In this guide we’ll take a look at the best solar garden lights for the UK market.
I’ve compared design, brightness, illumination time and cost
to give you my top recommendations.
What is the Best Solar Garden Light?
In a rush? Here’s my top choice…
Create a magical ambience with dancing-flame light
These Gogomy Solar Powered Garden Lights have an IP65 waterproof rating and can be left outside all year round. The light mimics the appearance of real dancing flames, making these torches a stunning addition to the garden. Two lights come in this set, and the solar panel is subtly located on the top providing hassle-free no-wires illumination!
Everything I Recommend
More Detailed Solar Garden Light Reviews
Gogomy Solar Powered Flickering Flame Garden Lights Review
These stunning Outdoor Torch Solar Garden Lights create a flickering flame that glows in your garden, perfectly mimicking the effect of real fire.
They are just the ticket to create an enchanting ambience in your garden during those summer evenings outside.
These lights are perfect if you are looking for something subtle which is both realistic and eye-catching. The real-flame effect sends flickering light dancing across the garden, creating a magical atmosphere.
For the mood they create, and their quality design, I rate these as the best solar garden light available.
The set includes two large lights that have the appearance of metal torch holders, with solar panels subtly incorporated into the top.
They charge well on sunny days and even charge when it is cloudy. Of course, the amount of light they receive during the day will directly affect how long they stay lit after dark.
The lights have an IP65 waterproof rating meaning you can leave them out all year round. They’ll stand up against heavy rain, condensation, and even accidental jets from the hose.
These beautiful lights are perfect for creating an ambient glow in the garden, and they’re also bright enough to allow you to see your way along a path.
These garden torches would make the perfect addition to the garden for the summer. Plus, they’re a wonderful feature in the cold months and as part of your Christmas lighting display!
If you are looking for some elegant, top-selling lights that act as a stunning garden feature, these solar-powered torches won’t disappoint.
Signature Garden Ultra-Bright 6 Lumen Solar Garden Lights Review
This set of six Ultra-Bright 6 Lumen Solar Garden Lights are the perfect LED lights to brighten up your garden or balcony. They’re also the best solar garden lights for lining pathways – they’re just so bright! They’ll help you see your way safely in the dark.
Each light is positioned on a sturdy stake that you simply push into the ground. The solar panel is located on the top of each unit.
Set up is completely hassle free: simply position the lights where you want them and they’ll illuminate when night falls. They are also very durable and all-weather resistant so you won’t have to worry about bringing them inside either.
For best results, position these lights in a place that gets direct sunlight, this way they’ll give up to eight hours of night-time illumination.
The lights are really bright and charge well even on cloudy days. The brightness means they are great for lining a path, but also perfect for entertaining outdoors. You can even use them on balconies if you stand them in flower pots.
Besides their excellent illumination and maintenance-free design, these lights also offer incredible value for money. Considering you get six lights, which cost nothing to run and work all year round, they’re an absolute bargain!
Mpow 40 LED Solar Lights Review
These Mpow Solar Powered Security Lights offer a great alternative to wiring in security lights.
The pack comes with 4 LED lights which are really bright, stacking up well against mains-run equivalents.
They can be hung or screw mounted, and they are well constructed. Each light has two separate seals to protect it from rain.
The solar panel is positioned on the top of each light and it covers a decent surface area. This helps make the light powerful and long lasting.
There are a range of four settings to choose from on these lights. You can set them to dim, bright or motion sensor. Then there is also a setting that leaves them on dim all night, and they will switch to bright when they sense motion.
As long as they get sufficient light during the day they will last a good few hours on the ‘permanently on’ settings. When used with the motion-sensor setting, the battery will last all night.
Speaking of the motion sensor, it’s surprisingly sensitive considering the reasonable price of these lights – it will detect movement up to 8 m away.
These are definitely the best solar garden lights if you’re looking for motion-sensitive illumination and easy-set-up security lights!
GreenClick Flame Effect Solar Powered Wall Lights Review
These Lantern Solar Powered Wall Lights With Motion Detection have a classic lantern design. They look just as ‘at home’ on traditional houses as they do on modern ones. The solar panel is discreetly integrated into the top of the lantern so doesn’t spoil the design.
The lights have a variety of settings, including a motion sensor. They’re perfect for fixing next to the porch, back door, or patio to make it easy to see when it gets dark.
The lamp gives off a warm glow that is reminiscent of a candle flame. However, it also has a bright light that turns on when people pass within 3 m of it. Perfect for lighting up your way , and also for security purposes.
They come as a set of two, and have an IP65 waterproof rating. This means these lanterns can be left outside without suffering any adverse effects from our wet climate!
The solar charge will last up to 10 hours if the lights were positioned in direct sunlight during the day.
These are slightly more expensive than some of the other lights on my list, but they are simultaneously aesthetically pleasing and practical. Something that I think makes them worth the price difference. They can act as security lights, but also function as charming outdoor light sources.
If you are looking for some of the best solar garden lights that provide a realistic flame effect and double up as security lights, these are a really great option.
Mpow Solar Powered LED Fairy String Lights Review
These Solar Powered LED Fairy String Lights 200 bright LED lights on a 22-metre string.
The chain of LEDS makes these the best solar garden lights for creating an ambient glow around a seating area in the garden.
The lights have eight modes to choose from including twinkling, flashing, and waves. They can also just be simply ‘on’, if that’s what you prefer!
They charge fully in 5-6 hours of daylight, turn on automatically at night and give up to 15 hours of night-time illumination after a full charge.
Thanks to their IP65 waterproof rating, these lights are suitable for year-round use. The solar panel is separate from the unit, so you can easily position it in a nice sunny spot.
These fairy lights create a bright glow in the garden and are wonderful when trailed along a fence, gazebo, or summer house. They’re great for creating that perfect ambient glow on summer evenings, plus they make excellent outdoor Christmas decorations.
These are extremely versatile lights which are just as suitable for summer as they are for winter. They’ll create fantastic cosy seating areas outside and, considering you get 22-metres worth, they’re wonderful value for money!
Direct Global Trading Solar Glass Snowdrop Flower Lights Review
If you are looking for something a little different to the standard black plastic solar lights, these Glass Snowdrop Solar Powered Flower Lights are sure to capture your imagination.
They actually look wonderful by day and by night, designed to look like glass-petalled snowdrop flowers. This elegant shape means that even when they’re not illuminated, they make delicate and beautiful garden ornaments.
That said, when they do switch on at dusk, they prove themselves to be enchanting garden lights. They glow brightly, so are practical as well as decorative, and will stay lit for up to 8 hours after a full day’s charge.
The solar panel is located in the stem of each flower meaning it’s well positioned to catch plenty of light.
If you’re looking for that standout feature for your garden, or even a gift for a friend, these unique and eye-catching snowdrop lights are certainly worth considering.
Lights4fun LED Solar Powered Garden Glass Path Lights Review
These Solar Powered Garden Path Glass Bricks have a wonderfully unique design, offering something a little different to the standard solar garden light.
Each light is crafted from a single piece of glass, resembling an ice brick. Each of these bricks has four bright LED bulbs inside, creating extremely bright lighting that will illuminate paths safely and in style.
Due to the block-design of these lights, they are extremely subtle and can be nestled amongst gravel to create beautiful statement pathways. Equally, they can be simply placed on grass as ambient, attractive lighting.
After a full day’s charge, these lights will last up to eight hours and they even perform pretty well after overcast days. They are perfect for lining paths or surrounding seating areas.
The lights are beautiful and bright, and the sealed design makes them suitable for year-round use. If you’re looking for unique lights that will look stunning in the garden, these ice-block lights offer a little more interest than standard solar lights.
Things to Know Before Buying Solar Garden Lights
Garden lights are perfect for creating an enchanting atmosphere in your garden. Or, they can be entirely practical.
They have many potential purposes, from lighting up front or back gardens, to providing security, to creating ambience.
In the past, wiring a set of traditional garden lights could be a costly hassle, but now solar lights provide a wonderful fuss-free, zero-wire alternative.
As solar technology develops, solar-powered lights have an increasing number of uses. I’ve put together the following information to help you find the best solar garden lights to use outsides your home:
There are several benefits to buying solar garden lights.
Whilst there are obvious advantages to having lights in the garden in general, including increased visibility and security, there are a few benefits that put solar lights ahead of traditional garden lighting.
- They are completely free to run. Solar-powered lights have zero running costs. After the initial purchase cost of the lights, you won’t have to fork out anything else to achieve illumination in your garden. Running one light on mains electricity for a few hours may not seem to cost much on your energy bill, but it can be amazing how much these figures add up over time. Especially as we all tend to have more electric appliances running than we even realise.
- They take just minutes to set up. There are no wires or complicated electrics to deal with when it comes to setting up solar-powered lights. Whereas, for mains-powered lighting, you may have to dig trenches in your garden to install the cables, the set up for solar-powered lights takes just minutes, if not seconds. Put them in the ground, and you’re done!
- They are easy to move around – ideal for different events. You may want to have your solar lighting, for the majority of the time, illuminating your pathways at night. But, if you have a party one evening and want to line the patio with torches, there’s nothing stopping you from moving your solar-powered lights around. No cables, no wires, incredible flexibility!
Solar-powered lights give you the convenience of having lights in the garden without having to worry about running costs or replacing batteries. They combine the benefits of mains-powered and battery-powered lights without the drawbacks!
Your reason for wanting lights in the garden, and the effect you want them to achieve, will dictate the style of lighting you should buy. Here are the most common reasons for wanting lights in the garden, and which styles you should look into for each purpose:
Having a light in the garden is a good way to feel more secure. Whether it’s because you want to be able to see as you move around outside, be alerted to movement in your garden, or want the light to act as a deterrent to potential intruders.
Motion-sensor lights are available in solar-powered designs. These are just as useful to have on the porch to welcome guests as they are to have on the patio or outbuildings.
Thanks to their wire-free solar design, they require very limited set up, and are very reliable. If you look for a design which uses LEDs, the brightness will stack up well against traditional security lights too.
Outdoor lighting is great for creating a specific ‘feel’ outside, whether you’re going for enchanting, cosy or eye-catching.
Solar garden lighting can come in the form of fairy lights or unique shapes. There’s something for every occasion. Fairy lights are great for stringing up around patios or bench areas, whilst decorative, shaped lights like these Direct Global Trading Solar Glass Snowdrop Flower Lights make eye-catching statements.
There are even lights which can be incorporated into gravel areas, like these Lights4fun LED Solar Powered Garden Glass Path Lights which can be used to create striking seating areas as well as mystical pathways.
One of the main, practical uses of lights in the garden is to illuminate pathways.
Solar-powered lights in the form of torches on stakes are some of the best for lining paths. They often come in sets of two or more and are perfect for marking out a path. Plus, they’re noticeable enough that they don’t cause a tripping hazard during the daytime.
Tip: Lights with large solar panels are generally brighter and last longer. This means units with separate panels are generally brighter than those with built in panels.
Different lights last for varying amounts of time. This depends on their design as well as the setting you use them on – some lights will have the option to be on permanently or only come on when motion-triggered. Naturally, a motion-sensitive setting will result in the battery lasting longer than with a setting where the light is constantly on.
While many solar lights will provide illumination for most of the night, this will depend on how much sunlight they receive, so don’t rely on them to last all night after cloudy days.
To get your solar-powered garden lights working to their full potential, take the following factors into consideration:
- Some lights come with a separate solar panel. This is especially true of some fairy light and security light designs. It’s a good feature to look out for as the panel can be better positioned to catch more sun in the day.
- For best results place the lights or the panel in direct sunlight for as much of the day as possible.
- If you buy lights with integrated solar panels, such as the stake designs used to line pathways, you could put them in pots: move them into the sun during the day and back to the required location at night.
Solar panels work best when they are kept clean. Any dirt or debris that gets onto the solar panel will interrupt the panel’s ability to receive sunlight.
If you notice that your solar-panel lights aren’t working as well after a couple of months, check panels as it is likely there will be a build up of dirt.
You can clean solar panels using water and a soft rag. If there is quite a lot of grime to remove, use a biodegradable soap.
Never use abrasive soaps, chemicals, sponges or brushes on solar panels as these can damage them.
Solar Garden Light FAQs
You should actually avoid storing solar-powered lights for a prolonged period of time – if the batteries aren’t being charged regularly this can have a permanent negative effect on their ability to hold charge. The best solar garden lights will be weatherproof and fine to leave out over winter. Check that they have a good weatherproof rating before you buy them.
Many solar panels will charge even on cloudy days, although they may not charge as much as they would in direct sun. If the solar panels are places in a shady spot, you can try using mirrors in the garden to help redirect the sunlight to where they are.
If you have any incandescent lighting in your house, it is capable of charging solar-powered lights. Put the solar panel as close to the incandescent bulb as possible to charge it.
Depending on the lights you have, they will stay on for between 4 – 8 hours. This is also dependent on how much sunlight they were exposed to during the day.