Adam holds a Bachelor's and a Master's degree in Linguistics, and creative writing has always been his greatest passion. For more than 25 years he's been working for several well-known automobile and travel magazines as an editor and expert consultant, but when Adam started his writing path here, at WisePick, it turned out that he's capable of writing practically anything about everything.
Initially being an engineering specialist, Tom has never stopped learning and acquiring other knowledge and skills. Now he’s involved in technical support for a well-known household appliances manufacturer, so no wonder he knows everything about almost everything you buy for your home.
Last updated: June 18, 2021
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You’ve probably already noticed that path lights are available in a multitude of stylish forms and designs that can add beautiful, accented amber-colored patterns to improve the ambience of your home. However, not all models are capable of producing sufficient brightness to keep you safe or, another common problem – they quickly run out of charge.
Our team conducted a research on the best solar path lights and rounded up the top-rated models based on performance and user reviews. All of the chosen products are highly efficient, easy to install and can withstand all weather elements. On the list, you will find models of different designs and brightness levels to choose the ideal one for your preferences and needs. We also factored in the type of material used and whether it is waterproof for safe use outdoors. Other features we considered when choosing the best solar path lights is their respective charging time and runtime on a single full charge for extended operation. Lastly, we checked how many of them are included in the package for long-term investment.
Our Editor’s Choice is made of different materials that extend its lifespan and improves its resistance to natural elements. The exterior features stainless steel construction finished with a beautiful brown vintage-like bronze that blends in with most color schemes. The lamp is made from tier ripple glass for greater clarity and light reflection, while the stake and battery cap are ABS plastic.
GIGALUMI Solar Pathway Lights provides the best bright solar powered path lights with output of 10 lumens. It comes in a pack of 6 patterned landscape lights for long-term use.
Quality solar path lights are advantageous because they reduce energy bills and there is no wiring involved in installation. The 2V 0.8W solar panel of this model fully charges the 1.2V 400mAh Ni-MH AA rechargeable battery for 8 hours to generate runtime of up to 10 hours. The eneloop-styled battery is notable for low self discharge which conserves the battery capacity for longer. Customers are impressed that the battery still recharges on overcast days.
This light fixture is 19 inches in height. It casts warm white light with a soft yellow.
Buyers like the ample lighting, mesmerizing diamond-cut patterns and the reasonable cost. However a couple of users broke the stakes during assembly. Owners recommend wetting the ground or pre-digging the holes to reduce chances of the plastic stake tip snapping during set up. This is a handy tip because you can’t replace the damaged stakes.
Our Premium Choice boasts of several energy-saving options that boost efficiency to conserve the battery and extend its lifespan. In addition to the expected auto on/off function, Homeimpro Garden Solar Lights also features a 6-hour timer that lets you schedule operation to your preferred time. Charging time of 8 hours in direct sunlight powers the lights for a maximum duration of 6 hours.
The package includes a single solar LED light, a Ni-MH 1.2V/AA600mah battery, a 2V 80mA solar panel, and a gorgeous soft-glowing half-moon design that emits warm white light with yellow tint.
The construction material consists of stainless steel crescent-shaped exterior and a glass globe with waterproof rating of IP44. It holds up well to wind, rain and frost and the collapsible pieces are easy to transport anywhere for installation as outdoor solar path lights or indoor plant lights. The compact dimensions of 7.5 x 3 x 30.5 inches also help to reduce the storage size. If you factor in the stakes, the full height of the light fixture is 40 inches.
Although the relatively low level of brightness makes this product more suitable as an aesthetic or ambient light, these solar garden path lights feature useful illuminating functions that justify the high pricing and provide sufficient visibility in smaller spaces for indoor and outdoor applications.
However, there are few downsides to it. First, it would be helpful if the Company would supply missing information such as their contact details and the brightness output of their products. At the moment, buyers can only contact the seller on Amazon. Secondly, it’s rather pricey, especially if you plan on purchasing several.
These silver outdoor solar path lights are also available in a variety of colors: black, brown and white. The 8-pack set is made of rustproof stainless steel, rugged ABS plastic components, and clear textured glass lampshade with diamond patterns to break out the light for decorative effects. Space out the 16.5-inch high lights to create more intrinsic reflections on the ground.
Beau Jardin Solar Lights generates 6 lumens which provide sufficient cool white light with high color temperature rating of 6500K to light up a driveway or sidewalk. For broader coverage, consider the powerful TomCare Solar Lights or GIGALUMI Solar Pathway Lights which has brightness output of 10 lumens.
This waterproof IP65 model has the one of the longest runtime that defines the best quality solar path lights. The lights operate for up to 12 hours when the NI-MH AA 1.2V 900mAh battery is fully charged after 6 to 8 hours of sun exposure. The manufacturer advises buyers to maximize battery capacity by allowing for a minimum of 8 charging and discharging cycles.
Beau Jardin Solar Lights are rated IP65 waterproof. The International Protection Rating (IP) measures the degree protection of a specific product against dust and water. IP65 rating protects the lights from low-pressure water jets. The highest rating is IP69K which can withstand steam-jet water.
Beau Jardin Solar Lights are rated among the best solar garden path lights and although they are pricier than some models on our recommended list, they are worth every cent. Owners like the watertight glass with luminous effects, the eco-friendly automatic sensors and the long operating time. A few of them have complained of the plastic stakes breaking and the brightness being lower than they expected. Fortunately, the buyers are protected by a limited warranty of one year.
Sunwind Solar Bollard Lights is a silver-colored product made of waterproof plastic and sturdy stainless steel to withstand the natural elements outdoors. The whole fixture, including the stake, measures 15.7 inches in length and produces 6 lumens. This level of brightness may not seem much but there are several measures that have been put in place to optimize output.
For starters, the lampshade’s surface is treated with mist for anti-glare effect and the bulbs have color temperature ranging from 2700K to 3500K that produces soft warm white LED light. The temperature is denoted by letter K for Kelvin color scale, and a higher rating translates to whiter lighting. Absolute temperatures above 3500K are generally used for commercial application to generate very bright illumination with bluish accents.
The package includes 6 solar lights and one 2V 400mAh AA NI-MH rechargeable battery. It takes 8 hours of direct sun exposure to charge the battery for a maximum working time of 8 hours. There are built-in sensors that automatically turn the light on at dusk and off at dawn, and a button for automating operation or switching off the light manually. The sensors are also energy-efficient because they can decrease brightness until they detect motion.
If you prefer budget-friendly options with their light diffusing from the top of the bulb instead of downwards, then Sunwind Solar Bollard Lights would be an ideal choice for you.
The stainless steel and silver style lends these best rated solar path lights a modern sophisticated appearance.
The durable material also reduces the chances of the stakes snapping during set up. Remember to retrieve the spike concealed in the 3.1-inch tube before initial use and to moisten the ground, if need be, to soften it for smooth installation of the stakes.
These pathway lights have been upgraded with a bigger solar panel to increase efficiency and runtime to up to 8 hours after 4 to 6 hours of charging the rechargeable 600mAh Ni-MH battery in direct sunlight. Working time is understandably reduced to approximately 5 hours during winter season.
URPOWER Solar Lights have the highest height among the best quality solar path lights we have reviewed. The height is 19.7 inches.
It is available in white light or in warm white light effect with a soft golden glow for your garden or sidewalk. The black and bronze design features fantastic artwork and cutouts that casts pretty shadow patterns onto the surroundings at night, making it among the best solar garden path lights on Amazon. Most owners use this product mainly for decorative purposes although it produces 7 lumens for a decent amount of light and detects motion for safety reasons.
URPOWER Solar Lights is made of ABS plastic that is IP65 waterproof and resistant to corrosion for outdoor use and a longer lifespan.
Remember to long-press the sliding switch to turn on the appliance before installation. Since the sensors only turn on the lights automatically in dark conditions, you may also have to install the bulbs where other light sources do not interfere with operation.
We like the enlarged panels, LEDs and spikes as well as the replacement of metal with rustproof plastic for the attachment.
Although buyers admit that the installation process is straightforward, some of them struggled with some components that did not appear to fit. Also, the pictures advertising this model show a pack of 8 lights which some customers received while others only got a pack of 6.
It is easy to dismiss this product if you only go by the number of lights included in the package, but there is a lot more to TomCare Solar Lights that makes it the best rated solar path lights by verified buyers on Amazon. It comes in a pack of 2 although a 4-pack set is also available.
They are the tallest lights we reviewed, with adjustable height of 43 inches. Buyers also receive two extenders measuring 12 inches that are connected to the base before inserting the stakes and then turning on the power button on the side of this flame torch.
The lights are powered by an integrated rechargeable 2200mAh battery that should be charged in direct sunlight for 8 hours to yield up to 10 hours of working time.
The 0.88W solar panel increases energy efficiency by 20.5%.
The LED lights have lifelike flickering flames are enchanting with a calming ambience. They are among the most impressive features of TomCare Solar Lights, with owners noting that the marketing images don’t do them justice, along with the powerful battery that emits very bright lights even after cloudy days. It is a cool way to stand out while illuminating your neighborhood. The flames are so realistic that some customers have fooled their neighbors into thinking your yard is on fire.
The parts made of the waterproof plastic feel flimsy and there are reports of some of the lights failing to work after a few weeks.
The sensors of solar powered LED path lights only turns on the lights automatically when it is dark, so keep that in mind when deciding on the location of installation.
GardenBliss Solar Lights is available in a pack of 10 landscape lights that can be adjusted to 2 height options, 8 inches and 12 inches. This is achieved by connecting two 6-inch tubes that allows you to adjust the pathway posts to your desired height.
It comes with pre-installed NiMH rechargeable batteries that turn on the lights automatically at night. Users twist the lid and the lens to separate them and access the battery compartment under the lid.
It features ABS plastic construction with a double-seal panel to make it completely waterproof and applicable in all weather. Owners report that the solar lights can be charged even when it is snowing or raining.
According to the manufacturer, the battery pack produces a runtime of up to 8 hours after 8 hours of sun exposure and a total lifetime of 30,000 hours of lighting. However, a number of users dispute the indicated battery capacity of 600 mAh which they claim has been tripled. Some of them had to replace the original batteries with durable ones to extend the runtime.
Since this model generates brightness of only 2.4 lumens, it would be more suitable for supplementary lighting or as an aesthetic addition with the glowing blue ambience.
Having said that, this is among the bestselling solar LED lights on Amazon and the Company has been praised for being responsive and refunding or replacing defective products without additional shipping costs. Buyers appreciate the free replacement and money back guarantee offers. It helps that the Company is based locally. They also like the competitive pricing and the clear instructions that make for no muss, no fuss assembly.
This model has a limited brightness output of 2.4 lumens. While this may not be practical for security lighting, Azirier Solar Lights pack consists of 12 lights which provide the best solar garden path lights that are accentuated with intricate starburst patterns and soft ambience. Several users like the warm tone with yellowish tint as well, and the large number of lights included in the package allows you to increase illumination by combining them.
It features hard plastic construction on the exterior and an adjustable height of 12 inches. You will find the plastic stakes hidden inside the tubes. Remove the green isolator tab for initial use and press the on/off button to automate functions.
This model takes 6 hours of sun exposure to charge the included battery fully for 10 hours of lighting.
The pricing of these solar powered path lights is one of the factors that buyers find appealing. Azirier Solar Lights provide great value for money as a starter or mid-range model with several lights that add style to your driveway. They produce sufficient light to line your path or to illuminate small spaces.
Buyers mostly complain of receiving damaged solar lights or units that only work for a short while, and the faint glow emitted even after charging the battery for hours. Another drawback is that you cannot replace faulty parts since the manufacturer sells only whole solar light sets.
What are its best features?
12 lights with creative patterns
12-inch adjustable height
Short charging time
What could be improved?
Things to Consider
There are several factors to consider before buying the best outdoor solar path lights. In this detailed guide, we have discussed the benefits of these illuminating tools and reviewed the key functional and aesthetic features that should be on your checklist.
Advantages of installing solar path lights
Eco-friendly: During the day, solar powered LED path lights use a multi-layered crystalline silicone solar panel to transform direct sunlight into electrical energy through photovoltaic mechanism. This electrical energy is stored by a rechargeable battery and later used to produce LED (light-emitting diodes) light when the built-in intelligent sensors detect darkness, therefore substantially reducing the carbon footprint created by non-renewable sources of energy.
Energy-efficient: Since solar LED lights do not rely on electricity, they provide a cost-effective solution that lowers your utility bills. They also turn off the lights automatically during the day to conserve energy. The only additional cost would be the replacement of batteries after a while, but it is still minimal because they are rechargeable.
Varied designs: These lights are available in a variety of styles, sizes and light patterns to help you find the right solar garden path lights for your needs. They also differ in their brightness levels and their core functionality; some emit bright white lights for adequate illumination of large areas while other models designed for ambience produce soft white light with a subtle glow and attractive effects.
Low-maintenance: Solar lights have less operational costs than conventional lights because they use sunlight and rechargeable batteries with adequate capacity to power the lights for a few years before they need replacement. Just ensure that the solar panel is not blocked from sunlight by debris. Otherwise, the best outdoor solar path lights are made of sealed, weather-resistant material that keeps the lights clean and protects them from damage.
Continuous operation: As long as you charge the battery under direct sunlight, it conserves power and turns on the lights automatically to illuminate your space as soon as dusk sets in. It is a reliable power source where outages are a non-issue and there is no need to plug in or to wire cables.
Convenient installation: Solar lights can be installed anywhere where there is access to direct sunlight.
Affordable: In addition to being low maintenance, solar LED lights also have little initial cost. They are offered at different competitive prices and you can get a model with advanced features at less than 50 dollars.
Safer alternative: They eliminate the fire hazard risk posed by unsupervised candles, lamps and other indoor traditional lights.
Features to consider when choosing a solar path lights
Below is an in-depth analysis of the features that define the best solar powered path lights.
The best rated solar path lights come in different types with diverse shapes and styles to suit a wide range of individual preferences.
Their design may play a role in optimizing their performance and output.
Solar landscape lights such as sidewalk and garden lights feature frosted covers, flickering flames, amber-colored accents, cutouts, and patterns that diffuse light and cast aesthetic shadows and effects on the ground. They are not as bright as security lights because they produce low-key soft white colors with a mild glow for ambient lighting. Examples include TomCare Solar Lights with lifelike flickering flames and Azirier Solar Lights’ starburst pattern.
Lights designed to illuminate porches and pathways for security purposes flood the outdoor space with a vibrant bright white light. They excel at clarity and light reflection. GIGALUMI Solar Pathway Lights features clear tier ripple glass globe that produces 10 lumens of light. Security lights may also come with motion sensors that switch the lights on immediately upon detecting movement.
Runtime after the recommended charging time
You should take the runtime into account before making a purchase to confirm that your intended solar powered LED path lights can operate continuously throughout the night, or as required.
Manufacturers indicate the time it takes to charge the battery fully in direct sunlight and the subsequent working time before the charge runs out. This information is found in the specifications or the seller’s website. For instance, Homeimpro Garden Solar Lights take 8 hours of charging in direct sunlight to gain up to 6 hours of nighttime operation. On the other hand, Beau Jardin Solar Lights last for up to 12 hours after 8 hours of sun exposure, making the best quality solar path lights for nightlong use.
Remember that charging time may be influenced by the current weather and the level of sun exposure. This is why it is advisable to install the lights where there is no shade or obstruction to the sun by other buildings. Position the lights where there is optimal sun exposure for effective charging and maximum output.
Apart from the level of sun exposure, runtime is also affected by the capacity of the battery. A high-capacity rechargeable battery would extend the time of operation.
The brightness of a particular is measured and expressed in lumens. Brighter lights have higher number of lumens.
The best outdoor solar path lights should have adequate brightness for clear visibility, especially if they are security lights. You should be able to see where you are walking or driving along the driveway. GIGALUMI Solar Pathway Lights which generates bright white light is rated 10 lumens while our pick for the best solar garden path lights, GardenBliss Solar Lights, has brightness rating of only 2.4 lumens for a subtle amber foliage glow and a cozy atmosphere.
As you can see, the level of brightness would be dictated by your intended purpose.
Outdoor solar path lights are made of durable and weatherproof material that can hold up to natural elements. Depending on the waterproof rating, some lights with IP65 rating like Beau Jardin Solar Lights can withstand low-pressure water jets while others have sealed components for maximum protection.
The construction material includes ABS plastic, glass and metals like aluminum and stainless steel.
ABS plastic is the most common material found in solar garden path lights. It is a form of hard plastic used to make stakes that are driven into the ground.
Stainless steel is used for the exterior because it is sturdy and resistant to rust. It is often treated with a finish to protect the surface and extend its longevity.
Globes are made from glass which could either be clear for optimal reflection of light or frosted to diffuse light and create hues and other light effects.
Look for solar powered LED path lights with height adjustment capability and extenders so you can customize the shaft to your yard or garden.
Quantity in the pack
Depending on the brand and model, you may get a single light fixture or a pack of several lights that you can combine to brighten up your sidewalk and create exquisite patterned effects that transform your space. A pack with several lights offers you more options for installation and they cost much less than buying each of the lights individually.
If they are easy to install
Some models are mountable on the wall or fence but the outdoor solar path lights we have featured come with stakes that are installed into the ground. They include all the necessary tools for quick assembly. Since majority of the stakes are made from plastic, we recommend moistening hard ground or digging the hole beforehand to reduce the chance of them breaking. Remember to turn on the switch and to check the panel of the solar powered LED path lights once in a while for any blockage from sunlight.
Auto on/off: This function monitors for surrounding ambient light to determine whether to switch on the solar LED lights. The best rated solar path lights come with built-in sensors that turn on the lights automatically when it starts getting dark and turn them off at dawn to recharge and conserve the battery. For this reason, the lights may not work if there are other adjacent light sources. Some sensors can detect movement and switch on the lights immediately.
Color temperature: The higher the color temperature, the cooler the color of the emitted light. Consider a lower rating if you want yellow and orange tints.
Solar powered LED path lights need to be exposed to direct sunlight to convert solar energy to electricity and accumulate a full charge that can operate the lights for a long time. Winter seasons have shorter days that reduce the hours of sun exposure so the lights may not last until dawn.
Due to the insufficient sunlight in winter season and in cloudy or rainy weather, the lights may not work at all or they might only operate for a limited time during this period.
The main cause of leaning or fallen path lights is top-heavy issues. You can increase the stability by using heavier and sturdier bases made of metal or by placing the stakes deep into the ground to anchor the lights firmly.
Ideally, solar light batteries should be charged in direct sunlight to maximize output. However, the best quality solar path lights can still function after recharging them on cloudy and rainy days although they would be dimmer than usual and the charge would be quickly depleted.
Our top pick for the best outdoor solar path lights is the 6-pack GIGALUMI Solar Pathway Lights. It is notable for high clarity and 10-lumen brightness, durable stainless steel material, a low self-discharging battery and eco-friendly auto on/off function.
Homeimpro Garden Solar Lights comes in convenient collapsible pieces which can be extended to a total height of 40 inches for landscape lighting. The solar garden path lights features a high-capacity battery and a beautiful soft glow crescent design that produces warm white ambient light.
Our third pick for solar LED lights is Beau Jardin Solar Lights. It boasts of a high IP65 waterproof rating, extended working time of 12 hours and decorative diamond patterns that add style to your space. Buyers receive a pack of 8 lights in their favorite color from 4 color options.