Solar path lights are becoming a popular way to light your driveway, sidewalk or garden path all night long without having to run up your electricity bill.
There are hundreds of options on the market today, and it’s challenging to know which one provides the best illumination and the best value.
We recommend the GardenBliss Solar Lights for just about any situation because they’re bright, affordable and stylish.
But depending on the look you’re going for and the area you have to cover, one of our other picks might suit you better.
Top 4 Best Solar Path Lights for 2021
- GardenBliss Solar Lights – Best Solar Path Light Overall
- TomCare Solar Lights – Best Flickering Solar Path Light
- Enchanted Spaces Solar Path Lights – Best Elegant Solar Path Light
- GIGALUMI Solar Lights – Best Colored Solar Path Light
Solar Path Light Reviews
Keep reading for a complete review of our top five picks of the best solar path lights in 2021 as well as a closer look at how we chose the best options and what you need to know before purchasing a solar path light.
The GardenBliss Solar Lights were the obvious choice for the best solar path lights because their sleek, versatile design fits in with any decor. This set of 10 solar path lights is height-adjustable from 8 to 12 inches, which is a rare feature among solar path lights. It’s undoubtedly useful, though, if your path goes through some areas with taller plant growth where shorter lights could get shaded out.
The built-in solar panels do a good job of catching the light and many users are impressed by the light the solar path light is able to put out after just a few hours in the sun. Customers have also commented on how easy it is to set up the solar lights and move them around as needed. Though the stakes are plastic, that hasn’t proved to be an issue for most users, even when the lights are subject to windy or stormy weather.
GardenBliss offers a 30,000-hour guarantee on these solar lights. Few other manufacturers are confident enough to make these kinds of guarantees about their products, so these lights are definitely worth a closer look if you’re concerned about the long-term performance of your solar path lights.Learn More & Buy Now at Amazon
The TomCare Solar Lights warmly illuminate surrounding walkways and landscaping while adding a touch of sophistication to your space. While most solar path lights are a harsh cool white, the TomCare Solar Lights are designed to mimic firelight and they actually flicker so it appears as if your path is being illuminated by torches. The solar panel is carefully hidden in the top so that it doesn’t spoil the look of the solar light.
The TomCare Solar Lights are probably your best option on the list if you’re looking for taller-than-average solar lights. The standard height is 32.6 inches, but with the included extra connector, you can extend this up to 43 inches to get over tall shrubs and other plants near ground level. While a few users have complained about the stakes breaking if the ground is hard, the majority of customers are pleased with the durability of these solar lights, even when using the extra height extender.
These lights might not be the best choice if you need to cover a large area or if your budget is tight. It only includes four in a package and they are more expensive than the other solar lights on this list. That said, they’re a great choice for shorter pathways and given how bright they are, you can put quite a distance in between them to cover the whole distance with fewer lights than you might need if you were using other cheaper solar path lights.Learn More & Buy Now at Amazon
There’s no denying the Enchanted Spaces Solar Path Lights are eye-catching. In addition to a simple, yet stylish bronze housing, it also has a unique patterned glass that creates star-shaped designs on the ground once the light is lit. It works best if there aren’t any nearby plants that might distort the effect, but you can still use them anywhere.
The light reaches surprisingly far away from the base so it’s a smart option if you need to cover a large area. Users have also praised its performance in low-light situations, an area where many other solar lights reveal their weakness. The Enchanted Spaces lights continue to illuminate your pathway even on cloudy days when it doesn’t get a full day’s worth of sun. If you live in a shady area or an area prone to cloudy or stormy weather, this should not be overlooked.
Each pack includes six lights, so you may need to buy more than one package if you have a big space to cover. The Enchanted Spaces lights are slightly more expensive than the GardenBliss lights, but those concerned with curb appeal will find they’re well worth the extra. Enchanted Spaces offers a hassle-free warranty on replacement parts. If anything breaks, just notify the company and they’ll send you a new one free of charge.Learn More & Buy Now at Amazon
The GIGALUMI Solar Lights are the perfect way to brighten up your space and add a touch of flair at the same time. This pack of three solar lights includes a sturdy metal housing and a crackled glass sphere that acts as the light itself. It includes a color-changing mode and a white mode and you can switch between them by the way you twist the sphere when you set up the light.
Though there’s only three in a set, these lights are surprisingly affordable, so you shouldn’t have any trouble fitting an extra package into your budget if need be. Few users have reported any issues with the lights breaking after being left out in the elements, but if you do experience any troubles, GIGALUMI offers a one-year warranty on its lights so you won’t have to pay to replace them.
The GIGALUMI lights’ biggest drawback is their small size. They stand just under 11 inches tall and that might not be ideal if your pathway is shaded with taller plants. These solar path lights need good sun exposure and if they get it, they can operate for up to eight hours after a full charge.Learn More & Buy Now at Amazon
How We Chose the Best Solar Path Lights
We picked our top five solar path lights by focusing on their durability, brightness, design and value.
Solar path lights have to be durable because they’re exposed to the elements at all times. They’re also in danger of being knocked over or kicked by people who stray a little too close to the edges of the path.
Some cheap solar path lights are made from a brittle plastic and breakable glass, but the best lights are made from a sturdy stainless steel or similar metal and tempered glass or plexiglass. Some manufacturers also back their lights up with a warranty so you don’t have to pay to buy new ones if they break shortly after you buy them. If you live in an area prone to temperature extremes, you should also look for solar path lights that can withstand hot or cold temperatures without damage to the solar panel or the light itself.
Your solar path light’s brightness will depend in part upon how much sun the solar panel gets each day. Cloudy days or a shady spot might dim the solar light temporarily or prevent it from working altogether. That said, some lights are naturally brighter and have longer battery lives than others.
We chose solar path lights that provide powerful LED lights that perform well under most conditions and last for several hours once fully charged. Most solar path lights are around 20 lumens, which is enough to illuminate a small area. You can control how bright your path is by how close you place the solar path lights to one another.
Everyone has different preferences about how they’d like their solar path lights to look. Some people just want something simple and unobtrusive while others want something attention-grabbing and colorful. We tried to accommodate all types of style preferences in our top five from the sleek but simple to the elegant and eye-catching.
You also must consider whether you want solar path lights with a built-in solar panel or a separate solar panel. Built-in solar panels are the most common option because they blend in the best with the look of the light. These are typically placed in the top of the solar light, but this can limit how much sun exposure it gets. Separate solar panels may disrupt the style of the solar light, but they give you the freedom to move the solar panel around where it can better catch the sun.
Solar path lights are typically sold in packs ranging from four to 10 lights. Larger packs are better if you need to cover a longer path. Those on a budget should consider not just the overall cost of the package of solar path lights but also the individual cost per light to figure out which offers the best value. You can do this by dividing the total number of lights by the number of lights in the package.
What You Need to Know About Solar Path Lights
Before you purchase any solar path lights, here are a few important things you should know.
Proper placement is everything.
Solar path lights, like all solar lights, require several hours of sun exposure per day in order to fully charge the batteries. If it does not receive the sun that it needs, the light may not appear as bright or it may not work for as long at a time.
Place your solar path lights in a clear open area away from shady trees whenever possible. If your pathway is surrounded by flowers, shrubs or other low-growing plants, ensure that you purchase solar path lights that are tall enough to reach the sunlight so that they can work properly. If this isn’t possible, consider trimming back your shrubbery or choosing a different, taller solar path light.
Always read the manufacturer’s instructions.
Some people are tempted to skip over manufacturer instructions for solar path lights because they’re pretty simple to use. You just take them off and stick them in the ground. But you must also remember to remove the film over the solar panel or it may not be able to charge the battery properly. Be careful when inserting the solar path light into the ground, especially if the ground in your area is hard, as some solar path light stakes are prone to breaking.
If your manufacturer recommends cleaning off the solar panels periodically or bringing your solar path lights inside during the winter, do so to extend the life of your solar path lights. Failure to do so could void your warranty if, for example, the manufacturer instructed you to take the lights inside in the winter and you left them out and they broke.
Spare lights and batteries are good to have on hand.
While not required, it’s a good idea to have some extra solar path lights on hand in case one or more of them breaks. That way, you can quickly swap them out without ordering more. This might not be necessary if your manufacturer offers a warranty, but it’s important to read through the details of the warranty or guarantee first so you understand what will and won’t be covered. Try to place your solar path lights close to your path but far enough away that you don’t have to worry about anyone bumping into them.
Even the best solar path lights will need a battery change at some point. The manufacturer’s instructions should contain advice on how to do this. It’s easier on some models than others. There’s no telling how long your solar path lights will last before they need a battery change. Some companies offer estimates or guarantees, but every situation is different depending on the conditions the solar path lights are exposed to.
The Bottom Line
Solar path lights are a stylish and eco-friendly way to brighten up your garden paths and sidewalks.
We recommend the GardenBliss Solar Lights because they are affordable and versatile enough to be used in any situation, but if they’re not your style, check out one of the other four solar path lights on this list.