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.
In this guide we’ll take a look at the best solar garden lights for the UK market.
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!CHECK PRICE →
Everything I Recommend
More Detailed Solar Garden Light Reviews
GOGOMY Solar Lights Review
For the ambience of a flaming torch (without the upkeep, weather limitations, and potential safety risk) these GOGOMY Solar Lights mimic the effect of real fire whilst being powered by hassle-free solar energy.
Two torches come included, making them some of the best solar garden lights in terms of value for money; they can be used together to mark out an area, or indicate a pathway, and the LEDs flicker with a warm flaming glow.
Of course, unlike real fire, they won’t go out if there’s a gust of wind or spot of rain, and they have a battery that can hold up to 12 hours of power, meaning they’re a great choice for summer evening gatherings or long winter nights.
They also have a waterproof rating of IP65 so can be left out year-round. They’ll stand up against heavy rain, condensation, and even accidental jets from the hose.
There’s also an on/off switch in case you don’t want them on, or you want to save the battery for a later date, and they can be constantly because there are no wires to tether them to a certain position – the solar panel is positioned on the top of the lamp itself.
In terms of assembly, there are just three separate parts to slot together, and the lights stand at approximately 80 cm tall. A stake is driven into the ground to hold them in place, so some height will be lost when they’re in position.
For most uses these lights will be more than bright enough when the sun goes down, but they don’t cast the type of light that you could comfortably read by, so they’re more suitable as atmospheric lighting than anything else.
- Can be switched off to save battery using a switch on the front
- Battery can charge on cloudy days, not just days with direct sunlight
- Can be removed from position and placed in sun to charge, before being put back at night time
- IP65 waterproof rating capable of withstanding British weather
- Best staked into slightly damp soil as the stakes may not be strong enough for hard ground
- Can be sensitive to other lighting and may not turn on if another light is shining nearby
Signature Garden Ultra-Bright 6 Lumen Solar Garden Lights Review
These are some of the best solar garden lights if you’re after value for money. Whilst it’s often necessary to buy lights individually, or just as a set of two, the Ultra-Bright 6 Lumen Solar Garden Lights comes as a set of six whilst still being very reasonably priced.
The light they emit is the classic white-LED beam, so they’re very bright even if they might not be the most atmospheric in their appearance. Given that six come included, this set is a good option for cheaply lining a pathway or marking out a seating area.
Each light is just under 45 cm tall, and they come with a staked end that pushes into the ground. This makes them lower-level lights than some of the options featured on this list. However, they’re also small enough to fit into flowerbeds too, as the maximum diameter is just over 12 cm.
Their batteries can hold approximately eight hours of charge, and a sensor turns them on at dusk, and off at dawn. They charge well even on slightly cloudy days, so they’re a pretty reliable light source. You can even use them on balconies if you stand them in flower pots.
One slight drawback is that you during winter they may not charge as well. Given that there aren’t as many hours of sunlight for charging, they may only stay lit for a few hours when it gets dark.
- Waterproofing can stand up to heavy rain
- Very simple to assemble with no wiring required
- Produces a bright white light which gives good illumination
- After a day of charging in direct sunlight, these lights can stay on all night
- On/off switch means lights don't need to come on every night
- In the winter time, they may only get enough sun to give a few hours charge
- There's switch to turn lights off to save , they're only activated by light sensitivity
GreenClick LED Solar Wall Lights Review
These wall-mounted GreenClick LED Solar Wall Lights are well designed for several reasons.
They have a classic ‘lantern’ design, with three solar panels concealed in the top, an ambient, warm dancing-flame light, and a brighter light connected to a motion sensor as well.
Coming in a pack of two, they can be positioned on either side of a door, on the fence going down the garden, or near the patio. As a pair, they’re useful for lighting the way, but they’re also some of the best solar garden lights to double up as security lights. The sensor is pretty sensitive and detects movement from around 3 metres away, across quite a wide angle of approximately 120°.
If positioned in a staggered way, down the garden or across the front of the house, they can work together to light up the space as people move across it.
When the security light is activated, it’s bright white and stays on for about 30 seconds – a useful amount of time for finding keys or checking what’s going on outside. The power of the light does slightly depend on the amount of sun the solar panels have received, but even on shorter winter days it can still achieve 4 – 8 hours of charge.
When not on ‘bright’ mode, the lamp gives off a warm glow and has an effect that flickers like a candle flame making them more attractive than traditional security lights. Even the solar panel is discreetly integrated into the top of the lantern so doesn’t spoil the design.
They have a waterproof rating of IP65 so shouldn’t suffer any adverse effects from our beloved UK’s variable climate, and the casing is UV resistant as well.
Whilst these are slightly more expensive than more basic solar lights on this list, they are a great option to go for if you’re after motion-sensitive lights. Especially because they don’t have to be hooked up to the mains. Plus, they look attractive in their ‘flame’ mode as well.
- In winter they can still get enough charge for 4 - 8 hours of light
- Three solar panels on top helps to catch sun as it moves throughout the day
- Built-in motion sensor is very reliable - switches on straight away when someone passes within 3m
- Bright white light when motion detected clearly illuminates area
- Depending on their placement, they may not get enough light to charge well on overcast, rainy days
- Accessing the on/off switch is a little fiddly and requires the use of a pin (provided) through a small hole
Direct Global Trading Solar Glass Snowdrop Flower Lights Review
Garden lights can be decorative as well as practical, and these Solar Glass Snowdrop Flower Lights look incredibly unique yet can still be used to mark out pathways and patios.
Given their design, they add something attractive to the garden both during the day and night, with delicate glass petals and no visible wiring. At night, the head of the flower lights up, creating an enchanting glow. It’s not bright enough to act as a primary light source outside, but can still indicate the position of a path or flowerbed.
Two come included, and they are bigger than you might think, at 87 cm tall, so they can be placed strategically to make a statement in the garden. At 20.5 cm wide overall, it’s also possible to put them into flowerpots and move them around if you want to frequently reposition them.
They have a light sensor built in, and automatically switch on when it gets dark. On a full day of good charging (in relatively bright sunlight) the three LEDs stay lit for around 8 hours; the solar panel is attached to the flower’s stem, facing upwards to capture as much light as possible.
This is the only part of the design which is perhaps not as ‘polished’ as the rest; the solar panel stands out and isn’t well camouflaged against the flower. This does seem to slightly detract from the overall look, but on such a delicate item I suppose it’s always going to be difficult to conceal a panel whilst still allowing it to get enough sun.
Still, overall, these are some of the best solar garden lights for adding illumination to the garden in a decorative way, and they can serve a practical purpose too by marking out borders.
- Works as a decorative garden ornament during both the day and night
- Can stay lit for up to 8 hours per night
- Produces a sufficiently strong light to indicate the position of a pathway etc.
- Can be placed in flowerpots and moved around
- The solar panel is not well concealed and is visible during the day, slightly detracting from the overall appearance
Lights4fun LED Solar Powered Garden Glass Path Lights Review
Whilst perhaps not your standard garden lights, these Solar Powered Garden Path Glass Bricks illuminate pathways, flowerbeds and borders in an original way. They’re also versatile, and can be put to use for other jobs as well.
Four come included, and each light is crafted from glass. They don’t look dissimilar to small blocks of ice and are weighty and well made. There are four bright LED bulbs inside each brick, and, as a result, the lighting is white, bright and well suited to illuminating paths.
There’s also no reason that they can’t be used indoors, on occasion, or taken on camping trips to help navigate around the tents. Due to their robust and compact nature they’re easier to transport than most solar-powered lights, and there are no small parts that could get damaged.
In the garden, the blocks can be hidden subtly, nestled amongst gravel to create statement pathways, or simply placed on grass as ambient, attractive lighting. As long as they’re given enough time to charge before they are needed, they also don’t need to be a permanent fixture in the garden and could be brought out only when necessary.
As with all solar lights, they charge best when exposed to bright sunlight and won’t last for as long on the nights following overcast days.
- Very bright and therefore good for illuminating pathways and flowerbeds
- Made from thick durable glass and feel of excellent quality
- Can last for 8 hours after charging on a sunny day
- Glass design protects the solar panel and lights inside workings
- May struggle to charge in winter on short, overcast days
Things to Know Before Buying Solar Garden Lights
Garden lights can be used for aesthetics, practicality, or a combination of the two.
There are a lot of different options to choose from, including decorative lighting, pathway lamps, and motion-sensitive security lights.
Of course, garden lights can be either mains powered or solar powered, and solar has the added benefit of being easy to install around the garden without having to mess about with wires.
If you’re looking for some solar-powered garden lights, the following information should help you decide which style will best suit your home, and let you know about anything else you need to bear in mind:
There are several benefits to buying solar garden lights.
Whilst there are obvious advantages to having any additional lighting in the garden, including increased visibility, security, and safety, there are a few specific benefits to solar lights that put them ahead of traditional garden lighting.
- They are completely free to run. Solar-powered lights have zero running costs. After the initial purchase of the lights, you won’t have to fork out anything else to achieve illumination in your garden. Sure, running one mains-powered light 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. Plus, using solar energy is a better choice for the environment.
- 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 and no wires equals plenty of flexibility!
Solar-powered lights give you the convenience of having lights in the garden without having to worry about running costs or replacing batteries. As long as there is enough light (the one caveat of solar-powered electronics) to charge them, they should work well for several hours.
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, they can create a ‘grotto’ feeling, creating a cosy place to hang out.
On the other hand, decoratively shaped lights like these Direct Global Trading Solar Glass Snowdrop Flower Lights can be used to make eye-catching statements and interesting focal points in the garden.
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 which is great when marking out the way. Plus, they’re noticeable enough that they don’t cause a tripping hazard during the daytime.
The amount of time that a solar light will stay on for depends on several factors. Some solar lights will have an on/off switch so that their power can be used only when required. Others will come on as soon as they sense that it’s dark. The latter may run out of power earlier into the evening than lights that you choose to turn on. Especially in winter, lights with ‘darkness’ sensors may come on as early as 5 pm.
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 lights and security lights. It’s a good feature to look out for as the panel can be optimally positioned to catch 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 and move them into the sun during the day and back to the required location at night.
Tip: Lights with large solar panels are generally brighter and last longer. This means units with separate, large solar panels are generally brighter than those with built-in panels.
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.