Best Solar Lamp Posts

Best Solar Lamp Posts

Every garden, front yard or pathway needs a touch of sophistication. Solar lamp posts are just the way to add that touch. You can add them without breaking the bank with electricity bills.

Once you install them, they’re almost completely self-sufficient. That is because of the subtle solar panels that sit on top of every solar lamp post.

Solar lamp posts come in many shapes and sizes. They range the simplest square lights that don’t draw attention to Victorian-style lamps that look like they could have been taken from a movie set.

They also come with different features, modes and levels of power. Wading through the options can be overwhelming. On our list, we’ll give you the breakdown of the most reliable, efficient and aesthetically pleasing solar lamp posts out there.

6 Best Solar Lamp Posts

Best Overall: Gama Sonic Baytown Lamp Post

gama sonic baytown lamp post
  • Brightness: 80 lumens
  • Height: 77 inches tall when installed
  • The High Points: long run time (10-12 hours), pleasant temperature of light, no fuss
  • The Not-So: simple appearance, run time may diminish over time

What we love about this light is that it is simple and reliable. It’s far from the flashiest solar lamp post out there. However, it is still pleasing to the eye.

That is especially because of the pyramidal-shaped LED light fixture within the head of the lamp post. It is designed to throw light in such a way that it illuminates as much as it can, while not overwhelming.

This particular model of solar lamp post is made by Gama Sonic. It is known as their Baytown Lamp Post model.

This model comes with a planter as its installation piece. It also has an arrangement of warm and cool lights. That creates a soft glow that still gives off quite a bit of light.

The best part about this light is the run time. It clocks in at 10-12 hours with an optimal charge. This light will have no problem staying lit through the whole night.

What Do Reviewers Say?

Generally, reviewers love the appearance of the lamp post. They enjoy the advantage of the variety of color options.

The design is simple enough that it can fit in with other already-installed lamp posts. So if you’re looking to fill a hole in an already established line of sight, this one works well.

Few people had any issues with the planter holding up the light. Some have even had the lamp post through extreme weather and it held up without any issues.

The biggest negative that was mentioned was that many saw the run time drop by almost half after a few months of usage. The company was able to provide replacement batteries in those types of cases. However, it’s not ideal to need replacement parts after a few months.

Features & Considerations

As stated above, the run time is impressive (even in the situation of it halving). However, the run time having dropped after a few months can be concerning. (Especially for a product that is made to last.) Considering how important the long-term run time will be is important for this light.

If you’re not quite happy with this combination of features, Gama Sonic also offers the same lamp post without the planter. It has only white LED lights, if you are looking for more of a stoic design. They also have a range of colors, including bronze and white.

It is a fairly simple light with just medium height and medium brightness. So those looking for a light with more bells and whistles may do better with another model. Those that are looking for a straightforward design will love Gama Sonic’s Baytown Solar Lamp Post.

Runner-Up: Kemeco Aluminum Solar Lamp Post

kemeco aluminum solar lamp post
  • Brightness: 100 lumens
  • Height: 75.9 inches tall when installed
  • The High Points: pleasant light, logical design
  • The Not-So: top heavy, short

This solar lamp post looks like something out of a movie. When it’s lit, it gives off a glow that lets you imagine yourself arriving home after a great night, walking up to your porch and smiling one more time before stepping inside.

Maybe it’s something about the ripple glass that encloses the six high power LEDs that softens the strong light, while still illuminating an impressive amount. It also has a very logical design, the square head of the light mirroring the square planter.

Another aspect of this lamp post that is excellent is its run time. It is not as long as the Gama Sonic Baytown Solar Lamp Post.

However, the Kemeco Aluminum Solar Lamp Post will consistently last 6-8 hours. That is nearly enough to make it through the night. It is certainly enough to last through the wee hours of the morning.

What Do Reviewers Say?

This is a product that reviewers rave about. The design, the brightness, the run time, they love it all. More than anything else, though, reviewers highlight the material quality.

This lamp post is made of aluminum. So most reviewers find that it holds up against time better than most other options out there.

One gripe that some reviewers had, though, is that the lamp post is somewhat top heavy, given the heavy materials with which it is made, compared to the plastic of the planter. In certain situations, if the planter is not weighed down correctly, this can lead to an off-balance, precarious lamp.

Features & Considerations

In addition to the shape’s excellent design, the solar panels are also well-placed on this solar lamp post, one on each side of the square “roof” of the light. This design allows the battery to receive maximum charge because of the varying angles and placement of the panels.

The Kemeco Aluminum Solar Lamp Post is also very resistant to rusting because of the materials of which it is made. It also will hold up to the moisture of a long rain because of its waterproof sealant.

Given that the solar lamp post is top-heavy, weighing down the planter is extremely important. It can be very dangerous if the post falls, again, especially because of the heavy materials. Choosing rocks or cement to pair with this light is the best idea.

It also is relatively short in comparison to other lamp post options. If you need a high sitting light, or need the light to shine the maximum distance, this may not be the best choice.

Another Favorite: Gama Sonic Pagoda Lamp Post

gama sonic pagoda lamp post
  • Brightness: 180 lumens
  • Height: 87 inches tall when installed
  • The High Points: very bright
  • The Low Points: very tall

For a no-fuss, staked light, look no further. The Gama Sonic Pagoda Lamp Post is visually pleasing without calling attention to itself, even though it would tower above other lamp posts because of its height.

It also boasts a significant run-time, coming it at around eight hours when fully charged. Although there are other lights that might last longer because the brightness of this lamp post limits its potential run times, this light is reliable.

Our favorite detail is the “pagoda”-shaped top piece, which emanates sophistication, a quality that is highly valuable in a solar light. The “pagoda” shape helps to balance the height of the light as well because it elongates the top piece.

What Do Reviewers Say?

Reviewers consistently noted the height and reach of the light, highlighting the brightness in combination with both of those features. They also were pleased with construction quality and materials, which they found to be perfectly sufficient for the light to be outside in a variety of conditions.

They also explained that the staked design made for an easier than expected installation, with a no-fuss design and process, in comparison to an option that utilizes a planter.

Features & Considerations

Coming in at 87 inches when installed (that is, after the stake is driven into the ground completely), this solar lamp post is significantly taller than any other light on our list. It also is brighter than any other light on our list, at 180 lumens.

Because of the combination of height and brightness, this lamp post will throw light far and illuminate a large area. That makes this light unique because it combines excellent functionality with an appealing appearance, but for some it might just be too tall.

The biggest downside that we noted is that the “pagoda” design can cause a small part of the solar panels to be shaded by the “roof” of the “pagoda,” which can lead to the light not getting the maximum charge possible. For that reason, the placement of this light is extremely important.

The Best Mid-Range Option: Sterno Home Outdoor Light

sterno home outdoor light
  • Brightness: 50 lumens
  • Height: 80 inches tall when installed
  • The High Points: old-school design, consistent run time
  • The Not-So: not very bright, must be installed to hard surface (screw installation)

The Sterno Home Outdoor Light embodies the classic old-fashioned lamp post, which a touch of modernity with the solar panels. You can feel a touch of the past, while knowing that you’re protecting the future by using solar energy.

Beyond design, these lights have reasonable functionality. You can expect that they will stay on for about 6-8 hours after a good charge.

This lamp post is a little bit more accessible in price than some of the other options, but in order to get that accessibility, there are a few factors that it sacrifices, like installation design and brightness, but overall, it’s a solid light, and a good choice for fans of the old-fashioned simple design, looking for a more budget-friendly option, without sacrificing too many features.

What Do Reviewers Say?

The verdict from reviewers is that this light is dim. Some realized what they were getting into, while others didn’t, but all note that the light gives off more of a glow than an illumination.

They also explain that installation is quite easy, and although some were dubious about the stability, a few reviewers have tested its ability to hold up through weather events, and it seems to have passed. Despite the light being less-than-ideal in terms of brightness, all of the materials used are high enough quality to continue working over a long period of time.

Features & Considerations

Compared to other options on our list, the Sterno outdoor solar light is significantly dimmer. It falls into the category of a decorative light much better than one that is used to illuminate a large space, unless paired with another, or multiple, other lamp posts.

Rather than a more traditional stake or planter design, this light is installed with a set of screws. You’ll want to have a hard surface to put it into for safety, but the bottom-heavy design helps to stabilize it.

At just 50 lumens, this solar lamp post is not the brightest out there. It probably works better as a decorative lamp, for example, on a porch, rather than as one meant to illuminate the street.

It also has a unique installation process (using screws), which somewhat limits where it can be installed. That said, this installation is quite easy and requires much less force than using a stake and less other investment that a planter might need.

The Best Pick for a Tight Budget: iGlow Garden Solar Lamp Post

iglow garden solar lamp post
  • Brightness: 100 lumens
  • Height: 78.5 inches at maximum height
  • The High Points: adjustable height options, price
  • The Not-So: short run time (3 hours), weaker materials

After decorating a garden, a walkway and a porch, money might be running low, but you think you might have just enough left to add that finishing touch, a solar lamp post. The iGlow Garden Solar Lamp post is your solution.

At about one-half to one-third of the price of many of the other solid options out there, this solar lamp post is affordable, and being affordable means you might even be able to get two or three of them for the same price you might pay for just one. With that in mind, there are some features that you have to sacrifice to get to that price point. Let’s start with what the iGlow does well, first, though.

At 100 lumens, it’s perfectly bright and the color is a warm daytime blue, which should be pleasant in almost all settings. Another thing we love is that the iGlow Garden Solar Lamp Post’s post comes in 4 different pieces, which means that you can adjust the height of the lamp post by choosing to omit a part of the post, if you like.

What Do Reviewers Say?

Most reviewers recognize that you get what you pay for in terms of quality of this lamp post. By no means is it of poor quality, but it is important to recognize that in comparison to other options, it is not the best, either.

Despite quality complaints, most reviewers still like and appreciate the iGlow Garden Solar Lamp Post, noting especially the perfect brightness of the lamp, as well as the convenience of being able to adjust the height.

Features & Considerations

As previously mentioned, the biggest thing to watch out for with this lamp is run time. If it receives direct sunlight all day, it’s very possible that it lasts longer than 3 hours in ideal conditions, but it is not a good choice for a light that is guaranteed to last all night.

Similarly, the material quality of this solar garden light is slightly worse than some of the other options out there. One way to mitigate this is to be sure to mount it in such a way that the base is as secure as possible, going beyond the screws provided. If you do so, it will be much more resistant to weather-related problems.

The “Getting Fancy” Option: Sun-Ray Madison Lamp Post

sun ray madison lamp post
  • Brightness: 100 lumens
  • Height: 79 inches tall when installed
  • The High Points: unique design
  • The Not-So: short run time (4 hours)

If any of the lights on our list deserve to be displayed on a porch, it’s the Sun-Ray Madison Lamp Post. Featuring not one, not two, but three hanging lights, connected by beautiful spiraling metal, this light has its aesthetics down.

This light is also quite tall, but the hanging solar light design gives the illusion of a more intimate light, more similar to one that belongs in a café or a living room, rather than a street. You’ll be sure to feel at home wherever you decide to place this light.

It also features a planter, which can add to the unique design, as well as the flexibility of placement of this light. You can place this light on a porch or pavement as well as directly on the ground, depending on what fits your needs best.

What Do Reviewers Say?

The unique design presents a unique challenge of installation, according to reviewers. The three spirals out of the head of the post, in combination with the planter means that there are a lot of parts and a lot of screwing is needed to get this lamp post together.

That said, reviewers were extremely pleased with the materials of this lamp post, noting that the metal will not rust. They also loved the design, applauding its uniqueness.

Features & Considerations

One thing that we wish were better about this light is the run time. Although it has the potential to last longer, it usually will only last four hours, which compared to other lamp posts, which can last double or triple that of the Sun-Ray Madison Lamp Post.

In order to address this problem, it needs to be placed in the maximum sunlight possible in order to take advantage of every drop of sunlight it can get. If placed in the best position possible, it should last the full run time, which can help make up for the short amount of time, as it will at least meet expectations.

The hanging lights also make for a distinct reach of the glow that they give off, which, in combination with a measure of 100 lumens, is sure to significantly illuminate a small space. Each individual cylinder features three LED bulb, which give off a cool light.

Because of the elaborate design, this solar lamp post can overwhelm a space, and potentially not match other lights because of its unique style. Since it is only medium-bright, this can pose a problem in a large space which requires significant illumination.

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The Complete Solar Lamp Posts Buyer’s Guide

Choosing a Solar Lamp Post that Fits Your Needs

As we’ve established, not all solar lamp posts are equal. Among their many features and appearances, it’s important to consider which one is best for you. In order to do so, we’ll consider a few different scenarios where solar lamp posts might be a good fit, and which of the features make sense in that situation.

Imagine you have an elaborate garden, filled with plants, trees and bushes. You’re looking to draw some attention to your garden at night, but not overwhelm it with light.

From here you have a few things to consider.

Installation

Solar lamp posts come with two main installation options: either a stake which you need to drive into the ground quite deeply to ensure that it is stable or a decorative planter, which you can then fill with stones, dirt and plants to help stabilize the post.

Staking is simpler, but you may need to dig up some plants that are already in place to make sure that you have installed the lamp is sufficiently deep to avoid any accidents. A planter might go better because it can be disguised and filled with flowers, but you’ll need some room for it. Depending on how your space looks, likely one of these options is more appealing than the other.

There is also the possibility that the light may come with screws, to be attached to some sort of hard surface. This can be really effective if you’re hoping to install it into a deck, for example, but in the situation of needing to place a lamp into a garden or yard, it’s not really feasible.

Lamp Post Installation Method
Gama Sonic Baytown Lamp Post Planter
Kemeco Aluminum Solar Lamp Post Planter
Gama Sonic Pagoda Lamp Post Option for either planter or stake
Sterno Home Outdoor Light Screwed
iGlow Garden Solar Lamp Post Screwed
Sun-Ray Madison Lamp Post Planter

Design

Once you’ve thought about installation, then you’ll need to think design. Some solar lamp posts are extremely simple, with an unassuming, single, sloped, square light set at the top of the post, while others take on circular or even “pagoda” shapes. You also may have the option of have two, three or four lights hanging or mounted to your post or flagpole.

In the situation of the garden, perhaps similar is better, as to not overwhelm the space. At the same time, though, it should be tasteful and organic, to match the atmosphere of the garden, so perhaps you go with a single “pagoda” shaped light at the top of the post.

Height and Brightness

When you’ve settled on the general form of the light, you’ll need to think a bit more technical: height and brightness. Height is important because you don’t want your light to tower over the rest, looking out of place, but you also don’t want it to be so short that it’s hidden.

Brightness needs similar consideration; too bright can be overpowering, while too dim might not get the job done. You should also consider that brighter lights might last less time. The tone or temperature of the light is another aspect that can vary from light to light; warmer tones may look friendlier, but change the color of the surroundings, while cooler lights work better for illumination.

You can light up the garden with a simple, dim, medium height light with a planter, but that might not be the best choice for another situation, like a walkway. When lighting a walkway, uniformity and brightness probably take priority. Lighting your front porch might be done better with a light with all the bells and whistles, but that is shorter, so everyone can get the best view of it possible.

Lamp Post Brightness Light Color/Temperature Height
Gama Sonic Baytown Lamp Post 80 lumens Dual warm + bright white 77 inches
Kemeco Aluminum Solar Lamp Post 100 lumens Warm white 75.9 inches
Gama Sonic Pagoda Lamp Post 180 lumens White light 87 inches
Sterno Home Outdoor Light 50 lumens Blue “daylight” 80 inches
iGlow Garden Solar Lamp Post 100 lumens Soft blue light 78.5 inches
Sun-Ray Madison Lamp Post 100 lumens Bright white 79 inches

Whatever the situation, be sure to think about the different aspects that will affect your solar lamp post choice. To recap, the following are some of the options that you need to consider when choosing your solar lamp post, based on your situation:

  • Installation method (stake or planter)
  • Brightness (measured in lumens, also consider warmth)
  • Shape/Design (including shape of lamp and number of lights)
  • Height

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Selection Criteria: How We Ranked the Best Solar Lamp Post

When evaluating solar lamp posts, we kept all the factors that we’ve previously mentioned in mind: installation methods, brightness, the general shape/design and finally, the height. We also added on a few other factors that we think are important for a good outdoor light, such as run time and durability.

In order to help you better evaluate our list, we’ll first walk you through the different factors and the terminology we’ll be using to explain the pros and cons of each light.

Installation Methods

You’re already familiar with the two main methods by which solar lamp post can generally be installed, using a stake or a planter. When evaluating the lights, we looked at how effectively the option provided works (i.e. if the light can be trusted to stay up) and how the final product looks, asking questions like “Does installing the stake require digging up a significant portion of the ground?” and “Is the planter nice enough that it doesn’t offset the sophistication of the lamp posts?” We also were sure to consider how easy installation is and if installation requires many extra materials or steps.

Brightness

Generally, the brightness of lights is measured in lumens, with more lumens meaning brighter light. We considered lights with medium brightness preferable, but surely this preference differs from situation-to-situation, so be sure to check out the actual number of lumens when making your decision.

When considering brightness, you should also think about the temperature of the lights. Many of the solar lamp posts come with either a warm or cool option, and your preference will likely depend on where you want the lights to be. We preferred lights that have both options when possible.

Design Considerations

Beyond the stake vs. planter option, there are other aesthetic options as well, such as shape and number of lights. We tried to present a varied list, so there are a few different options of solar lamp posts, depending on what design you’re looking for. Some are simpler, while others are flashier, so you have many options.

Height

As we mentioned before, height can make or break a lamp post, especially depending on where you hope to put it. The heights can vary significantly, so we were sure to be clear about how tall the lamp post is when installed.

Run Time

Run time refers to the amount of time that you can expect the light to remain illuminated, after being fully charged. Usually run time is a very ballpark measure because the lights don’t generally get fully charged every day, but you can think of the run times as comparative – if one model has a longer run time than another model, then it probably generally lasts longer, in equal charge situations.

Durability

In order to withstand being outside, potentially in all sorts of weather conditions, it should be waterproof and sturdy. To determine durability, we considered the material that the solar lamp post is, and what qualifications it has in terms of being waterproof (and anything else – proof).

Now you’re ready to think critically about our reviews of the solar lamp posts and know why we ranked them the way we did. In our breakdown of each light, we’ll make sure you have all of the above information, so you can make the right decision about which light to buy.

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Common Concerns

What if it is cloudy all day? Will my solar lamp post still work?

A cloudy day doesn’t necessarily mean that your solar lamp post won’t work, but it can affect how well it works and for how much time it works. Even when it’s cloudy, some sunlight makes it through the clouds, allowing your solar lamp post to still charge, even if not at maximum efficiency. That said, on a cloudy day, it’s unlikely that enough sunlight will make it through the clouds to complete a charge.

With that in mind, the solar lamp post can still work even when it does not have a full charge. A less-than-full charge can affect brightness (some lamps even have a special setting that allows it to detect when the lamp gets to a certain level of charge, switching it into a dimmer mode to help conserve battery). It also will definitely affect run-time.

Where I live, it’s really windy, and I’m worried about my lamp post falling over. What should I look for to prevent this situation?

Considering the different methods of installation can help you come up with a way to best install the light in such a way that it is stable, even with large gusts of wind. For these situations, we prefer the lights with planters for two reasons.

The first reason is that you can fill a planter with heavy items in order to stabilize it as much as possible. We’ve seen them filled with heavy rocks and thick dirt (then topped off with a few small flowers) to maximize stability, but a big planter could fit a variety of things in it.

The second reason is that you can move a planter in the case of very extreme weather situations. It’s significantly more difficult to move a lamp post staked into the ground in the case of say, a tornado or a hurricane, but with a planter, if you know extreme weather is coming, you can more easily prepare for it.

Will my solar lamp post really be as bright as a normal lamp post?

Given a good charge with a good light, absolutely. The truth is that brightness isn’t directly related to the power source at all.

If you’re looking for a very bright lamp, then we suggest that you take a look at choices with a high number of lumens, ideally more than 150 in a solar lamp post. There are solar lights out there that reach up to 5,000 lumens, or more, so being solar really isn’t a limitation if you are looking for a bright lamp post.

Do I have to put the solar lamp post in a certain place to make sure that it will charge?

The most basic requirement in terms of a solar light charging is that the solar panel be in sunlight. It doesn’t have to be 100% direct sunlight, although placing it in direct sunlight will allow for a significantly better charge.

If you’re looking to maximize charging, placing it in such a way that the panel faces south is ideal to maximize time in the sun. You can also be sure to not only place it in such a way that it receives direct sun at the height of the day, but also that other large objects do not obstruct it. Those could include trees or housing at different times of the day.

Can the solar lamp post be charged and used inside?

As convenient as it would be to be able to use a solar lamp post inside, unfortunately you can’t charge it inside, and therefore it wouldn’t work. Some very low power solar devices can work inside, but in general, anything with a light likely will not.

If you really want to use solar power inside, the best way to do that would be to choose a light that has the solar panel that connects to it by a cord and run that cord outside, but at that point, we would prefer to install larger solar panels on the outside of the house. There are still plenty of lamp posts that you can use inside, though.

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Samantha Lee

About Samantha Lee

Samantha is a writer and translator interested in how people can make their lives greener. She has studied conservation, sustainability and development, and in the past has worked as a teacher in Argentina and in a variety of nonprofits around the US.