5 best solar Christmas lights of 2020
*Editorial note: This is an unbiased review: we have no financial ties with any of the companies mentioned, nor do we earn money from affiliate advertising. The content of this blog is based on research and information available at the time of writing.
The pressure to have the neighborhood’s best holiday light display is real. But what’s even more daunting is the holiday season electric bill you’re left with after setting up all of those Christmas string lights.
Solar powered Christmas lights are the perfect way to ensure you have the best holiday decorations on the block, without causing your electric bill to skyrocket.
We’ve compiled a list of the 5 best solar Christmas lights to brighten up your holiday season - without breaking the bank.
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Top 5 solar Christmas lights
1. JMEXSUSS 2-Pack Solar String Lights
Best: Overall solar Christmas lights
Price: $23.99 Buy Now
The JMEXSUSS LED solar string lights are our top pick for solar Christmas lights. They have great customer reviews, and an even better price point.
You’ll be paying less for the JMEXSUSS lights without having to sacrifice the look or quality of your outdoor Christmas display.
JMEXSUSS’s cool white LED lights will make your house pop this Christmas season. Image source: Amazon
They are offered in five different colors: blue, green, multicolor, warm white, and bright white.
You can also choose from one of eight lighting modes, ranging from twinkling lights to slow fade. So, no matter what look you’re going for, there is a JMEXSUSS Christmas light option for you.
Each pack includes two sets of 100-string energy efficient LED light bulbs. Each string is 42.7 feet in length, so you have the ability to cover long distances.
The lights include a waterproof mini solar panel that needs to be placed in direct sunlight. With a full charge in direct sunlight for 8 to 12 hours, the lights will stay on for 8 hours at night.
2. Joomer 2-Pack Solar Christmas Lights
Best: Overall solar Christmas lights runner-up
Price: $42.99 Buy Now
Joomer’s solar Christmas lights are our runner-up pick for the best solar Christmas lights available in 2020.
Despite being one of ‘Amazon’s Choice’ picks, Joomer is our runner-up pick because they have slightly lower user reviews than JMEXSUSS.
Joomer’s high-quality multi-colored solar powered lights look just like classic string lights, but won’t run up your meter. Image source: Amazon
What seems to bring down Joomer’s user review score are defunct strands - many users reported that lights stopped working after just a few uses, even after being charged in direct sunlight. In fact, for some customers, the lights didn’t work right out of the box.
Despite this, there are still an overwhelming number of great reviews.
Like JMEXSUSS, Joomer offers multiple colors: blue, green, multicolor, purple, red, warm white, and bright white lights.
They also include 8 different modes, so you can achieve the look you want for your Christmas decorations. This pack comes with two, 200 LED string lights and two IP65 waterproof solar panels.
3. Vmanoo Tube Meteor Shower Rain Lights
Best: Solar powered icicle lights
Price: $20.99 Buy Now
While normal icicles melt in the sun, these icicle lights are powered by them! Vmanoo’s icicle lights are some of the only solar powered tube icicle lights on the market.
They have a 4.1 star rating with over 1,000 reviews on Amazon, they look great, and they come at a fair price point, which is what makes them our top pick for solar powered icicle lights.
VMANOO LED solar icicle tube lights turn an ordinary pathway into a winter wonderland. Image source: Amazon
These icicle tube lights come in four different colors: blue, warm white, cool white, and multicolor. Each strand comes with 8 LED tube lights and one solar panel that needs to be placed in direct sunlight.
One strand of Vmanoo Tube Lights spans a length of 23.6 feet. When charged for 6 to 8 hours, the lights will remain on continuously for 8 to 12 hours.
They give the illusion of a ‘dripping’ icicle to really complete your winter light display.
4. WOWLUX LED Solar Crystal Ball Lights
Best: Solar powered globe light/statement light
Price: $22.99 Buy Now
WOWLUX’s LED Crystal Ball Lights are a great way to spice up your holiday light display.
These landed the title of ‘best statement solar powered light’ because of their traditional globe shape and bright, vibrant colors. They have a unique look that gives off the signature vintage incandescent bulb vibe - but with a (solar) twist.
The WOWLUX LED Crystal Ball Lights will ensure you have the most festive house on the block. Image source: Amazon
You can choose between multicolor or warm white strands, with each strand holding 50 LED bulb lights. Choose between eight operating modes to get the perfect effect for your home.
These solar powered globe lights include one solar panel to charge the bulbs. Each string is guaranteed to run for 8 to 10 hours continuously, as long as the solar panel is placed in direct sunlight for 8 or more hours.
With one string of lights reaching about 22.3 feet in length, the WOWLUX solar globe lights are not only great for hanging on your house, but can easily be wrapped around trees, too!
5. Brighttown Solar Outdoor String Lights
Best: Solar powered string lights/fairy lights
Price: $20.98 Buy Now
Fairy string lights have recently become a popular choice for modern-looking, aesthetically pleasing outdoor lighting.
Brighttown offers a solar powered version of these popular lights and they come with excellent Amazon reviews. The sheer number of positive reviews sets them ahead of other solar powered fairy lights available.
Brighttown’s solar powered fairy string lights are great for the holidays, but also add beautiful lighting to your outdoor space year-round. Image source: Amazon
They come in a variety of colors: warm white, blue, green, multicolor, pink, pure white, and purple. Each string is made of 33 feet of copper wire with 100 LED lights.
Brighttown’s solar fairy lights are perfect for a subtle Christmastime display and are popular for decorating small spaces, like apartment balconies.
How do solar Christmas lights work?
Solar Christmas lights work almost exactly like traditional Christmas lights, just with no extension cords and no fossil fuel emissions.
Instead of being plugged into an outlet, solar string lights are powered entirely by solar power. Solar powered Christmas lights will include a small solar panel and a rechargeable battery. During the day, the panel collects solar energy which charges the battery. At night, the lights use the energy stored within the battery to shine.
Many solar Christmas lights include a sensor so they will automatically turn on when the sun sets. Others, however, need to be manually turned on via a switch located near the battery. You may have solar powered pathway lights that work the same way!
Pros and cons of solar Christmas lights
Solar Christmas lights have many advantages over traditional holiday decorative lights. But, like anything else, they come with their drawbacks, too.
|Electric bill savings||High upfront cost|
|No outlets required||Reliant on sunlight|
Advantages of solar Christmas lights
Electric bill savings
The biggest advantage of using solar powered holiday lights is that they won’t run up your electric bill.
Because these lights don’t plug into your home, they aren’t using any electricity from your utility company. This means you can enjoy a brilliant light display, without a not-so-brilliant electric bill.
No outlets required
Aside from saving you money on electricity, solar lights are powered entirely by the sun, so there is no need for outlets.
This gives you more freedom to arrange your lights exactly the way you want, without being limited by where your outlets are.
No fussing with cords
No need to untangle the extension cords this year! Solar powered Christmas lights are excellent for decorating everything from your front porch, to your fence, to turning the spruce in your front yard into a perfectly lit Christmas tree.
Simply hang up the lights, place the panels in the sun, and your work is done.
No cords means that solar Christmas lights are much safer, too. They’re less of a fire hazard because you can’t string solar lights together. While this may seem like a downside, you don’t need to string the lights together because you don’t have to worry about reaching an outlet.
You also won’t have to worry about the danger of overloading extension cords.
No one wants coal for Christmas, so why would you want to use it to power your holiday display? Unlike traditional Christmas lights, solar lights run on 100% clean energy.
You can rest easy knowing your festive holiday decorations are powered by solar instead of dirty fossil fuels.
Disadvantages of solar Christmas lights
High upfront cost
While solar Christmas lights will save you money on your electricity bills, you will have to pay a higher price for them upfront.
You have to think of solar Christmas lights as an investment. While you might spend more now, you have the potential to save more later.
Dependent on sunlight
The biggest downside to outdoor solar Christmas lights is that they require sunlight to operate. If you have a cloudy day, you run the risk of not having any lights on that night.
Because of this, some people use solar Christmas lights as supplemental lights in their bushes or on trees, and use conventional Christmas lights to light up the main parts of their home. This still lets them cut down on their electricity bill and carbon footprint without having to sacrifice their entire light display because of one cloudy day.
Solar Christmas lights are sure to brighten your holiday
Solar Christmas lights allow you to decorate your home for the holidays without having to worry about spending extra money on your electric bill. Instead, you can put that extra money towards making sure your loved ones receive everything on their wish list.
If you’re still having trouble finding the perfect gifts, check out our solar gift guide! It covers solar powered gadgets that are cool, useful, and powered by clean energy,
You don’t have to limit your solar savings to the holiday season. You can save on your electric bill all year long when you install a solar panel system on your home. Check out our solar panel calculator to see how much solar could save you!
- Solar Christmas lights are a great way to be festive this holiday season without racking up your utility bills.
- Solar Christmas lights are powered by a battery that is charged entirely by a mini solar panel.
- Solar powered Christmas lights make installing a holiday display easy because you don’t have to worry about extension cords or outlets.
- While solar Christmas lights do cost more than traditional string lights, they don’t use electricity from your utility, and thus don’t increase your power bill.
- The biggest drawback of solar Christmas lights is that if you have a cloudy day, the lights won’t turn on at night. They need full sunlight to charge their battery and turn on.
Author: Catherine Lane | SolarReviews Blog Author
Catherine is a researcher and content specialist at SolarReviews. She has strong interests in issues related to climate and sustainability which led her to pursue a degree in environmental science at Ramapo College of New Jersey.