Best Solar Path Lights

Best Solar Path Lights

With so many eco options flooding the market, it can be tough to choose the best solar lights for your outdoor path. Solar lights, in general, are a great option for homeowners and business owners alike.

They’re cost-efficient, easy to install, and attractive. They are also shockingly bright compared to traditional wired options.

If you have a dimly lit pathway, driveway, garden perimeter or any other area that could potentially be hazardous, it’s a good idea to invest in a quality solar path light. These nifty inventions soak up the sun’s rays during the day. They illuminate the darkest of areas at night with LED bulbs and solar-powered batteries.

The best solar-powered outdoor lights have a few key traits. Those include a long battery life, a sturdy construction and a high lumen rating.

This should be balanced with design and aesthetics. Size, shape and color are all considerations when thinking of placement and purpose.

RankingLightBattery LifeDesign TypeLumensSizeReviewPrice
#1hampton bay solar mediterranean bronze outdoor integrated led landscape path light with hammered glass lensHampton Bay Solar LED Landscape Path Light8 hoursDecorative brushed bronze post light with glass 1017 in X 5.9 in X 5.9 inRead Review
See Price on Amazon
#2urpower 2-in-1 waterproof 4 led solar spotlightURPOWER 2-in-1 Waterproof 4 LED Solar Spotlight6-9 hoursAdjustable basic spotlight with exterior solar panels5011.4 in X 3.7 in X 13.3 inRead Review
See Price on Amazon
#3solpex 8 pcs solar powered led path lightsSolpex 8 Pcs Solar Powered LED Path Lights10 hoursBasic stainless steal post light105.5 in X 16.5 inRead Review
See Price on Amazon
#4gigalumi solar powered path lightsGIGALUMI Solar Powered Path Lights8 hoursDecorate post light with windows and roof casing104.92 in X 4.92 in X 19.68 inRead Review
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#5yunlights 5 led solar ground lightsYUNLIGHTS 5 LED Solar Ground Lights6-8 hoursIn-ground stainless steal spotlight255.1 in X 5.1 in X 5.1 inRead Review
See Price on Amazon
#6kshioe solar tiki lightKshioe Solar Tiki Light5-6 hoursDecorative false flickering tiki torch3512.59 in X 4.76 in X 4.76 inRead Review
See Price on Amazon

Finding the Right Solar-Powered Light for Your Outdoor Path

Before investing in solar-powered lighting for an area, it’s important to first establish what your specific needs are. Obviously, a homeowner looking for a decorative spotlight to highlight foliage along their pathways will have a different set of criteria than someone looking for motion-activated security lights to keep the kids from slipping at night.

Some solar lamps are better suited for different climates, areas, positioning, and aesthetics than others. By asking yourself some simple questions, you’ll be able to narrow down your choices to the top contenders.

What kind of weather will your lamps be exposed to?

Each lamp has a certain level of water resistance since they’re made for the outdoors, but not all can withstand extreme weather patterns or temperatures.

Keep in mind:

  • Heavy rain and/or flooding
  • Frost and/or snow
  • Heat above 100 degrees (F)
  • Heavy winds

For those living in tropical areas, it’s important to find a model that can handle large amounts of rain. If you’re shopping for low-to-the-ground models, consider if the area of the yard you’re placing them in will ever be submerged in water for extended periods of time. It may be better to find a model with a tall post, covered head and certification of water resistance.

The same goes for areas with frequent bouts of frost or snow. Lamps made of weak materials, like plastic, are most susceptible to battery damage, which will quickly ruin them. Ice can sometimes crack casings, causing headaches for homeowners who’ve placed twenty or more lights along their path.

Some solar panels are also smaller than others, which will affect battery charging rates in low-light areas.

How sunny is your area?

It’s important to consider the amount of sunlight you receive on a daily basis. Solar lights are of course powered by the sun, so the more charging time they have available during the day, the longer they’ll last at night.

While the output does fluctuate with the seasons (low in the winter, high in the summer), it’s still best to find a model that can manage to brighten up your space with little charging time if you’re located in a cloudy area. Most solar lights take an average of 8 hours to fully charge, so you may not be able to use your lights for a few days if you’re going through a period of dark days and gloomy weather.

How much light do you need?

Each solar lamp emits a certain amount of light, which is usually listed in lumens (lm). For those who are more familiar with watts (W), 600 lm is equivalent to a 10W LED light. Obviously, the more lumens your solar light has, the brighter it will be.

The size of the solar panel will also help to determine how bright your lights will be. Here’s the basic rule of thumb: the bigger the solar panel, the more light produced.

Some decorative lamps have incredibly small built-in panels that are only able to dimly illuminate a space. This may be fine way to add some beauty to the yard but won’t be a practical way to dissuade intruders or keep you from falling over a stick in the road.

And if you’re looking to brighten up a large space, then you’ll need to buy lamps with a large light radius and high lumen rating. Since you’ll be going for more, it’s a good idea to buy solar lamp sets that contain 6 or more in a pack in order to cut costs.

Are you using it for decorative or safety purposes?

There are two main purposes for installing solar-powered path lighting: decoration and safety.

Decorative solar lamps come in a variety of designs, like quirky mushroom shapes, string lights, or elegant box designs. These are generally less powerful and may take a longer time to charge.

They are also less sturdy in their construction, which may lead to a mishap down the line if you experience an extreme storm or you accidentally run into it with a lawnmower. When looking for decorative lights, keep in mind the placement, as some of them can be quite large and may look out of place on a tiny path.

For security lighting, there are several different style options. It’s important to remember that you don’t always have to sacrifice beauty for practicality. In fact, there are several bright, powerful lamps that are well-designed and look attractive enough to be featured prominently in your front yard.

However, most of these options are black or silver in color, and function as a sort of spotlight with non-discreet external solar panels.

How often will you be using the lights?

Most solar lamps will stay lit for an average of 4 to 5 hours on a full charge. While the product listing may advertise 8 hours, that’s not always the case. If you’re planning on using your lights regularly, and not just for the occasional dinner party, then it’s recommended that you go for a lamp that charges quickly.

Some of the options contain sensors that are motion-activated, or have auto shut-off features, making it easy to maintain your charge. Motion-activation is a particularly great feature for those looking to use their lamps while running nightly errands or returning home from work.

Rather than fumbling around the keys or switches, your lamps will automatically turn on and light your way, shutting off once you get inside.

Selection Criteria: How We Ranked the Best Solar Path Lights

Battery Life

Whether you’re just using your solar lights casually or regularly, you’ll want a model with a strong battery life. Solar lights that only last for a few hours are relatively useless, especially if they take a long time to recharge. The average battery life of a fully-charged solar powered light is 4 to 5 hours, so we consider 6 or more hours to be a huge plus (although the packaging may mislead).

Charging Time

For those that live in mixed climates- which is most people- the average time it takes for a lamp to charge is important. Every area has a gloomy day here or there, and a succession of 2 or more grey skies could lead to no light for a week. This is especially true if your model takes more than 8 hours to charge in full sunlight. Solar lamps that have a quick recharge rate are better suited for all, even those that live in tropical climates.

Pack Size

Who doesn’t like to save money? Few of us are buying only 1 or 2 solar lights for a path, especially if it’s in a garden or a lining the perimeter of a house.

Generally, 10 or more lights are needed to cover an entire outdoor area, unless it’s a small walkway. Most solar lamps are packaged in packs of 2 or more, which gives a better bang for your buck. We recommend looking for a minimum of 4 per pack, unless you’re purchasing them purely for decorative purposes.

Lumens

As we outlined before, a light’s lumen rating dictates how bright it is. The higher the lumen rating, the brighter the light will be. Regardless of whether you need an area to be brightly lit, having a higher lumen rating will be better in the long run because you won’t need to purchase as many lights to cover your area. Most solar lamps run between 2 and 50 lumens, with the lowest being intended for decorative purposes only.

Here’s a quick way to convert lumens to watts:

  • 5 lm = .08 W
  • 15 lm = .25 W
  • 30 lm = .5 W
  • 50 lm = .8 w

Attractiveness

When placing something in public view, you’ll always want to be conscious of how attractive the product is- especially if you’ll be spending a lot of time looking at it. Even path lights that are built to be sturdy and practical should still have some level of attractiveness. Overtly plastic or fake looking models, ones with design flaws or bulky elements, are all considered not suitable for the average home or outdoor structure.

Material

Besides being unattractive, cheap-looking materials, like thin plastics, can literally make or break your product. Weak materials allow for more damage from external forces like rain, lawnmowers, accidental kicking or pets.

Once the solar battery is exposed, the entire lamp is useless and non-functioning. The construction and material of the product is something we carefully consider as you’ll want your investment in solar lighting to last more than a few days.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How easy is it to install solar lights?

Generally speaking, most solar lights are relatively easy to install. Because they aren’t wired to a central power source like regular circuit lights, the solar powered models can be individually installed with little effort.

Most of them require a small hole to be dug where the post is to be placed, as well as careful consideration when it comes to the amount of sun it’ll receive. You may also need to switch on the auto settings or other functions outlined in the user manual.

Can you replace the battery if it breaks?

Some models offer replacement batteries, but cheaper solar lights will need to be entirely replaced if they break. This is why it’s important to keep the battery safe from the elements or any other external damage as it will cause the light to completely malfunction.

If you’re worried about potential damage, we recommend checking the manufacturer’s website or product description to confirm that they offer replacement batteries.

Will the lights automatically turn on and off on all models?

Not all solar light models have auto functions and may need to be manually turned on and off. Some of them also have auto switches that must be activated before this function will work.

Auto turn-on and shut-offs work on a variety of levels, such as time of day (dawn and dusk), specific set times or motion sensor activation. For a standard solar path light, auto timing for dawn and dusk is usually the most suitable as it saves light, is illuminated right when you need it and relieves you from the headache of keeping track of a timer.

How long do the solar lights generally last?

A solar light battery will last for an average of 2 years if it doesn’t sustain any damage. The light bulbs, which are usually LED, can last for up to 30 years.

If you’re looking for long-term, continuous use, it’s vitally important that you maintain them. Upkeep can be the factor that determines how long your solar lights will last. Small things like cleaning your solar panels regularly, or storing them when they’re not in use, will help to increase your product’s longevity, no matter the brand.

Rankings & Reviews

We’ve curated a selection of the top solar path lights for you to consider. Based on our established criteria of brightness (lumens), design type, battery life, pack count and size, we’ve chosen the best 6 solar lights for you to choose from.

Our rankings takes into consideration a variety of uses and purposes, and isn’t limited to just decorative or safety lighting. As such, versatility is a big factor in our rankings.

Our #1 Pick: Hampton Bay Solar Mediterranean Bronze Outdoor Integrated LED Landscape Path Light with Hammered Glass Lens (4-Pack)

hampton bay solar mediterranean bronze outdoor integrated led landscape path light with hammered glass lens
  • Battery life: 8 hours
  • Charging time: 8 hours
  • Pack size: 4
  • Lumens: 10
  • Attractiveness: Brushed-bronze 19th century style
  • Material: Plastic and glass
  • The high points: Sturdy construction combined with a beautiful design makes this a versatile choice.
  • The low points: With a higher price point than other competitors, this option may be unaffordable if you’re looking to decorate a large path or outdoor space.

From the reputable manufacturer, Hampton Bay, this solar path light is the perfect choice for design-conscious buyers seeking quality over quantity.

The product meets all of our minimums in terms of battery life and brightness, and surpasses expectations when it comes to its attractive and durable construction, including a thick post, glass window and sheltered roof.

Overall, this light is the top choice in terms of design quality and versatility. It will easily add elegance and safety to a modest outdoor path.

What do reviewers say?

While some reviewers complain about the high price point, the vast majority agree that the price is worth it for the quality. Several claim that they have lasted over 2-3 years with no major problems, and have a better lumen output than others on the market.

The design is sturdy, although the bottom of the roof may collect rainwater which needs to be manually drained. Others say that the solar lights are able to charge well even with little sunlight.

Features & Considerations

With water-resistant coating, the light can withstand all kinds of inclement weather. The wide solar panel located on top of its casing will also absorb as much light as possible, making it ideal for all climates.

The size is reasonable, although it may be a little small for those looking to brighten up a large area. The soft white light is also not as bright as a blue glow, but the LED’s are certainly enough to meet an average homeowner’s needs.

The light also has an auto function, and will turn on at dusk with an 8-hour run time, allowing it to last all night without worry.

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The Next Best: URPOWER 2-in-1 Waterproof 4 LED Solar Spotlight Adjustable Wall Light

urpower 2-in-1 waterproof 4 led solar spotlight
  • Battery life: 6-9 hours
  • Charging time: 8 hours
  • Pack size: 2
  • Lumens: 50
  • Attractiveness: Industrial black design with external solar panel
  • Material: Plastic
  • The high points: Extremely bright spotlight with adjustable positioning makes it perfect for security purposes.
  • The low points: The external solar panel can be damaged more easily and is also relatively unattractive compared to other models.


This solar light model functions more as a spotlight than a lamp or solar lantern. The bright and focused concentration of light is great for a variety of purposes, and offers a lot of product for a reasonable price point.

While it may not be the most attractive model on offer, the small size and adjustable head means you can easily tuck it away in the bushes, out of sight. The black color also blends in nicely at night time.

In general, the sweeping spotlight offers a lot of functionality in a tiny body, making it a stiff competitor in the solar path light market.

What do reviewers say?

Product users have claimed that these are the best lights for landscaping as they can highlight features such as home facades and gardens. The powerful spotlights also have a wide cast, which brightens up large areas.

Some love the soft white color, while other claim that it may be too cool for their tastes. However, taste is subjective, and most agree that these lights are great for a variety of purposes. In fact, buyers consistently claim that they’ve bought more after their initial purchase.

Features & Considerations

This model is unique in that it offers a 2-in-1 installation option: you can either use a stick to place it in the ground, or you can use screws to mount it on a wall. This allows for versatility if you’re looking to maximize the brightness in a dark space or path, such as a rural driveway.

The adjustable head allows for you to easily reposition the spotlight. You can focus it on trees or your property’s perimeter for decorative purposes, or on a particularly vulnerable area to ward off potential intruders.

With an automated switch, the solar light reacts to the changing day and will turn on at sunset and off at sunrise. This is helpful for those looking to conserve energy and maintain a regular schedule without manual input.

The incredibly high amount of lumens means that the solar light is capable of brightening even the darkest of spaces. For those looking for a softer lighting feature, the light has 2 options: low and high. The low setting is softer and white, creating a more ambient outdoor environment.

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Our Next Favorite: Solpex 8 Pcs Solar Powered LED Path Lights

solpex 8 pcs solar powered led path lights
  • Battery life: 8 hours
  • Charging time: 6 hours
  • Pack size: 8
  • Lumens: 10
  • Attractiveness: Simple silver design with discreet shape
  • Material: Stainless steel and glass
  • The high points: The hardy material and cost-effective price point makes this a great choice for a large pathway.
  • The low points: The design is very basic and may not be the brightest for large areas.


With a simple, stainless steel design and 10 lumens, this solar path light stands out from the crowd as a cost-effective option.

The small size and durable construction makes it a versatile choice for a variety of areas, especially long pathways and perimeters.

While the design is not flashy, the beautiful light pattern adds a little something extra that makes this choice really pop.

What do reviewers say?

Most reviewers love the fact that they’re so easy to install and assemble. Their durable bodies also make it so most purchasers aren’t worried about accidental damage during this process.

While the lights aren’t the brightest, most claim that they do the trick. They also look beautiful in gardens, around pools and on pathways. However, after a few years of consistent use, they do eventually shut off.

Features & Considerations

With a unique and interesting cast-off design, the solar light creates an unexpected beauty on pathways with molted star shapes.

The stainless steel material can weather all types of climates without damage, making it a great choice for those living in cold climates. The material is also an attractive when combined with the simple rounded post design, and would make a nice accent to a garden path.

Due to the large pack size and reasonable price point, this product would be ideal for someone looking to line a long path, rather than just decorating a small area.

They will automatically turn on at dusk, and can last all night long on a full charge. The batteries are also replaceable if you have any issues with them maintaining a charge.

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4. GIGALUMI Solar Powered Path Lights

gigalumi solar powered path lights
  • Battery life: 8 hours
  • Charging time: 8 hours
  • Pack size: 2
  • Lumens: 10
  • Attractiveness: Decorative post light with beautiful, classic casing design
  • Material: Plastic
  • The high points: The beautiful design and good lumen output make it a great choice for decorative path lighting.
  • The low points: Relatively weak plastic construction isn’t as durable and more susceptible to damage.


The GIGALUMI solar path lights are primarily for decorative purposes, but their LED bulbs are surprisingly generous in brightness. They make a great addition to a garden or other feature, and can illuminate paths for careful walking.

While the casing isn’t the most sturdy on the market, the box design is beautiful and affordable, making it a good option for those needing more of an accent feature than a bright light that will last through the seasons.

What do reviewers say?

Some reviewers have complained that the batteries don’t hold the amount of charge advertised, so the lights won’t naturally last through the night. Some have resolved this by buying alternative batteries and installing them, which greatly increases the light capacity.

The soft amber color is attractive and just the right amount of light for most users, adding a nice accent to their gardens or rural pathways. However, some have broken them while trying to install them in hard ground, so it’s important to first prepare a hole to prevent unnecessary damage.

Features & Considerations

The size and dimensions of the lantern is larger than average, making it a more prominent decorative feature in a garden or along a pathway.

With an amber plastic coating and white LED bulb, the light illuminates the area with a soft glow, rather than an all-encompassing brightness.

The automatic timer makes it a breeze to operate. The light will turn on at sunset and auto shut-off at sunrise once you flip the switch under the roof.

With multiple solar panels placed on the roof, the lights can absorb a good amount of sunlight everyday, leading to a longer active charge.

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5. YUNLIGHTS 5 LED Solar Ground Lights

yunlights 5 led solar ground lights
  • Battery life: 6-8 hours
  • Charging time: 8 hours
  • Pack size: 4
  • Lumens: 25
  • Attractiveness: Classic in-ground disc shape
  • Material:
  • The high points: The unique design is great for in-ground lighting that doesn’t block pathways or views.
  • The low points: The design is not very versatile and may not work in exceptionally hard ground.


With a classic disc shaped design, this solar powered light is great for lighting basic paths. From driveways to pool perimeters, these are lights are beautiful additions. However, they can’t be installed in non-dirt areas as they must be pushed into the ground using a stake.

The sunken construction leaves a clean exterior and is different from other more bulky options on the market. For those looking to modernize their outdoor areas with in-ground lighting, this is the best choice.

What do reviewers say?

The plastic, pointed 4-cornered stake makes it easy to install in soft grass or dirt, according to several reviewers. They are practical and convenient for lighting a pathway or driveway, but may not work in hard ground.

The lighting isn’t as bright as some hoped, but is enough to get by. The color of the light is also less of a warm yellow and more a bright white.

Features & Considerations

The low-profile design is perfect for subdued lighting that doesn’t distract. The disc shape lies flush to the ground and creates a nice look for lighted pathways.

Keep in mind, there’s no way of directing the lighting, like you can with a spotlight. However, the upward direction of the lights creates a large cast that brightens most areas.

With 5 LED lights per unit, the product has more lighting capacity than other similar products on the market.

Because the product has no dimension to it, you must place it in area that will always have direct sunlight to hit its flat solar panel.

The lights will auto turn on and off at sunset and sunrise. You must activate the switch on the back of the disc. This means that before installation, you will need to turn the product on because its back hatch is not accessible once it’s in the ground.

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6. Kshioe Solar Riki Light By, 96 LED Waterproof Flickering Flames

kshioe solar tiki light
  • Battery life: 5-6 hours
  • Charging time: 8 hours
  • Pack size: 4
  • Lumens: 35
  • Attractiveness: Charming tiki torch based design with faux dancing flames
  • Material: ABS & PC
  • The high points: The quirky design is unique and fun for gardens and short paths.
  • The low points: These fake torches are not very practical for lighting large areas or discreet locations.


The most unique product on our list, this fake tiki torch solar light is a beautiful addition to any party or pool house.

With a waterproof casing and close to 100 LED lights, this option transcends decor and offers a certain level of practicality. Although it’s not the brightest option, it’s other functions and charming design make it a top contender.

What do reviewers say?

Purchasers love the classy design and elegance of a faux “dancing flame” created by solar batteries. However, some are concerned by the quality of the batteries.

Others love that you can achieve the effect of a tiki torch without the fluid, wind concerns or fire. This is probably the highest selling point of this product, rather than it’s effectiveness as a solar powered path light.

Features & Considerations

With 96 total LED lights, the tiki torch design emulates the flickering flame effect, while still maintaining a good amount of brightness.

The fun design and aesthetic is suitable for parties, camping, pools, or gardens, but not necessarily for practical safety purposes.

An automatic light control uses a sensor to control the on and off functions, meaning there’s no need to set them manually.

Their large size makes them a very noticeable feature in any outdoor area. They are perfect for decorative purposes in tropical ambiances.

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Mariah Grimwood

About Mariah Grimwood

Mariah Grimwood has been producing web content for two years and counting, with an extra special focus on things she's passionate about: eco-friendly options, travel and education. With her knack for research and eye for unsightly syntax, she's on a mission to revitalize informational resources for online readers.