If you’re interested in sprucing up your backyard, then you might have considered adding some lights to make it pop at night. If you have any walkways in your yard, they can be instantly improved with a few path lights illuminating the way. Unfortunately, to get a set of lights installed in your yard can be expensive and time-consuming, as you have to get electric cables outside and get everything wired up before they can work.
Fortunately, there is an easier way. Solar path lights are simple and effective and require almost no installation. All you do is stick them into the ground, and they are ready to go. Because they use solar power instead of electricity, each light is self-sustained and will work for years without any problems.
Best of all, changing a battery is much easier than re-installing new wiring, so you can maintain solar lights for much less money. So, with that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the best solar path lights available and see how they can improve your yard today.
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As we’ve seen, many of these lights have a lot of the same features and functions. However, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t some crucial factors that can make a world of difference in which lights are best for your needs. Whether you need a handful to light up a small walkway or you need two dozen to surround your whole yard, picking the best solar path light is important to make your landscape beautiful.
Because these lights operate on solar batteries, they usually don’t have as much brightness as a traditional electric model. Essentially, you’re trading the amount of light produced for the convenience of solar power, so you have to be aware of that going into it. That being said, many solar path lights offer about one to five lumens, which is enough to keep your walkways marked, but don’t expect them to create a vibrant illuminating effect.
Some higher end models, however, can produce much more light, creating up to thirty lumens per lamp. Usually, though, in these cases, they won’t work for as long because the greater output drains the battery faster, but you do get much better illumination. Overall, it’s best to see how bright they are before you buy them so that you aren’t surprised after the fact.
Because these lights are going outside, they have to be durable enough to withstand almost any weather. Usually, the covers and posts are made of stainless steel or other metals, with the light lens being made of either glass or plastic. Stainless is the best way to go because it avoids rust and corrosion better than other materials, meaning that you won’t have to replace the lights very often.
As for lens material, glass can provide cleaner light, but it can also get foggy or cracked. Plastic is far more common, and it will diffuse the light, creating a soft glow rather than clear illumination. Overall, pick the materials that work best for your needs, both in durability and light effects.
While safety can be a primary concern for some homeowners, most of the time path lights are installed to add a better aesthetic value to your landscape. Thus, you want to get lights that are both functional and beautiful, so you have to get a design that fits your home’s style.
Some lights are shaped like vintage lamp posts, while others have a more modern and chic appearance. Color can also play a role as many lights come in matte black, but some have variety such as brushed copper or chrome to give the lights more of an industrial effect.
Finally, you also want to pay attention to the height of the lights, as that can be just as important as the design. Finding the right height will depend on your current landscape and your personal preference, but you don’t want anything that looks too short or too tall.
Finally, many solar path lights claim that they will work for up to eight hours, but that really depends on the kind of battery that they use. Obviously, each one is recharged via solar power, but certain battery types are better at holding a charge than others.
The most common are nickel cadmium (NiCD) or nickel metal-hydride (NiMH). NiCD batteries can last up to two years, but need to be disposed of carefully as they can harm the environment if thrown away improperly. NiMH batteries are generally preferred as they can withstand constant recharging better and you can throw them away without any special requirements.
As you will see, different brands offer various sets of lights, meaning that you can pick as many or as few as you want. In some instances, you can buy bigger sets of twenty-four or so if necessary to complete your yard. Before picking out a set, however, you will want to figure out how many you need so that you get enough. Also, be sure to get a few backups as well, as sometimes the solar panels on these devices can give out.
These next lights are a great addition to your yard if you want something a bit bigger and bolder than the ones we’ve seen. These six lamps from LampLust are larger than most other models, making much more of a statement overall.
As for output, the light produced is rather small, all things considered. Each one has four lumens, which creates more of an ambient effect than anything else. However, the large clear plastic lenses do make it easier to see the light, so they can work for pathways or as a liner to your yard.
Other features include eight hours of operation after a full charge, stainless steel housing for weatherproofing, and thirteen inches of height, which makes them even more of a commanding presence.
First on our list is a set of twelve lights from GreenLighting. These lights are pretty standard overall, with a sleek black finish and a traditional lamp post design.
As with all of the lights we’re about to see, these use LED bulbs to provide clean white light all night long.
As far as illumination goes, these units are more designed for ambiance than anything else. With only one lumen per lamp, you won’t get much in the way of brightness, but it will be more of a dim effect. These lights will be perfect as a liner to your yard rather than to illuminate a pathway.
Other than that, these lamps come with all of the primary features that we will see on this list. The LED bulbs are highly rated for longevity, with over 100,000 hours of use before they need to be changed. The batteries can hold up to six hours of charge, and an automatic switch turns the lights on as soon as the sun goes down. Finally, stakes are included so that you can install them in minutes without any extra tools.
Next, we have another standard set of garden lights that are decent enough for illuminating pathways but not so much as to be an extra source of light for outdoor activities.
The Westinghouse Kenbury Path Lights have a sleek, traditional design and operate with ten lumens each, which gives you plenty of options on how to use them in your yard.
This particular set comes with six lights, and they all have a durable stainless steel frame to protect against the weather. The lens is made of plastic, and they also have plastic caging around them for added aesthetic. Also, these lamps come with color changing bulbs so that you can get a better sense of style for your yard.
Overall, these lamps have all of the standard features, including ground stakes for easy installation and rechargeable batteries that can last up to six hours. Finally, they are fifteen inches tall, making them a versatile addition to your landscape.
Our final stop is the Enchanted Spaces Light Set. These six lamps will add instant allure and class to your yard, with a smooth bronzed finish and a brilliant lens design that provides some extra flair along with illumination.
As far as brightness goes, these lights are on the lower end of the spectrum, with each one only producing one lumen.
However, the ornate lens creates a star pattern with the light, making them brilliant decorative pieces for your lawn. While they don’t provide enough light to illuminate a pathway evenly, you can still create a beautiful and enchanting space.
As far as the standard details go, these lights are sixteen inches tall, they can last up to six hours at night, and come with weatherproof stainless steel housing. Also, stakes are included as usual so that you can install them in minutes.
When it comes to garden lights, you can get ones that are more functional, decorative, or both.
In this case, the ten lamps you get from GardenBliss are more functional than anything as they have a more industrial design to them.
At four lumens each, these lamps are somewhat dim, and the opaque plastic lens creates more of an ambient light than anything. Overall, these lights would be good as markers rather than illuminating a pathway or patio area.
As far as durability, the lamps have weatherproof stainless steel housing, 20,000 hours of bulb life, and durable stakes for easy installation. Also, each lamp can last up to eight hours on a single charge.
If you’re looking for yard lamps that are minimalist and can provide adequate illumination, then this set of ten lamps from EZ Yard Tech might be a good option.
These lights are a bit smaller than other models, but they produce ten lumens each, which gives you plenty of light with which to see. Best of all, the plastic lens is transparent so that you see better, making these ideal for a backyard walkway or patio.
Other features of these lights include durable stainless steel housing that is weatherproof, stakes to install them in minutes, and high-quality solar panels to provide up to six hours of illumination at night. Finally, the height of each light is 17.5 inches.
As we saw above, some lights are built for ambiance, and as we are about to see, others are made for brightness. The lights from Moonrays have a massive lumen output, meaning that they are perfect for illuminating walkways or providing extra light around the patio or pool area.
Amazingly enough, even with all that extra brightness they still last up to eight hours on a single charge.
The materials for these lights are also high-quality, with stainless steel housing and a glass lens to provide crystal clear white light. Plus, these lamps are over a foot and a half tall, so they can be a perfect addition to any outdoor spaces that need extra brightness at night.
The only downside to these lights is that they only come two to a pack, meaning that you have to get multiple sets to cover enough ground. Still, given the amount of light that they produce, you shouldn’t have a problem seeing with fewer of them installed on the premises.
If there is any brand that understands the importance of having good decor for your home or garden, it would be HGTV. This company has made a lot of fantastic consumer products to spruce up your living spaces, and these pathway lights are another excellent addition.
These lamps are mostly designed for ambient illumination due to their limit output. At three lumens each, they are rather dim, making them ideal for path markers or liners for your yard, rather than additional lighting for a path or patio.
What makes these lights better than the competition is that they come with stainless steel housing and glass lenses for clean, white light all the time. Also, you can get up to eight hours on a single charge. Finally, they measure eighteen inches high.
Next, we have another set of path lights are more designed for function rather than style. This set of eight lamps works for most yards, provided that you use them as markers or liners for your yard.
The output is again somewhat limited with only four lumens, but the plastic lens is clear so you can see more than you could with an opaque one.
Other features of these lights include weather-resistant housing, stakes for easy installation, up to eight hours of operational time, and a height of seventeen inches for each lamp. Overall, these are fairly basic units that can be used for a wide variety of purposes.
For some people, having white light on their yard seems a bit boring. We’ve already seen color changing lights on this list, but this set of twelve lights from SolarEK provides an extra splash of creativity to your yard.
Best of all, you can switch between standard white light or colored light, depending on your mood or what works best for the season.
The other great thing about these lamps is that they produce ten lumens each, which is enough to illuminate a pathway or provide ambient light for your yard. Also, having stainless steel housing means that they will keep on working all year long without any damage. The other important thing to know about these lights is that they are only 8.5 inches tall, which makes them a lot shorter than most of the others we’ve seen.
Although many of these solar path lights have similar features, there are a couple that stand out from the rest. First, if you want maximum brightness, then you have to go with the Moonrays Richmond Path Light, as they provide the most light of any on this list.
Second, if you want something a bit more colorful and engaging, then the SolarEK lights are a great buy since they change colors and have longer lasting batteries. Overall, these are our top choices for the list of best solar path lights, but each set of lights we’ve featured are excellent and will improve the ambient experience of your yard.
A passionate blogger! Editor at Chooserly, and a regular author at HuffingtonPost, LifeHacker & Forbes!