The 10 Best Outdoor Solar Lights to Buy 2021

The 10 Best Outdoor Solar Lights to Buy 2021

Solar lights are a great alternative to wired outdoor lights. They’ll save you money on your electricity bill, and you won’t have to worry about burying wires in the ground or behind walls. With so many options and styles of lights to choose from, we’re here to help shed some light on the best outdoor solar lights for your home.

Factors to Consider When Buying Outdoor Solar Lights

Before you decide on a set of lights, you should consider why you’re buying them. Are you having a party and want to impress your guests with a pleasant outdoor atmosphere? Or do you just want to keep your sidewalk lit so that you don’t trip over stray toys after a long day of work? Keep this in mind while you consider the type of lights you’ll need.

Your Regional Location

Where you live will determine how well solar lights will work. We’ll go into this later, but different regions have varying climates and rates of sun exposure. If you live somewhere with little sunlight, you might have difficulty getting solar lights to work for you.

Types of Lights

There are many different types of solar lights available for various functions. Let’s quickly cover some of the most common types of lights and what scenarios they’re useful in.

Motion Detection Lights

These are perfect for security and illumination, using motion sensors to turn the lights on when they detect motion nearby. Lights like the LITOM Original Solar Lights serve as a great deterrent against strange people wandering into your yard. They can alert you to other outdoor hazards as well.

Spotlights

Useful for general illumination and ambiance, these lights can highlight features of your house or yard, as well as providing light for illumination purposes. URPOWER’s Solar Spotlights are ideal in locations where you can’t feasibly hang a motion detection light, such as along a long driveway.

Pathway

Lights that run along driveways or walkways, pathway lights are great for subtle illumination and ambiance. The GIGALUMI Solar Pathway Lights are a great set of lights that blend illumination and ambiance, adding a unique elegance to your driveway or walkway.

String Lights

Multiple lights on a wire, these lights can allow you to get creative with accent lighting, and are great for DIY projects offering dim light for a relaxing atmosphere. The Brightech Ambience Pro Solar Outdoor String Lights are perfect for lighting a porch or gazebo while retaining the ease of use and flexibility of solar power.

Ambient Lights

Ground or wall-mounted lights that produce soft or colored light. These are perfect for when you want to relax, and serve as a great conversation piece when you have company over. Lights like the Greluna Solar Wall Lights are great for adding flair to your fence or stairs, while the KOOPER Solar Garden Flower Lights can create a whimsical atmosphere around your yard and flower beds.

Luminosity

After you determine why you want solar lights, you’ll want to note the lumen output of the lights you want to use. Lumens are a measure of the brightness of the lights, with a higher number of lumens meaning a brighter light.

Waterproofing

You don’t need us to tell you water and electricity doesn’t mix. Since outdoor solar lights are constantly subject to weather, it’s important to choose a set of lights capable of withstanding your local climate conditions.

You can make sure you’re getting an adequate set of lights by looking at the Ingress Protection (IP) rating the lights have. These ratings are an international standard that defines the level of sealing effectiveness of an enclosure containing electronic components.

When looking at IP ratings, you’ll want to pay special attention to the second number. This second number is an indicator of how well the enclosure protects against moisture, which is the most common threat for outdoor electronics.

For instance, a set of lights like the Dekugaa Solar Ground Lights has an IP rating of 65. The second digit (5) indicates it has protection against low-pressure jets of water from any angle. Meanwhile, a set of lights like the LITOM Solar Landscape Spotlights have an IP rating of 67, with the 7 meaning they’re capable of being fully submersed in 6-39 inches of water for 30 minutes without issue.

Mounting

When purchasing outdoor solar lights, you’ll also want to keep their mounting procedure in mind. Wall-mounted lights often require extra tools, typically requiring you to drill holes. They’re also limited in where you can place them, but also often provide better stability than ground lights.

Meanwhile ground lights attach to plastic stakes you drive into the ground, allowing for better flexibility than wall lights. However, they’re less stable and more susceptible to accidental damage, especially if you have children or pets.

We’ll cover more information about solar lights later. But for now, let’s take a look at some of the best outdoor solar lights of 2020.

Top 10 Best Outdoor Solar Lights 2021

1. Best Overall Pick: Aootek 182 Led Solar Outdoor Motion Sensor Lights

Aootek 182 Led Solar Outdoor Motion Sensor Lights

Why we like it: These solar lights have a great illumination range and boast high-efficiency solar panels with large batteries.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts:

  • Mounting: Wall
  • Luminosity: 450 lumens
  • Waterproof: Yes (IP65)

The Aootek 182 Led Solar Outdoor Motion Sensor Lights are another great set of solar lights for security and illumination. They come equipped with a large solar panel, boasting a 20.5% solar conversion rate. They also feature a 2200mAh battery and contain 182 LEDs that reach a 450-lumen output. Altogether, this means these lights balance charging capacity, battery life, and illumination well.

These lights from Aootek feature wide-angle lighting and sensors that detect motion up to 26 feet away, making them optimal for security and illumination. They also feature an IP65 rating, making them capable of withstanding extreme weather.

Finally, these lights also feature 3 different modes of operation: a security mode (motion sensor turns light on and off), an always-on mode, and a smart brightness mode. Unfortunately, accessing the mode switch requires you to dismount the light, which is a bit of a pain.

While these lights are similar to the slightly brighter LITOM Original Solar Lights, they’re also a bit cheaper. This makes them a solid option if you’re budget-conscious but still want superior performance and security.

Pros

  • High-efficiency solar panel
  • Large 2200mAh battery
  • Wide light and sensor range
  • Multiple lighting modes

Cons

  • Accessing the mode switch requires dismounting the lights

2. Best Premium Pick: LITOM Original Solar Lights

LITOM Original Solar Lights

Why we like it: Brighter than other wall-mounted lights, these solar lights cover a broad area and have multiple modes for optimal security and illumination.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts:

  • Mounting: Wall
  • Luminosity: 526 lumens
  • Waterproof: Yes (IP65)

The LITOM Original Solar lights are the best outdoor solar lights we’ve found. Among all the wall-mounted lights, they’re the brightest, with 526 lumens of light output. They also feature a wide 270-degree angle light coverage, meaning one light will cover a 150 to 200 square-foot radius.

The sensor in these lights also has a great range. With a 120-degree detection angle, they can pick up movement up to 26 feet away from the light. And because they’re rated at an IP65 waterproof rating, they can take a pounding from heavy snow and rain.

These lights also have 3 different lighting modes: an always-dim mode, dim with bright motion detection mode, and an always-off with bright motion detection mode. This makes them versatile and useful for a variety of scenarios, and can help prolong battery life on cloudy and winter days.

Now, there are some things to consider. To switch the lighting mode, you have to access the switch on the back, requiring you to dismount the light. They’re also higher in price than other solar lights. However, given their exceptional range and relative versatility, they’re an exceptional choice for anyone looking for a good solar light geared towards security and illumination.

Pros

  • Higher luminosity than other wall-mounted lights
  • Light covers a 150-200 square feet range
  • Light emits in 270 degrees
  • Detects movement up to 26 feet away from the light
  • Multiple lighting modes

Cons

  • Mode switch requires dismounting the light
  • Mode switch requires dismounting the light

3. Best Budget Pick: SEZAC Solar Security Lights

SEZAC Solar Security Lights

Why we like it: These solar lights are bright, compact, and boast an impressive battery life.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts:

  • Mounting: Wall
  • Luminosity: n/a
  • Waterproof: Yes (IP65)

If you’re in the market for an economical set of lights, then the SEZAC Solar Security Lights are an excellent option for you. With a 2000mAh battery in each light, they’re guaranteed to last through the night. Each light also has 42 LEDs, making them bright enough to illuminate all but the largest yards.

These lights, like many other wall-mounted solar lights, also feature 3 modes: an auto-on dim light mode, an auto-on dim light with bright motion sensor mode, and a regular motion sensor light mode. Unlike other wall-mounted solar lights, these lights feature a button on the front of the light to switch between modes. This means that you won’t have to dismount them to change the mode.

While these lights have a 120-degree sensor like other wall-mounted lights on our list, the sensor isn’t quite as sensitive as others. With a shorter motion detection range of 16 feet, this could be good or bad, depending on your preferences.

They also have a narrower light range than other lights like the Aootek 182 Led Solar Outdoor Motion Sensor Lights. However, costing less than other wall-mounted solar lights, these are a perfect choice if you’re looking for the most bang for your buck.

Pros

  • Large battery capacity
  • Bright enough to illuminate large areas
  • Switch modes without having to dismount the light

Cons

  • Not as luminous as other wall-mounted lights
  • Shorter motion detection distance than other motion lights

4. Best Solar Spotlights: URPOWER Solar Spotlights

URPOWER Solar Spotlights

Why we like it: Versatile and powerful spotlights that allow you to customize the position of both the light and solar panel attached to it.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts:

  • Mounting: Ground/wall
  • Luminosity: 200 lumens
  • Waterproof: Yes (IP64)

The URPOWER Solar Spotlights are a great choice if you’re looking for lights with flexibility. You can stake them into the ground or mount them to a wall, and at 200 lumens, they provide ample lighting for your driveway, sidewalks, and flower beds.

Since the solar panel and light are separate, you can individually adjust the solar panel to maximize charging efficiency while keeping the light where you want it. These lights also come in 3 different color options (cool white, warm white, and multicolored). In addition to the option to switch between dim and bright modes, this makes them suitable for a wide array of different uses, from ambiance to illumination.

Since these include plastic stakes that break easily, you’ll want to use caution when installing them into your yard. If you want to avoid accidentally breaking them, you might consider checking out our section on installing yard lights.

Pros

  • Light and solar panel separately adjustable
  • Switch between dim and bright modes
  • Available in multiple colors

Cons

  • Plastic stakes can break easily

5. Best Waterproof Solar Lights: LITOM Solar Landscape Spotlights

LITOM Solar Landscape Spotlights

Why we like it: On top of being great lights with high versatility, they have a higher waterproof IP rating than other solar lights.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts:

  • Mounting: Ground/wall
  • Luminosity: 600 lumens
  • Waterproof: Yes (IP67)

While all the solar lights we’ve found are waterproof, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a more watertight set of lights than the LITOM Solar Landscape Spotlights.

With a waterproof rating of IP67, these lights can weather any storm. Furthermore, they’re guaranteed to work in extreme temperatures, from -4 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit. This makes them an optimal choice if you live in a region prone to extreme weather. Additionally, these lights come in cold white, warm white, and bi-color variations, and boast an impressive 600 lumens of light output.

Like the URPOWER lights, these spotlights have multiple mounting options and lighting modes. Likewise, they feature plastic stakes that can easily break (you’ll want to take precaution when installing them into the ground).

However, unlike the URPOWER lights, these lights integrate the solar panels directly into the light and utilize a smaller adjustment range. This means you might have to make a compromise between where you want to position the light, and it’s overall charging efficiency.

If you can live with the limited adjustment range and want a set of solar spotlights capable of withstanding extreme weather, these lights from LITOM are a great choice.

Pros

  • High light output
  • Capable of withstanding extreme weather
  • Come in multiple light color variants

Cons

  • Light and solar panel are not separately adjustable
  • Ground stake can easily break

6. Best Solar Pathway Lights: GIGALUMI Solar Pathway Lights

GIGALUMI Solar Pathway Lights

Why we like it: These durable solar pathway lights are a great way to provide accent lighting and mark pathways.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts:

  • Mounting: Ground
  • Luminosity: 8 lumens
  • Waterproof: Yes

If you’re looking for a set of exceptional solar pathway lights, then you should seriously consider the GIGALUMI Solar Pathway Lights.

These lights are exceptionally bright for pathway lights, providing 8 lumens per light. With a 400mAh battery, they’ll provide up to 10 hours of warm white light through the night. They’re available in bronze or black, and the lights are mostly composed of stainless steel.

The lights feature glass bezels that are more durable and resistant to clouding than plastic bezels. The bezels are also made in a way that causes the lights to emit a star pattern on the ground, making the lights both useful and aesthetically pleasing.

While these lights are sturdy and generally weatherproof, they don’t come with a specific IP rating and won’t withstand heavy precipitation. They also come with a plastic stake, meaning you’ll want to exercise caution when putting them into the ground. Finally, they come at a fairly high cost, meaning they’re not an optimal choice for frugal shoppers.

Pros

  • Bright for pathway lights
  • Made with stainless steel and glass
  • Aesthetically pleasing

Cons

  • Can't withstand heavy rain and snow
  • Come with plastic stakes
  • Expensive

7. Best Solar String Lights: Brightech Ambience Pro Solar Outdoor String Lights

Brightech Ambience Pro Solar Outdoor String Lights

Why we like it: These string lights add an inviting ambiance, making them great for choice for patios and decks.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts:

  • Purpose: Illumination/ambiance
  • Mounting: Ground/wall
  • Luminosity: n/a
  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Adjustable: Yes

If you’re hosting guests soon, or just like to hang out on your patio or deck, then these lights from Brightech are a killer investment. With 12 bulbs on a 23-foot strand of wire (or 15 bulbs on a 48 foot strand), these lights create a beautiful “Italian cafe” atmosphere.

Each one of the bulbs on this light is shatterproof and emits a soft, warm white light. They’re all connected to a shared solar panel. You can either put the solar panel into the ground with a stake, or clip to something with the included clip. The panel also has 2 screw holes for wall mounting, but you’ll have to source the screws yourself.

These lights are also waterproof and weatherproof, making them suitable for any outdoor application. And in case you have any problems with them, the company offers a 3-year warranty, giving you plenty of use before you’ll have to worry about replacing them out of your own pocket.

Really, the only bad thing we have to say about them is their cost for the length and amount of lights on a single strand. While a single strand of lights won’t cost a fortune, buying multiple strings for a large project might make them cost-prohibitive, especially compared to traditional wired string lights. But given their utilization of solar power, they’re a great addition to any outdoor area in need of ambiance.

Pros

  • Creates an attractive atmosphere
  • Versatile mounting options
  • 3-year warranty

Cons

  • Expensive compared to wired string lights

8. Best In-Ground Solar Lights: Dekugaa 8 LED Solar Ground Lights

Dekugaa 8 LED Solar Ground Lights

Why we like it: These lights are a great alternative to traditional pathway lights in high-traffic areas where kids or pets may otherwise upend or break them.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts:

  • Purpose: Illumination/ambiance
  • Mounting: Ground
  • Luminosity: 20 lumens
  • Waterproof: Yes (IP65)
  • Adjustable: No

Solar pathway lights are a great investment for marking and illuminating sidewalks and flower beds during the night. However, many pathway lights are easy to break or knock over, especially if you have pets or children at home. They’re also obstacles that can make lawn maintenance cumbersome.

These LED solar ground lights from Dekugaa alleviate a lot of the headache traditional pathway lights cause. That’s because these lights sit flush with the ground, meaning they aren’t easily broken by stray balls or haphazard pets. This makes them ideal for high-traffic areas. As long as they’re placed far enough into the ground, you can even mow over them without worry, making lawn care quick and simple compared to other ground lights.

These warm white lights are small, but pack an impressive 20 lumens of light output per light. The solar panels feature a 14% energy conversion rate, and provide 6 to 10 hours of light after a full day of charging. And because they have an IP65 waterproof rating, they’re capable of withstanding heavy rains and other tumultuous warm weather. However, they aren’t suitable for use during winter months, especially during snowy weather.

Finally, these lights are useful for more than just sidewalks and flower beds. With an aftermarket adhesive or another means of securing them, you can use them in other places like stairs and fence posts. Being versatile and relatively powerful, these lights are great for anyone looking for a good set of solar pathway lights.

Pros

  • Don't protrude from the ground
  • High light output
  • Useful for more than just lawns and flower beds

Cons

  • Not suitable for winter months

9. Best Decorative Solar Lights: Greluna Solar Wall Lights

Greluna Solar Wall Lights

Why we like it: These ambient solar wall lights provide a pleasing atmosphere that are great for decks, patios, fences, and stairs

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts:

  • Purpose: Ambiance
  • Mounting: Wall
  • Luminosity: 10 lumens
  • Waterproof: Yes (IP45)
  • Adjustable: No

If you want lights capable of creating great ambiance for your deck, stairs, or other outdoor areas, then you should consider the Greluna Solar Wall Lights. They’re available in warm white and yellow light variants, and both variants feature a color-changing mode that cycles through a range of different colors.

Don’t expect these lights to light up your yard – at 10 lumens of light output per light, they aren’t very bright. Rather, they’ll cast a dim light below them, and are useful for creating a unique and inviting atmosphere, making for a great conversation piece during parties and gatherings.

With two screws holding them in place, and an IP45 rating, you won’t find these lights damaged by water or scattered through your yard after a heavy storm. They’re also small and lightweight, meaning you can even mount them with your favorite adhesive tape, instead of the screws. This makes them exceptionally versatile and great for DIY projects.

The only major drawback we’ve found with these lights are the included 600mAh batteries. While the batteries are market-standard nickel-cadmium batteries, they aren’t great at keeping the lights running all night. We recommend picking up an extra set of batteries for them if this is an issue for you.

If you’re interested in aftermarket batteries, we’ve outlined some important considerations for choosing the right types of batteries for your solar lights.

Pros

  • Multiple variants with color-changing mode
  • Light enough to mount with tape
  • Tough enough to weather heavy storms
  • Versatile and great for DIY projects

Cons

  • Not bright enough for non-atmospheric illumination
  • Included batteries have a low capacity

10. Best Garden Solar Lights: KOOPER 4 Pack Solar Garden Flower Lights

KOOPER 4 Pack Solar Garden Flower Lights

Why we like it: Solar lights disguised as flowers, these lights are great for adding a little flair to any flower bed.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts:

  • Purpose: Ambiance
  • Mounting: Ground
  • Luminosity: n/a
  • Waterproof: Yes (IP65)
  • Adjustable: Yes

If you want to find a creative and fun way to incorporate solar lights in your landscape, the KOOPER Solar Garden Flower Lights are an excellent choice. These lights not only create a whimsical ambiance in your flower beds and yard at night, but they also look good during the day as well.

Each flower contains four lights that constantly change between 7 different colors. These dynamic lights are powered by a 600mAh battery and a solar panel with a photoelectric conversion efficiency of 18-24%. This means on a 4-6 hour charge in direct sunlight. They’ll work for 8-10 hours each night.

They also have a high waterproof rating of IP65, meaning they’ll stand up to heavy storms and frigid winters. And in case you’re wondering, they come with a 1-year warranty.

These lights are great for accent lighting, and they have adjustable stems and leaves. However, you’re limited in where you can set them up. Unlike the Greluna Solar Wall Lights, these lights are strictly limited to the ground unless you have a few flower pots to stick them in. Of course, the Greluna lights can’t hang with your petunias like these flower lights.

Honestly, a combination of these lights with the Greluna lights, or even the Brightech Solar String Lights would make for a stellar outdoor atmosphere.

Pros

  • Look great any time of the day
  • High photoelectric conversion efficiency
  • 1-year warranty

Cons

  • Aren't as versatile as other solar lights
  • Not bright enough for non-atmospheric illumination

Everything You Need to Know About Outdoor Solar Lights

solar light during the day

We’ve covered most of the basics when it comes to shopping for outdoor solar lights. Now let’s talk about some important information to help you get the most out of your solar lights.

Weather and Climate Considerations

Solar outdoor lights are a great way to provide light outside your home without extra electricity costs. But your location, climate, and the type of lights you’re looking for will determine how suitable solar lights are for you.

Annual Possible Sunshine

Solar lights need solar energy. But the amount of solar energy available to you and your lights is dependent on where you live in the world. For example, Juneau, Alaska only has a 30% annual average of possible sunshine, while a city like Yuma, Arizona has a 90% annual average.

Aside from annual possible sunshine, the sun’s angle in the sky will also play into the effectiveness of your solar lights. At the equator, the sun’s rays are the strongest, and will allow solar panels to reach their peak electrical output. The closer to the poles you go, the less effective solar panmels will be.

Precipitation

Since clouds cover the sky during precipitation, it also means less sunlight on rainy or snowy days. If you live somewhere that rains or snows a lot, your lights won’t shine as bright or work as long as if you lived in a less temperate climate. Rain and snow itself can also affect solar light performance.

Rain will wash away dirt and dust from the panels, and as long as the panels are at an angle, it should leave minimal residue behind. However, a good rain shower doesn’t mean your lights are getting clean. While rain will clear macro debris, it can leave a film behind from all the particles present in rain. This means rain is not a substitute for routine cleanings to keep your lights running optimally.

Snow, on the other hand, can build up on solar panels, impeding their ability to collect sunlight. An angled solar panel can help snow roll off, so a set of lights like the URPOWER Solar Spotlights, which has a separately adjustable solar panel, will help mitigate this.

Temperatures

Believe it or not, cold temperatures aren’t as much of a hindrance to solar lights as you might think. Contrarily, solar lights might actually perform better in the cold than in warm temperatures. This is because the photovoltaic cells in the panels tend perform at a higher efficiency in cooler temperatures.

However, the cold and hot temperatures can adversely affect the batteries, so you’ll want to consider purchasing different batteries if you plan for year-round use in extreme climates.

Outdoor Solar Light Installation

We want to help you make the most of your solar lights, so we’re here to offer some practical tips on installing and keeping your lights working properly.

Installing Your Solar Lights

Obviously, you’ll want to place your lights where they’ll get sunlight. Most solar lights charge up completely in 4-8 hours of direct sunlight exposure, so you’ll want to keep that in mind as you search for spots to place your lights.

For lights such as pathway lights, you’ll also want to factor in how far apart you should set them to achieve adequate lighting. Putting them too close together will quickly become costly, but if you set them too far apart, they won’t provide adequate lighting.

Putting Stakes Into the Ground

You’ll be hard-pressed to find ground solar lights that come with metal stakes. Since they all come with cheap plastic stakes, they’re susceptible to bending and breaking easily, particularly when installing them into the ground.

While you might be tempted to use a hammer or mallet to drive the stakes in, you’ll want to avoid doing this, as it can cause them to bend or break. Instead, use a garden shovel or other tool to dig up the soil, or use water to soften the area so the stakes go in easily. Then, use your hands and firmly push them into the dirt.

Keeping Your Solar Lights Shining Bright

Outdoor solar lights are fairly low maintenance, but you’ll still want to perform routine maintenance from time to time. If your solar lights have gotten dimmer over time, or just aren’t shining as bright as you’d like, there are a few things you could try.

Cleaning Your Solar Lights

You’ll want to routinely clean your solar lights, to keep them shining beautiful and bright throughout the night. You’ll want to clean both the light fixture and the solar panel to ensure they charge effectively and aren’t clouded by dirt, dust, and grime from rain and loose dirt.

Start by turning them off and then spraying them with your garden hose to loosen any dirt and debris. Next, you’ll want to grab a bucket of soapy water and a sponge or soft cloth. Be sure to avoid using a scouring pad or anything abrasive, as well as bleach or other harsh chemicals.

Scuffing the solar panels on your lights can diminish their ability to charge effectively, while enclosures can suffer from permanent clouding if you use an abrasive or corrosive material for cleaning. Dish soap is effective at clearing dust, dirt, and grime, but isn’t corrosive or abrasive.

Gently scrub the enclosure and panel, and rinse thoroughly. Also, if you can access the battery compartment, open it up and check for any corrosion. If you find corrosion, you can use water, baking soda, and a toothbrush to scrub away the corrosion, which will help to breathe new life into your lights.

Change the Batteries

Contrary to popular belief, solar lights don’t run directly on solar energy. Rather, they convert solar energy into electricity and store it in rechargeable batteries inside the light fixture. Over time, batteries lose the ability to retain a charge. No matter how well you keep your lights clean and cared for, the batteries will eventually cave to entropy and your lights won’t shine as bright or last as long as they once did.

If that’s the case, you’ll want to look into swapping the old batteries with new ones. New batteries can help your lights beam bolder and brighter than they have since they were new. You might also want to consider purchasing batteries with a higher capacity than the ones that came with the light. This will help them last longer and shine brighter through the night.

Choosing Replacement Solar Light Batteries

If you find your lights aren’t turning on or lasting through the night – even when exposed to adequate sunlight – then the problem may lie in the battery. You might even want to make them last longer or shine brighter. But if you’re going to replace your solar light batteries, you’ll want to make sure you find the right kind of batteries for your needs.

Nickel Cadmium (Ni-CD)

Nickel-cadmium batteries are great for handling extreme weather conditions and retain a steady voltage until they’re completely discharged. They also have a longer life cycle than other types of batteries, but at the cost of lower capacity.

The downside to nickel-cadmium batteries is that they have a charging problem known as the “memory effect”. This means if the batteries aren’t fully charged before they’re used, they’ll only charge up to the last highest charge, requiring you to recondition the battery to achieve a 100% charge. Both the memory effect and reconditioning of these batteries will decrease their lifespan

Nickel Metal Hydride (Ni-MH)

Nickel metal hydride batteries are a happy medium between Ni-CD and Li-ion in terms of capacity, with roughly twice the capacity of Ni-CD batteries. They aren’t capable of operating in extreme temperatures without issue, but work well from -5 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit, better than lithium-ion batteries.

There are 2 main drawbacks with nickel metal hydride batteries, at least compared to nickel-cadmium batteries. First, their life cycle is shorter, meaning they’ll need to be replaced sooner. They also suffer from “weak-cell syndrome”, which makes them appear fully charged, but causes them to die quickly.

Lithium Ion (Li-Ion)

Lithium-ion batteries are the densest batteries of the bunch, having a longer run time on a single charge. Because of this, they’re also frequently the most expensive batteries, and they certainly aren’t without their disadvantages (at least in solar lights).

Lithium-ion batteries won’t stand up to extreme temperatures. They cannot be charged in freezing temperatures, while prolonged heat can hinder their overall longevity. This alone makes them a poor choice for solar lights if you live in a cold climate or hot climate. They can also explode if exposed to water, and generally have the shortest life span compared to their nickel counterparts.

Light up Your Life!

Solar lights are just one way to keep your home lit up, be sure to read our other guides for more of your household lighting needs.

  • LED Flashlights: Perfect for emergencies or just fun. A bright LED flashlight is a must-have around every house.
  • LED Light Strips: Ideal for decoration and mood lighting, LED light strips provide some of the most versatile home lighting available.
  • Black Lights: Helpful for cleaning or for offbeat decorations, black lights use UV rays to create a fluorescent glow.

Wrapping Up

Consider what your outdoor lighting needs are and if going solar is the right choice for you. Whether you want to provide a cool atmosphere for summer festivities or simply illuminating your walkway to avoid nighttime accidents, there’s a perfect set of outdoor solar lights for any illumination you have.

Outdoor solar lights are a sound investment that can make your yard more secure and give your home curb appeal. Now it’s just time to find the right set and make your yard shine.