Solar Christmas Lights

best solar christmas lights

The Best Solar Powered Christmas Lights for 2018

The holiday season is upon us and it’s that time of year to find the best solar Christmas lights for sale. Read on to see our top picks for the best solar powered Christmas lights for 2018!

Solar powered lights are particularly suited to decorating yards, porches, or anywhere else you don’t have easy access to electricity. Since the solar panel is directly attached to the string of lights, you don’t need to run extension cords over your yard or sidewalk. Just hang the lights up, place the solar panel in the sun, and you’re done decorating!

And since you’ll be busy finding perfect presents for all your loved ones, we took the liberty of finding the best solar Christmas lights for 2018. Whether you want traditional white, icicle lights, or net lights, we’ve got you covered so you can focus instead on what’s important.

We chose the lights below for their excellent customer reviews, good price point, and/or unique features. While there are certainly other solar lights out there for the holiday season, consider the list below a starting point. All the options below are cost-effective, durable, and look great. All you need to do is choose which ones right for you!

For each light below, we run through the basic details, what customers have to say, and any issues you should be wary of. If you’re looking for a bit more info on solar Christmas lights, read on till the end for tips on where to place you solar panel so your lights stay on throughout the night as well as a couple other helpful hints.

Best Overall Solar Christmas Light

check price

Lampat Solar String Light

Pros: Great price, excellent reviews, warm white color

Cons: None

Our top pick for best solar Christmas light goes to LAMPAT’s 2-pack of 300 LED solar string lights. They enjoy hundreds of great reviews and are the cheapest option on our list to boot!

With this sweet deal, you’re getting two strands of 100 foot string lights with 300 LEDs each. Most solar string lights are 200 LEDs, so these are about 50% longer than others on the market – and about the same price as well.

Attached to the end of each strand is a small solar panel with a stake you can stick in the ground. Like all the solar lights below, the angle of the solar panel can be adjusted to maximize energy production. Each strand includes 6 feet of wire between the solar panel and the first light bulb.

Inside the solar panel’s housing there’s a Ni-MH battery (nickel metal-hydride, a common technology used in rechargeable batteries) that stores 1,800 milliamp-hours of electricity, enough for about 8 hours of lighting. Lampat notes it takes about 6-8 hours to fully charge the battery, so be sure to place the panel in an area that sees full sun throughout the day.

When turned on, the string lights automatically turn on at dusk thanks to the integrated photo sensor. A single sealed button on the back of the solar panel allows you to turn the lights on and off, and choose between a ‘steady’ or ‘twinkling’ mode. These LEDs give your yard a warm, calming appearance thanks to the warm white color, in contrast to the starker bluish-white of most LEDs.

As mentioned, Lampat’s solar string lights are well-loved, with hundreds of great reviews. Customers love the extra-long length of the string as well as the light’s bright, warm color. Many report that the battery life is around what Lampat claims, lasting most of the night on a single charge.

Buyers also report excellent durability. As expected for Christmas lights, users report leaving these lights in the rain and snow – typical winter weather conditions – and they still work perfectly.

Bottom Line: If you’re looking for the classic white Christmas light, you can’t go wrong with Lampat’s solar string lights. They’re low-cost, durable, and offer great bang for the buck. Get ‘em and get to merry making!

Best Multi-Color Solar Christmas Light

check price

Vmanoo Solar Christmas Lights

Pros: Battery can be easily replaced

Cons: Some buyers report the light isn’t as bright as expected

If your aesthetic is more ‘fun’ than ‘classic’, the warm white lights above might not be for you. Instead, why not start the party with some multi-colored festivity?

Despite their awful name, Vmanoo’s multi-colored Christmas lights are just what you need to get the party going. Like the Lampat lights above, Vmanoo’s lights enjoy hundreds of awesome reviews and are built to last through the seasons.

Like the lights above, these are also a two-pack, but at 72 feet long and with 200 LEDs, you’re not getting quite as much for your money. However, you do get color! The bulbs come in blue, green, yellow, and red with 8 different light modes: waves, sequential, slo-glo, chasing/flash, slow fade, twinkle, and steady.

These lights come with a stake for the solar panel as well as a separate sealed on/off switch and mode button on the back of the panel.

The battery is the same as the above light, an 1,800 milliamp-hour Ni-MH, but it can also be easily replaced with just a screwdriver when it burns out – a nice feature that increases the product’s longevity.

Vmanoo notes that charge time is 6-8 hours with working time between 8 and 12 – a tad bit longer than the lights above, since it has 1/3 fewer lights.

Customers love the easy battery replacement and the decent price, but a couple complained they aren’t as bright as they expected, so keep that in mind if you’re looking to really light up your whole yard.

Bottom Line: Vmanoo’s multi-colored solar string lights are a great option for getting the holiday party season started. They’re priced well, enjoy great reviews, and should last multiple seasons at least.

Best Solar Christmas Lights Net

check price

eTopxizu Solar Net LED String Lights

Pros: Easy to decorate – just throw it over a bush or wall!

Cons: More expensive than a simple string light, reviews aren’t quite as good as others

Looking to decorate the bushes outside your house, but don’t want to take the time to delicately lay out row-upon-row of string lights? You’re in luck – just buy an entire net of solar powered LEDs!

eTopxizu (say that five times fast) manufactures a pretty solar Christmas light for bushes in either cool white (ie, the bluish-white typical of many LEDs), warm white, or blue. Each net includes 120 LEDs and measures 1 meter X 2 meters (or about 3ft x 6ft for us Americans).

These lights see a higher sticker price than the two kits above, so it’s a harder sell (especially considering these aren’t a two-pack). However, how nice would it be to just throw your light net over your bushes and be done decorating? That’s pretty appealing to us!

The net light comes with a single solar panel and a stake for easy placement. With a photo sensor integrated into the solar panel/battery housing, the light automatically comes on at dusk and you’ve got 8 light modes to choose from.

While these lights generally see decent reviews, a few customers did report the lights stopped working after just a few days. Others reported the lights were a bit dimmer than they expected – a common complaint of LED string lights in general.

Most reviewers however, praised the durability and good quality. Thanks to these good reviews and the fact that, well, they’re the only solar powered net light on the market, we’ve included them here on our list of best solar Christmas lights.

Bottom Line: If you’re looking for a solar net light for Christmas, take a look at the eTopxizu, but watch them for the first week or so to make sure you didn’t get a bad batch.

Best Remote Controlled Solar Christmas Light

check price

ErChen Solar Powered LED String lights

Looking for a light you can turn on/off without even getting up? Take a look at ErChen’s Solar String Lights, which comes with a remote control!

These solar string lights include 200 LEDs over 66 feet of wire. Like the other lights on our list, the solar panel comes with a stake for easy mounting and which allows the solar panel to rotate a full 90 degrees for optimal energy production. And bonus, the clear battery/solar case allow you to see the inner workings of the solar panel – pretty fun!

These lights aren’t the ‘traditional’ Christmas lights like the ones above. Instead, consider these ‘fairy lights’. The wiring is a thin copper that can bend and hold its shape, and the entire string is extremely compact and light. However, the LEDs are very small and are therefore really only for ambient lighting – don’t expect these string lights to illuminate the area where they’re placed. ErChen refers to them as ‘firefly lights’ and we think that’s setting a pretty good expectation.

They’re designed to make your patio, deck, fireplace, or whatever else just a little more ‘fairy-like’, playful, and mysterious. Perfect for creating that warm, glowing je ne sais pas feeling we all crave during the holidays.

The battery needs about 8 hours to fully charge, with the lights lasting up to 14 hours. Like the other products, these lights are completely waterproof, so you’re okay to leave them outside.

The main benefit of these lights, of course, is the remote control, which allows you to turn it on and off remotely, as well as flip through the 8 different light modes.

Customers report good functionality, but these lights don’t enjoy the sheer number of reviews that the others have, so keep that in mind during your decision making.

Bottom Line: ErChen’s solar powered fairy lights are perfect for creating that warm, Christmas-y feel in your backyard – with the least effort possible thanks to the included remote control.

Best “Icicle” Solar Lights

check price

Lalapao Outdoor Christmas String Lights

Pros: Best reviewed light on our list

Cons: Might need a few strands for a ‘full’ look

We all know those cool little hanging lights that look like icicles. Well, how about solar powered icicle lights? Hang them from the tree in your front yard or along the railing of your front porch and you’ve instantly got a very cool house.

Lalapao has come out with some pretty sweet solar icicle lights, in four different colors: warm white, bright white (ie bluish-white), blue, and multi-colored (which includes blue, green, red, and warm white). Each strand is 26 feet long and includes 10 tubes, with 36 LEDs per tube, for a total of 360 individual LEDs.

Like the other lights, the included solar panel includes a stake (with 180 degree rotation) for easy mounting, but you can also mount the panel to the wall with screws (not included).

When turned on, the individual LEDs light up in sequence, creating a beautiful ‘meteor shower’ effect. Unlike the others on our list, there are no other light modes you can choose from. However, you do get a full 13 feet from the solar panel to the first tube, about 2x as long as others on our list.

Lalapao’s icicle lights are similar in price to others on our list and, with 360 LEDs, include almost as many bulbs. Keep in mind though that they’re grouped together in 10 tubes per string, so if you need to decorate a large tree or entire patio, you’ll probably need to order a few of them.

Now for the best news. Lalapao’s icicle lights are the best reviewed lights on our list. Customers love the light quality and aesthetics, but also report great performance even after months of rain and snow.

Bottom Line: Lalapao’s icicle lights are the best reviewed lights on our list thanks to their durability and beauty. Just be sure to buy enough!

Best “Fun” Solar Christmas Lights

check price

Inngree Snowflake Solar String Light

Pros: Low-cost, unique design

Cons: A minority of users report batteries dying prematurely

Looking to make your tree, garden, or patio area pop? Looking for something a little cheeky or fun? Then check out Inngree’s snowflake-shaped string lights, in either white (again, whitish-blue), warm white, or multi-colored.

Each strand is 20 feet with 30 LEDs, each encased in a snowflake-shaped plastic housing that measures about 1.5” in diameter. The solar panel includes a ground stake as well as two sealed switches on the back, one for turning on/off and one to choose between the two modes (flashing, non-flashing). Like the others, the light includes a photo sensor to turn on at dusk.

The battery is a 600 mAh Ni-MH, so it’s a bit smaller than others on our list. However, this light also includes far fewer LED bulbs as well, so it makes sense. Inngree claims it takes between 8 to 12 hours for a full charge, with an active time of 8-12 hours as well.

Customers generally like the lights, though many noted they aren’t very bright and are smaller than expected (again, there 1.5” in diameter). The most serious complaint – and it’s relatively frequent – is that the battery doesn’t last for more than an hour or two at night. Obviously the longevity of your battery depends on the amount of sunlight available, but certainly be aware that this could be an issue.

Still, overall Ingree’s lights enjoy a good overall score, so we include them here to round out our ‘best of’ list.

Bottom Line: The kids will love them and they come in a few different colors. Grab some to add some festiveness to your yard.

Do Solar Christmas Solar Lights Work Indoors?

While most homeowners typically buy solar lights to install outside the house, they work equally well inside. If you’re looking to light up an area without electrical outlets or just want to go a little greener this holiday season, solar lights can certainly take care of your needs.

For solar lights to work indoors, all you need is a bright window to place your solar panel next to. Or better yet, just feed the string through the window and place the solar panel in direct sun.

Where solar lights really shine, however, is outdoors. Since their power source is directly attached to the lights, you don’t have to worry about access to outlets or finding extension cords. As long as you have a nice sunny area to place the solar panel, your solar lights will work great!

Is It Okay to Leave Them Outside?

All of the lights above are rated for both indoor and outdoor use. As such, you can safely leave them outside without fear.

Of course, with low-cost electronic goods like the lights above, durability can be an issue. Just because the manufacturer claims they can handle rain and snow, doesn’t mean they can actually withstand season after season of brutal winter conditions. Some products are much more durable than others, so take customer reviews into account before making any decisions.

Place In Full Sun For Best Results

No matter if you use your lights indoors or out, placing the solar panel in the right location is key for them to work properly.

If outdoors, stake the solar panel in an area that sees direct sun for as much of the day as possible. If your solar panel only sees the sun for an hour or two a day, your lights aren’t going to last too long after the sun goes down.

Thankfully, as solar lights are so easy to move, you’re free to experiment to find the best placement in your yard! If you’re not getting enough power to keep the lights going more than a couple hours, just try a different spot.

Remember that to produce as much electricity as possible, the solar panel should be perpendicular (at a 90 degree angle) to the sun when it’s at the highest point in the sky. With a large solar installation, this is extremely important, but with just a little solar string light, simply placing the solar panel at about a 45 degree angle should be sufficient. And this obviously goes for both indoor and outdoor solar lights!

One of the lights below should fit the bill, no matter what your needs are:

Caught the solar bug and want to power your whole home off the sun?
Reach out to a few installers and see what they can do for you! We hope you enjoyed our look at the best solar Christmas lights for 2018!

Image credits: CC license via Flickr

  • by Ryan Austin
  • |
  • November 16, 2018