Best Outdoor Lighting
When you really stop and think about the market for outdoor lighting, you might be surprised by the variety. Not only can you choose
In a Hurry? The test winner after 15 hrs of research
The installation is fast and painless
It has built-in surge protection up to 6000 volts
Built to endure outdoor conditions
- Rab Super Sensor
- Gama Sonic Lamp
- URPower Solar
- Litom Solar
- Hoont Solar Spotlight
- Raniaco Patio
- Moonrays LED Solar
- Ohuhu Garden
- Solario Turtles
- Lampart Lights
- Criteria Used for Evaluation
- Other Factors to Consider
- Frequently Asked Questions
Top 10 Picks
1. Rab Super Sensor
The installation is fast and painless
It has built-in surge protection up to 6000 volts
Built to endure outdoor conditions
The bell housing is easy to scratch
While a majority of the lighting sources on this list utilize solar energy, our top pick actually does not. Instead, it has built-in surge protection technology to prevent power surge damage and two powerful detectors that provide 360-degree motion detection.Read more
There are two ultra-powerful detectors on this super-sensor that allow it to cover 360 degrees. Basically, the light is able to detect motion below it and to the sides of it thanks to its 360-degree design.
While the bell housing can be prone to scratches, the overall build quality of this super sensor is remarkable. If you are sick of buying cheap lights that never last, look no further.
Up until dawn, the motion activation of this light is reverted to. But, you can control the sensitivity of this light from 30 percent to 100 percent. However, it will adjust automatically in hot and cold temperatures for consistent detection.
This is not run via solar energy and instead requires a traditional wall switch or power generator. What is nice, though, is in case of a power outage or surge, the built-in surge protection technology protects it from harm.
Right from the box, this comes assembled and basically, nothing is required on your part. In addition, it is pre-wired so all you need to decide is where you want it installed.
This is such a great choice for a wide number of applications. It can be used sufficiently as a floodlight, patio light, security light, etc. Probably the only aspect that would have made it better is if it were solar powered to eliminate the wires.
2. Gama Sonic Lamp
No electrical wiring is required
Built with a 19-century design in mind
The lithium-ion battery is rated for up to 1000 charges
A few consumers have felt the brightness could have been enhanced
Besides the fact that this Victorian Lamp Post adds a bit of style and elegance to your outdoor décor, it also works efficiently as a solar energy source. Because of this, you merely secure the lamp post to a concrete pad and allow the sun to do the rest of the work.Read more
Gama Sonic designed this lamp post to stand 101 inches off the ground with two hanging LED lamp heads. Overall, it will illuminate 400 lumens of light but according to some users, they felt it still could have been brighter.
It is clear that this is built for outdoor use. After all, it is made of a rust-resistant cast aluminum and has been powder-coated to add additional protection. Also, the solar panel is made of monocrystalline silicon and weather-resistant.
Integrated on the lamp is a dual-brightness switch and an internal on/off switch. To dig deeper on the dual-brightness switch, this can extend the light duration for longer periods.
The lamp post itself is powered by a lithium-ion battery and thus generates its energy directly from the sun. It is designed to run from dusk until dawn on a full solar charge and the replaceable battery should last up to 1000 charges.
All you need to do is secure this lamp post to a concrete pad with the included bolts and hardware. Due to the lack of wiring, it can be installed anywhere you please.
A lamp post may not be what all of you are looking for but it is hard to imagine people not falling in love with this. It is elegantly designed with touch and grace, and can also perform very well.
3. URPower Solar
- Will withstand all types of weather
- You can either stick it in the ground or mount it to a wall
- Powered by a lithium-ion battery
The solar panel and light source only pivot up and down
While this is another light source that is powered by solar energy, this is a little different than the previous. Instead, these solar lights pack four LED bulbs into one light and due to their design, they can be stuck in the ground or mounted on a wall.Read more
In each individual LED bulb, there are 50 lumens and there are four LED bulbs in each light (as this is a pack of two). Totaled up, each light illuminates 200 lumens of light.
One particular user claimed these lights break easily if knocked over; yet, they are able to withstand all types of weather conditions as they are waterproof per IP64 standards.
Besides the fact that both the light source and the solar panel can be adjusted from top to down, you can either stick these lights in the ground or mount them on the wall. Additionally, there is both a high and low output mode.
Once again, the lights are powered by a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that generates its energy from sunlight. This helps to significantly reduce your energy bill for outdoor lighting.
Literally, if sticking it in the ground, all you need to do is adjust the solar panel so it receives optimal sunlight. While the process is a little tougher when mounting it on a wall, it still should be fairly simple.
One of the better aspects of these types of solar lights is there is no limit on how many you can get. Each one outputs 200 lumens of light and, clearly, the more you get the brighter your backyard or front yard area will become.
4. Litom Solar
- It is equipped with 24 high-power LED bulbs
- Encased in a high-strength ABS shell and waterproof core
- The illumination range is improved up to 270 degrees
You can’t adjust how long the light stays illuminated
Next up, we have a perfect outdoor light for this looking to add a bit of security to their home. Of course, due to the brilliance of the new wide-angle design, this motion-sensor could easily be used for your own personal benefits.Read more
As compared to other solar lights on the market, Litom made sure to make theirs shine brighter, literally. Thanks to its wide-angle design, its 24 LED lights offer around 2.5 more coverage than the average solar light.
This sucker is not just impressive because of its lighting but also its build. It features a high-strength ABS shell with a flameproof battery and a waterproof exterior (to IP65 standards).
You can mess around with the three different lighting modes on this solar light. Each one, with options for a medium light mode, sensor mode, and dim light sensor mode, is useful.
Due to this being a solar-powered light source, you need to mount it in direct sunlight to receive optimal results.
All the hardware is provided for you to quickly mount this to any outdoor wall or fixture of your choosing. Granted you secure it to a stable foundation and in direct sunlight, you should be good.
There are some minor details that users wished Litom addressed but all-in-all, most users are left impressed with their design. Rightfully so, as the illumination capabilities of this light speak for themselves.
5. Hoont Solar Spotlight
- Features a fully adjustable solar panel and light
- No wiring is required for installation
- The low setting allows the light to shine nearly all-night
A few have claimed they have had longevity issues with the actual lighting
This is yet another solar-powered spotlight that is designed to be stuck in the ground. If you are looking to light up your garden or patio at night, it is tough to think of a better light source than this solar spotlight.Read more
Hoont’s solar spotlight will properly illuminate gardens, driveways and pathways. Each LED bulb, with there being four in total, is bright in its own right.
This spotlight has been made of solid, hard plastic and is able to withstand the punishment of snow, rain, and wind. Also, it is waterproof.
During the daylight, this has an auto-off feature and an auto-on feature during darkness. Plus, the light and the solar panel can both be adjusted up-to-down, but not left-to-right.
The 1200mAh battery integrated into this light is designed to hold a full charge for up to nine hours. Again, it gathers its energy straight from the sun.
It really does not get any easier than this. As soon as you take the light out of the box, go outside and stick it in an optimal place in the ground. Wala, your work is done.
It is not difficult to see why these types of lights are so popular. Not only do they save on your energy bill but they also provide enough light to serve several purposes. Plus, you can always install more in your yard.
6. Raniaco Patio
- Comes with six extra bulbs
- Backed up by a 10-year unconditional guarantee
- Features a rubber seal around the bulbs
Maybe too large for smaller spaces
Moving away from solar lights for a brief second, let’s talk about these patio lights from Raniaco. They work very similarly to Christmas lights and can completely illuminate your backyard patio area.Read more
These are string lights and that means they can’t be installed just anywhere. However, with a hanging area for them, each individual bulb combines to form a wonderful way to illuminate your lawn.
The string lights themselves are made of heavy-duty rubber and designed with durable hanging loops. But, they are also fully weatherproof thanks to the rubber seal around the bulb.
Because these are open-ended, you can connect up to nine strings at once. If you have a larger area you are looking to cover, this can come into play.
No, this is not run on solar energy. Instead, it comes equipped with a 45-foot black commercial cord. Take note, the maximum wattage per socket recommended is 40 and per light string recommended is 600.
According to one reviewer, installing these lights can be problematic. Specifically, they make mention of the fact that there is no way to lock the connection of the lights. Because of this, they could accidentally fall and break.
Even though you may only be used to hanging string lights outside for the Christmas season, they can actually be an ideal way to illuminate your outdoor décor. In particular, these string lights.
7. Moonrays LED Solar
Installation is as effortless as it gets
The sun provides all the power you need
Coated with a fantastic bronze finish
Many were expecting warm white lights which is not the case
It is not as if this next solar light is going to light up your entire front yard but they could be exactly what you are looking for. Moonrays’ Richmond Solar Light works tremendously as a path light from your driveway to your front door.Read more
According to the product description, this light outputs 30 lumens of warm white LED light. Yet, numerous reviewers have noted that this is not the case so be aware of that fact.
Despite the various reviews that have taken issue with slight build issues, for example, the plastic portions that connect the glass to the metal stem, this solar light is weatherproof and built with durable bronze plastic.
To give you peace of mind and ensure light is not emitted when it is not needed, this is designed to automatically switch on at dusk for up to eight hours.
The included AA NiMH batteries get their juice and energy from the sunlight. Each time the sun is out, the battery begins recharging and this cycle will continue granted the solar panel gets enough exposure to the sunlight.
Much like other stake lights, this is as simple as pushing it securely in the ground. There are no wires to work around or mechanical components to wrap your head around.
Yes, there are some slight areas of concern that could come into play in your decision making. Clearly, though, they are not enough to deter the overall quality of this product.
8. Ohuhu Garden
Made of glass and stainless steel
The lights are resistant to rain, frost, sleet and snow
Simply stake them in the ground and you are all set
The end of the light stake is a little flimsy
What is really nice about Ohuhu’s garden solar lights is they come in a pack of six. While each individual light does not produce an astronomical amount of light, all together, they combine to adequately illuminate your garden or driveway.Read more
As a whole, these lights are rated to shine up to a 12-inch radius. While this is not an immense number, it is nice that they come in a pack of six so you can maximize this amount as much as possible.
Outside of the black portion of the stake, which is what sticks into the ground, which is a bit flimsy, the rest of the light is top-notch and properly sealed for weather-resistance. Also, it is made of glass and stainless steel.
At the peak of dawn, these lights are programmed to shut off to save their energy. Then, when nightfall hits, they will automatically illuminate with their stored energy.
With every charge that the battery endures, granted it is fully charged, it can last anywhere from six to eight hours. Thanks to the polysilicon solar panel, the sun is all you need to power these lights
Directly out of the box, installation is a snap. Even your children could install these bad boys, assuming they have the strength to push them far enough in the ground.
If you are only looking for one light to rule them all, this is not up your alley. Because these are sold in six-packs, there are several different manners in which you can arrange them which is a huge bonus.
9. Solario Turtles
Provides up to eight hours of power
Designed with weatherproof polyresin
It is 100 percent wireless to save on energy
It is quite small
This next lighting source is certainly not going to be for everyone and is more of a décor ornament than anything. Still, with the power of solar energy, this could add an essential piece to your garden that could put it over the top.Read more
There are three individual turtles sprawled out across a log and their shells illuminate with the power of the sun. They will glow at night and provide an excellent ornament for your garden.
Solario designed their turtle ornament with the toughest polyresin that they could find. Because of this, it is completely dustproof and waterproof making it ideal to withstand all types of inclement weather.
Thanks to the built-in photocell, this is designed to automatically shut down at the first light of dawn.
Much like the other lights on this list, solar energy is the method of madness here. For up to eight hours on a single charge, the built-in 300mAh battery can illuminate the turtle shells.
Believe it or not, this is even easier to install than a stake light. This time, you do not even need to stake this in the ground. Merely place it anywhere your heart desires that experiences sunlight exposure.
Truthfully, this is only going to appeal to a specific demographic of people. If you are looking for a combination of style and illumination, though, this could fit the bill.
10. Lampart Lights
Remaining bulbs will continue to emit even with broken bulbs
Backed by a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee
It is UL listed for both indoor and outdoor use
Made of thin glass and easy to break
Capping off this list is another set of string lights and while you do need to be careful when installing them, they certainly work like a charm. No matter where you want them, granted you have the means to hang them up, they will perform admirably.Read more
This string of lights measures 25 feet long and there are 25 G40 bulbs that are included.
Overall, the build quality is one of the few issues some consumers have taken issue with. Due to the thin glass, if they fall, they are all but done for as the bulbs are going to break.
While these are not smart lights or built with loads of technology, each strand has end-to-end connections meaning you can attach up to three to cover larger areas.
There are six inches of space from the male plug to the first light and the same distance is available from the last light to the female connector. Each string totals 125 watts of power, also.
You hang up string lights, in the same manner, you do Christmas lights but due to the thin glass bulbs, you do need to be cautious when doing so.
Perhaps more durable bulbs would have propelled this even further up our list. As it sits, though, if you are careful with the installation, you should be able to get by with no broken parts.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
It is safe to assume that you have a specific type of lighting method in mind for your needs. There is a chance that none of the listed lights on this list will work for what you are thinking, as well. When you are searching for outdoor lighting, this is the number one question you must ask yourself before you begin. What exactly do you need and what type of light are you looking for? For example, are you simply looking to light up your patio during the night for elegance and to allow people to see? Or, do you want a motion detection light that will go off when someone gets close to your door? There are so many different types of lights on the market, such as floodlights, security lights, string lights, and patio lights, and not all of them will be what you are looking for. Also, pay attention to the lumen rating of the light/lights. This is the unit that is used to measure how much light a specific source can emit and obviously, the higher the number the brighter the light will be.
Under normal circumstances, you would want your lighting fixture or light source to be built with quality in mind. Yet, given that the lights you are looking for are intended to be used and installed outdoors, the issue of durability and longevity are enhanced. After all, indoor lights do not have to withstand the abuse of inclement weather. For starters, you want to ensure that the light is built with premium materials that will not break or disintegrate during windstorms. Whether this is with a powder-coated aluminum or a high-strength ABS shell, the build quality needs to be able to withstand a powerful punch.
Yet, perhaps even more important is the weather-resistance. All necessary components need to be sealed to be protected from rain and sometimes snow. Typically, an IP rating will be given out to a waterproof or water-resistant light. It will look something like IP64. Basically, the first number identifies how dustproof it is and the second number is used for liquids. The dust rating goes up to six and the water rating goes up to eight (with the higher the number indicating higher resistance).
Whenever you are discussing a product that has anything to do with technology, which is most products in the world, you are going to need to assess the plethora of design features. However, to be honest, for outdoor lighting, you do not really need to be too picky with this section. It is not as if you are expecting an outdoor lighting source to have as many functions as a GPS unit or a dive computer. But, there are still some subtle features you can look out for.
For starters, how about if there are different lighting modes to work with? Some, not all, light sources will be designed with different output modes (much like a flashlight would) so you can tailor the brightness to what you need. Also, for solar-powered light sources, they may automatically turn on during nightfall and turn off at the dusk of dawn to save energy.
This is where solar energy is going to shine for a bit. This section is not meant to debate whether solar lights are superior to other lights but a majority of the entries on this list are solar-powered. Guess what; there are several reasons for that. First off, with a solar-powered light source, you never have to worry about wires getting tangled up or chewed on by critters. Also, they will reduce your electricity bill because if you run outdoor lighting from your house’s electricity, your bill will go up. With solar energy, there is no electricity being used.
Now, there is one major disadvantage to solar-powered lighting sources that no other power sources have. If the sun does not want to come out to play, your lights will not illuminate unless the battery still has power left. Even though some solar panels can charge on cloudy days, they will do so with much lower efficiency. If this is a worry, it is understandable if you want to stick with another power source.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
Even though you will only have to do it a few times, assembling and installing a product that is non-intuitive and a major hassle is beyond any normal human’s patience level. As such, it is not a bad idea to look into a light source that is easy to install and assemble. Solar-powered light sources are usually very easy to install, as long as they are positioned with adequate sun exposure. With corded lamps, floodlights, or string lights, it is still not too difficult to install them but you do have to account for how much cord you have and if you want an extension cord running in your yard. This is not an issue with cordless lights, whether powered by solar energy or not, and it makes them much less of a hassle to install.
Other Factors to Consider
As you know, it is important to consider how much light emitted from your outdoor lighting source. However, it is also important to keep in mind what the voltage is. Do not get it confused here; low-voltage lighting does not insinuate that the light is incompetent at emitting light. Instead, it merely refers to how much power is being consumed while the light is plugged in (assuming it is not solar driven).
With a lower voltage, it means the light source has a higher energy efficiency as it will draw considerably less energy from your home. In addition, you should not have to worry about shrubs, trees, or even groundcover such as mulch being affected by the high amount of energy being consumed.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: How Green Are LED Lights?
As a side note, this is not referring to the color that is emitted from LEDs. When people say “green”, they are referring to how efficient and environmentally-friendly a product is. In terms of how green LED lights are, it is safe to say that they are almost as green as it gets. You already know how energy-efficient they are but because of this, they do not need as much electricity to be made and require lower emissions from power plants. But, they also do not contain mercury so that is another bonus to the environment.
q: How to Care For Solar Lights?
With non-solar lights, all you really need to do is keep them clean to ensure they are performing to their highest standard. Yet, it gets a little more complicated for solar lights due to the nature of their design. Because they gather power via the energy that is gathered from sunlight, the solar panel needs to be kept clean at all times. If it is covered with mud or dirt it could compromise the amount of sunlight that is actually hitting the solar panel. Check it periodically and clean it when you deem it necessary.
Additionally, you may want to straight-up store them away for the winter. Even though they may be built to withstand the punishment of winter weather, snow will collect on the panel and it may be more of a hassle than anything to constantly free it from snow and debris. Simply storing it in a dark location in your home may be the better option.
q: What Are Some Advantages of Dimming LEDs?
Having the ability to be able to adjust the brightness level of your outdoor lights could be something that is very important to you. Besides the obvious benefit of saving energy, as it is only logical that the brighter something is the more power it requires and the less energy efficient it is, there are several other reasons you may want to consider getting LED bulbs that can be dimmed.
Most notably, the bulb itself will last longer as it is not being forced to emit its maximum brightness at all times which can reduce its shelf life. Also, you simply may feel that the light is emitting too bright and having the ability to dim it can help your vision and create the right atmosphere.
q: What is the Difference Between Warm White and Pure White?
Another term you may come across during your quest is warm white. It was even mentioned a few times during this guide but you still may be wondering what on earth it is. While it is still a shade of white light, warm white does have a few differences that make it perform differently than pure white. For starters, a warm white bulb is closer to a clear white and a pure white bulb closer resembles a white fluorescent lamp.
To be upfront and honest, there is not too much of a difference between the two but some people will prefer one over the other. For example, pure white bulbs tend to be more striking and vivid in color to their warm white competition. Meanwhile, warm white lights are a little softer and warmer and are ideal if you are looking for a classic appeal.
q: How Long Does Solar Lighting Last?
This is actually not referring to outdoor solar panels as that is an entirely different beast. Instead, this is referring to general outdoor lights such as floodlights and patio lights. Everyone seemingly always wants to know how long solar lights are going to last. Well, if you take care of them their lifespan can be greatly enhanced. First off, the integrated battery is not going to last forever and may even be rated to withstand a certain amount of charges (such as 1000). Expect the battery to last longer or shorter, depending on how often it is being charged. Even so, all batteries will age over time even if you do not use them.
As far as the lights that are integrated inside, if they are LEDs than they should last anywhere from 50,000 to 100,000 hours. Most of the time, though, the batteries will be replaceable but the LED bulbs will not.
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