Top 5 Best Exterior Solar Lights

In need of some lights for décor or safety? Here's our experts' favourite exterior solar lights.
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Written by John Ho. Last updated on October 23, 2020

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Top 5 Best Exterior Solar Lights 2020

If you have a yard that needs some lights for décor or safety, but you're still trying to save your coins and save the energy, I have the answer.

Exterior solar lights!

Adding lights to your garden might be one of the easiest but most effective ways of beautifying it. And, if you are a person who has never even thought about using solar-powered exterior lights, don't worry; they are super easy to use and need little to no maintenance.

As long as your yard gets direct sunlight, you can say goodbye to all those wirings on your property, and it will take you about twenty seconds to put the lights up.

In this article, I will tell you all you need to know about solar lights, why do you need them, and I will give you some of the best options to choose from when buying them.

What are solar lights?

Let's get down to the basics. As we all know, plants get their energy from the sun through their leaves in a process that we call photosynthesis. Humans don't have leaves, so we don't use the sun to grow, but we can use the sun's energy in other ways. For example, to get electricity or to power our solar lights. So, solar lights are used, and they do the same thing as normal lights do; however, they are not using electricity. Instead, they use the sun as a source of energy. And since the sun is a renewable energy source and it will be here for the next 5 billion years and using solar power is beneficial to our planet, why would we not use it? After all, if plants can, why can't we?

How do solar lights work?

And now it's time for me to tell you how do external solar lights work. As I have said before, solar-powered external lights use the sun as an energy source, but converting the sunlight into energy is the real question by using solar cells. Yes, they use those little dark panels that you can see on top of a solar light.

Solar cells draw energy from the sun, just like leaves do. Solar cells are made of three silicon layers and chemicals that create positively charged spaces and negatively charged electrons. When the light hits the cell's top layer, only light waves from a specific wavelength are absorbed into the middle layer, 350-1140nm, or the visible spectrum waves. They power up the electrons and puts them in spaces with a positive charge. The wires connected to the solar cell then transfer the electron stream as an electric current to transfer electricity into the battery. As the night comes, this conversion process is stopped, and if your solar light has a photoreceptor, it will know that it's time to light up! Sneaky little lights, aren't they?

Advantages of Exterior Solar Lights

Eco-friendliness

The first and the most valuable advantage for our planet would be that they are eco-friendly. It is one way of reducing carbon footprint and helping yourself and the planet we inhabit. As when we use solar-powered exterior lights, we are using a natural resource to power them. And as long as there is sunlight, your solar lights will shine. 

Wiring

If you had lots of lights wired up in your back yard, transferring to exterior solar lights will decrease your electrical bill. They can be expensive, and you probably think it is not worth the investment, but you will know it pays off when you do all the calculations. 

Maintenance

They are easy to maintain. All you will have to do is clean the solar cell from time to time and make sure that they are in a position where they absorb the most sun, and that's it. Also, solar lights are easy to fix, and you can try doing it on your own. You won't need to pay someone to fix it for you.

Decoration

Another benefit would be that they can make your backyard dreams come true. They can accentuate all your favorite flowers and make your walkway look like a runway. 

Emergency Gadget  

A beneficial matter when you're dealing with power outages, so it can be used for emergencies as well. 

Weather Conditions and Exterior Solar Lights

Many people think that solar lights won't work during the wintertime, but that's not true. They are powered by light, not heat, so even though it is cold and snowing outside, you will still have your lights powered by the sun. Another misconception about solar-powered lights is that they won't charge during cloudy days. They actually do; the only problem is that they will charge a bit slower than usual. Most solar powered exterior lights are also waterproof, so in most cases, you won't need to worry about rain as well.

Installation

They are straightforward to install and can be installed anywhere you would like. 

There are so many options on the market, so choosing the best light for you is not that hard.

Types of Exterior Solar Lights

What makes the solar lights different from one another is their purpose, design, and where they should be placed. Different types of solar lights are:

  • Solar emergency lights, they are your best option when having a power outage.
  • Solar lawn lights used to show off your favorite flower and make your yard look like a dream.
  • Solar wall lights are mounted into your walls very easily and are used for a house, shed, and garage entrances,
  • As the name says, solar step lights are used for staircases and can make your staircase very stylish and elegant looking.
  • Solar string lights are used to decorate indoors and outdoors; for example, they can be used to make your backyard barbeque nights look majestic and elegant.
  • Solar lanterns, a beneficial gadget when you're out camping, can also be used for your home.
  • Solar deck lights are not only good for our eyes but are very useful, and they are usually used for decks, walls, stairs, and porches and help you see in front of yourself.
  • Motion-sensing solar lights will help you double your security measures and help you light up your entrance when you're coming into your house.
  • LED colors, LED lights come in two colors cool and warm. The cool tone LED lights give a sterile look and are good for accentuating your flowers. Warm-toned LED lights, however, are best for entertainment areas.

The process of choosing the right solar light for you can be a bit hard since there are many similar products. Now, let me simplify the process of finding the perfect exterior solar lights for you and give you some information about the best of them on the market.

Top 5 Best Exterior Solar Lights Reviews

Nektek, 2-in-1 Solar Spotlights

https://www.amazon.com/Nekteck-Solar-Powered-Garden-Spotlight/dp/B0194CC822/

If you are looking for solar light to accentuate some of your garden features or make your driveway or walkway brighter, this would be a great choice.

Pros

  • They have a 200 lumen of power output, making them a strong source of light. Depending on their exposure to sunlight, they will last 6-10 hours.
  • The installation process is straightforward, it comes down to sticking the spike into the soil, and you're ready to light up! They can also be mounted upon a wall.
  • This exterior solar light is also heat and waterproof.
  • You can choose white or colorful party lights, and they also have a high bright light mode and dim light mode.
  • They can also be adjusted to 180 degrees.

Cons

  • Solar light wiring is fragile, making it very hard to replace batteries.
  • The solar-powered light's effectiveness might be affected by the weather conditions due to the sensitivity of the solar lights.

Signature Garden, Solar Garden Lights

https://www.amazon.com/Signature-Garden-Pack-Solar-Lights/dp/B07PGQSYZH/

The second choice I will give you are these stylish, silver solar garden lights that you can use to pimp up your garden and make your flowers and walkways look much more attractive.

Pros

  • They are made out of highly durable ABC plastic and can endure all kinds of weather.
  • One of the best features about these solar-powered lights if that they have a lifetime guarantee against defects, so if anything happens to them, you can send it to the manufacture and get a replacement in return
  • They are easy to install; you won't need any wires; you will have to stick them into the soil.
  • Another pro is that they have an on and off switch so that you won't waste the unit's battery.
  • You could get from 6-8 operating hours if the light were placed in direct sunlight.

Cons

  • The lights have a lighting power of only 15 lumens, giving you a very subtle glow, so if you're looking for something that can light up your whole garden, this is not the right choice for you.
  • Another downside is that the batteries may require replacement after 6 months of use.

URPOWER Solar Lights

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B012ZPKNFE

This is an exterior solar light that you could use for security and as a spotlight. This product's manufacturer rated the lifespan up to 5 years, a considerable lifespan for exterior solar light. Let's get to the pros and cons of this product.

Pros

  • Made with the latest infrared technology giving you a very bright light
  • It has a motion detector, which is an excellent security feature. The motion detector can detect motion from up to 10ft away from the light at a 120-degree angle. The sensor turns off after 10 seconds, and the light turns off after 30 seconds when the motion is stopped.
  • They have a new design and a larger solar panel, which will absorb the sun and give you up to 12 hours of light.
  • It is waterproof, and it can endure all kinds of weather.
  • It has two modes, bright light mode and dim light mode.
  • Also, it comes with an on and off switch.
  • It has an adjustable solar panel.

Cons

  • It has no warm LED option.
  • It also doesn't have a mount for a security lamp and,
  • Limited warranty.

Litiom Solar Outdoor String Lights

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01B2Q9OTI

You are the owner of an eco-friendly bar? Or you like to have parties in your backyard? Or maybe you're just looking for lights that will give you that romantic and dramatic lighting effect? That Litiom Solar Outdoor String Lights are probably the right choice for you. Let me tell you some of its features, and you can decide.

Pros

  • 200 LED lights are placed on a 72 feet long wire to make sure you will get that dramatic feel
  • There are three types of lights to choose from colored bulbs, warm white, and cool white
  • You can adjust the mode to a one that suits your ambiance the most
  • They are waterproof, so you can also use them for the upcoming festive season
  • They also have a warranty on any defects
  • Operating time would be from 6-8 hours on a full charge.

Cons

  • The lights are not very bright so that you might need some more lights at your party.
  • Another gripe about them is that when they are switched off, they return to their original settings. Going to the mode you were using before the lights turn off would require cycling through all of the modes.

Newhouse Lighting Solar Flickering LED Tiki Torches

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07GQ7SCSP

If you wanted to give your house a tropical feel and fill them up with Tiki torches, but you never had the energy to deal with oil or flames, then I would say that this would be the right option for you. But again, I will give you the pros and cons so you can decide for yourself.

Pros

  • They have a flickering effect that looks like real flames, which means it will look like a real Tiki torch, but without the real flames and oil, which can make Tiki torches unsafe.
  • They turn on automatically when the sun goes down and turn off when the sun is up.
  • An easy light to install; all you will have to do is attach the poles to the torch head and place them wherever you like
  • The poles are adjustable in length; they can be up to 5ft in length.
  • They are very affordable and come in packs of two and four.
  • The batteries are replaceable.
  • There is a variety of colors that you can choose from.

Cons

  • They are somewhat waterproof, but not very much.
  • They are not suitable for patios; you need ground for staking them.

FAQs

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions and answers.

Conclusion

The industry of exterior solar lights and solar power, in general, is still evolving, and there will be many enhancements in the future. But as we said, by investing in external solar lights, you are not only helping yourself but our planet as well. If you decide to invest in them, you can be sure that you won't need to hire an electrician and save some extra money, because your electricity bills will be lower.

All of the lights mentioned above have some good features and will give your garden a boost in appeal. But from reviewing all of the choices above, my suggestion is the NekTek 2 in 1 Solar Spotlights; they have a very high power output, so you will be sure that your garden is very well decorated and bright. Plus, they will last you for a long time.

If you are looking for solar-powered external lights for security purposes, my suggestion would be URPOWER Solar Lights. With the biggest lifespan from all the solar lights that we mentioned, you know that you're investing in something worth your coin. The motion detector will make sure to let you know whenever someone is coming your way so you won't have to worry about safety.

All in all, I think that exterior solar lights are a cost-effective, affordable solution to your problems. They don't need maintenance and don't have wiring. They will make sure your garden is looking on point if you're looking for decoration lights, or they will make sure to warn you if something is happening if you're looking for exterior solar light for safety reasons.

Article written by John Ho

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