The best garden solar lights all have one thing in common — they're a brilliantly easy way to add the functionality of lighting to your garden. Whether you're looking to illuminate a pathway to make it easy to get across your garden in the evening, ward off intruders with a floodlight or simply add some ambience when entertaining in the garden, there's a garden solar light for everyone.
Of course, unlike our pick of the best outdoor wall lights, garden solar lights don't require the hassle and expense of an electrician to install, meaning once they arrive, you can set them charging and use them right away — perfect if you need a quick solution for your outdoor space.
(MORE: Garden Lighting Ideas)
We've picked a range of designs which look great and have positive reviews to inspire you to make the most of solar power as a light source for your garden. Which is your favourite?
The Best Garden Solar Lights to Buy
Eva Solo SunLight Solar LED Outdoor Stake Lamp
A contemporary design that proves solar lights can be stylish
Power Supply: 500 mAh lithium battery | Dimensions: H 38 x D 13.5cm | Brightness: 50 Lumens
One problem you'll find when searching for the best garden solar lights is that beautiful design and solar panels don't always go hand in hand. Visible solar panels are often a compromise, so a design like this Eva Solo SunLight stake lamp is a great find.
Instead of the tell-tale solar panel that outs your lighting as solar powered, this design incorporates solar cells within the frosted glass lamp. Once in the ground, this will be indistinguishable from a wired-in garden light, but with all the benefits of solar power. The glass is frost-resistant too, so no problem to leave out in summer.
The only downside? The price. At almost £90 per light, it's a premium buy, but if you've got the budget, these offer a beautiful way to bring a solar glow to your outdoor space.
Atlas Solar Powered Outdoor Spotlights
Powerful solar spotlights for directional lighting
Power: 2.5W solar panel | Dimensions: H 17 x W 19 x D 3cm | Brightness: 100 Lumens
There's an expectation that solar power lights can offer a dim glow at the most, but the best garden solar lights pack more of a punch than you'd expect.
These Atlas solar powered outdoor spotlights, for example, are surprisingly bright, even giving wired garden spotlights a run for their money (with the added benefit of not requiring additional and expensive electrician work to install).
They come in sets of twos and fours, each set with a separate solar panel; however, the trade off for power and long-lasting lighting from these spotlights is that this solar panel is quite large. It can be placed in a more discreet setting if needed — there's 4.5m of cable between the solar panel and each light, but bear in mind you'll want it in a sunny spot to get the most from your lights.
Smart Solar Lunieres Orb Light
These contemporary glowing orbs also have colour changing setting
Power: Internal battery charged by solar (6 hours) or USB (20 hours) | Dimensions: H 17.5 x W 20 x D 20cm | Brightness: 1 Lumens
Some solar lighting is more decorative and ambient than functional, and these solar orb lights definitely fall into this camp. Not only can these orbs be set up to offer a beautiful, diffused glow that will look just as good from the kitchen window as when you're out enjoying your garden in the evening, but they can also be programmed in a range of colours too — a fun feature to change up the atmosphere of your outdoor space.
Super easy to operate, the Smart Solar Lunieres Orb Light also comes with a USB charging cable, perfect for when you've forgotten to make use of its solar capabilities, but still want to use it to illuminate your evening.
Blooma Glend Brushed Silver Effect Decking light
Easy to fit decking lights with no need to call an electrician
Power supply: Solar panel (6 - 8 hours) | Dimensions: H 119 x D 33mm | Brightness: 36 Lumens
These Blooma Glend lights from B&Q are a brilliant way to use solar power lights to improve your garden. Not only can they be placed in flower beds to add light to your borders, but they can be easily retrofitted into existing timber decking, meaning you don't have to pull up your boards to install lights.
They're fitted by drilling a hole of the right size, around 95mm, using a holesaw, which you can also buy a set of from B&Q.
The only issue? They're twice the price of the basic offering of mains-connected decking lights, and while £15 for a set of two isn't extortionate, this can add up over a larger decked space.
HETP Solar Motion Sensor Security Lights
A popular, powerful floodlight powered by solar
Power supply: 2000 mAh rechargeable lithium-ion battery | Dimensions: W 18.4 x H 12.1 x D 9.7cm | Brightness: 2600 Lumens
Many solar powered floodlights have a separate solar panel in order to generate enough power for a suitably bright output — however, this can be bulky and unattractive. This solar floodlight, a top buy on Amazon, has an integrated panel which still manages to achieve a brilliantly bright light that will ward off intruders.
Using a PIR motion sensor, the HETP Solar Motion Sensor Security Light has several modes it can be set to: continuous on; sensor on then dim; and sensor on then off. This means it can be used to provide continuous light when needed.
However, where some solar lights manage to charge well on overcast days and under cover, reviews of this floodlight suggest it works best when placed in direct sunlight. Though 8 hours of charging will provide 12 hours of continuous light, it's much more likely a security light will be used with the motion detector, so even in UK weather, charging shouldn't prove too much of an issue.
Monaco Rattan Solar LED Lamp
A decorative rattan lamp for flexible garden lighting
Power: Rechargeable solar battery | Dimensions: H 63 x W 16 x D 16cm | Brightness: 50 Lumens
One of the brilliant things about garden solar lights is that they're often portable, meaning you can use lamps and lanterns to illuminate an outdoor gathering, whether that's evenings spent relaxing in the garden or dining alfresco.
Getting the light colour and tone right is essential for creating the right ambience, and this rattan solar lamp from Robert Dyas is a great example of when it works well, casting a warm glow over your outdoor space.
It has the additional benefit of looking great in the daytime too and won't be out of place with your other garden accessories.
Though this light is designed to be robust and weather-resistant, it may not be one you'd choose to leave out in winter, as it may not endure quite so well as some of the other garden solar lights featured.
Hugh is Digital Editor of homebuilding.co.uk and has worked on a range of home, design and property magazines. Hugh has developed a passion for modern architecture and interior design. He's currently renovating a Victorian terrace in Essex, DIYing as much of the work as possible.
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