewer lamps). However, if you’re looking to light your entire yard, this set may not be the best choice, as they are dimmer than some of our other preferred models.

Dimensions: 14.5 x 2.1 x 2.1 inches | Material: Stainless steel, plastic | Lumens: Not Listed | Power Source: Rechargeable solar battery | Charging time: 6-8 hours | Operating time: 6-8 hours | Lights in set: 6-12

Best Splurge: Frontgate Pro Series VI Solar Path Light

Frontgate Pro Series VI Solar Path Light

Frontgate

What We Like
  • High-efficiency, 60-lumen lights

  • Sturdy aluminum stakes

  • Large solar panel

What We Don't Like
  • Only two lights per set

If your budget is flexible, this Frontgate Pro Series VI Path Light set is our pick for the best splurge. A weather-proof, cast-aluminum housing protects the lithium-phosphate battery and lights and weathers better than plastic housing. Aluminum stakes also prevent breakage during installation. The tops of these lights measure 7.25 inches in diameter, making the solar panel (larger than other models) better for cloudy days, winter performance, and shaded areas. 

These lights only come in a set of two, making them an investment to line a full pathway. Despite the limited quantity, these solar lights are a reliable, quality pick, with 60 lumens per light, enough to light up your yard, and a longer lifetime, with an advanced lithium-phosphate battery.

Dimensions: 20.5 x 7.25 inches | Material: Aluminum | Lumens: 60 | Power Source: Lithium-phosphate Solar Battery | Charging time: 8 hours | Operating time: Up to 8 hours | Lights in set: 2

Best Decorative: UMICKOO Solar Outdoor Lights

UMICKOO Solar Outdoor Lights

Amazon

What We Like
  • Multicolor light settings

  • Long illumination time

  • Durable

What We Don't Like
  • Confusing instructions

If you’re looking for a multicolored set of solar lights, then check out UMICKOO Solar Outdoor Lights. Made of weather-resistant materials, this set lights up the darkest night with a colorful display. Choose between two settings on each light: warm, white light, and multicolored lights that gently transition among seven colors. These lights operate after six to eight hours of charging and last eight to 10 hours. But let them sit out in direct sunlight for at least five hours before their first use. When installing them, gently press the stake into the ground with the pole rather than pressing your hand on the solar panel.

One drawback: The settings and operating instructions can be confusing. For example, the “On” switch turns on the warm white light, while the “Fade” switch gently blinks the multicolored lights.

Dimensions: 18.5 x 4.9 inches | Material: Glass and Plastic | Lumens: 25 | Power Source: Solar | Charging time: 6-8 hours | Operating time: 8-10 hours | Lights in set: 8

Best for Winter: Pure Garden Black Low Voltage Solar Powered Integrated LED Metal Pathway Light

Pure Garden Black Low Voltage Solar Powered Integrated LED Metal Pathway Light

Wayfair

What We Like
  • Black metal hardware

  • Built with wet soil in mind

  • 3-inch metal stakes

What We Don't Like
  • Low battery life

  • Low light

This Pure Garden Metal Pathway Light set was designed with wet weather and water exposure in mind. A metal casing protects these solar pathway lights from all weather conditions, and the three-inch metal stakes shouldn’t break in the ground.

Their cool, white light casts a starburst pattern on the ground, but only furnishes 6 lumens, enough brightness to see landscaping but dimmer than other models. They also have a battery life of only six hours.

Dimensions: 16 x 4.5 inches | Material: Metal | Lumens: 6 | Power Source: Solar | Charging time: Not listed | Operating time: up to 6 hours | Lights in set: 8

Best for Shade: T-SUNNUS Solar-Powered LED Spotlight

T-SUNNUS Solar-Powered LED Spotlight

Amazon

What We Like
  • Two brightness settings

  • Solar panel separate from spotlight

  • Adjustable solar panel & light head

What We Don't Like
  • Spotlight shape

  • Only two lights

  • Short cord to solar panels

Each of the two T-SUNNUS Solar-Powered LED Spotlights in the set comes with a separate, corded solar panel, so you can easily install them in a shaded area and guarantee a full charge every day. You can adjust the angle of the solar panels and the light heads to aim them in the desired directions. Two brightness settings offer up to 200 lumens each, enough brightness to see the details of your yard. You can switch between a bright spotlight and a dimmer pathway light.

Avoid placing the solar panels under any porch or security lights that come on at night because the solar lights don't turn on if light is detected. The cords between each light and solar panel are three meters long (about 10 feet), which can limit your placement options, especially when covering a particularly large pathway. Despite their traditional spotlight design, these solar lights’ brightness and separate solar panels still make them our pick in the best-for-shade category.

Dimensions: Not Listed | Material: Plastic | Lumens: 200 | Power Source: Rechargeable Solar Battery | Charging time: 8-10 hours on high light mode; 14-18 hours on low light mode | Operating time: 8-10 hours | Lights in set: 2

Best Large: GIGALUMI Solar Pathway Lights 6 Pack

GIGALUMI Solar Pathway Lights 6 Pack

Walmart

What We Like
  • 19 inches tall

  • Larger solar panels

What We Don't Like
  • Dim

Large solar pathway lights can be especially helpful if you have a long footpath and want each light to cover more area. The GIGALUMI Solar Pathway Lights aren’t as bright as other models, but their height and larger structure make them a strong pick for anyone hoping to brighten a large area with fewer lights. 

The pack includes six 19-inch-tall lights (including the stakes). Their traditional lantern design casts a crystalline pattern that beautifully lines any walkway or garden area. The large solar panels allow for a fast charge.

As with some other solar light models, be careful when pressing these lights into the ground to ensure their stakes don’t break.

Dimensions: 19 x 5.3 inches | Material: Metal and Glass | Lumens: 5 | Power Source: Solar | Charging time: Not listed | Operating time: 8 hours | Lights in set: 6

Best Small: Rayolon Solar Ground Lights

Rayolon Solar Ground Lights

Amazon

What We Like
  • Low profile

  • 8 bulbs in each unit

  • Waterproof

What We Don't Like
  • Fragile

  • Can be covered by dirt and snow

  • 3-day-long charging time

A low-profile light option fits a minimalist aesthetic in your yard or avoids lantern-style lights obstructing your path. The Rayolon Solar Ground Lights are a modern, minimally designed set that can line a pathway, driveway, or pool deck. They provide warm white light, with eight LED bulbs in each of the 12 units. Despite their low-profile design, they’re waterproof and can withstand harsh winter temperatures. 

One drawback is their long initial charging time: To ensure they reach their maximum brightness, allow three days of charging before installing them in the ground. When installing each light, dig a shallow hole for the stake to prevent breakage. 

Their low profile also has significant drawbacks: Avoid stepping on them once installed! Also, dirt and debris can easily cover them, preventing the solar panels from charging. Check them occasionally, and clean the solar panels if they become covered.

Dimensions: 4.72 x 4.92 x 5.2 inches | Material: Stainless Steel | Lumens: Not Listed | Power Source: Solar | Charging time: 8 hours | Operating time: 6-8 hours | Lights in set: 12

Best Set: BeauJardin 8 Pack Solar Pathway Lights

BeauJardin 8 Pack Solar Pathway Lights

Amazon

What We Like
  • 10 lumens 

  • Floral light pattern

  • Durable

What We Don't Like
  • Flimsy stakes

These BeauJardin Solar Pathway Lights provide 10 lumens each in a durable, weather-resistant design. A rustproof stainless steel pole and glass light shade protect the solar battery and lightbulb, and the solar panel charges during the day for eight to 12 hours of illumination. The light shade also creates a pretty floral pattern. 

Although each pole is stainless steel, the ground stake is plastic, making it a weak portion of the design. To prevent breakage, be sure to dig a shallow hole in the ground before installing each light. With careful installation, they should last for several seasons.

Dimensions: 16.54 x 4.72 inches | Material: Stainless Steel and Glass | Lumens: 10 | Power Source: Solar | Charging time: 6-8 hours | Operating time: 6-8 hours | Lights in set: 8

Best Single: Hampton Bay 14 Lumens Solar Black Landscape Pathway Light

Hampton Bay14 Lumens Solar Black Landscape Pathway Light

Home Depot

What We Like
  • 21.45-inch height

  • Seeded glass design

  • 1-year limited warranty

  • Affordable

What We Don't Like
  • Low battery life

If you want to customize the number of lights for your pathway, purchasing sold-separately pathway lights may be your best approach. Hampton Bay’s solar pathway light has a high-luminosity, durable design, and reasonable price. The seeded-glass light shade offers a gentle yet bright white light and protects the interior battery from the weather. A one-year warranty ensures they last through every season. 

You can easily assemble each unit by screwing the light housing to the metal pole and inserting the ground stake at the opposite end. Keep in mind that these don’t produce light if placed under other porch lights. (If light shines on the solar panel, it doesn't turn the solar light on.) Also, it doesn't charge under heavily shaded areas.

Dimensions: 21.45 x 5.75 x 5.75 inches | Material: Metal and Glass | Lumens: 14 | Power Source: Solar | Charging time: Not listed | Operating time: Up to 8 hours | Lights in set: 1

Final Verdict

Our top pick for solar pathway lights is the Hampton Bay No Voltage Solar Landscape Path Lights set. They provide high brightness and a lasting charge and withstand water and weather. Plus, the classic lantern design easily blends with any yard. If you're looking to spend less, SUNNEST Solar Lights are made with weather-resistant stainless steel and are available in sets of three light color variations.

What to Look for in a Solar Pathway Light

Design

Solar pathway lights are available in a variety of styles, but the two most common styles are low-profile, in-ground lights and lantern lights. The former is a minimalist option for areas you may not want to obstruct, such as a pool deck or the outline of a patio. While these lights maintain a certain aesthetic, they have design drawbacks because dirt, leaves, snow, and ice can easily cover their solar panels. They can also be broken if stepped on. Lantern-style lights stick out of the ground on a pole and blend into a more traditional aesthetic. Typically, they have larger solar panels for better charging capabilities and don't need cleaning as often as low-profile lights.

Brightness

Most solar light product descriptions note brightness in lumens, from 5 to 200; the greater the number, the brighter the light. A lower brightness, such as 5 lumens, is enough to make out your landscaping. To see more details and colors in the evening, select a higher-lumen product.

Charge

Expect solar lights to take up to three days of sunlight exposure to initially charge, depending on the design. Afterward, you can expect around six hours as a low charge time and from eight to 12 hours for higher-luminosity products. If solar lights show signs of low brightness or a short run time, you may need to relocate them or clean off the panels.

FAQ
  • How do solar pathway lights work?

    Solar lights absorb sunlight through solar panels that store electricity, which powers the bulbs. Some solar lights operate on a rechargeable battery or batteries, often AA NI-MH or lithium-phosphate. Others have batteries that can last as long as four years before needing to be replaced.

  • How do you install solar pathway lights?

    While each style of our preferred solar pathway light has different assembly instructions, all install in the ground via stakes. If your purchased lights' stakes seem fragile, we recommend digging shallow holes before pressing them into the ground to prevent breakage. Be sure to install solar pathway lights in an area enjoying direct sunlight and isn't covered by other lights in the evening; panels don't activate if they’re exposed to other light. 

  • How do you clean and maintain solar pathway lights?

    Solar lights don’t absorb sunlight if the solar panel is dirty or covered with ice or snow. To maintain their lifespan, occasionally wipe off the solar panel on each light with a damp cloth. Low-profile lights need more frequent checking.

Why Trust the Spruce?

This roundup was written by Emma Phelps, an updates writer for The Spruce, who covers multiple home beats across our domain. She specializes in home organization, improvement, and cleaning reviews. You can find more of her home-related writing on Southern Living.

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