The 5 best solar shed lights to buy in 2021

Updated

A shed with a solar array
Adding solar panels or using a solar powered light can transform your ordinary shed into a solar shed. Image source: Maine Solar Structures

A backyard garden shed is typically only useful as a storage spot for your lawn mower, but with the addition of solar lights, it can be so much more. Because sheds are usually not connected to your home, they typically do not have electricity - which means your shed cannot be used at night or for extended periods of time where lighting is necessary.  

Solar shed lights help solve this issue by utilizing solar energy. It is much easier and cheaper to hook up solar lights or add DIY solar panels to your shed than it is to wire electricity to it. So if you want to create a shed that can be used for more than storage, such as for a woodworking shop, consider installing solar shed lights. 

We’ve rounded up the top 5 to buy for your shed and we will walk you through the steps to retrofit your shed with solar panels yourself if you need more power.

*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.

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What is a solar shed light? 

Solar shed light fixtures are a simple way to add lighting to your shed. The setup for most of the systems below is as simple as drilling a spot for the light, securing the panel, and then letting it charge up so the next time you need a light, the panel will provide enough charge to light the bulb. 

Some may argue that relying on solar powered lights might not be ideal due to the small panels not being powerful enough to charge up on very cloudy days; they typically need constant direct sunlight to work best. This means that adding these simple solar lights might not be enough if you need to rely on power for extended periods of time in your shed. 

If that is the case, installing solar panels on your shed’s roof might work better for you (more about that later).

The 5 best solar powered shed lights 

1. Nature Power 20130 Hanging Solar Power LED - $28.90

Nature Power 20130 Hanging Solar Power LED

Image source: Amazon 

  • LED bulb with two brightness settings
  • Keychain remote control switch to power on the light
  • Adjustable pull cord length to work with any ceiling height

2. Jackyed outdoor LED Hanging Solar Shed Light - $35.99 

Jackyed outdoor LED Hanging Solar Shed LightImage source: Amazon 

  • 6 remote control LED brightness levels and a waterproof plastic coating
  • Motion sensor light that turns on when it detects motion, so this also can act as a security light if it is placed outside of the shed
  • The solar panel charges the battery within the lamp, the lamp itself is detachable so you can have light wherever you need it

3. Swonuk Solar Pendant Lights - $42.99 

Swonuk Solar Pendant LightsImage source: Amazon

  • The lighting kit includes 2 independent bright LED light features powered by one solar panel
  • Remote control-powered lighting
  • Solar panel angle can be adjusted to best capture sunlight

4. Kyson Solar Powered LED Lights - $37.99

Kyson Solar Powered LED Lights

Image source: Amazon 

  • Remote controlled-lighting in a bright white solar lamp shade
  • Has an extension cord for easy installation on your shed roof

5. LightMe Portable Solar Powered Light Bulb - $14.99 

LightMe Portable Solar Powered Light Bulb

Image source: Amazon 

  • Easy, affordable, and lightweight option for lighting inside a simple storage shed
  • Portable for other outdoor light uses like pergolas or gazebos

Is a shed a good place for a DIY solar installation? 

While solar shed lights are great for providing power for short amounts of time, solar panel arrays are a better, more reliable option if you need consistent lighting that lasts. 

There are many DIY solar panel kits, like ones offered by Grape Solar, that you can buy to install a solar array on your shed. These kits are available at Home Depot, Costco, Lowes, and Amazon. 

Person carrying a solar panel to install on a roof

Installing DIY panels on your shed is a relatively simple process. Image source: Treehugger

Typically, the goal of a DIY system is to provide a full charge to a 12V rechargeable battery that then provides the electricity. This is why DIY panels are best for smaller uses, like a shed. If that makes sense for you, get yourself a kit, and follow the easy installation steps. 

Step 1: Lay out the included materials within your kit. You should have a panel and cables to connect the panels to a 12V lithium battery bank. You will need to purchase the charge controller and 12V battery separately. 

Step 2: Wire your panel and attach the wiring to the junction box on the backside of the panel, it should be inside a watertight box included within the kit. 

Step 3: Install the racking that is included within the kit to your panel. You will notice the holes strategically placed on the panel to screw in and secure the racking.  

Step 4: Position and install the panel on your shed roof. The panel comes with temporary “feet” that are meant as a placeholder for you to draw where the mount hole locations are. Once determining their location, remove the panel and drill the holes. Then, attach the panel using the hardware within the kit. 

Step 5: Complete the panel wiring by drilling a hole on the side of the shed to run the wire inside of it and to the interior charge controller. Then connect the wiring to the charge controller, red wiring goes with positive and black wiring goes with the negative. 

Step 6: Wire the battery and inverter so that your interior lights can receive power whenever they need it. Lastly, install your interior lighting. 

If you have an electrical background or a knack for wiring and lighting, this process will be pretty straightforward and it will be an easy installation. DIY kits are meant for people who enjoy a project and we recommend them for smaller projects like a shed, boat, or RV. 

Learn more: DIY solar panels: pros, cons & 6-step cost savings guide

An entire house is a much more in-depth project that is best served by working with a professional installer

Do DIY solar panels or a solar shed light make sense for you? 

Solar shed lights are helpful when you need a source of power outside and do not have electrical wiring setup to power what you need. Solar shed lights provide an affordable option to make your shed as usable as possible all year-round. 

If you want to install lighting in your shed to be able to quickly turn on and grab the tool you need, buying a simple solar shed light from Amazon makes the most sense. But if you use your shed as an extension of your house, adding a solar array to your shed roof is a great idea. 

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Key takeaways

  • Installing solar panels on your shed or installing a solar-powered light fixture is a great way to extend the use of your shed.
  • It is easier to add solar lights or install solar panels than it is to wire electricity to your shed.
  • If you need more consistent power, a DIY solar array is the way to go instead of a solar-powered light.
  • Both solar-powered shed lights and DIY solar panel kits are relatively simple to install.
 - Author of Solar Reviews

Ana Almerini

Web Content Specialist

Ana is a web content specialist at SolarReviews. She has 5 years of marketing experience blended with 2 years of experience in climate communications and holds a master of arts degree in climate and society from Columbia University. Ana frequently volunteers for environmental causes ranging from oyster reef restoration in NJ to expanding bike sharing in Naples, Italy.

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