The 10 best solar garden lights to buy in 2021
19 March 2021
Harness the power of the sun and light up your garden with our pick of the best solar lights.
Brighten up your outdoor space with a few strategically placed solar lights and extend your summer nights with a warm glow. Whether you’re lucky enough to have a garden, a petite porch or a bijou balcony, we’ve rounded up a selection of the best solar lights to illuminate your yard after dark.
Here are the 10 best solar garden lights to buy in 2021.
1. Best overall solar garden lights: Stone Granite Effect LED Outdoor Garden Patio Lights
These granite-effect stone solar lights are less than £10 for a pack of three. We like how you can move them easily around the garden to ensure they soak up enough sunlight during the day so that you can enjoy maximum use when the sun goes down. Place them on steps, along pathways or within garden bedding and the lights turn on automatically at dusk. The only downside is that you may need to buy a few packs in order to get decent coverage, depending on the size of your outdoor space.
- Size: 8.5 × 6.5 × 2.5cm
- Number of lights: Pack of three
- Hours of light: Not stated
2. Best budget solar garden lights: Solar String Fairy Garden Lights
Let your imagination run wild with these flexible copper wire LED fairy lights and create any shape you like by simply wrapping them around tree trunks, gazebos, fencing, shrubbery and patio furniture. When the sun sets, the 12-metre-long wire fades into the background leaving only the warm white lights to glow. There are two switches: one to turn lights on and off and one to switch between eight different lighting modes, including intermittent flashing.
No tools are required to install them, simply slot the spike into the solar panel and string the lights wherever you want. As with other lights, they’ll charge during the day and automatically turn on at dusk and off at dawn. The lights come with a two-year guarantee.
- Size: 12 metres long
- Number of lights: Two × 120 LED lights
- Hours of light: 10-14 hours
3. Best solar garden string lights: Festoon Fairy Solar String Lights
“We have these solar powered festoon lights in our garden and they work brilliantly”
These generous sized bulbs offer a lot more light than standard fairy lights and provide a sun-like glow, ideal for summer garden parties. The 7.6-metre-long string lights have a built-in sensor which automatically turns on when it gets dark and there are four lighting modes to choose from, including fast and slow flashing settings. For your safety, it’s worth noting that the bulbs are made of glass so handle with care.
- Size: 7.6 metres long
- Number of lights: 25
- Hours of light: 6-8 hours
4. Best solar garden patio lights: Aityvert Flickering Flames Torches
These flame-effect flickering solar garden lights can evoke a warm and romantic ambience – perfect for a garden party or a BBQ. They come in two different heights and can be easily adjusted depending on where you want to place them around your patio or decking. The lower height could be ideal to use in pots and the longer height better for putting into the lawn or bedding. They turn on automatically at dusk and switch off during the day. It’s worth remembering that you can’t use them straight out of the box: you’ll need to charge each torch for two sunny days before use.
- Size: Adjustable heights from 78cm to 109cm
- Number of lights: Pack of four
- Hours of light: Up to 12 hours
5. Best motion-activated solar garden lights: HETP 78 LED Solar Motion Sensor Security Lights
If you’re looking to buy solar lights to offer some extra home security, these could be a great option. They come with three motion sensor modes (strong long light, dim light sensor and strong light sensor) and can detect motion from as far away as six to eight metres. The lights need to be fixed to something solid like an external wall, garage, fence or balcony (recommended installation height is two to three meters) and the price includes all the necessary fixtures and fittings. It’s worth noting that this company provides a 24-month aftercare service which is an added bonus.
- Size: 13 × 18 × 4.8cm (per light block)
- Number of lights: Two x 78 LEDs in each block
- Hours of light: Up to 12 hours
6. Best solar garden fence lights: Argos Bunting LED Solar String Lights
“Argos' outdoor solar lights are lovely and great value”
These warm LED white lights are disguised as party bunting and add a fun festival feel to your outdoor celebrations. What's more, with no complicated wiring, they couldn't be easier to set up. With 20 bulbs included, you can enjoy up to seven hours of solar-powered battery life. Then when the party's over, simply recharge the battery on the next available sunny day to ensure you're all set for next time.
- Size: Four metres long
- Number of lights: 20
- Hours of light: Up to seven hours
7. Best solar garden hanging lanterns: Gigalumi Hanging Solar Mason Jar Lights
Add a bit of a Dickensian vibe to your outdoor space with some atmospheric hanging lanterns. This set comes with six spikes that can be inserted into grass or soil (great for lining a path or border), and can also be strung from hanging basket hooks. Alternatively, you can place them on a patio table to create a warm glow while you dine. They’re super easy to install – simply open the light cover (aka jar lid) and turn on the switch, then replace the light cover and place in sunlight during the day to charge up ready for when the sun goes down. The lights come with a 90-day product warranty.
- Size: 8 × 13cm per jar
- Number of lights: 30 in each jar
- Hours of light: 8-10 hours
8. Best statement solar garden light: Eva Solo SunLight Bell Solar LED Outdoor Light
The frosted glass design of this contemporary light has a real wow factor and will create an ambient glow for your outdoor festivities. It comes in two sizes and can either be hung using the handle or simply placed around the garden or on a table. The lamp has a dusk-to-dawn sensor so will switch on automatically as the sun sets and eight hours of charging in full sunshine will provide 20 hours of illumination – the longest of all the solar lights we reviewed. Alternatively, it does have a rechargeable battery which can be charged up to 500 times.
- Size: Small: 20 × 14cm; large: 30 × 21cm
- Number of lights: One
- Hours of light: Up to 20 hours
9. Best solar garden spike lights: GardenBliss Solar Garden Lights
We think this pack of eight solar garden spike lights outshines the rest on the market. They’re slightly larger in diameter than other spike garden solar lights which means they give off a brighter glow than most. They come in six different varieties with two different light colours to choose from: warm white light or white light. There are different coloured spikes to choose from too including brushed bronze, antique bronze and stainless steel. The manufacturer claims the lights last up to 30,000 hours and if they don’t you can have a refund.
- Size: 30 × 12.5cm
- Number of lights: Pack of eight
- Hours of light: Not stated
10. Best solar garden colour changing lights: Aushen Solar Garden Colour Changing Lights
These funky coloured lights will brighten up even the dullest of garden parties. Users love the variety of colours on offer and the sturdy design, which can sometimes be an issue with some spike light designs. They’re super easy to install: simply screw off the top to turn on the lights and then attach the landscape light to the stake and insert into the ground. They will be charged in full sun and switch on automatically at night. The lights come with an 18-month free replacement offer in case they stop working for any reason.
- Size: Not stated
- Number of lights: Pack of 10
- Hours of light: 6-8 hours
How do solar garden lights work?
Solar garden lights feature solar panels that generate electricity from sunlight. The power is used to charge a battery that then provides light when the sun goes down. Some lights will turn on automatically when it gets dark, while others operate via a manual switch.
What's the best type of solar garden light to buy?
With a wide range of solar-powered garden lights available, deciding which one to buy will depend on what you’re trying to achieve. If you want to illuminate a pathway to improve safety, you may want motion-activated solar garden lights or spikes so you can use a lot of them along the path’s edge. However, if the lights are purely for decoration you could choose something that looks a bit prettier like a lantern or string or fairy lights along a fence.
Solar lights come in a wide range of different shapes and sizes, and since they don't rely on mains power they can be placed freely around your garden. This versatility makes solar-powered lights ideal for lighting patios, pathways, sheds, and decking.
Decide on the main purpose of the solar lights and use our roundup to see what fits your requirements best.
Do solar garden lights work in winter?
During the winter solar lights will work but not as well as they won’t absorb as much sunlight to charge the battery sufficiently. This is because winter nights are longer and days are shorter, resulting in fewer hours of sunlight to charge the battery. In addition, wintertime often brings snow, which can block the solar cell and prevent charging during the day.
How long do solar garden lights stay on for?
Most solar lights need at least six full hours in the sun to fully charge, and they will usually provide at least eight hours of light. The larger the battery and the longer the charge in full sunlight, the longer the lights will work.
What’s the best solar garden light to buy?
The ebay stone granite effect LED solar lights are our best overall pick. Not only are they good value but they're lightweight meaning you can easily move them around your garden to soak up maximum sunlight during the day, providing maximum illumination in the evening.
How we chose our recommendations
Because we know that there’s nothing like a real recommendation, we first headed to the Mumsnet forums to find out which solar garden lights were being recommended.
We then did some research across the wider web, looking at which solar lights had won accolades or been featured in ‘best buy’ lists across websites, and what customer reviews said about them. Having collated all that information, we then narrowed our list down to the top 10 solar garden lights on the market.
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