When it comes to all-night lights for your yard or garden, you’re probably not going to want something that drains too much of your electricity. You’re always taught never to leave the light on during the night, the main reason being that it is an energy consumer and can cause fires.
That’s where having a solar-powered unit comes in handy. This will cut down on the amount of electricity used on your outdoor lighting. All you have to do is let them soak up the sunlight during the day and use them to power the lights at night. It’s as simple as that, right?
However, when you are looking for the right lighting for the shape and decor of your yard or garden, then you’ll definitely want to shop for the right shape of lamp. Having the right distribution of light will be very important for visibility especially if you entertain outdoors in the evening.
You can use many of these lights in several locations and settings, whether it be a patio, a porch or just an ordinary garden setting. You can also get this for an amateur football pitch - what better way to illuminate a late-night football field or basketball court than with some of these easy-to-set-up lights?
But where can you find some of the best solar-powered dusk to dawn lights? What features do these unique lights need to give you a great performance? What materials should your lights be made from for the best outputs? How much power should your solar panels supply to your lights? How much can you be expected to pay for these solar lights?
Well, if you are looking for a great set of solar lights for your backyard or garden, then we would certainly recommend that you keep reading this article. We’ve compiled an in-depth list of some of the best solar-powered dusk to dawn lights currently available on the market.
We also have a buyer’s guide that will definitely help you to discern which are the best solar lights for your needs, along with some frequently asked questions that will hopefully allay your anxieties when it comes to outdoor lighting issues.
OUR TOP PICK
OUR TOP PICK
This first set of lights have an automatic switch that will cue your light as soon as they feel some movement in front of the light itself.
This floodlight has a photosensor that will switch on when it senses activity and will switch off once there has been no activity for longer than a few minutes.
This is the perfect light for you to have in your backyard or garden - introducing the Maxsa Innovations Solar-Powered 10 Hour Flood Light.
One of the main concerns with your light sensor is the ability to conserve its power.
This light has a great battery life, providing you with over 10 hours of power on one single charge. This will drink up plenty of sunlight during the day, charging within a matter of hours.
You can easily mount the hardware for this flood lamp - it comes with a bracket that you can use to attach it to the wall of your fence.
It does not have any additional wiring, which will save time and money since you will not need an electrician.
- This is the perfect light for you to use anywhere, it is very versatile and you can place it in almost any garden. You can use it to shine a light on your porch or to scare away foxes in your hen house.
- This light has great motion sensor capabilities, so you can use it to frighten away intruders and pests, as well as keeping an eye on your garden furniture.
- You can use this light for both security and visibility, whether you are entertaining outdoors or want to frighten off any potential animal and human intruders.
- This light can be mounted anywhere in your backyard or garden, it is also rain and waterproof, so you won’t have to worry about it being damaged in severe weather.
- This has a durable battery life, you can keep your light on for upwards of 10 hours, which is great if you are having a party and want to have a few drinks without having to worry about being plunged into darkness.
- This light only illuminates a very small area, which might be an issue if you have a very large yard or garden.
- A few users have complained that the battery life is not as long as advertised.
This next solar panel lamp is completely waterproof and great to use in bad weather, where traditionally electric lights do not flourish.
This lamp comes in a very solid and sealed design that will keep your inner electricals protected and extend the overall lifespan of your solar lights - introducing the Lohas Solar Fence Post.
This light comes with an automatic switch that will shut the light off when no activity is detected.
The automatic switch will preserve your light and intensity. Your light will automatically come on in the evening and then switch itself off.
You will save a lot of energy on your electricity bills with this lamp. It will charge fully every day without you having to lift a finger.
It is also very beneficial for the environment, which will certainly appeal to those who want to keep the planet safe. You can use this light in a wide variety of locations like garages, gardens and porches.
- This solar light will give you everything that you need for a rainy day, coming in a fully sealed waterproof design that will protect the circuitry.
- Installation of the mounting is quick and easy and the light can be used in a variety of different backyard and garden settings.
- This light is one of the brightest that you can get on the market, it will illuminate upwards of 6 square feet, which is perfect for a larger yard or garden.
- These lights will charge themselves, so you don’t have to worry about setting them or rigging them up to your electrical panel. This is probably one of the most energy-efficient lamps that you can get on this list.
- The price - this is also the most inexpensive pair of lamps that you can find, so if you don’t want to fork out too much money, then these are perfect.
- Some users have complained that the quality of the materials on these lights is not great. You won’t expect them to survive a drop of anything higher than 6 feet.
This next set of solar-powered floodlights are probably the most versatile, as they come with 3 different settings that you can customize for your particular needs.
You can also set the light to work with whatever work schedule that you have, so you won’t have to worry about wasting electricity while you are out - introducing the New Version Solar Flood Lights.
As mentioned above, these lights have 3 different settings. One for motion sensor control, which will turn on once there is movement detected.
The second is Automatic Control Mode, where the light is charged during the daytime and then switches itself on during the nighttime.
The final setting is Manual Control Mode, which is where you can manually turn your light off and on.
This allows for flexibility and conserves power when the solar light is not needed.
- You can adjust the brightness of this lamp. So if your party creeps on into the night, then you won’t have to worry about your guests getting overwhelmed by the intensity - all you have to do is turn it down.
- This light has great battery life, you can get up to 10 hours of juice with this thing and not have to worry about a power outage.
- You have 3 different settings that give you manual or automatic control over your lamp settings, so you can have maximum control over the timing and duration of your light.
- This light is one of the brightest on this list, so whether it’s visibility or security, you’ll be able to get exactly what you want with just the touch of a button.
- This light is waterproof, so you won’t have to worry about it getting damaged if the weather suddenly turns from sun to rain.
- Some users have reported that this product leaks, which is probably more of an issue with the model that they bought rather than the product line itself.
This next solar lamp is popular for its strong battery, giving you a strong wattage of power that results in a full beam.
You can get upwards of 20 hours of charge time on this, so you won’t have to worry about any power outage at your next outdoor party - introducing the Ledmo Upgraded 200W LED Solar Flood Lights.
You can alternate the brightness and output of this light, which is wonderful if you want to gradually increase the light as the night draws in.
This light can be controlled with a remote that works up to a distance of 25 feet. It has 3 operating modes: auto, timing and gradient.
Auto Mode is when the light charges automatically during the day and turns itself on at night.
Timing mode is where you set the working time from anywhere between 3 - 8 hours, whereas the final gradient mode is where you can alter the brightness with a toggle wheel.
- This solar lamp is made of very high quality materials and construction, giving you a very durable light that is resistant to both rain and other corrosive elements.
- This comes with a tempered glass panel that will keep your light and bulb resistant to shocks.
- This is a waterproof light, so if it does start to rain, then you won’t have to worry about the electronics getting damaged.
- You can easily install this solar panel in your home without having to hire an electrician.
- A few of the users who have bought this lamp have claimed that it doesn’t last that long.
- A few buyers of this product have also claimed that it arrived damaged when they ordered it from Amazon.
This next set of flood lamps are very adjustable, coming with two different lights that you can use to illuminate an extremely wide area.
However, if you want to use this light to illuminate a small alleyway at the side of your house, then you can also narrow the beam accordingly - introducing the eLEDing Solar Powered Microgrid Smart Lighting.
This lamp comes with a smart function that enables you to detect the level of brightness in the area and adjust accordingly.
If there is motion in the general area, then your light will automatically raise, whereas if there is no light in your area, then it will turn itself down.
This is one of the better-made units, constructed from high-grade polycarbonate, which is long-lasting and can survive both heavy impacts and rain.
This light won’t consume too much energy, charging itself during the day and then keeping your energy levels low during the night.
- This is well made from very durable materials, and will handle even the hardest of impacts on a concrete floor.
- This lamp charges very quickly and very well, with an adjustable lighting head that you can use to alter the range and strength of the lighting.
- This light comes with a smart function that you can use to detect movement. This will mean that your light automatically changes depending on what the situation is.
- These lights will give you the best brightness output, which is great if you are looking for your keys as you come home from work late at night.
- You can illuminate a very wide area with this lamp, which is perfect for a party where you are entertaining a lot of guests.
- Some buyers have complained that the warranty does not guarantee them decent coverage.
- Some users have also reported functionality issues with the bulb on this model.
This next panel will convert 17% of all the sunlight it takes on into electrical energy. This will give you more than enough energy to last you for at least 5 hours.
You can collect plenty of solar energy with this panel even during cloudy weather, making it the perfect all-round lamp - introducing the Richarm Solar Flood LED Lights.
You can install this lamp in a manner of different styles. It can be mounted on your roof if you want to keep it out of the way of inquisitive guests, children and pets. You can even mount it on your pool, which is great for a nighttime pool party during the summer months.
This is a weatherproof solar-powered lamp, so you can even have it charging in the rain with heavy cloud coverage.
This set of lamps is made from very durable materials, including aluminum and ABS, which makes them very resistant to corrosion from heat and water.
- This solar light can cover a wide area with a strong beam, so you won’t have to worry about finding your keys in the dead of night or illuminating the guests at your party.
- This comes with a remote control function, so you can easily adjust your lighting levels.
- This lamp can be mounted in a wide variety of areas. Why not put it on your roof to avoid accidental breakage.
- This comes with a very durable solar panel that can be used even in very low lighting conditions.
- This solar panel is also very efficient, it will absorb plenty of light in a very short space of time to give you that full charge throughout the night.
- This panel only lights for around 8 hours, which might not be suitable if you need coverage for a longer period of time.
This next solar light is a motion sensor, with a light that will stay on for up to 40 seconds after you’ve stopped moving.
This makes it a great light for keeping your energy bills low and saving money. By reducing the brightness, it is probably one of the most energy-efficient options on this list - introducing the Solar Street Lights Outdoor Dusk to Dawn.
This battery has an amazing storage capacity, and can operate for upwards of a thousand hours.
At its strongest brightness, this one can still burn brightly for 25 hours.
This is also a very easy light to install, using just a few screws.
This lamp is totally wireless, so you can even drill it into a tree that might be hanging over your garden, which makes it a versatile model.
- This light is one of the easiest to use and install, all you have to do is attach it with the screws. This will definitely appeal to anyone who doesn’t want to spend too much money on hiring someone to do this for them.
- This sensor is waterproof, giving you everything that you need for even the worst weather.
- This light is extremely bright and durable, running for literally thousands of hours. This is great if you want to leave your light running without the anxiety of having it power down.
- This has a wireless element, so this will reduce the number of trip hazards and you won’t have to worry about your pets and children tugging or gnawing on dangerous electricals.
- This has a movement sensor, making it one of the better hands-off models, which is especially useful if you have mounted your light in a high place.
- Some users have complained that this light cannot be used in very cold places, so you might want to rethink your lighting choices if you plan on operating it during the winter.
This next light is another one that has plenty of modes that you can use for either optimal brightness or power savings options. It comes with manual controls that are easily adjustable with a remote, radar motion sensor control and automatic control which you can set to charge automatically during the day to shine at night - introducing Led Solar Flood Lights.
This lamp will remain in operational condition even during the harshest of weather, whether it is intense rain or strong winds.
You can easily install this light with a wall bracket that you can attach to your garden wall, your fence or an overhanging tree.
This will give you optimal brightness over a long period, and will keep your yard illuminated throughout the night.
This light has plenty of power-saving modes, so you won’t have to worry about the light running out of power.
- You can install this set of lights in many locations in your yard, you can have it high up on the wall pointing down or on the ground pointing upwards, the potential is limitless.
- This light is very bright, giving you great illumination for many hours at a time. It can last up to 10 hours, which should be perfect for most of your yard illumination needs.
- This light fitting is extremely durable, it can withstand hard rain, which makes it the perfect solar lamp for the coming winter months.
- This has a very fast recharge time, you can easily set it to absorb sunlight throughout the day, giving you as much battery power as you need throughout the night.
- You can also adjust the brightness setting of this light to give you power if it detects that there is not much motion in your yard for over 40 minutes.
- Some users have reported that even on the brightest settings, this lamp doesn’t reach some of the farther corners of a large garden.
This next set of solar garden lamps have an amazing automatic turn-off function that you can use to lower the overall energy consumption of your home in general.
When it comes to saving money, then you’ll definitely want a lamp that is in control of its power - introducing the Richarm Solar Flood Lights.
This solar lamp charges in a very efficient manner, even in cloudy weather this lamp will be fully charged in just under 5 hours.
This is great if you need a quick charge that will last you the duration of a large family barbeque. You can have your light shining for upwards of 10 hours.
This bright light will cover around 860 square feet of space, which is ideal for anyone that has a larger space such as a patio, a garden or a child’s playground.
If you are planning on hosting a large gathering, then having a set of two or three lights that will last you all night will be very helpful in keeping the entire area illuminated.
- This set of lights has an electronic remote control, so you can operate the lighting system from the comfort of your chair.
- You can recharge these batteries very quickly to give you around 10 hours of power, which is great if you need to get your yard illuminated quickly and efficiently.
- These lights have an automatic on and off function.
- The lights in this set are extremely bright, so if you have a larger area that needs illuminating, then you can’t go wrong with this set.
- This is both waterproof and heatproof, making them some of the most durable lights on the market in terms of both price and construction.
- This light comes with a 4ft cord, which will certainly limit the amount that you’ll be able to do with your lighting system in terms of positioning.
This set of lights is a great value pack that has amazing versatility. with spikes that you can drive into the ground, which makes them a great decoration for any lawn or garden area.
These lights are very attractive and resilient and they can take a beating from severe weather as well as accidental impacts - introducing the Signature Garden 8 Pack Solar Garden Lights.
The manufacturer has stated that these lights are also capable of resisting snow, frost and sleet, which makes them a great addition to your yard if you are operating in the cold.
They come with a lifetime replacement warranty, which will give you that added assurance in case of breakages.
You should be able to generate 8 hours of battery life easily with this kit, with a modest to low lighting range of around 15 lumens.
These come in a very solid metal frame and, due to the spike system, you can drive them into the ground at any point that you like. This is great if you have an oddly shaped yard but want to get maximum coverage.
- These lights come in a wide range of colors to augment the décor of your garden.
- These lights are very weather resistant and capable of withstanding even the harshest of cold weather climates.
- They produce a warm light that will perfectly illuminate whatever path that you happen to be treading on.
- These lights will charge very effectively during the day and will give you enough lasting illumination at night.
- These lights do not have a motion sensor, so you will be required to extinguish them yourself.
This final set of solar lights are 2-in-1, giving you a great performing solar spotlight that you can use to brighten up your favorite yard features or shed some light for your guests at a party in the backyard.
This will give you a large solar panel and a few brightness settings that allow you to customize your back garden lighting - introducing the Urpower Solar Outdoor Lights.
If you have Christmas decorations that you would like illuminated at night, then we would certainly recommend these lights, with their stake-style design that will allow you to plant them just about anywhere.
You will easily be able to achieve around 200 lumens of energy with this setup, which is great for lighting up the garden path.
You can easily achieve around 10 hours of power with this set of lights.
You can crank it up to the high setting so that it will absorb 4-5 hours of sunlight and give you the maximum output during the evening. This is probably one of the more energy-efficient lights.
- These lights can be angled in a wide variety of directions, so you can angle them to shine at a particular object.
- These lights have a driving stake design, which you can use to place them anywhere around your yard or garden allowing you to accentuate any item or area.
- This light will automatically turn itself on at dusk, so ino need to manually activate them.
- This light has a moderate power output of around 200 lumens, which will provide light but not disrupt neighbors.
- The price - these are some of the most decently priced lights on the market, perfect if you want that basic level of garden illumination but without the price.
- This lighting setup is very heavy, so it might not be suitable for senior users who have trouble with mobility.
Best Solar Powered Dusk To Dawn Light Buying Guide
Having a solar-powered light in your back garden has its obvious advantages - the main one is that you’ll save yourself a lot of money on electrical energy. A lot of these lights are also wireless, which is great when it comes to positioning. You can mount these almost anywhere in your yard or garden.
There are a few things that you’ll be looking for in a back yard solar light and one of the main ones will be how efficient the power wattage is.
You’ll also probably want to figure out what exactly you’ll be running your lights for and how much power you’ll need for a specific length of time. Here are just some things you’ll need to consider:
Does The Power On Your Lights Automatically Activate?
Having an automatic power activation really will make all the difference, especially when it comes to your energy bill at the end of the month. You can tweak a lot of these lights so they have certain power and brightness settings.
One great way to save on power is by setting it to automatic power-saving mode. Many of these lights have a mode whereby the solar panel will absorb as much light as possible during the day and expel it during the night.
This automatic optimization will make sure that your solar lamps are using as little energy as possible.
Having a power-saving device that will control itself will be very important for minimizing the amount of power that you’ll be using regularly.
How Long Does The Battery Last?
As with most other types of lamp, you’ll certainly want to have something with a fairly meaty level of battery life. Remember the more battery life that you have then the higher the chances are that your battery will last you at least 10 hours.
You’ll also want to think about how exactly the battery charges itself. Most of these batteries are wireless so you won't have wires running. If your lights are not wireless, we would certainly recommend that you mount these higher to keep them out of harm’s way.
How Portable Is Your Solar Light?
You should make sure that your device is easy to install, whether it be using a wall-mounted bracket or with a stake that you can drive into the ground. If you have more grass than patio, then we would certainly recommend that you go for an option with a stake that goes directly into the ground.
Having a lamp that you can pick up and carry around will be ideal if you are planning on moving it around more than once during the year. If you have Christmas decorations that you want to use, then we would definitely recommend that you have lights that are easy to transport.
How Well Can It Withstand The Rain?
Your light will be an outdoor accessory, so you’ll want them to be waterproof. If water gets into your lamp then you’ll definitely be struggling to get it to switch on again and you might have to pick up a whole new set of lamps.
You should also go for a waterproof light, as the dew in the morning will affect your lamp’s ability to function.
Some of the lamps that we’ve listed above have claimed to be resistant to heavy snowfall also. This is ideal if you want to keep your lamps out in the garden during the winter to illuminate your Christmas decorations.
Having a lamp set that is both versatile and durable is very important for its longevity. You’ll want something that is made from solid steel and is completely sealed to avoid any water leaking inside it over the long term.
How Bright Is Your Light?
Having a lamp that will reach a longer distance will be crucial if you have a large property. If you have the money to buy many lamps, then this might not be a problem, however, if you have limited cash to spare, then we would suggest you get fewer lamps that can reach much further.
You can pick some lights that have plenty of illumination options, either giving you a broad beam that you can use to shine a light on a wider area or have a much narrower beam that you can use for a stronger and more concentrated focus.
There are a couple of lamps on the list above that will give you multiple brightness options, including the option to have it switch off automatically if the motion sensors do not pick anything up. Having various brightness options will also mean that you can toggle to low brightness if you want to save energy.
You can adjust your brightness down or, if you want the garden illuminated at night, then you can turn it up brighter so your yard is well lit.
Ideally, you’ll want lamps that are easy to adjust, with either a dial or a set of buttons that you can easily see in the dark.
What Are Your Lamps Made From?
You’ll also want to have a quick glance at the product description to see what exactly your lamps are made from. If you have decent, good-quality materials, then this will extend the life of your lamps by a good few years. Steel and carbon fiber are great materials for a lamp to be made from, although you’ll also want solid, thermal glass.
Because of the complex technology involved with a solar light, we would recommend that you spend more money to get a lot more use out of your product. If you live in a region that will experience multiple storms, then you should definitely purchase a top-of-the-range model.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Does Outdoor Solar lighting Work?
Each cell of your lighting produces energy that is gathered in the solar cell, which you can usually find at the top of your solar lamp. The whole lamp itself comes as a photoresistor, an LED light and a rechargeable battery that is charged through the solar cell.
As you have probably already read, a lot of these batteries charge themselves through the light of the sun during the day, each of which with different efficiency. Some of these lamps have great light absorbing capabilities and can charge themselves fully and quickly on a cloudy day.
Some of these batteries will activate themselves when they register the presence of light and start charging, usually in the morning. Once any light is absent, then the lamp will automatically switch itself on and stay powered, usually for around 10 hours.
Why Get Outdoor Solar Lighting?
One of the main benefits of getting this style of lighting is the fact that you won’t need any other sources of light. It won’t require any additional wiring, which means that you won’t have any endless trails of wires that could easily get snagged on your guests and damage the wiring of your electrical lighting.
This also won’t consume that much of the power. Investing in a solar-sufficient back yard or garden lamps is a great way to save.
We would also recommend that you use this solar-powered unit near ponds, as this will be a lot safer. If your solar light falls into your pond, then only the light will be damaged, rather than the vast circuit of your house's electricity.
How Long Can You Expect Outdoor Solar lighting To Last?
On average, your solar-powered outdoor lights should last you around 2 years, although this is all depending on how exposed it has been to the harsher outdoor elements like rain and wind. You can pick up replacement batteries for your rechargeable solar lamps from your local hardware store.
When you are changing the batteries, then we would suggest that you take in the model of lamps that you happen to be using, as they will more accurately match up your power charger with that specific model.
The LED bulbs that you get inside your solar-powered lamp will probably run for around 100,000 hours, although once these are done then you won’t be able to replace them.
How Do You Look After Your Solar Lights?
Because your lights are situated outside and are directly powered by the heat of the sun, then you can expect them to accumulate quite a lot of dust and dirt. If your solar cells are gummed up with dirt, then you can definitely expect them not to be as efficient at charging your lamps.
During the winter months, they will not store up nearly half as much charge as they normally would. Also, because of the lower temperatures, then you probably won’t have much of a desire to go outside. So, we would certainly recommend that you keep your solar lights indoors during these colder months.
If you need your solar lights to see the way down your garden path to the front door, then perhaps you can function on fewer lights. Try and use a couple of lights to illuminate the bare minimum of your garden.
If you are choosing to store them in your shed or garage, then you should make sure that they are switched to the off position firmly before placing them in your shed for a few months. This will ensure that they will not get drained of batteries as the months wear on.
With some of the models that contain smart technology, you should store them in a dark area so they do not automatically detect light, switch themselves on and start charging for the evening.
Are Most Styles Of Solar Lighting Waterproof?
With most of the styles of outdoor lighting, then you can certainly expect them to be waterproof. If your model does include glass, then you should store it indoors during the harsher winter months. If you have them outside in your wind, rain or snowstorms, then you should also bring them in for protection.
If you have hanging lights, then you’ll want to keep an eye on them in windy conditions. This is because they can easily blow from their moorings and smash on the floor. You should also be wary of losing them in a pond if you do have one in your backyard.
How Do You Know That Solar Lights Are Good For You?
Firstly, you’ll want to know what exactly it is that you’ll be illuminating. You’ll need to be able to distinguish whether your lighting state is ambient or functional.
Functional lighting is defined as that which will help you to function. This will either be lighting that helps you see down your driveway or lighting that will help your guests see at a party. This is lighting that has a distinct purpose.
Ambient lighting is like a kind of decoration, it will just illuminate your favorite sculptures or features in your garden. It serves little functional purpose. However, you can get lighting that is both functional and ambient, allowing you to alternate the two.
You’ll also need to determine the color temperature and brightness that you’ll require. This is usually done in Lumens and Kelvin Range. However, you can also check to see if your lighting has a focal range - either narrow lighting for signs and monuments or area lighting that covers a wider area like a backlot or driveway.