Ultimate Guide to the Best Solar Lights In Your Backyard

By on July 8, 2021 in Backyards, Gardening, Patios with 0 Comments

Trying to Illuminate your outdoor space with electricity from the grid can hurt your wallet. Try this nifty ultimate guide to the best solar lights for your backyard.,

Homeowners need to consider an alternative energy source that is sustainable and less expensive than electricity from the grid. Solar power is the best alternative for lighting your outdoors. It is not only cost-effective but also eliminates the problem of blackouts.

What is an outdoor solar light? Outdoor solar light is a photovoltaic device that uses energy from the sun to light up the outdoor space. The solar energy industry is snowballing as millions of people embrace renewable sources of energy.

installing solar lights

How Do Solar Lights Work?

The concept of converting sunlight into power sounded like science fiction a couple of decades ago. We have all seen big and small best solar lights in both commercial and residential places. However, many people wonder how these lights turn sunlight into power. So, how do solar lights work?

A solar light comes as a complete unit and has four main components: the solar panel, the light fixture, battery, and control electronics. During the day, the solar panel collects sunlight and produces electric energy out of it.

The power is either used immediately or stored in a battery for later use. The reason for installing the best solar lights is to provide light at night. Therefore, almost all solar lights are attached to a battery.

Buying Solar Lights

When buying solar lights, it is prudent to choose a light that best serves the function you need it to perform. Outdoor solar lights are divided into four main categories: spotlights, floodlights, path lights, and decorative accent lights. Let’s have a look at each one of them.

Path Solar Lights

These types will illuminate walkways, paths, and driveway perimeters in a residential or commercial property. Path lights come in a variety of choices to give the homeowner multiple options of placing them.

Property owners can choose lights with hanging hooks, ground stakes, and flange mounts. Path lights have on-off switches, a feature that enables users to save power for a specific event or extend the light’s potential run time. Some models offer unique features such as timers, colored lenses, and high–low power.

The price of path lights varies with their features and light output.

Decorative Solar Accent Lights

Decorative accent lights create an alluring and enjoyable glow for your outdoor space. In most cases, these lights are used to mark a place, such as landscape hazards. For example, a solar accent light can help show a rock or a step that poses risks to people.

Solar lights are not only used to light up a landscape but are also used to softly illuminate low hedges or shrubbery. Since they have low light output, these lights run for a more extended period than other types of solar lights.

Accent solar lights come with efficient multi-crystalline solar cells that charge in semi-shaded areas or during cloudy days. Amber LEDs create a softer ambiance and consume less power than white LEDs.

Spotlights And Solar Task Lights

These solar lights are the most expensive and the brightest of all. These best solar lights are designed to direct sunlight on entryways, plants, and statuary. Spotlights and solar task lights are flexible. They can be mounted in multiple ways and adjusted to point a light beam in a specific direction.

Solar Floodlights

As the name suggests, these lights are used to illuminate large spaces such as cities and roads. Floodlights are also used to illuminate garden spaces due to their high level of brightness.

Tips To Consider When Buying Solar Lights

There are thousands of solar lights units in the market. Therefore, it is overwhelming to choose the right light for your needs. You need to analyze your needs before buying solar lights.

Before heading to the market, ask yourself the following questions.

  • Do you want the best solar lights for decorative purposes?
  • Do you want them for security purposes?
  • Is your goal to illuminate a specific object?
  • What is the size of the area to be illuminated?

Color And Brightness of Lights

All lights serve the same purpose: to light up space. However, some lights have a higher brightness level than others. If you want to light up a large area, the best solar lights for you would be floodlights or spotlights. These lights should have an output of more than 100 lumens. On the contrary, decorative lights have a lower brightness level.

Therefore, the suitable brightness level is determined by the purpose of the light. On the other hand, you can opt for lights with the feature of adjusting the brightness level.

When it comes to color, some lights have a single color while others change color. The most suitable color is determined by your interests, needs, or even time of the year. For example, a floodlight may come in a single color, while decorative lights come in many colors.

Battery Specification

The size of the battery plays a significant role as it determines the number of hours a light can run at night. That’s said, it is imperative to pay attention to battery specifications when buying them. There are several things to consider about the battery.

First, check the sun hours it takes for the battery to charge fully. It is advisable to choose a battery that needs the lowest sun hours.

Second, check how long the battery can power lights when charged to the fullest. The best solar lights have a battery that power lights for at least 8 hours.


This aspect is essential, especially when it comes to motion-sensing lights. Security lights have different detection angles and sensing ranges. Therefore, when buying solar lights for security purposes, picking ones with a large sensing angle and senses movement over a long distance is advisable. Other factors such as the size of garden space influences coverage.

Design and Appearance

You should also consider design and appearance when buying solar lights. The primary function of lights is to illuminate, but they should also improve curb appeal. Choose aesthetically alluring lights to enhance the appearance of your outdoor space during the day and night.

How To Install Solar Lights

After choosing the best solar lights for your outdoor space, it’s time to consider where to place your lights. If you place your lights wrongly, they will get less power from the sun. Solar lights will help save some bucks on your electricity bill and reduce your carbon imprint, but these lights won’t serve the intended purpose if you place them improperly.

Let’s look at tips of placement and installation of solar lights to perform at their best.

How To Install Solar Lights For Maximum Efficiency

After deciding what you want to illuminate, you need to find the highest point to install your light. Placing your best solar lights on high points will increase their ability to collect sunlight. However, don’t install the light too high. The light should be installed in an accessible place for easier maintenance.

How To Install Solar Lights Without Causing Obstructions

Look for common obstructions when installing your lights. Place the lights in a place where they can’t obstruct lawnmowers or kids. You don’t want to place your lights where they will obstruct kids when playing or where you can run them over with your car.

Place best solar lights where they are visible at a distance and where they won’t obstruct the way. It is wise to create a plan of where you will install your best solar lights before making an order.

As said earlier, place the panels away from the obstruction. If several lights share one panel, set the panel in a strategic position to collect a large amount of sunlight. Also, bury the cable in a relatively deep trench and enclose it with a plastic tube for maximum protection.

By concealing the cable at least 6 inches deep, you will avoid accidentally cutting them when digging your backyard. Additionally, prune tree branched that have over your solar panel and lights.

How To Install Solar Lights While Fully Charged

Experts recommend charging your solar lights prior to installing them. Your best solar lights will need 12 to 14 hours of charge before installing them. If possible, place the lights in direct sunlight for two days to charge as much as possible. Ensuring that your lights are fully charged before installing them is crucial for them to work at peak performance.

How To Install Solar Lights On The Ground

Some units come with their own solar panels and stakes that can be inserted into the ground. If you buy ones that come with their own solar panels, you will need to dig a bit deep and place them in a sunny location.

If the ground you want to install your solar lights is hard and compacted, you will need to prepare the soil since the stakes that come with the lights are not strong enough to penetrate hard surfaces.

Prepare the ground by watering it uniformly to make it soft. You can also opt to soften the ground using a garden fork or a shovel. Soften the soil where you intend to erect your lights or panels that come separately.

Remember how to install solar lights without breaking the stakes. Be extra careful when inserting the stake in hard ground because you might end up damaging the stake.  As soon as you feel the stake is not penetrating through the soil quickly, prepare the ground further by digging it up or wetting it.

Benefits Of Outdoor Solar Lights

Now that we have looked at what to consider when buying and installing them. Let’s shed more light on the advantages of outdoor solar lights.

Needs Low Maintenance

Besides being durable, these garden accessories need little too low maintenance. Their low maintenance can be traced to their limited number of sockets, cables, and other accessories. Ensure to keep your lights away from shading to improve their efficiency and prolong their lifespan. In addition, although panels are cleaned by rain, it is recommendable to check for dust, birds’ droppings and leaves regularly.


It goes without saying that outdoor solar lights will help reduce your electricity bills. After buying them and installing them, you will enjoy outdoor lighting without spending a penny. Although buying them might be relatively expensive, you will recover your investment in the long run.  By saving on electricity costs.

Say Goodbye to Blackouts

After learning how to install solar lights, you will be less worried about blackouts. Best solar lights are self-contained units that only need sunlight to illuminate your outdoor space. As a result, you will enjoy maximum security since thieves mainly break into homes during a blackout.

Easy Installation

Most solar panels come as a complete unit, making them easy to install. In addition, their parts have connecting plugs, making it easier to do it yourself. Trying to install solar lights isn’t that complicated.  It’s completely different from using power from the grid.  The great thing is you don’t need a licensed electrician to install.

Its means that you don’t necessarily need to consult a professional when installing them. With the manual and the tips given above, you are ready to illuminate your outdoor space. Installing the best solar lights ensures you get the most out of the environmentally and economically viable system.

3 Best solar lights we tried

When it comes to these types of yard features, you want something that is pretty robust, and well designed. Stick to the guide above, and stay within your budget. It’s easy to spend a lot of the little things in your backyard and have them add up pretty quickly.

Vont 12 LEDs Outdoor Solar lights

outdoor solar lightsThese Vont 12 LEDs outdoor solar lights have recently had a product upgrade for 2021 conditions.  With 16 super-bright LEDs pitching a 120o lighting angle.  They are small units that will light up a large backyard pretty well.

The solar panels being adjustable are now twice as durable.  Purely for appearance’s sake, they look better than most other 4-6 LED lights on the market.

With two brightness modes to choose between you can have a low setting for 12 hours or a high setting for 6 hours.  The lights will also know when it’s dark as they can detect changes in the outdoor brightness.  So they switch between energy storage and lighting mode.

They even have a nifty Auto on at Night and Auto-off at Sunrise

Very simple to install, by just sticking the stake into the grass. Or you can wall-mount it with screws supplied.  Water and heatproof being made with high-impact ABS material and an IPX7 wireless waterproof design.  It makes it top of the glass compared to most other waterproof grade lights.

Comes with a lifestyle warranty as well.


  • Lifetime Warranty
  • The waterproof rating is high
  • Wide Angle of lighting
  • 2 modes for brightness


  • Can be costly if you have a large backyard you want to light up
  • The high setting is only 6 hours

$25.99 – Available from AMAZON

16 Solar Outdoor String Lights

outdoor string lightsWe loved these lights for lighting up a patio.  The Baxstel 16 piece Solar outdoor string lights come with shatterproof bulbs and 50 feet of vintage Edison bulbs.  With a 5W Monocrystalline silicon design, it converts up to 20.5% better.    Also making it more durable and very suitable for long-term use.

The Baxstel outdoor solar string lights have built-in sensors which will control the lights at dawn and dusk.  So you don’t have to worry about trying to switch them on or off.

With a shatterproof plastic design, they work great when you are having a large gathering of people on a patio.  If someone bumps them they will not shatter everywhere.

These lights are waterproof and the rubberized, flexible cord is thicker than a traditional cord.  With an IP65 Waterproof rating, it makes them suitable for outdoors in just about any environment.

They do only come with an 18-month warranty.


  • Loved the shatterproof design
  • the Auto switch on/off works a treat
  • The thicker cord also works well


  • A very short warranty period.
  • A bit pricey compared to some others on the market

$49.99 – Available from AMAZON

Sunnest 16 Pack Pathway lights

The Sunnest 16 Pack Pathway lights are perfect for lighting up any long pathway in your backyard.  They last a handy 6 – 10 hours after being charged for 6 – 8 hours.

So simple to install and use, with no tools required.  Just turn on the switch under the cap, pull out the spike, assemble each part, and insert the landscape path lights into the soil in sunlight.

Designed with corrosion-resistant stainless steel, together with robust ABS plastic lampshade, builds the solar pathway lights waterproof, sturdy, suitable for any weather, regardless of rain or snow.

You don’t have to just use them for pathways either.  They are strong enough to illuminate your garden, patio, deck, yard, lawn, walkway, driveway, pathways, flower bed, etc.


  • Designed with a large solar panel
  • Comes with a high power-efficient rating
  • Very simple to install


  • A bit pricey compared to other similar-sized packs
  • Generally, lightweight, make sure you don’ have a puppy that is digging them up.
  • Only IP44 water-resistant

$29.99 – Available from AMAZON

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About the Author

About the Author: Michael Wuze is a regular content contributor to Living Out The Back, which was started as a way to share the best of what life has to offer outside your home. The backyard is the one area so many people don't enjoy that we want to help you with. Everyone should enjoy their backyard. .


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