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Shedding Light on the Best Solar Lights

With the modern movement towards being environmentally conscious, many people are opting to use solar lights instead of electric for many different purposes around their homes and businesses. If you have decided you would like to make the switch, or are just looking to add some extra lighting without the extra expense on your utility bills, you will want to find the best solar lights to do the job. Sticking to some key features, which are outlined in this guide, you will be able to find the perfect lights to light your way.

**Below, you'll see more detailed reviews, but you can also click the links above to see current prices and read customer's reviews on Amazon

What to Look For?

You may think that all solar lights are basically the same so the decision shouldn’t be difficult. However, the truth is, not all solar lights are created equally. To ensure you are getting the most efficient, brightest solar light for your dollar you should consider these key characteristics and features before deciding on your final purchase.

Wired Vs. Wireless

The point of having solar lights for some people is to have the flexibility to move the lights freely, wherever they wish. This is possible if you have wireless solar lights. However, if you purchase a set of solar lights which are wired together, this becomes impossible. You will have to install them in close proximity to each other and will only be able to cover as much space as the cord will allow. It is ideal to have wireless solar lights.

Run Time and Solar Panel Size

This should be a definite consideration when choosing which solar lights to purchase. If your lights only shine for a short period of time before needing re-charging, there isn’t much point to having them. You will want solar lights which last for hours instead of only minutes. Ideally, the solar lights you choose should last throughout the night, dusk until dawn. The run time is effected by the size of the solar panel and how much solar energy it can absorb throughout the day. Look for larger solar panels to do a better job.

Battery Power

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It may seem odd that there is a battery within the solar lights if you are aiming to cut down on costs, however the battery included with most solar lights is a re-chargeable battery which charges with sunlight. The battery helps with the amount of time you will get light from your solar lighting. Some of the best solar lights include a re-chargeable battery to keep light flowing smoothly each night.

Easy Installation

If you are looking for wall mounted solar lights, you should ensure you will be able to easily mount them where you wish. Some solar lights include mounting hardware or brackets to make the job easier. If you are installing solar lights in the ground, look for ones which include ground spikes to keep them in place in the ground.

Weather-Proof

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If you are planning to leave your solar lights out year-round and you live in a climate where you have extreme weather changes, you will want to make sure the lights you choose can withstand the weather. Consider if the lights will be damaged in cold, wintery conditions or if heavy rain will destroy their capabilities.

Motion Detection

Although not necessary, this is a feature which you will appreciate having for security purposes. This means that the solar lights will store the energy and output light when motion is detected nearby. The distance at which the lights will detect movement will vary, so that is also a consideration. If you know you will be installing the lights at a little distance from where you want motion detected, you will need to ensure the distance they will work at is appropriate for you space.

Various Lighting Modes

Consider solar lights which allow you to change the lighting mode to whatever is suitable for your space. There could be a dim setting, an auto dusk until dawn option, motion only lighting or any combination of modes. First consider where you will be installing the solar lights and how you wish to effectively light that space. This will determine which lighting modes will be helpful for your situation.

Overall Brightness

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Most people don’t know this; however, the brightness of solar lighting is measured in lumens. The higher the number of lumens, the brighter the light shines. If you don’t wish to have blaring bright lighting then aim for a lower lumen number, whereas if you want something as close to electric lighting as possible, choose a higher lumen count. If the information is available, it is also useful to know exactly how many LED bulbs are in the solar light since this will also be an indication of how brightly they will shine.

Lifespan of the LED bulbs

Even though you are purchasing solar lights, it is important to know that they do not last forever. The LED bulbs which output the lighting have a limited lifespan. Check into the expected lifespan of the included LED bulbs because this will give you an idea of how long you can use your solar lighting before needing to either replace the bulbs or replace the entire light. Some lights are not replaceable so you would have no choice but to replace the entire light, which can be costly over time.

The Best Solar Lights to Consider

**Below, you'll see more detailed reviews, but you can also click the links above to see current prices and read customer's reviews on Amazon

1. URPOWER Solar Lights 8 LED Wireless Waterproof Motion Sensor Outdoor Light

The new, improved version of the URPOWER solar lights means they are larger and span a greater distance to give you better lighting options. They are completely weather-proof so you can leave them outdoors all year long. The large solar panel takes in sunlight and will charge the 8 LED lights in about seven hours. The wireless design allows you to space the lights out as you wish or even use in totally different spaces, since they come in a pack of four. You can easily access the interior part of the light to change out bulbs, etc. with the included key pin.

Pros

  • Comes in a convenient four pack
  • Each light feature 8 LED bulbs for added brightness
  • Large solar panel for charging up during daylight
  • Weather-proof for year-round use no matter the climate
  • Wireless design allows freedom of installation
  • Includes installation screws
  • Up to 12 hours of lighting after sunset
  • Easy access with a key pin
  • Features motion sensors at a span of 10 feet for additional security
  • LED bulbs last up to 50,000 hours or 5 years
  • Automatic on and off

Cons

  • Not very esthetically pleasing; may stand out mounted on the side of your home
  • Wall mount only
  • No “off” switch if you wish to have the lights disabled
  • Can take 6 to 8 hours to fully charge
  • Only lights up when it detects motion

2. Litom 24 LED Solar Lights

With 24 LED bulbs per solar light, you will definitely experience a well lit space. The solar panel is large and will charge the light to produce lighting for seven to eight hours at a time. There are no wires to worry about when installing these lights on your home or around your space. This solar light boasts three operation modes. The medium light mode is great for pathways, along the driveway etc., the dim mode is for along railings or decks and motion mode will turn the light on only when it detects movement at a 10 to 26 foot span. They include screws for easy installation.

Pros

  • Output bright light at 526 lumens
  • 24 LED bulbs in each light
  • Wireless design for flexibility of installation and usage
  • 3 modes for customization; full mode, dim mode and motion sensor only
  • Batteries inside are replaceable after time to continue usage
  • Weather proof for most climates

Cons

  • Not cost effective since they come in singles
  • The LED bulbs have a 2 year life expectancy
  • Won’t fully charge if not in direct sunlight; could be a problem in winter months
  • Light output will lessen with time

3. InnoGear Upgraded Solar Lights 2-in-1 Waterproof Outdoor Landscape Lighting

These solar lights come in a pack of two and feature a no-tool installation option with an added stake for use in the ground. This makes lighting up your driveway or pathway super simple. The solar panel is adjustable so you can catch just the right angle and trap in the sunlight energy. Inside each light you will find four LED bulbs which will give you a spotlight effect when lit up. Their weather-proof design allows you to leave these out year-round without fear of the climate destroying them. There is an on/off switch to activate when the light is absorbing energy and outputting light and when you would like to not use it at all. There are two built-in rechargeable batteries to lengthen the running time of each light.

Pros

  • Adjustable solar panel to catch the sunlight wherever you install the light
  • Ground stakes included for quick and easy installation
  • Includes screws if you wish to wall mount
  • On/Off switch to control when you want to have the lights operating or not
  • Weather-proof to withstand year-round use
  • Two rechargeable batteries inside to lengthen running time
  • High/Low light option
  • At low light, lasts up to 12 hours
  • Wireless design for flexibility in placement
  • Angle of the light is adjustable up to 90°

Cons

  • Takes 8 hours to fully charge to get the longest running time
  • Output of 200 lumens per light
  • Bulbs don’t appear to be replaceable; once burnt out you’ll need to replace the whole light
  • Ground stakes are plastic, not the sturdiest for extreme wind or rainfall
  • Small span of light compared to others since it is a spotlight effect
  • If ON switch is not turned on, the light will not charge or output light

4. Mpow Solar Lights, 2-Pack

Mpow has updated their solar light to include a bigger solar panel to allow sunlight to gather even on somewhat overcast days. These lights come in a package of two, giving you more value for your money. Each light feature eight LED bulbs which output around 320 lumens. There are three modes to choose from which include constant bright light mode, dim sensor light mode or bright light sensor mode. These are wall mount lights which would work well for around your driveway, pathways or pool areas. They will sense movement within 10 to 26 feet with the newly updated sensor ball.

Pros

  • Long-lasting light from dusk until dawn
  • Built-in rechargeable battery to lengthen running time
  • Large solar panel to collect sunlight energy even when weather isn’t perfectly sunny
  • Weather-proof to withstand most weather conditions
  • Two pack means you get more value for your money
  • Motion sensor to detect movement within 10 to 26 feet
  • Three modes of use to allow for customization to your needs or preferences

Cons

  • Wall mount only
  • Rechargeable battery is in a sealed compartment therefore not replaceable
  • Output only about 320 lumens
  • Downlight effect means you get ground lit coverage mostly
  • If cloudy for prolonged periods, light will not charge
  • Takes 8 hours to fully charge

5. URPOWER 20 LED Outdoor Solar Motion Sensor Lights

This super value four pack of solar lights features motion sensors as well as a 20 LED bulb panel. These can be turned on or off depending if you wish to have the motion sensors working or not. They are wall mounted to give a downlight effect and come with an expansion arm should you need that for your space. They detect motion as close as 10 feet away and will illuminate right away. The light will stay on for about 35 seconds after movement has no longer been detected before shutting off again.

Pros

  • Super value four pack may be all you need
  • Includes mounting screws and extension arm
  • Motion sensor for excellent security and safety
  • Downlight won’t wake neighbors
  • Stainless steel body for excellent weather protection for many years
  • Large solar panel to collect sunlight energy easier than older version
  • Battery inside is replaceable and lengthens run time
  • Lasts up to 10 hours of lighting

Cons

  • Only features motion sensor mode; won’t stay lit
  • Downlight only means less lighting span
  • Only outputs about 100 lumens per light
  • Takes two or three days of sunlight to charge before first use
  • Solar panel needs direct sunlight to charge properly
  • White design stands out instead of blending in against your home’s exterior

6. InnoGear Solar Lights 30 LED Wall Light

These wall mount solar lights come in a package of four to give you a complete lighting system for a smaller space or you could purchase multiple sets for larger areas. The large solar panel allows these lights to charge even on somewhat cloudy days. There are 30 LED bulbs in each light, which output 450 lumens. There are three working modes for your preference; strong, constant light, dim lighting with sensor mode and sensor mode only. They are both waterproof and heatproof to protect them from the elements.

Pros

  • Great value since they come in a package of four lights
  • Waterproof and heatproof to withstand outdoor weather
  • Output 450 lumens to give excellent brightness
  • Replaceable rechargable battery inside
  • Large solar panel to collect in sunlight
  • Three working modes to customize usage
  • Sensor ball detects movement up to 26 feet
  • USB cable for each light is included to help with charging

Cons

  • Wall mount only
  • LED lights not replaceable
  • In full brightness mode, lights may not last all night long
  • Dim mode may be too dim for some people
  • Lighting is very white in color, may appear too bright for some preferences

7. InnoGear Solar Gutter Lights Wall Sconces with Mounting Pole

These solar lights offer something a little different in terms of design. They are mounted using a pole to give almost a streetlight effect. The downlight outputs over 450 lumens each, for a bright illumination wherever you install them. They are tightly sealed and can withstand most weather conditions, including heavy rainfall. Each light has 36 LED lights which are covered in a diamond light shade to filter the light with just enough softness. The mounting poles are made of aluminum to also stand up against extreme weather. For complete customization of use, there are four working modes; ¼ brightness, ½ brightness, dim lighting with bright light motion sensor or lights off with bright motion sensor.

Pros

  • Four operation modes to customize usage for your needs
  • Super bright output at over 450 lumens per light
  • Mounting pole included to install lights in as much sunlight as possible
  • Each light feature 36 LED lights
  • Weather-proof, wireless design
  • Built-in replaceable battery
  • Motion sensor up to 16 feet
  • Lasts from dusk until dawn

Cons

  • May not fully charge or output light for as long if weather is cloudy or overcast
  • Must turn on the ON switch before use or it will not charge or output light
  • If using ½ brightness mode, lighting may not last all night long
  • Bulbs don’t appear to be replaceable
  • White design stands out against home’s exterior; not esthetically pleasing
  • Wall mount only

8. Sunlitec 90 LED Outdoor Motion Sensor Solar Lights

This super bright solar light option offers an abundant 90 LED bulbs plus five more LED bulbs on each side. The lighting span is wide and vast, compared to other solar lights. It features three operation modes; medium constant light, dim constant lighting or sensor light only. The extra long solar panel helps to charge this solar light in shorter time than most others. This is easy to mount with a peel and stick option or screw-in to a wall.

Pros

  • Very wide and vast lighting area covered at one time
  • Lights located in the front and on the side to broaden the scope
  • Motion sensor option
  • Large solar panel to charge the light faster
  • Easy to install with peel and stick or screws to the wall
  • Weather proof for year-round use

Cons

  • Only available in single packs
  • On medium lighting setting, lights stay on for only about 6 hours
  • Motion sensor not available with constant lighting
  • Peel and stick option won’t work for all surfaces
  • Needs mostly direct sunlight to properly charge

9. LITOM SUPER BRIGHT Solar Lights

This convenient four pack offers good value for your money. They are super bright with 600 lumens on the brightest setting. There are different modes to choose from; bright light, dim light and sensor mode. If the light is fully charged it can last up to 40 hours on dim lighting mode for maximum lighting. They only take seven hours to charge in full sunlight. You won’t have to worry about these lights out in the elements since they feature a high waterproof rating and will withstand most conditions.

Pros

  • Come in a pack of four for extra value
  • Waterproof and weather proof
  • Come with installation screws
  • Only seven hours to charge
  • Three modes to choose from to customize usage
  • Motion sensor capability for security of your area
  • Super bright at about 600 lumens
  • Lasts up to 40 hours on dim mode
  • Movement can be detected up to 39 feet away

Cons

  • Price point a little higher than others
  • Smaller solar panel than similar lights; will need more direct sunlight
  • Super bright might be disturbing to neighbors
  • Solar panel is prone to peeling in extreme weather conditions over prolonged time
  • Each light is relatively small and won’t cover a large span unless grouped with the others

10. MicroSolar Solar Shed Light / Solar Barn Light

The MicroSolar light offers a unique design in a drop style light for a spotlight effect. The light is deceiving at first glance and you may think it is an electric light since the solar panel is separate. There is a long extension cord included which attaches to the solar panel to allow you to place it where it will get the most sunlight possible. These solar lights can even be turned on in the daytime if needed. They are great for dimly lit spaces like sheds or garages. There is a built-in battery which can be replaced over time.

Pros

  • Separate solar panel to allow placement in direct sunlight
  • On and Off switch
  • Works during the daytime too
  • Decorative design
  • Built in battery which is replaceable

Cons

  • Only lasts 5 to 6 hours on full charge
  • Output of 120 lumens
  • Come in single light package
  • Limited in where you can install it since the wiring is connected to the solar panel
  • Spotlight effect doesn’t have light that spans an area

And the Winner…

If you are looking to light up your pathway, driveway or just have some additional lighting around your home using the power of the sun, you will want to find the best solar lights to do the job. At first glance, it may seem that most solar lights offer similar features so the decision should be quick but this is not true. You should look for the key characteristics I have outlined here to find the best solar lights for around your space.

In my opinion, the winner is the Innogear Solar Lights 30 LED Wall Lights, which output an amazing 450 lumens and offer three modes to choose from which you can switch back and forth between as needed. They come in a four pack, which means your costs are cut down versus buying a single light. You can leave these mounted year-round since they are weather proof. They offer a sense of peace of mind since the motion detector will sense movement up to 26 feet away. There are large solar panels on each light which means you don’t necessarily have to have direct sunlight, they will charge up even on a partly cloudy day.

Hopefully you have found this guide to finding the best solar lights useful in your hunt for light. If you have comments or questions, please leave them for us—we enjoy hearing your feedback!

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