Solar lights for your property don’t have to appear utilitarian. Decorative solar lights combine form and function, contributing aesthetic value to your property while simultaneously working to provide energy-efficient lighting.
Homeowners seeking to reduce their environmental impact with alternative energy sources can find attractive solar lighting for their garden. Plenty of product options are available today; here, we’ll review the best decorative solar yard lights to help you make the right choice for your home.
How to Choose Hanging Solar Lights
Decorative solar lights all include a variety of features. These features vary depending on the product; because of this an outdoor solar light fixture that’s right for your neighbor may not be the right choice for you.
Below, you’ll find the main considerations to take into account when shopping for solar lawn decorations.
The amount of time that a solar light fixture can stay illuminated is variable and depends on a few factors, including the amount of sunlight that the solar panel receives during the day. However, some solar lights have the capacity to stay on for longer than others. Solar lights that stay on for longer than others may have a larger solar panel or may be constructed from more durable materials.
Environmental factors can impact the charge length of your solar lights as well. Rain and snow can greatly deter the functionality of a solar panel. Rain can cause corrosion to the electrical connections in the light (Source). If snow builds up on the surface of a solar panel, it can hinder its ability to capture energy from the sun.
Bulb Type and Brightness
Most solar garden décor uses LED bulbs. LED bulbs are an energy-efficient alternative to regular incandescent bulbs and use less energy to produce the same amount of light. The combination of solar power and LED bulbs makes for a highly efficient, eco-friendly lighting system.
As you shop for decorative solar yard lights, look at the number of lumens that the bulbs provide. This number will tell you how brightly the bulb will burn and, therefore, whether it will provide the look that you’re aiming for in your garden (Source). An 6-8-watt LED bulb (equal to a 60-watt incandescent bulb) will produce 750-900 lumens, while a 25-28-watt LED bulb (equal to a 150-watt incandescent bulb) will produce 2,600-2,800 lumens (Source). Bulbs with fewer lumens produce dimmer light than those with higher lumens.
As with any light fixture, the brightness of the bulb is an important factor to consider. LED decorative lights need to be bright in order to illuminate your home’s landscaping at night. This may make your home and garden appear more welcoming, as well as contribute to the overall look of the neighborhood in which you live. Plus, garden lighting may be beneficial for outdoor gatherings that take place late in the day and at night.
Decorative solar lights are different from your average solar light because they add an aesthetic element to your yard, garden, or patio. As such, you should carefully consider the style of light fixture that will coordinate with your existing outdoor decor. For example, solar bird lights might look beautiful in a grassy, flower-filled landscape, while a rustic porch setup may benefit from a solar torch design.
Colored lights can add a dreamy, fantasy-like effect to your yard. Or, bright-colored lights may make your home pop and stand out in your neighborhood. Colored decorative solar lights may also be a good choice for households with children; the kids can enjoy setting up and admiring the light display in your yard.
The question of how and where to install your outdoor decorative lights should be answered when you research product options. Landscaping designs vary from homeowner to homeowner; some people may prefer to stake their lights into the ground, while others may want to hang them on the porch.
The area in which you install your decorative solar lights determines their visibility, as well as the value that they’ll bring to your home. String lights may look great around your patio to create an intimate atmosphere. Post or stake lighting on the perimeter of your driveway may help welcome guests to your home and make your home appear more inviting ( Source).
Ease of installation is a positive feature of outdoor lighting. Luckily, most solar lights are wire-free; this simplifies the installation process. Stake lighting and solar flower lights may be installed easily by sticking them into the grass or soil. String lights are most commonly hung using hooks or even zip ties. The product options included in this article can all be installed without the help of a professional.
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Due to the size of the solar panels on these torches, you can still get as many as four hours of light when they’re installed partially out of direct sunlight. This may give you more freedom to install the torches wherever looks the best, not just the area that receives the most sunlight. Plus, the ability to reinstall these lights gives you the flexibility to update your landscape or change the lights’ positioning according to the seasons.
In addition to their functional benefits, the warm amber glow that these torches emit is unusual. It will give your yard a welcoming homey ambiance; perfect for summer get-togethers and outdoor parties. That being said, just like a tiki torch, these solar lights emit a flickering glow. While this makes for a fun atmosphere, it may not be the best option if you’re looking to effectively and completely illuminate and area at night. After a long period of use, the battery capacity of these torches can lessen.
In this situation, you’ll need to turn off the light for three to five days with sunlight so that the batteries get a chance to recharge. This might be inconvenient, especially if you need to use the lights on an everyday basis. Also, depending on your landscaping, the torches may not be visible enough to have a visual impact. The manufacturer doesn’t offer extenders to boost the height.
- Can be easily moved and reinstalled
- Light casts a unique amber color
- Has a sizable solar panel that can charge in partial shade
- The brand doesn’t sell extra extenders for those who want the torches to be higher
- The battery capacity may decrease over time and require a reset
- The light flickers and isn’t continuous
These solar string lights feature 16 S14 LED plastic bulbs that are both shatterproof and waterproof. So, the risk of damage in high winds, rain, snow, and other kinds of weather is significantly reduced. One spare bulb is also included so that you don’t need to purchase a replacement in the case of damage. Plus, these solar string lights feature an on/off switch on the solar panel.
This gives you the power to use these lights only when needed, preserving energy in the process. Hanging string lights can be difficult to hang outside. To install these solar string lights, you screw in the individual light bulbs, use the cord to connect the solar panel, position the solar panel, and then hang the string lights. This process may be faster and simpler than the installation of other solar powered garden decorations.
The extensions included with this light give you multiple options for installation. You have the choice to mount the lights on the wall, which may be a great option for some homeowners. This feature is worth mentioning because wall mounting is a feature that’s often just found in solar outdoor Sconces. However, due to the fact that these bulbs are made of plastic, not glass, they need to be screwed in more tightly than you may think.
So, you may want to take extra care when completing this step of the installation process. Depending on the size of your patio or porch, these string lights may not cover the entire area that you want them to. You may need to purchase a second set to cover the whole area, which may be pricey. This higher-priced item may not be the best choice for budget-conscious shoppers.
- Bulbs are shatterproof for added durability
- Easy installation that you can do yourself
- Switch on the solar panel allows you to use the lights only when needed
- Extensions for wall mounting are included
- The bulbs need to be screwed in extra-tightly
- The 15 bulbs may not be enough to cover the entire patio
With a beautiful lily flower design, the color-changing effect of these flower solar lights brings an unusual visual element to your garden. Many other outdoor lights stay the same color, but these flowers will shift from red to blue to green. Oftentimes, outdoor lights may often not draw your eye until they turn on at night. These flower lights add a decorative element to your yard during the day as well as at night because the fabric flower petals are colorful and realistic.
As a backup source of energy, these solar flower lights use rechargeable batteries. It’s simple to replace them through the small access door. The solar panel is larger in size than previous models and the fixture is IP65 waterproof rated. The red, blue, and green hues of these solar lights may seem artificial to some, especially when installed directly next to genuine flowers. Also, the fabric may not be the most durable fabric in the outdoors, but it’s the material used for the petals of these flowers.
- The lights change color
- The fabric flowers are decorative during the day and at night
- Included access door to change the batteries
- A Large solar panel that can charge in cloudy weather
- The light colors may appear unnatural
- The fabric leaves aren’t very durable
When all is said and done, we turn to the as the winner of this roundup. As far as price, quality, and design go, these torches surpass our other two contenders. Using a large solar panel and LEDs, the torches can stay illuminated for as many as 10 hours in the summer.
The torches emit soft lighting from the realistic dancing flames, a style that may be ideal for outdoor parties and gatherings. When you consider the facts, the TomCare Waterproof Flickering Flame Torches are superior decorative solar outdoor lights.