Sorting through all of the best solar fairy lights can be a challenge when deciding which one to get. So in this solar-powered LED fairy lights review, I will tell you about fairy lights in general before telling you what I think the best ones might be.
Best Ways To Use Solar Powered Fairy Lights
When considering whether or not to buy some small fairy lights, the first question that can come to mind is what you might use them for. Besides wrapping them around a tree you can also use them to decorate the inside of a bedroom if the window gets enough sun, giving at times a somewhat Bohemian look to your room.
There is a number of simple crafts that you can do with fairy lights, including the popular one of putting them in a mason jar, or you could buy solar mason jar fairy lights already prepared. But other options for fairy light décor include outdoor canopies, lighting up a pillar, or making simple watering can decorations.
For the more adventuresome and handy people there are more detailed and time-consuming DIY projects available. Some of these can even tell you how to do complicated things such as making your own lawn lamp from scratch (Source).
What Is The Difference Between Fairy Lights And String Lights
String lights and fairy lights are commonly mistaken for each other and both come on long strings that attach them to each other, but there are a couple of important differences that can help you to tell them apart.
In string lights, the lights poke out from the string and are encased in transparent or colored bulbs. These often give enough light to make it possible to clearly see what is around them but their light doesn’t usually extend much beyond that.
True fairy lights do not poke out from the string, instead of making a lump in the string itself. These do not give enough light to really see by, being solely for decorative purposes.
What this means is that your LED fairy lights will not be prone to catching on things like string lights can sometimes do. This also makes them more flexible and bendable so you can form them or wrap them around whatever you wish to. All in all, fairy lights are much better suited for crafts and decorations than string lights.
What You Should Look For In Fairy Lights
LED is an acronym that stands for Light Emitting Diode and it is called this because of the complicated way that it makes light. Because of the different way the light works it has less CO2 emission outputs, making it better for the planet.
Another key feature about this kind of light is that it releases 80% of its energy as light and only 20% of its energy as heat, compared to other lights which often are closer to 80% heat and 20% light. This is part of what helps them last longer and is more durable than other light options.
While most garden fairy lights do have a copper string, this is a very good thing to make sure yours have for more than one reason. Firstly, there is the fact that copper is very pliable and yet can hold the shape you put it in. This could be useful if, for example, I wanted to make a heart-shape for Valentine’s Day and I wanted it to stay in that shape without anything holding it like that.
This also means that the string won’t tear, unravel, or anything else of that nature, though it does tend to mean that any knots or kinks that form in the string can be next to impossible to remove.
Troubleshooting Solar Outdoor Fairy Lights
Unlike many other kinds of solar lights, which usually shine dimmer or won’t come on at all if there is a problem, solar fairy lights will more often start to blink on and off sporadically when something is wrong.
If yours is doing this you should first make sure that your solar panel is clean and getting plenty of sunlight, because the cause might be that it isn’t getting enough sun. The next thing to try if that doesn’t seem to help is to replace the battery since eventually, any battery will no longer hold a charge.
To help your solar fairy lights to keep working at their peak it is best to clean them every once in a while. This will get rid of any dirt or dust that may have worked its way in and will help the different parts to last as long as possible in addition to helping to keep your lights bright.
You should wipe off your solar panels at least once a month and give your system a thorough clean once or twice a year. Doing so will also sometimes alert you to any problems, such as if the battery is oxidizing (Source).
Best Solar Fairy Lights Reviews
Quick Take: OUR RECOMMENDATIONS FOR SOLAR FAIRY LIGHTS
Best Overall Option
GIGALUMI 100 LED Solar Fairy Lights
The GIGALUMI backyard fairy light has a copper string and is just over 39’ long, with the first 6 ½’ having no lights so that you have room to place the solar panel away from what you want lit without having to have lights on the ground where you don’t want them.
Best Alternative Option
Solar Mason Jar Lights with 30 LEDs Fairy Firefly String Lights
Since one of the most common uses for fairy lights is to make a sort of fairy light lamp by using a mason jar, this option has the solar panel built into a circle that will fit the top of a wide-mouthed quart jar.
The GIGALUMI backyard fairy light has a copper string and is just over 39’ long, with the first 6 ½’ having no lights so that you have room to place the solar panel away from what you want lit without having to have lights on the ground where you don’t want them. The solar panel is quite small at just over 2 ½” square and is attached to a 9” spike that goes in the ground or that can go in a pot. There is also a section that allows the solar panel to rotate 90 degrees to catch the most amount of sun. The solar panel is quite small at just over 2 ½” square and is attached to a 9” spike that goes in the ground or that can go in a pot. There is also a section that allows the solar panel to rotate 90 degrees to catch the most amount of sun.
- It is built to be weatherproof through rain, snow, and the elements that go with it and this also should help it to last a long time.
- checkIt has eight different settings, including a steady on, giving you plenty of options to choose from and, since it can stay lit for up to ten hours, you can enjoy it for most of the night.
- The lights return to their default mode anytime they have been turned off or anytime it gets bright enough for them to turn off themselves. This means that if you prefer another setting then you must set it for that regularly.
These waterproof fairy lights can come in four different colors, including blue and purple, as well as a mixed color option that is blue, green, and red. This can be especially nice if you want more variety than just white fairy lights and the copper string ensures that you can bend it into any shape. Its working temperature is anywhere between -4 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit ensuring that it should work in any weather or environment. It is also built to stay cool to the touch even when it has been on for hours, so there is no fear of getting burnt by it.
- checkThe solar panel is only slightly larger than others and can be mounted on a wall. This can be helpful, not only for making sure that it gets sunlight, but also so that it is not on the ground to be tripped over.
- checkIt only needs 6-8 hours of light to stay lit for 8-10 hours at night, sometimes even lasting for 12 hours.
- checkThe 150 LED lights are extra bright and crisp, making them easier to see at night.
- It only has two modes, a steady on and flashing, so if you like having more mode options you might feel that this is limiting.
The JMEXSUSS option has nearly 33’ of fairy lights on a pure copper string so that you can do any shaping that you want to do with it. It shines for around eight hours or more, but the lights are almost four inches apart. It comes in two different colors: white, and a warm white that gives beige looking light and is a softer color. It is pretty self-explanatory to set it up, but it does not always come with an instruction manual, so when it comes time to replace the batteries you have to either figure it out, make a call, or buy a new one.
- checkIt has eight different modes that the lights can be set to and it stays the way you set it, so you only have to set it the way you want it one time.
- checkThe copper string is insulated to make sure that it doesn’t get too hot to the touch, and this also helps some to make it waterproof.
- Only just over one and a half feet of the string has no lights, meaning that you have to place the solar panel quite close to tree or whatever you are using the lights for.
Since one of the most common uses for fairy lights is to make a sort of fairy light lamp by using a mason jar, this option has the solar panel built into a circle that will fit the top of a wide-mouthed quart jar. While it does not include the jars themselves, it does include hangers that enable you to hang up your new lights. It is weatherproof enough to last for a while without rusting even if you have wet conditions. It also comes in sets of different numbers which can be a handy thing so that you can get the right amount that you need for a certain project.
- checkIt can be turned on during the day if wanted by simply covering the solar panel on top.
- checkIt can also run off of AAA batteries for times when there is not enough sun to charge the rechargeable ones.
- It only needs 6-8 hours of light during the daytime and can stay lit for 8-12+ hours, meaning that it might last all night
- You have to already own or buy the wide-mouth quart jars in order to use it.
- It can only turn on or off so there are no flickering or fading modes that you can set it to.
All of these backyard fairy lights look amazing, but my pick is the GIGALUMI 100 LED Solar Fairy Lights. While it is not perfect, it has everything that I would want in one of the best solar fairy lights.
Not only does it have copper wires and the LED lights, but it also has eight different settings to choose from according to what I feel like. And it is a reasonably priced option.
The part of the string that has no lights is plenty long enough for me to wrap the lights around a tree and still be able to set the solar panel in the sun. This length also means that I can slip the lights in the window to decorate my room and keep the solar panel on the outside without any lights showing outside if I don’t want them to.