We’ve found the 8 best solar string lights available today.

Solar string lights aren’t just easy on the environment – they’re versatile as well. With their energy source (the solar panel) attached right to the end of the string, you can put them anywhere you can reach, regardless of whether there’s an electric outlet nearby. On top of that, they’re affordable and run off a limitless supply of renewable energy. What’s better than that?

Our top pick for the best solar string light are the Brightown 20ft Patio String Lights. These bistro-style lights look great and enjoy great reviews, all for a very reasonable price.

Below, you’ll find our list of the 8 best solar string lights of 2019. To narrow down our search, we focused in on cost, customer reviews, and features. All our lights are affordably priced, with price tags typically between $10 and $30. We look at customer reviews to assess the long-term build quality and durability of each light.

If the price is more expensive, we always explain the benefits and why you might consider paying more. If customers point out any defects, we’ve included that information in the descriptions below as well.

Best Solar String Lights

Before we dig into each product individually, here’s a quick overview of our top picks for best solar string lights, broken into separate categories:

Alright, let’s get into it!

Best Overall: Brightown 20ft Patio String Lights

Brightown Patio String Lights

Quick View: Long-lasting and well-reviewed bistro-style solar strings light at a great price point.

Let’s kick off our reviews with our pick for the overall best solar string lights: Brightown 20ft Patio String Lights. These bistro-style lights feature large, shatter-proof bulbs that look perfect on a back patio – all at a lower price than other similar products.

These solar lights are 20 feet long with 20 LEDs spaced 12” apart. 25ft and 50ft non-solar options are also available. The bulbs are 1½ inches wide and give a warm white glow (2800K on the Kelvin scale, see section below). Unlike others on our list, these lights bulbs are removable, so if one stops working, simply purchase a replacement G40 bulb and you’re good to go – just be sure to buy the same color temperature!

The lights come with eight different lighting modes and an on/off switch on the back of the panel.

The only downside we see: these string lights aren’t as waterproof as others on our list. Rated at IP44 as opposed to the next step higher, IP56, the manufacturer recommends not leaving these lights out 24/7, though they can handle light to moderate rain.

The solar panel can be mounted on the wall or stuck in the ground with the included stake. It is adjustable by 120 degrees, allowing you position it just right for maximum sun exposure. You’ll need 4 to 8 hours of sun for a full charge, which Brightown says lasts about 16 hours – about 2x as long as most other lights on our list!

Customers say the lights are sturdy, well-made, and brighter than expected.

Bottom line: Bright, cost-effective, and last long into the night, all for a very reasonable price. If you’re looking to light up your patio or back deck, these are the perfect solution.

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Best Fairy Lights: AMIR Solar String Lights

AMIR Solar String Lights

Quick Look: Cheap, decorative lights that add a warm, mysterious glow to your backyard.

If you’re looking for some fairy lights to cast your patio in warm, ethereal glow, take a look at AMIR Solar String Lights. Unlike bistro or Christmas lights that are bright enough to actually light up an area, fairy lights are very small and are used almost exclusively for decoration. But that’s not a problem, as you can expect to pay about a quarter of the price for these fairy lights as others on this list!

The 72ft of flexible copper wire includes 200 small LEDs. Fairy lights are extremely versatile, because you can bend the copper wire to fit almost any object – along your fence, up your umbrella’s pole, along doors or trees, etc. Unlike bistro or Christmas lights, these LEDs are encased within a waterproof polymer directly on the string, meaning each LED can illuminate in every direction, not just where the light is pointing.

Like most lights on our list, these fairy lights are IP65 waterproof, so you’re safe to leave them outside indefinitely. The included solar panel takes about eight hours to fully charge the nickel-metal-hydride battery, which lasts a very decent 14 hours. The solar panel only comes with a ground stake – you can’t permanently mount it to a wall like some lights on our list, but that’s not too bad.

The lights come in two colors – warm white and white – and all lights come with eight modes, which are variations of flashing and twinkling and fading.

Customers say the lights give off the perfect amount of light to set a relaxed mood and are extremely easy to install with the flexible copper. However, one user did note that the included NMH battery started to die soon after he purchased the lights. While no other buyers reported this issue, be aware that the batteries aren’t the highest quality – though that shouldn’t be a surprise at this incredibly low price.

Bottom Line: If you’re looking for mood lighting, the AMIR Solar Strings Lights are the perfect option. They’re low-priced and give off just the right amount of light to turn your backyard into a fairytale getaway.

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Best Bistro Lights: Brightech Ambience Pro

Brightech Ambience Pro

Quick Look: If you’re looking for the best bistro lights on the market, you’ve found them.

Brightech’s Ambience Pro are probably the best-made lights on our list, as they are commercial grade. However, they’re also the most expensive as well.

Unlike other lights on our list, these bulbous lights are powerful! While other products use 1 watt of electricity for the entire string, Brightech’s string light uses 1 watt per bulb – for a total of 12 watts. That means greater brightness – a big plus if you’re looking to light up your whole patio or porch.

The color temperature of the light is 3,000 Kelvins, so they give off a warm white light, not the harsh, bluish-white light seen in many cheaper LEDs. Each string is 27ft long and includes 12 bulbs, spaced 20” apart, with 6ft between the solar panel and the first bulb.

Despite that high wattage, Brightech says their lights can last 5 to 6 hours on a full charge – almost as good as many of the smaller lights on our list. The included solar panel takes about 6 hours to fully charge the batteries.

Brightech’s kit also includes a ground stake for the solar panel, as well as a clip so you can simply clip the solar panel to a roof or fence – a useful addition that makes installation even easier and which other kits don’t include.

Buyers love the large size of the bulbs and report they are indeed waterproof and weather-resistant. The only real complaint is the cost – they’re much more expensive than similar items on our list. However, you get what you pay for in life, and the great reviews and high build quality seem to warrant the higher price tag.

Bottom Line: If you don’t mind shelling out some extra cash, Brightech’s Ambience Pro are extra-durable bistro-style lights that are bright enough to light up your entire patio and durable enough for multiple seasons.

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Best Remote Controlled String Lights: SunnyOn Solar String Lights

SunnyOn Solar String Lights

Bottom Line: Great reviews, good price, and a remote control make these lights a great option.

All the solar string lights on our list so far can only be controlled by simple on/off and mode buttons on the back of the solar panel. This is easy enough to set it and forget it, but it’s annoying if you want to turn the solar panels off each night or frequently try out different modes. SunnyOn Solar String Lights solve this problem by including a remote control!

With the remote, you can turn the lights on and off, change the active mode (flashing, blinking, etc) and the brightness of the lights (a feature other lights on our list don’t offer), and set a timer so the lights automatically turn off after a certain number of hours.

And just because the kit includes a remote control doesn’t mean the company has skimped in other areas. The string light also includes a lithium-ion battery, a step up from the typical nickel-metal-hydride batteries other solar string lights include. At 100% brightness, the lithium-ion battery will last for 8 hours. At 25% brightness, it’ll last for an incredible 40 hours, though at this setting it’ll be closer to ‘mood’ lighting.

The string lights are IP65 waterproof (read more on this rating system below), so you’re safe to leave them outside indefinitely. If 72ft/200 LEDs isn’t enough, you’ve got options all the way up to 335ft with 1,000 LEDs – the longest string on our list!

As expected, buyers love the remote control, though some note you need to be very close to the solar panel for the remote to work properly – not a surprise for a kit of this low price. They also say the lights work just like an LED string light should: they’re well-made, water resistant, and offer great brightness.

Bottom Line: SunnyOn offers a great price for solar string lights that include a useful remote control and a lithium-ion battery that is higher-quality than most string lights.

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Best White Christmas Lights: Lalapao 2-Pack Solar String Lights

Lalapao Solar String Lights

Quick Look: Cost-effective and classy Christmas lights for your yard or front porch

Just imagine your next holiday season: Sitting inside, a cozy hot chocolate in your hand, a blanket of snow covering the grass, and emissions-free solar string lights gently illuminating your front yard.

If you’re looking for warm white Christmas lights to doll up your space during the holidays, Lalapao 2-Pack Solar String Lights will fit the bill. With over 800 great reviews, a very competitive price, and soothing color, these lights are perfect for your porch, trees, or whatever else you need to decorate.

The kit includes two 72ft strings each with 200 LEDs spaced 4” apart with 6.5ft between the solar panel and first bulb. As noted, this is a 2 pack, so you’re actually receiving 400 LEDs and 144 feet of lighting. Lalapao says the lights are ‘warm white’, so expect around 2,000K on the Kelvin scale (see section below for more info) – not bluish-white like some LED string lights.

Like others on our list, these come with 8 working modes (a mix of blinks, fades, and flashings) and turn on automatically at dusk. The lights are IP65 waterproof, so you can leave them outside year round without worry. The solar panel includes a ground stake for easy installation.

Customers generally report good experiences with these lights, but more users than usual have reported that their lights only worked for a few weeks or months before dying. Obviously this isn’t a good sign, but at the low price and quick warranty replacement that these same customers report, we’re still happy to recommend these as a cost-effective option for your outdoor holiday lighting.

Bottom Line: While some customers reported that their lights stopped working just a few months after purchasing, Lalapao’s solar string lights are still a great option for the holiday season, as they are cost-effective and still enjoy generally great feedback.

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Best Multi-Colored Christmas Lights: Joomer Solar String Lights

Joomer Solar String Lights

Quick Look: Bright and durable, these multi-colored string lights let everyone know which house is the party house come this holiday season.

Christmas isn’t meant to be classy and restrained, with dignified white lights gracefully placed around the house. Instead, Christmas is a party, a time to laugh with friends and family, eat casseroles, and watch Chevy Chase run away from that squirrel for the 35th time.

If that’s your idea of Christmas, you’ll want some bright, multi-colored string lights for your front yard, and the Joomer Solar String Lights are just the thing. Like the white Christmas lights above, each of these strings are 72ft long with 200 LEDs, with 4” between each bulb and 6.5ft between the solar panel and the first bulb. However, these lights are yellow, red, blue, and green, with eight active modes (different patterns and combinations of flashes, fades, and blinks) and turn on automatically at dusk.

The included solar panel will fully charge the nickel-metal-hydride batteries in six hours, which Joomer says will last for eight hours – more than enough time to spread that holiday cheer before your neighborhood’s collective bedtime. The solar panel also includes a ground stake for mounting and a 90 degree swivel so you can angle the small panel towards the sun.

You can buy the single pack, but you’ll save a few bucks by paying for the two pack – and it’s still a pretty low price considering how much you’re getting.

The lights are IP65 waterproof, so you can leave them outside all year without any issues. Customers report the lights work exactly like solar lights should: they’re bright and durable, and some report the lights lasting much longer than the advertised eight hours!

The only issue that some users note is that the light sensor, which automatically turns the lights on at sunset, will actually turn off the lights when headlights from passing cars illuminate the solar panel. While it doesn’t affect the quality or durability of the product, you might need to fiddle with the placement of the solar panel to get the light sensor perfectly placed.

Bottom Line: Durable and simple, Joomer’s multi-colored solar string lights are perfect for creating a festive atmosphere during the holidays. Just make sure that any light from passing cars can’t trip the sensitive light sensor, turning off the lights.

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Most Unique String Light: TOFU LED Solar String Lights

TOFU LED Solar String Lights

Quick Look: Well-designed fairy lights that are encased within larger light bulbs, giving a unique look to your garden or patio, and include two different energy sources: solar and a battery back-up.

The best way to describe these lights? Lightning(bugs) in a bottle. While more expensive than other simpler string lights on our list, TOFU’s LED Solar String Lights are one of a kind. This 24ft string incudes fairy lights encased within larger classic T10 light bulbs (or at least, a larger casing that looks like classic light bulbs). At night, this design creates a fairytale look that the light bulbs are filled with little fireflies.

Each of the ten light bulbs houses five LEDs, is spaced 1 ½ ft from the next, and includes a hook at the top for easy hanging. The lights are IP65 waterproof, so they’re safe to leave outside 24/7.

Unlike others on this list, TOFU’s string lights actually include two batteries. First, the solar panel charges the included lithium battery for use at night. However, for days when it’s too cloudy for the solar panel to charge that battery, you can run the lights off a secondary AA battery. Talk about convenience!

Customers gush on the beauty of the lights and the convenience of the unique double battery set-up. Just remember, as fairy lights, they aren’t particularly bright, and with just 10 bulbs you’ll probably need a few strands to cover any significant area.

Bottom Line: TOFU’s unique solar string lights are well-designed and constructed, just be sure to buy enough of them, as they’re smaller than others on our list.

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Best Fun Solar String Light: SEMILITS Honey Bees Lights

SEMILITS Honey Bees Lights

Quick Look: They’re shaped like bees. That’s enough, right?

If you’re just looking for some fun, silly lights for your flower patch or garden, SEMILITS Honey Bees Lights are just about perfect. Each string comes with 20 LED ‘bees’, powered by the included solar panel. Each bee is about 1.5” long and the total string length is 16ft, with 6ft between the solar panel and the first bee.

During the day, the non-descript LEDs just look like little statuesque additions to your garden. But when night comes, they light up into glowing, white-and-yellow fuzzy friends.

The LEDs have two modes: steady and flashing. The nickel-metal-hydride battery can last for eight hours once fully charged.

These lights aren’t designed to light up your patio or yard in any useful way. They only have one purpose: to be cute. And they excel in that respect. Customers love the look and design, with one particular buyer calling them ‘crazy cute’. On top of that, users say they’re sturdy and durable as well. And since they’re waterproof, you’ll be comfortable leaving them outside as well.

Bottom Line: They’re cute, cheap, and durable. How can you go wrong?

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What You Need to Know About Solar String Lights

Buying solar string lights is a pretty simple process, but here’s a few tips to make sure you get the most out of your new purchase.

Benefits of solar string lights

First off, let’s just reiterate a few of the benefits of solar string lights, of which there are many:

Versatile. Since solar strings lights don’t need to be plugged into a wall outlet, you can place your lights anywhere you’d like. Put them in a tree in your front yard, on your mailbox, your back patio, it doesn’t matter. You don’t need an outlet!

No need to constantly replace batteries. Since they’re powered by solar energy, you don’t need to worry about batteries dying. Just set the solar panel in the sun and you’re good to go!

Free electricity. While LEDs use very little electricity, it’s still nice to know your lights are run by free solar energy.

Clean, emissions free energy. Unlike electricity from most utilities, solar power is 100% emissions free. You can let your lights run every single night, knowing you’re not adding any extra pollution into our fragile world.

Full sun for most of the day

Solar lights obviously need sun to function! Most of the lights above need between six and eight hours of sun for a full charge. To capture the most sunlight, solar panels need to be facing directly towards the sun when it’s highest in the sky, typically around noon.

With the included ground stakes, clips, or wall mounting equipment, you shouldn’t have a hard time finding that perfect spot. And since these solar lights are so easy to install, if they don’t work in one area, simply move the solar panel around until you find that perfect spot.

Outdoor vs indoor-rated

All the solar string lights above are rated for both indoor and outdoor use. However, there are string lights that are only for indoor use, so take note when you’re browsing.

The most important factor in creating an outdoor string light, of course, is water resistance. It’s usually enough to simply see a ‘waterproof’ label on the product, but if you want to be sure, take a look at each light’s IP Code rating, which measures the degree of protection items have against intrusion from water, dust, and objects. IP44 is water resistant, but shouldn’t be left outside indefinitely. An IP65 rating is stronger than IP44 and can be safely left outside 24/7.

The majority of the lights above are IP65, though one is IP44 and one doesn’t specifiy the IP rating.

Color quality

Manufacturers can make LEDs in every color of the rainbow. As such, just looking for ‘white’ lights is usually too vague. Instead, you need to get specific. Most LED lights are ‘white’ or ‘cool white’, which are usually a very clear, almost bluish color. If you want a warmer tint similar to incandescent bulbs, look for ‘warm white’.

Some of the better manufacturers will also note where their lights fall on the Kelvin scale, which measures the color temperature of lights. A warm white LED will typically fall around 3,000K while ‘white’ or ‘cool white’ comes in at 5,000K. For context, a candle comes in at 1,900K and blue sky is 10,000K.

As an example, the Brightown Bistro string lights above are ‘warm white’ and 2,700 K – about the same as an incandescent bulb.

Kelvin scale more accurately represents a light’s true color quality, so it pays to take a second and Ctrl+F to look for this number. If the product listing doesn’t note the Kelvin scale, it’ll likely differentiate between ‘white’ or ‘cool white’ and ‘warm white’. If there’s absolutely no description on the color quality, you can likely expect it to be a bluish-white hue.

Solar String Lights

String lights are the perfect solution for your yard or patio. They’re cost-effective and, since you don’t need any electric outlets nearby, extremely versatile. No matter if you’re looking for fairy lights, bistro lights, or just goofy lights, there’s a solar version out there for you!

Let’s take a look at our list of top 8 solar string lights one more time:

Hopefully you’ve found our list of best solar string lights helpful, now go out there and get your yard running off the sun!

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