Brightech string lights along railing
Update, 01/23/2023: We’ve reviewed our recommendations and have updated our best garage light pick with the TBI Security lights.

What to Look For in an Outdoor Solar Light in 2023

Before you start buying outdoor solar lights, you should consider a few things. First and foremost, inspecting your landscape and picking the areas you might want to illuminate is a good idea. Then, you can decide which type of solar light would be most suitable for that part of your property.

There are several types of outdoor solar lights on the market. For example, floodlights are typically used for security purposes, whereas you can use spotlights to highlight trees or other parts of your landscape. Similarly, path lights are suitable for lighting up the walkway, driveway, or sidewalk.

In addition, while some types of solar lights have a single dusk-to-dawn mode for all-night operation, others can be motion-controlled or timer-based. Again, you can decide which will best suit your needs.

After choosing the type of light you want, its brightness comes into play. Most light manufacturers will mention the maximum brightness of a light in lumens. It helps gauge the brightness of a light, and the higher you go in lumens, the brighter a light will be. Color temperature, weather protection, and light coverage angle are other vital features that you should keep in mind while selecting an outdoor solar light.

Lastly, keep in mind that solar lights work best when placed in locations that receive plenty of sunlight. After all, it’s the solar energy that will charge the battery in that light, and if the panel is in the shade, the light may not work when you need it to.

Now that we have gone through the basics, it’s time to delve into our recommendations.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do outdoor solar lights need direct sunlight to charge?
While solar lights work best when they receive continuous direct sunlight, they are also able to charge on overcast and cloudy days. Solar lights used in rainy and cloudier regions will be less efficient and won’t achieve optimal performance. In periods of reduced sunlight, outdoor solar lights can be charged via artificial lighting, though not nearly as quickly.
How long do outdoor solar lights last?
How long a solar light lasts depends on the quality of the light. At full charge, the average light can run for approximately eight hours. The lifespan of a solar light is based on how often it runs, environmental factors, and the quality of the light and batteries. On average, solar light batteries should last up to two or three years. The light itself should last up to five.
Why are my outdoor solar lights not working?
Before cracking into the solar light to diagnose any issues, ensure the panels are clean and not covered in water. If they are, the most common issue with solar lights starts with the battery. Before disposing of the light, check to see if the battery has dislodged or corroded. If you can, test it with regular batteries. If it works, then you need to replace the rechargeable battery the light came with. Your solar light may also not work efficiently if it’s not getting enough sunlight. During installation, ensure the light is in direct light at least part of the day. Finally, if your light isn’t turning on automatically, there may be an issue with the motion and lighting sensor preventing it from being triggered.
Are outdoor solar lights waterproof?
While most outdoor solar lights are waterproof, this will be on a case-by-case basis. When shopping for a new solar light, ensure its construction is rated at least IP65. This rating indicates the enclosure protecting the inner mechanics seals tight enough to protect against condensation, water spray, and low-pressure jets.
Can outdoor solar lights stay out in winter?
There may be less sunlight during the winter, but solar lights still work in the winter. Freezing temperatures can damage some lights, so check with the manufacturer before installing new lights in colder environments.

Best Outdoor Solar Floodlight: Ring Smart Lighting Solar Floodlight

Ring Floodlight outside


  • Built-in smart features
  • Easy to install
  • 1200 lumens brightness
  • Integrates well with other Ring products


  • Requires Ring Bridge

The Ring Smart Lighting Solar Floodlight is an excellent solution to your outdoor security needs. But what really sets it apart from other solar floodlights on the market is its smart functionality. You can control the light with the Ring app on Android and iPhone or sync it with other Ring products, including doorbells and cameras.

In terms of actual light, the Ring Solar Floodlight shines up to 1200 lumens of bright white light. It’s activated when it senses motion, and Ring says it has a 120-degree field of view. While its motion detection is good enough for most people, there is an option to adjust sensitivity settings. In addition, the company’s algorithm learns as you use the light.

The floodlight is quite easy to install, and you will just need a power drill and some space. It comes with a solar panel that is about the size of an iPad mini, just thicker. You will need to mount it up in a sunny spot and connect to the floodlight using the attached four-meter cable. The whole thing shouldn’t take more than 10-15 minutes.

It’s also rated IP66, so you don’t have to worry about anything on the weather front. And you can adjust the two light heads and the motion sensor for best performance.

Unfortunately, the Ring Solar Floodlight needs the Ring Bridge to offer smart functions. If you don’t already own a bridge, it’s best to opt for the bundle. But if you have a fourth-gen Amazon Echo or third-gen Echo Show 10, you can use it instead.

Best Outdoor Solar Floodlight

Ring Smart Lighting Solar Floodlight

The Ring floodlight is a solid outdoor solar light. It offers 1200 lumens of brightness, smart features, and IP66 dust and water resistance.

Best Outdoor Solar Spotlight: Nekteck Solar Spot Light

Nekteck Solar Lights on blue and green background


  • Two mounting modes
  • Automatic dusk-to-dawn operation
  • 200 lumens brightness


  • Weather-resistance seal issues

If you are looking to highlight specific architectural or landscape features, there is no better option than the Nekteck Solar Spot Light. Thanks to its 2-in-1 design, you can either stick it in the ground or mount it on a wall. Whichever placement is suitable for you, the Nekteck light is a breeze to install.

The spotlight offers 200 lumens of brightness and has a sizeable solar panel to keep the batteries charged. Additionally, you get a simple automatic dusk-to-dawn operation, so you don’t have to worry about turning it on or off.

There are two brightness modes, but the high brightness mode will only last around six hours. However, on the low brightness setting, the Nekteck light can go on for a maximum of 10 hours.

One of the highlights of the spotlight is its adjustable nature. For example, you can tweak the angle of the solar panel up to 90 degrees, whereas the LED lighting supports up to 180-degree adjustment.

The light is also rated IP64 for dust and water resistance. However, some buyers have encountered sealing issues, leading to dust and water getting in the light. But the problem seems to come up rarely, so this isn’t a dealbreaker.

The Nekteck Solar Spot Light is available in two, four, six, or eight-packs and you can pick from 3000K warm white, 6500K cold white, and multicolor options.

Best Outdoor Solar Spotlight

Nekteck Solar Spot Light

The Nekteck Solar Spot Light is a perfect way to accentuate landscape features, thanks to its 200 lumens brightness. In addition, the light can be mounted one of two ways.

Best Outdoor Solar Path Lights: Hampton Bay Solar Light

Hampton Bay lights on grey background
Hampton Bay


  • Hassle-free installation
  • Rust-resistant construction
  • Look aesthetically pleasing


  • Plastic stake could be better

You can light up the perimeter of your yard or illuminate the walkway area with these warm white solar lights from Hampton Bay. These lights offer 10 lumens of brightness and can last up to eight hours on a full charge.

Hampton Bay has used aluminum and glass construction, which is durable and rated IPX4 for water resistance—and thanks to aluminum, you don’t have to worry about rusting. Additionally, the lights look aesthetically pleasing, and the crackled glass creates a nice pattern on the ground.

Like the Nekteck Solar Spot Light, these pathway lights also have an automatic dusk-to-dawn operation. You don’t have to worry about them after the initial setup!

Finally, with the plastic stakes, the Hampton Bay lights take seconds to install. Just make sure you install these in places that get a lot of sunlight.

Best Outdoor Solar Path Lights

Hampton Bay Solar Light

Whether you are lining a walkway or lighting up the perimeter of your yard, the Hampton Bay Solar Light is an excellent option.

Best Outdoor Solar String Lights: Brightech Ambience Pro

Brightech string lights on curtain


  • Painless installation
  • Weather-proof design
  • Vintage, charming look
  • Automatic operation


  • Only 10 lumens of brightness
  • Replacement bulbs not readily available

String lights are a fun way to add character to your patio, porch, or backyard. The Brightech Ambience Pro string lights feature vintage-style Edison bulbs for an inviting ambiance. Each 12-bulb strand is 27 feet long, and it’s connected to a solar panel by a six-foot wire. This gives you sufficient leeway in mounting the solar panel in a spot that receives plenty of sunlight.

You can either use the included clip or stake to mount the solar panel. Either way, the entire process is painless and won’t take more than a few minutes.

The bulbs deliver around 10 lumens of white light, and they will last up to six hours on a full charge. The overall build quality is good, and the bulbs are made from shatterproof plastic. The company also says the string lights can withstand rain, snow, and strong winds, though they don’t mention a specific water or weather resistance rating.

All-in-all, the Brightech Ambience Pro strings lights are simple to use, and they’ll add a nice ambiance to wherever you place them. You can pick from 2700K warm white and 3000K soft white bulb options.

Best Outdoor Solar String Lights

Brightech Ambience Pro

Decorate your gazebo, pergola, or patio with these antique-looking solar string lights of Brightech. The lights are easy-to-install and fairly durable.

Best Outdoor Solar Wall Light: Aootek Solar Light

Aootek solar light on orange background


  • 120 LEDs offer high brightness
  • Great value for money
  • Three operation modes


  • Controls are inaccessible after installation

If you are looking for a solar-powered outdoor wall light, it is tough to beat the Aootek Solar Light. It packs 120 LED bulbs for high brightness and offers 270-degree coverage. The light also comes with a reliable motion sensor. It offers three modes—security light mode, all-night mode, and smart brightness control mode.

In the security light mode, as the name suggests, the light only turns on for 15 seconds when it detects motion. However, in the smart brightness control mode, the light is up at a low intensity all night but increases the brightness when it detects motion. Finally, in the all-night mode, the Aootek light is constantly on but on a lower brightness level than the security mode.

Like most solar lights, it’s relatively easy to install. But unfortunately, as the controls are on the back, you will need to uninstall it if you want to change the mode. It’s not a difficult process to uninstall the light to change the mode, but annoying nonetheless.

Finally, the Aootek Solar Light is IP65-rated for dust and water resistance in other features, so it can withstand most weather conditions.

Best Outdoor Solar Wall Light

Aootek Solar Light

The wide-angle, wall-mount Aootek Solar Light features 120 LEDs for high brightness and a motion sensor to detect people from up to 26 feet.

Best Outdoor Solar Garage Light: TBI Security LED Solar Lights

TBI Security Outdoor Lights
TBI Security


  • Solar panels come attached
  • Large range of motion
  • Three light panels


  • May be too bright for some neighborhoods
  • Motion sensor could be more sensitive

Too often garage lights and solar panels are two separate units, requiring a bridge that either creates a messy installation or adds an unappealing aesthetic to your home. TBI’s Security LED Solar Lights keep everything as one unit, and the added flexibility prevents the limitations such a design could cause.

From the side lights that can angle outward to 355 degrees to the adjustable solar panel, you should have no issue finding the ideal positioning for your security lighting needs. The three-head, 216 LED light can illuminate up to 800 square feet, just be mindful of where you point them. The 2,200 lumens can get overwhelming for neighbors in neighborhoods with minimal yard space.

TBI allows you to customize your experience with three modes, including a double safety mode that keeps the lights dim all night until the motion sensor is tripped. Though the range for the sensor could be improved to be a little more sensitive at higher ranges, TBI’s solar-powered security light does respond well to closer movement.

Keeping everything running is the 2,200mAh lithium-ion battery, capable of 12 hours of dim-light operation. With its IP65 waterproof construction, the TBI light will withstand the elements and keep your home safe for years to come.

Best Outdoor Solar Garage Light

TBI Security LED Solar Lights

This 2,200 lumen solar light features 216 LEDs, three modes, and 355-degrees of rotation to help illuminate an 800 square foot area.

Profile Photo for Gaurav Shukla Gaurav Shukla
Gaurav Shukla is a technology journalist with over a decade’s experience reporting and writing about consumer technology. His work has appeared in Android Police, XDA Developers, and NDTV Gadgets 360.
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