Illuminate your yard with the top 5 solar string lights

Updated

Light up your yard with solar-powered string lights.

 

Solar outdoor string lights are a great way to add ambiance and practical outdoor light when you want to make the most of your summer nights.

They're especially helpful when you need lighting somewhere that is not close to an outlet or if you don't want to add costs to your electric bill but want to add outdoor lighting. There are many types of outdoor lights based on bulb types from Edison to globe styles to cool white and warm white base colors, but the choice is up to you.

With some imagination, you can double these outdoor lights as Christmas lights, but we recommend them for everyday use.

We're here to help make sure that the solar string lights you buy will last more than one season and will adequately light up your space. Let's dive into SolarReviews' top 5 outdoor solar string light picks, what features you should look for, and how solar string lights work.

Find out how much you can save on your electric bill with solar panels

Key takeaways

  • Solar string lights are built to be durable for outside use but most can be used indoors as well.
  • If fully charged, most bulbs can provide light for 6-8 hours and the lights can work up to 2.5 years.
  • Prices vary, but you can find some options for under $20 while more durable options are closer to $70.

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    Top 5 solar string outdoor lights

    Top choice: Hampton Bay Solar Edison Light

    Hampton Bay Solar Edison Light

    Hampton Bay lights are aesthetically pleasing, durable, and last for up to 8 hours on a single charge. Image source: Home Depot

    The Hampton Bay solar string lights are a bit on the pricey side, but they offer durability and a sleek look. The light sensor turns on automatically at dusk. You can use these lights indoors and outdoors, but they are built to be durable for outside use.

    These are our top choice because of their durability, the fact that they include backup bulbs and batteries, and they are the most aesthetically appealing option.

    Check out the latest cost on Home Depot.

    Pros:

    • 8 hours of light time after 6 hours of full sun charging
    • Includes 2 rechargeable batteries that can be charged separately and replaced
    • The bulbs are shatterproof but there is a spare bulb just in case
    • Includes a 2-year warranty and free returns within 90 days

    Cons:

    • The price is high for patio string lights

    Second choice: Brightech Ambience Pro

    Brightech Ambience Pro

    Brightech Ambience Pro lights are perfect for illuminating any yard. Image source: Amazon

    The Brightech Ambience Pro light bulbs can last about 2.5 years, which is not ideal. Since these lights are only about $50, the lifetime seems about right. All 48 feet of lights offer a durable warm white light ambiance with plastic shatterproof Edison bulbs.

    Find out the latest pricing on Amazon.

    Pros:

    • The bulbs are built to be durable in heat up to 122 degrees Fahrenheit
    • Brightech offers a 2-year warranty on the lights and will replace them if the panel or lights break before the 2 years is up

    Cons:

    • They only last 5-6 hours on a full charge of 6 hours

    Best weatherproof: MagicPro LED string lights

    MagicPro string lights

    MagicPro lights can add ambiance to your outdoor space. Image source: Amazon

    MagicPro is a top choice for all types of weather: heat, rain, snow, and cold. The MagicPro string lights are 44 feet long with 15 LED bulbs, which is perfect for an outdoor patio, deck, pergola, or gazebo.

    Check the price on Amazon now.

    Pros:

    • If fully charged, it can provide light for 8 hours
    • Made with waterproof and shatterproof bulbs
    • MagicPro offers great customer service, allowing you to exchange it or provide a full refund of the product if you are unsatisfied with your purchase

    Cons:

    • The solar panel needs 6-8 hours of sunlight to charge up to provide light for 8 hours

    Notable mention: Sunlitec solar string lights

    Sunlitec solar string lights

    Sunlitec can work both indoors and outdoors. Image source: Amazon

    Boasting 50,000 hours of light time, this 27-foot string of bulbs is a great pick for both indoors and outdoors. You can also charge these lights with a USB charger port if you want to use them after a particularly cloudy day.

    Check the price on Amazon.

    Pros:

    • The low price point is attractive
    • The dual charging option allows for flexibility

    Cons:

    • The lights take 8 hours to fully charge via direct sunlight charging the solar panel and 4 hours via plug-in USB
    • The 1-year satisfaction guarantee is a bit confusing, seems to not cover bulbs

    Best budget pick: Brightown Crystal Lights

    Brightown Crystal lights

    Brightown crystal lights help light up your yard for less than $20. Image source: Amazon

    The Brightown globe lights are 33 feet long with 60 bulbs, allowing for plenty of light in a small space. The monocrystalline solar panel can be rotated 180 degrees to capture the sun’s rays. The lights have a few lighting modes to change the ambiance for anything from an outdoor garden party to a wine night on the patio.

    Check the price on Amazon.

    Pros:

    • Made for outdoor use, 365 days of the year
    • 8 light setting modes like slow fade, twinkle flash, color changing multi-color, and continuous

    Cons:

    • If one of the bulbs goes out, the entire light won’t work but that is what happens with less expensive options

    What features should you look for in a solar string light?

    Solar string lights are meant for outdoor use, so durability, waterproof options, and longevity of the bulb are important. You want to look for options that charge up all day and can last for hours at night - features we made sure to include in our top picks.

    Our top 5 solar string light picks all last for at least six hours after being fully charged and are built for durability. Durable lights give you peace of mind because you do not need to worry about them in the rain or in hot or cold weather.

    How long do solar string lights last when powered by solar?

    Solar string lights should last up to 2-3 years, so be prepared to replace them. But, while you do have them, a single charge should power the lights for up to 8 hours depending on the brand.

    Factors that go into how long solar lights last are the size of the solar panel, the number of bulbs that need to be powered, and how intense the sun is on that particular day. Less sun will lead to a shorter length of time that the lights are on.

    Under perfect conditions where the sun is shining on the panel all day, lights will last you up to 8 hours and they can be left on all night and recharged in the morning.

    Make your house a solar-powered home

    The best part about the solar string lights is that they do not need to be plugged in – they can be placed anywhere that has access to the sun to charge them up. That same idea can be applied to your house where solar panels can power your electricity.

    If you're interested in solar panels, you can easily research the cost of solar in your part of the country. Solar panels can reduce or eliminate your electricity bill and keep your house powered just by sunlight as your power source.

    Either way, you can invest in outdoor LED solar string lights to upgrade your garden decor and light up your outside space without adding to your electricity bill.

    Do solar panels make sense for your home?
     - Author of Solar Reviews

    Ana Almerini

    Web Content Specialist

    Ana is a content specialist at SolarReviews. She uses her experience in marketing and knowledge from her master's in climate communications to research and review the solar industry.

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