Ever tried installing conventional lighting in your garden? Let me stop you right there. See, not only do you have to pay a qualified electrician to do the job (more expenses) but running the power lines could actually disrupt and ruin the very garden you’re trying to illuminate.
That’s the reason more and more people are opting to go green, cheap, and efficient. With no power lines to run, no energy bills to contend with, and reliable illumination for entire properties, it’s easy to see why solar garden lights are becoming more popular by the day.
So if you’re looking to add ambience to the yard, provide security lighting for your allotment or simply project light onto your garden, you’ve come to the right place.
What Are Solar Garden Lights?
Solar lights are simple, smart devices that harness the sun’s energy and store it in their batteries to provide light when the night falls. Some of them have solar panels built into the lights housing while others come with separate panels.
Since most of them require over 8 hours of charge to provide optimum illumination, you have to place solar lights in areas where they can soak up as much sun as possible. So, how do you go about finding the best solar garden lights for you?
What to Consider When Buying Solar Garden Lights
Since most solar powered lights use LED technology, the level of power produced is measured in lumens. The number of lumens will determine how bright the bulb gets as well as what type of light is produced.
The output can be as low as 15-20 lumens which gives out a soft, warm amber glow to much higher ratings of over 700 which produce a harsher, more brighter light.
If you want to illuminate a larger area or use the lights for security purposes, then you’ll need a stronger light. But if you just want to get warm, ambient lighting for your garden, low lumen options will work just fine too.
With your average solar light, you can expect only one setting (the manual on/off). However, having additional features helps you make the most out of your garden lights.
For example, an automatic switch saves you the hassle of having to manually switch on the lights every evening; especially if you have tens or hundreds of them.
Another handy feature to watch out for is adjustable brightness which lets you dim the light from a harsh brightness to a soft glow. Other lights even let you adjust the direction where the light is thrown.
Naturally, you want batteries that can last for hours on end before running empty. But as you’d expect, the battery strength usually goes hand in hand with product costs. Some can last for as little as 3 hours while others have a maximum of about 10 hours with a full charge.
If you’re using the lights as security for your garden, you’ll want a strong battery that can last the whole night. Otherwise, it will just run dry in the middle of the night leaving your garden, plants and flowers vulnerable to intruders.
But if the lighting is just for ambience and beauty, then you could get away with a shorter-life battery.
Best Solar Garden Lights Top Reviews
If you’re looking to illuminate long pathways or edge your large garden completely, then you’ll need plenty of lights to get the job done. However, the overall cost of getting multiple lights often puts homeowners off.
But thanks to the all plastic design of the GardenBliss Solar Garden Lights, you can get an affordable pack of 10 lights each with its own battery. What’s more, users also get 20 posts for creating different height options for the lights.
Installing the lights takes minutes since all you have to do is stake them to the ground and let the automated system take over. With a full charge, each light can stay on for up to 8 hours or even longer if you’re using the latest LED technology.
For a value pack, the quality of these lights is pretty impressive. They’re built to withstand the sun, rain, snow, strong winds, and other harsh elements. Combine all that with the premium LEDs that guarantee a 20 000 hour life span and it’s easy to see why GardenBliss remains top pick in many UK households.
What I like about it:
- 10 pack offers lowest per light cost
- Easy installation and low maintenance
- Allows for height adjustments for custom designs
As more and more people are embracing green technology, solar powered devices are getting more sophisticated and efficient. One manufacturer is right on the pulse when it comes to creating the best solar garden lights in the UK.
With faster and reduced charging time, longer lasting LEDs and additional settings to work with, it’s easy to see why GoBulb Outside Solar Powered Spotlights are becoming commonplace in many allotments.
The lights come in a pack of 4 and offer more than one option for the installation. You can either quickly stick the spikes to the ground or use the included anchor and screws to mount the lights on walls and other solid surfaces.
Thanks to better components, these spotlights allow up to 10 hours of lighting. On top of that, the manufacturer incorporated 2 brightness options of cool white LED. All lights have been sealed with high quality IP65 waterproof material and heat resistance for protection against the elements.
What I like about it:
- Upgraded components for faster charge
- Offers a high low setting for brightness adjustment
- IP65 waterproofing and weather resistance
In today’s highly competitive solar lights industry, it’s common to get more and more manufacturers offering value packs. This is great news for gardeners all over the UK. However, what’s impossible to find is a value pack with a lifetime replacement guarantee. And that’s just what the Solar Glow Ultra Bright Garden Lights offer as a testament of how much confidence they have in their product.
This purchase includes six solar powered lights to add beauty and ambience to your gardens, flowerbeds and pathways as well. But what really stands out is the simple, user friendly design. These bad boys are ready to go straight out of the box thanks to the sharp stakes that go in the ground with little effort.
And speaking of minimal effort, the manufacturer installed an automatic switch that turns the lights on at dusk, and off at dawn. Like all the best outdoor lighting options, you also won’t have to worry about snow, rain, frost, or UV exposure since the units are weather resistant.
What I like about it:
- Great value for the money
- Lifetime replacement guarantee
- Garden lights offer nice attractive lighting
If you’re in it for the long haul, then you need equipment built to thrive in even the worst UK weather conditions. The SolarGlow Premium Stainless Steel Solar Garden Lights are made with durable materials to serve just this purpose.
These lights come in a stylish pack of six solar lights; each complete with a brushed stainless steel tube that is both sleek and hard wearing. And at the bottom, the manufacturer incorporated a tough ABS plastic stake to drive the lights deep in the ground.
At the very top is the single LED light housed in a hardy plastic casing and a steel lid to boot. Each light has a 3W solar panel integrated into the lid that provides a bright white, 15 lumens of lighting power.
Like our other modern models, these premium stainless steel lights come on automatically at dusk courtesy of an integrated sensor. What’s really interesting is that the units also come with a single AA battery that even manages to charge in the shade. With a full charge, the lights provide up to 8 hours of light.
What I like about it:
- Constructed with tough stainless steel
- Able to charge even in the shade
- SolarGlow’s lifetime replacement guarantee
Now that you’ve finally got your garden or flower bed set up, I’m sure you’ll want to keep it that way. And if you’re looking at this particular light, then you’ve realized the sad truth about gardening.
That it doesn’t matter how beautiful your flowers, crops and plants are if they keep getting attacked by pests and rodents all night. When ambient lighting simply isn’t enough, you need to employ the power of the Mpow 54 LED Motion Sensor Security Lights.
This giant comes with 54 solar powered lights arranged to provide a wide, optimum lighting angle. Compared to other lights on this list and beyond, this beast is much brighter. The harsh light makes it perfect for providing security for your garden all night long.
But that’s not all; the manufacturer took it a step further and integrated a motion sensor that detects movement from 10 to 26 feet. With easy wall mounting, adjustable light mode and a weather proof design, these might just be the best solar garden lights for security.
What I like about it:
- Bigger and brighter 54 light design
- Multiple intelligent light modes
- Unique wide angle sensor design
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How do solar garden lights work?
Solar garden lights are like little satellites. They store the energy from the sun during the day, and release it to light up the darkness at night time. This happens because they have a small light sensor which, when it is covered, lights up an LED which runs on the stored energy from the sun.
Solar garden lights have a solar cell panel on the top of them, which is what collects the light from the sun and turns it to energy. These solar cells are wired through a diode to the battery, and it is this diode that prevents the current from running back through the solar cell at night.
On most days, except dark, overcast ones, the battery inside the solar garden light can be completely charged up to around 700 mililamp-hours and can produce around 1.2 volts.
Q: How to make solar garden lights brighter?
If you have had your solar lights for a while and you have noticed that they are starting to look a little dim, you can make them brighter with a few simple steps:
- Check that there are no leaves or debris covering the solar panel on top of the light, and brush off any loose material.
- Wet a clean rag in a bowl of soapy water, and gently wipe the surface of the solar panel to remove any dried on debris. Dry the panel with a clean, dry rag.
- Place your solar lights in strong, direct sunlight for at lest 8 hours. Check them every now and then and if the sun has moved so they are in the shade, then move them to a sunny position (you might have to keep checking them to make sure they are in direct sunshine).
- Unscrew the battery panel, remove the old batteries and replace with new ones (make sure that you have inserted them correctly, with the positive and negative ends in the right places).
- Remove the top of the solar panel with a screwdriver and blow out any debris or dust underneath it, before you replace the panel.
Q: How long do solar garden lights work?
Solar lights, if treated well and regularly maintained, should last for many years. You can improve their longevity by making sure that you keep them clean, and replace the batteries when needed – this is usually around 2 years.
Solar lights don’t cope very well with being frozen for long periods of time, so you may wish to consider covering them up or bringing them inside if you are due a prolonged cold spell, and if the weather is going to be stormy it is definitely a good idea to bring them in, as the glass on top of the panels can get broken by falling branches or strong storms.
It is good to avoid placing your lights around the edges of the garden, to avoid them being covered by plants and accumulating debris and dead leaves and petals.