In this guide we’ll take a look at the best solar decking lights for the UK market.
I’ve compared design, brightness, illumination time and cost
to give you my top recommendations.
In this guide we’ll take a look at the best solar decking lights for the UK market.
Everything I Recommend
More Detailed Solar Decking Light Reviews
Woodside Solar Powered LED Decking Lights Review
This set of Woodside Solar Powered LED Decking Lights includes 12 stainless steel lights with warm LED bulbs. They produce an ambient glow out on the deck in the evening.
During summer, the lights will last for most of the night, staying illuminated for around 8 hours. They create atmospheric lighting, and can be used to indicate steps and parameters with a low-level glow.
Installation is very simple; all that’s required is for a 60 mm hole to be cut into the deck, and then the lights just slot in. They offer a very low-effort way to install lights in the garden, and can be taken out easily too.
This is useful because it means that if the decking is in the shade, the lights can be removed and placed in the sun to charge during the daytime. They can then be replaced into the deck at night.
Also, given that 12 units come included, these are some of the best solar decking lights in terms of value for money. They’re a great choice for big or small decks, and an inexpensive way to get lots of lights.
As a result of their low price, the quality control isn’t as high as it could be. Occasionally lights don’t work on arrival because the battery isn’t placed correctly; it can help to take off the back and make sure that the battery is slotted in properly. Apart from this, the general consensus is that they will work well for a couple of seasons, but shouldn’t be viewed as a lifelong purchase.
For the price, this seems logical, and they still offer an inexpensive solution to lighting up a decking area in a practical way that requires minimal effort.
- Very simple to install as there’s no wiring required
- Discreet and pleasant glow that won’t dazzle you late at night
- Easy to remove and charge in the sun if necessary, before replacing into the decking at night
- During the summer they can stay illuminated for around 8 hours
- Good value for money considering price and how many come included
- May not stay lit for long in winter - they require quite a lot of sunlight to charge enough
- Some lights may not work on arrival and require the battery needing to be slotted into place better
- Unlikely to last for more than a couple of years due to quality of fixtures and plastic cover
Voche Colour Changing LED Deck Lights Review
Coloured lights are a fun way to add more visual interest to the garden, and these Voche Colour Changing LED Deck Lights will bring a wash of red, blue and green to your decking. They cycle through the different colours, creating an ambience which is great for parties and gatherings.
Due to the fact they’re so easy to put in and take out, they could also be fitted solely when entertaining guests, with a set of plain-coloured patio lights used the rest of the time.
There are 12 stainless steel lights included in one pack, so there are enough lights for medium/large decks, and they stay illuminated for around 6 hours if they receive enough sunlight during the day.
They’re most suited to being used as decorative lighting – there’s only one LED inside each unit so they don’t cast a lot of bright light. If you’re looking for illumination for safety reasons, it might be better to choose a brighter white light; whilst these are fun to look at, they can appear dimmer and may not highlight steps or obstacles quite as well.
Even so, they offer good value for money and are some of the best solar decking lights for parties, bringing a pop of colourful light to the garden. Their brightness will also depend on how much sunlight they receive during the day as well.
- Easy to install into the decking with no wiring required
- Can be easily taken out and swapped with other lights depending on your mood
- Automatically come on when it gets dark
- Stay on for approximately 6 hours if charged in bright sunlight
- May stay on for only a couple of hours in the winter months or after overcast days
- More decorative than practical; they may not emit enough light to see clearly by
- Protective casing may let some rainwater in
Lights4fun White LED Solar Decking Lights Review
With two LEDs inside each unit, these Lights4fun LED Solar Decking Lights cast a bright white light once fitted in place.
Unlike the other lights featured on this page, these come with a separate solar panel so there’s no need for each individual light to spend time charging in the sunlight. The solar panel is connected to the string of decking lights via a 2.8 m cable which leaves quite a lot of flexibility on where it can be placed. Because of this, they’re some of the best solar decking lights if your deck is in the shade.
There’s also a further 3 metre extension cable that can be purchased to make it easier to put the solar panel in the sun.
This means that the six decking lights are all wired together, which sets them apart from the other options on this page which have no cables. However, they’re still easy to install as they can be easily disconnected and reconnected.
Between each light there is a length of 1.6 m wire, so the fact that they’re joined together is unlikely to limit placement options.
There is also an on/off switch on the solar panel, which gives a bit more control over these lights than others; however, it doesn’t have to be used. If left ‘on’ the lights will automatically come on when it gets dark.
In terms of quality, they are weatherproof and can be left outside. Depending on how much sunlight they receive they may only stay on for 2 – 3 hours in the evening, but after brighter days they can achieve around 6 hours of illumination.
- Approximately 6 hours of illumination after charging on a bright day
- Light is quite strong so they are both practical and decorative
- Solar panel is attached via a 2.8m cable so can be placed in the best spot for maximum sunlight
- Harder to install than others on the market because lights are connected together with wires
- In the winter months the LEDs may not stay on for more than a couple of hours
Things to Know Before Buying Solar Decking Lights
Decking lights are great for adding ambience and style to the garden. Once your decking is illuminated, you’ll likely find yourself using it more often in the evenings.
Installing lights can also help make your deck safer, sometimes they can be hazardous due to steps and raised areas.
Choosing solar-powered lights will mean you can avoid messing around with mains wiring or having to get an electrician in. Plus, they’re a very cost-effective option.
The following information will be useful to bear in mind when looking for the best solar decking lights for your garden:
Why consider solar decking lights over traditional mains-powered options?
Well, whilst it’s true that any lights will help to make decks safer and more enjoyable to use in the evenings, there are some benefits to using specifically solar-powered decking lights:
- They come on automatically. Solar-powered decking lights don’t need to be turned on via a switch or a complicated timer set up. When it gets dark, they will illuminate. This is great for several reasons, but especially as it allows for a smooth transition from day to night. There’s no need to consciously sort out the lighting because it got dark, or change a timer as the days get longer.
- They’re easy to install. Unlike mains-powered lights, installing solar lights doesn’t require any electrical know-how or the help of an electrician. As a result, they’re much easier to set up and get running straight away. Plus, you can even get wireless solar decking lights which are completely cable-free.
- Running costs? What running costs? Solar decking lights don’t cost anything to run. Once you’ve purchased the lights, you won’t have to spend any more money on lighting up your deck. The cost of running mains-powered lights can add up over time, but this will never be a concern with solar power!
There are two types of solar decking lights available – lights connected together by a wire, and individual wireless units. There are pros and cons to each installation type, which we will explore further below:
Solar Decking Lights Connected by a Wire
This type of solar decking light is powered by one large solar panel. All of the lights are connected in a string, and the solar panel is fixed to one end of the wire.
The solar panel can be moved around, and can generally be positioned some distance away from the decking. It is normally connected via a wire that is several metres long.
This style of solar decking lighting is especially useful if you have a deck that is in a shady part of the garden. You can move the solar panel around and position it into the sun.
Wireless Solar Decking Lights
These lights each have an individual, integrated solar panel – they act as stand-alone units. This means that you can use as many or as few as you like, so they offer more flexibility than a string of decking lights.
The wire-free set up also means it is easy to replace one unit if for any reason it stops working or becomes damaged.
They’re ideal for inserting into the risers of steps to illuminate them. This is great for improving visibility and safety in the decking area, plus it gives a stylish finish.
The downside of these individual solar decking lights is that they each need to have access to sunlight in order to charge. There is no master-solar-panel to help charge them all. This is fine if your deck is in a bright area, but may be inconvenient if it’s in the shade.
The process for installing your solar decking lights will be slightly different depending on whether you have lights connected by a wire, or individual units.
With individual units, you can choose how many lights to put in your decking. If you have a string of lights, you will need to consider how many there are and how to distribute them on your decking.
To install solar decking lights, you will need a:
- 24 mm wood drill bit (this is a standard size for decking lights, but different lights may require a different size)
- Tape measure
Here I will explain the process for inserting lights into the top of the deck. You may also choose to install them in the side fascia board:
- Choose where you will be positioning each light. Make sure the lights are positioned in the centre of the board, equidistant from any gaps or joists.
- Lay out the lights where you will be placing them.
- Mark the wood with a pencil when you are happy with the positioning of the lights.
- Where you have marked the wood, create the mounting holes using a 24 mm drill bit.
- Insert the lights.
- To install lights connected together by a wire, you will need to drill an exit hole for the wire in the side of the decking. You will also need to remove the decking boards to drill holes in the joists to thread the wires through.
One of the biggest causes for solar-powered lights to stop working effectively is a grubby solar panel.
If your solar decking lights have one large solar panel, make sure that it is kept clean and that you remove any debris that falls on to it. Every so often you may choose to wipe the panel over with a soft rag and warm water to remove dirt. You can use a biodegradable soap if necessary, to remove any grime.
Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive materials to clean solar panels.
If you have solar decking lights with solar panels contained in each individual light, you won’t be able to clean the solar panel directly. Instead, you should clean the surface of the decking lights. Any dirt on there will stopping sunlight from getting to the solar panel.
Solar Decking Light FAQs
If your deck receives at least four hours of direct sun, this should be enough to charge the lights sufficiently to provide several hours of illumination each night. Of course, in the winter this may not be enough, but on bright summer days, it will be fine. You could also consider installing lights that come with a separate solar panel that can be placed in a sunny position.
The best lights to use on the steps of decking are individual solar-powered decking lights. These are decking lights that have an integrated solar panel, this means they aren’t connected to any wires and can be placed exactly where you want them.
To ensure equidistant placement of lights, you should start by planning the corner positions of the lights first. Don’t drill any holes until you know exactly where you want to position each light. Once you have worked out where you’ll be placing the lights in the corners, you can work inwards to make sure you have even spacing between each light.