Best Solar Spotlights

Best Solar Spotlights

The most dynamic kind of landscape illumination is the spotlight. Solar spotlights can bring these kinds of lights to the next level. They do that by eliminating the extra hassle of cords and switches associated with most yard spotlights.

With settings to automatically activate the lights at night and a solar panel to charge them without any work, solar spotlights are the easiest, greenest way to highlight the best parts of your yard at night.

They can even be as reliable and durable as the best landscape lights out there. They have the same classic features like motion sensing and colors.

7 Best Solar Spotlights

Best Overall: InnoGear Upgraded Solar Spotlight

innogear upgraded solar spotlight
  • IP 65
  • The High Points: good run time, good value (4-pack)
  • The Not-So: materials are not very durable

Innogear’s Upgraded Solar Spotlight takes the top spot on our list because of its all-around good performance combined with excellent reliability. Innogear lived up to their name in the design and execution of this light by creating an innovate solar spotlight. It does well in all categories.

We also love that this solar spotlight comes in a four pack. That means that buyers get twice or quadruple the value of other similar kits.

The design of the light makes each light independent and easy to install. That way, they can be spotted around the yard or lined up together for extra effectiveness.

What Reviewers Say

In general, reviewers love this solar spotlight. They comment on the run time and charge time, saying that even when they weren’t able to get full charges, the lights still ran for most of the night.

Other reviewers also noted that the lights look good, even during the day. That is because of the professional-looking design.

The most important negative that reviewers consistently noted is that the Innogear Ungraded Solar Spotlight is made out of plastic. They say that were something to fall on it, even a small item like a tennis ball or a branch, it might easily break.

Features & Considerations

Each Innogear Upgraded Solar Spotlight consists of four powerful LED bulbs. They produce 50 lumens each, making each individual solar spotlight shine at 200 lumens.

They come in either white or warm white. For these lights, we prefer the white, since it is a bit cheaper. The white lights have a color temperature of 6500K.

One of the strongest points of the Innogear Upgraded Solar Spotlight is its run time to charge time ratio. Since it has two different settings, high and low, users can choose the setting that gets them the most run time versus brightness depending on weather conditions.

Run time on the high setting is 4-6 hours and on the low setting it is 8-12 hours, both of which are based on a complete charge, which takes 8 hours in direct sunlight.

Alongside all its other positives, this solar spotlight is reasonably water-resistant. It ranks IP65 in terms of water and dust resistance, which means that it is fully resistant to particles entering it and is resistant to jets of water. That’s generally enough for most normal weather situations.

The Innogear Upgraded Solar Spolight is something of a jack-of-all-trades of solar spotlights, so its most important shortcoming to keep in mind is that it doesn’t quite excel in any one particular thing. Instead, it’s just an all-around well-designed, reliable light that has a good value.

A Close Second: MINI 50X Twin Solar-Powered Spotlight

mini 50x twin solar powered spotlight
  • IP 55
  • The High Points: good run time, useful modes, made from durable materials
  • The Not-So: not very water resistant, okay brightness

The strongest point of the MINI 50X Twin Solar-Powered Spotlight is its strength. Made out of cast aluminum with a low profile, these lights are perfect for a yard that is susceptible to lots of movement, from kids, pets or large groups. The stakes are particularly durable and will keep the lights in place over a long period of time.

Another important feature of the MINI 50X Twin Solar-Powered Spotlight is its modes. It has three different settings: full power, normal power and power saver. Each mode uses a different brightness to make the most of the light’s charge.

What Reviewers Say

Reviewers highlight the durability of these lights by noting that instead of being lights that you can only count on for a few months, they are multi-season lights. They say that this is because the most important pieces are made of either metal or glass, unlike alternatives that are often made of entirely plastic.

Most reviews also mention the wide angle of illumination that the MINI 20X Twin Solar-Power Spotlight gives off. This is particularly exceptional, according to reviewers, because the physical light is actually quite small.

Features & Considerations

Since this light has three different modes, as mentioned above, full power, normal power and power saver, it also has a run time that greatly varies based on mode.

In the power saving mode, it can last up to 15 hours, while in the other ones, it will last at least 5 hours, depending on the mode. For any mode, the light must have a complete charge to reach its maximum run time, which takes about 8 hours.

One of the things to keep in mind about this light is its brightness. Because the lights are quite small and last a long time, their brightness is somewhat less than other comparable lights. Depending on the mode, they range between 60 and 100 lumens.

These lights’ resistance to damage from physically being hit are their forte, but they do lack other kinds of resistance, namely, water and dust resistance. They are rated IP 55 for water and dust resistance, which is the lowest rating on our list. That said, normal weather events shouldn’t be a problem for these lights, but in the face of extreme weather, its better to take them inside.

Another Favorite:

  • IP 66
  • The High Points: good run time, very waterproof, flexible placement
  • The Not-So: no modes, long charge time

The CLY 3-in-1 Solar Spotlights’ name speaks for itself – the three lights connected to one small solar panel combine to make one of the most efficient, high-value setups of solar spotlights that we could find. They don’t sacrifice much in brightness or in run time to be a triple threat, which makes them one of our favorite solar spotlights.

In addition to being powerful, they also are resistant to weather events, even though the three lights are connected to the solar panel via a cord. What could have been a point of vulnerability for these lights ends up being a strength because it provides a wide range of areas where the lights can be placed, even in the shade, as long as the solar panel piece is in the sun.

What Reviewers Say

Reviewers focus on the sturdy build and high-quality material of these lights, as well as the convenience of having three lights for just one solar panel. They also say that they are exceptionally easy to install, which brings all the positives together.

One point where reviewers wished for improvement was in brightness. Although they are brighter than some other options, reviewers pointed out that the lights don’t throw their illumination as far as a brighter light might, something that many considered very important for a solar spotlight.

Features & Considerations

Each of the three lights gives off 150 lumens. They come in a kit that includes all the tools you need to install the lights by either staking them into the ground or by mounting them onto a wall and are attached to base which can be rotated to suit a variety of angles.

As previously mentioned, these lights are water- and dust-resistant. They are IP 66 rated, which although not submersible water-proof, means that they handle just about any external source throwing water at them, which is usually good enough for a solar spotlight.

Unfortunately, the run time to charge time ratio for these lights isn’t that good. Although it has an excellent run time, 12 hours, it takes 8-10 hours to reach maximum charge, which is more light than most peoples’ yards get in one day. The consolation is that even with a partial charge, these lights will stay on a long time.

Best Value: DBF Outdoor Solar Lights

dbf outdoor solar lights
  • IP 65
  • The High Points: very bright, good value
  • The Not-So: long charge time

For our best value choice, that is, the light that combines solid features at a low price point, we considered a number of options, and settled on the DBF Outdoor Solar Lights in large part because of their brightness.

They perform well in run time and in water resistance, which are two features that we consider most important at a basic level, but where the DBF Outdoor Solar Lights really shine is in lumens. These lights clock in at 600 lumens each (they come in a package of two), which makes them among the brightest that we found.

What Reviewers Say

Reviewers say that what stands out most about these lights is the brightness. Many said that they were dubious about solar lights before using these or had had experiences with solar lights where the brightness did not live up to their expectations, but these lights proved those experiences wrong.

A few reviewers also cautioned users to be gentle when installing the stakes. Although the process is relatively simple, it can be easy to break the stakes upon installation because these solar lights are not made of as durable materials as others, since they are largely plastic.

Features & Considerations

The DBF Outdoor Solar Lights have two modes: high and low. Those modes have an important effect on their run time.

On the high mode, you can expect that the lights will stay illuminated for 4-6 hours, while on the low mode, they should stay illuminated for almost double that, 8-10 hours.

Both of the possible run times are based on a complete charge, which for this solar light, is somewhat variable. You can expect it to charge in anywhere from 6 to 9 hours. At its best this solar light has a reasonable charging time, but if not at its most efficient, it is not ideal.

These lights come in two different colors, either warm white, which gives off a more yellow glow, or cool white, which has more of a blue tone. To many, cool white seems brighter, so it tends to be a more common choice among solar spotlights, but both options have a very similar price in this particular product.

For Those on a Budget: LITOM Upgraded Solar Spotlights

litom upgraded solar spotlights
  • IP 67
  • The High Points: very water-resistant, very bright, quick charge time
  • The Not-So: limited side-to-side swivel, looks like a camera

The LITCOM Upgraded Solar Spotlights look like they’ve come from the future, and they perform like it too. LITCOM’s upgrade utilizes modern LED and solar technology to create lights that are bright and charge quickly, all at a very accessible price.

Instead of the solar spotlight being in two or more pieces with the solar panel separate from the light piece, LITCOM combined the two aspects for a more space- and material-efficient light. In doing so, they also created a light that is very resistant to water and physical damage.

Although the LITCOM Upgraded Solar Spotlight is our budget choice, no solar spotlight user should rule it. It combines high-quality features with a low price.

What Reviewers Say

Most reviewers love this light so much that they bought multiple sets. They highlight how well the design allows them to angle the lights up and down because of the way that the solar panel/light piece is molded to the stake, but also explain that it is important to note that it does not swivel side to side.

One thing that reviewers noted as both a positive and negative aspect of these lights is that their design is aesthetically reminiscent of a camera. Some liked that the lights were well-disguised and might provide some safety, while others thought that the camera-style didn’t go well with their outdoor spaces.

In either case, reviewers did appreciate the placement of the solar panels directly onto the light, which is part of what contributes to the camera look.

Features & Considerations

Out of all the lights on our list, the LITCOM Upgraded Solar Spotlight has the highest IP rating, 67. It’s the only one that reaches the status of truly waterproof. Its compact design also helps to make it more resistant to not just rain, but other types of weather, like wind or hail.

In addition to its durability, this solar spotlight is also very bright. It shines at 600 lumens in its brightest mode, and in its low mode, it is 350 lumens.

Having two modes that vary so much in brightness also means that the run times of the two different modes are vastly different. In high mode, it may last just 6 hours, while in the low mode, it can last up to 12 hours.

To achieve either of those run times, it must be charged in direct sunlight 4-5 hours, which is also the shortest charge time on our list. Most homes receive at least that much direct sunlight even in the winter, so these lights are sure to run during all seasons.

Most Colorful: Itscool Colored Solar Spotlights

itscool colored solar spotlights
  • IP 65
  • The High Points: good run time, colorful, different modes
  • The Not-So:

As much as solar spotlights can light up a yard and bring new life into it, that might not be enough for everyone. If that’s you, the Itscool Colored Solar Spotlight can bring extra exuberance to a space, whether it’s through a consistent single shining color or a flashing rainbow.

These solar spotlights come with a remote that lets users select one of eight colors to set the lights on, click through multiple colors manually or allow the light to automatically scroll through all color options. Out of many solar spotlights, the Itscool Color Solar Spotlights are the only ones that combine fun colors with the excellent functionality of a normal solar spotlight.

What Reviewers Say

The all-around favorite aspect of these lights from many reviewers is the remote. They say that having the remote to control the color settings and the timer settings is much easier than having to toggle through options with just one or two buttons, as is the norm for many solar lights.

Reviewers also generally love the actual colors, noting that compared to other colored yard lights that they’d had in the past that these have a number of color options, each of which is unique and brilliant. They also said that the setting to leave it on one color is extra useful, especially when decorating a yard with a specific theme in mind.

Features & Considerations

Like other solar spotlights, the Itscool Color Solar Spotlights have many of the same basic features. They feature an excellent run time of 16 hours. That is based on 7 hours of charging to fill the battery.

These solar spotlights are also reasonably weather-resistant, with an IP rating of 65. They’re made almost entirely of a durable plastic, including both the head and the stake.

The brightness might appear to vary by color because of each color’s tone. However, each of the two lights included in this pack are 200 lumens on their brightest setting. They have three brightness settings: high, medium and low.

The color options are: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, purple, pink and plain cool white. On the setting that scrolls through the light colors automatically, you can set them to change either every 30 seconds or every 30 minutes.

For a 2-Head Light: Double Head Outdoor Solar Spotlights

double head outdoor solar spotlights
  • IP 65
  • The High Points: very bright, motion sensing, quick charge time
  • The Not-So:

To more widely distribute the light from a solar spotlight, there are the Double Head Outdoor Solar Spotlights. This solar spotlight features two light heads that can face in two different directions.

Each of the lights is attached to the panel and stake piece on a swiveling base. That allows them to be pointed in any way necessary.

The Double Head Outdoor Solar Spotlights also come with a motion sensor. That makes them an excellent candidate for a security light as well as an aesthetic light. With a wide range of light and the ability to sense motion, they are a next generation solar spotlight.

What Reviewers Say

Reviewers rave about almost all of the aspects of these lights. They explain that these lights are bright, always charge fast, run for a long time and even are a pleasant color.

Most reviewers also love the motion sensing features, which they say are the perfect level of sensitivity; not too sensitive that small motions will set them off, but larger objects and people will.

The one thing that reviewers note is that they two-pronged head of these lights creates a structural weak point in the middle. A few reviewers found that in strong winds, this weak point becomes important and can cause the light to crack or even break under the pressure from the winds.

Features & Considerations

These solar spotlights come with four different settings, two of which are associated with motion sensing and two of which are associated with brightness. The settings include: micro-light mode (dim-to-on motion sensing); auto switch mode (off-to-on motion sensing); always 50% brightness; and always 100% brightness.

Their different settings feature different brightness settings. In the 100% brightness mode, these lights illuminate at 1,000 lumens, and in the 50% brightness mode, they shine at 500 lumens. The other two modes use the same brightness levels where applicable.

Users can expect that these lights will stay on for approximately 9-10 hours, depending on setting and charge. In order to achieve maximum charge and thus optimal run time, these lights should charge for about 5 hours in direct sunlight.

Back to Top

The Complete Solar Spotlights Buyer’s Guide

What Makes a Good Solar Flagpole Light?

Every solar spotlight is different, just like every person’s need for a solar spotlight is different. There are a few factors that are common to every solar spotlight, like run times, charge times, brightness and color, but what users need out of solar spotlights depends largely on where they’ll be using it or what they’ll be using it for, so different users should prioritize different factors.

Lighting Up Shrubbery and Other Plants

Color is an important factor in illuminating greenery. The wrong color can make plants look fake or wilting, whereas an ideal color can make shrubs and flowers the center of a pleasant ambiance.

Highlighting an Object (like a flag or other decoration)

Brightness is the number one most important factor for highlighting an object. That’s because the main purpose of the spotlight is to draw lots of attention to the object and to make it easy to see. The best way to do that is with a light so bright that it’s impossible to miss.

Spotlighting in the Winter

Short charge times and long run times should be the priority for those using solar spotlights in the winter or in places where direct sunlight is in low supply. By choosing a light that has a short charge time and a long run time, you can be assured that your lights will stay on long into the night, something that might not be accomplished otherwise.

Giving Accents to your Space

Brightness might not be so important for accents in the grass or solar lights along a path, but the ability to adjust light angle is. You don’t want your accent lights angled too high so they don’t shine up into the air, and getting a wide angle with the light is key for a tasteful accent.

Back to Top

Selection Criteria: How We Ranked the Best Solar Spotlights

In order to develop our list of the best solar spotlights, we took a number of factors into consideration. There are a few which we see as must basic to every solar spotlight, such as run time and charge time, brightness and color and durability, while there were other factors we looked at when they made the lights stand out among the rest.

Here’s the breakdown of how the different factors affected our rankings.

Run Time/Charge Time Ratio

When choosing any light, knowing how long it will stay on is essential. That is what we mean by run time, and time often varies based on settings. It also varies greatly between lights, but in general, we favor lights that have longer run times.

With solar lights, charge times are of particular interest. In order for a light to fulfill its run time, it must receive enough sunlight during the day to complete that charge.

The charge time values are the estimated number of hours that it takes for the battery to be fully charged if in direct sunlight. In this case, we favor lower numbers, because shorter charge times mean that the lights are more likely to receive enough charge to run longer.

Product Run Time Charge Time
InnoGear Upgraded Solar Spotlight 4-6 hours (low mode); 8-12 (high mode) 8 hours
MINI 50X Twin Solar-Powered Spotlight 5-15 hours 8 hours
12 hours 8-10 hours
DBF Outdoor Solar Lights 4-6 hours (low mode); 8-10 hours (high mode) 6-8 hours
LITOM Upgraded Solar Spotlights 6-12 hours 4-5 hours
Itscool Colored Solar Spotlights 16 hours 7 hours
Double Head Outdoor Solar Spotlights 9-10 hours 5 hours

Light Characteristics: Lumens and Color

Knowing what a light is going to look like before buying it is something that most people generally want to know. We chose to explore this as a function of color and brightness.

We didn’t necessarily rank brighter lights or specific colors as necessarily better, because both factors are subject to personal taste, but we were sure to consider if that information is clear and seems to be accurate.

Product Lumens Color Color Temp (if known)
InnoGear Upgraded Solar Spotlight 200 white 6500K
MINI 50X Twin Solar-Powered Spotlight 60-100 warm white n/a
150 warm white 3000K
DBF Outdoor Solar Lights 600 cool white n/a
LITOM Upgraded Solar Spotlights 600 in high mode; 350 in low mode white 6600K
Itscool Colored Solar Spotlight 200 multicolored n/a
Double Head Outdoor Solar Spotlights 1000 in high mode; 100 in low mode cool white 6500K

Durability

When considering durability, we took two main factors into consideration: IP ratings and materials. We wanted to determine durability in inclement weather situations as well as in the possibility of physical damage due to being knocked around or hit with something.

The IP rating is the best way to think about weather resistance, as it applies to water and dust resistance. Each rating consists of two numbers, the first number applies to dust and the second applies to water, and higher numbers correspond to greater resistance.

On the other hand, the resistance to damage from trauma is more difficult to quantify, but in general, we preferred lights made of metal and glass over plastic, since those materials tend to last longer, especially in the stake piece of these solar spotlights. When a light was particularly durable in this sense, we pointed it out.

Other Features

In addition to basic features, which we see as necessities, we also favored solar spotlights that go above and beyond with useful extra features. Some of the features that we found and highlighted are:

  • Brightness level settings
  • Motion sensing
  • Colors
  • Power-saving modes

Back to Top

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How do I install the solar spotlights?

Most of the solar spotlights on our list have two possible ways that they can be installed. The first is the simplest, by staking them into the ground. All of the lights include the stake, so the actual installation process just consists of pushing the stake into the ground.

If you’re looking for a light that can be mounted onto a wall, most of the lights on our list also have this capability. Most of them also include the tools needed to successfully and strongly mount them and are designed for the stake to be removed to allow for easier mounting; it is just a matter of selecting a suitable wall.

How bright are yard spotlights usually? Do these solar spotlights compare?

Most landscapers agree that approximately 120 lumens or greater is appropriate for yard spotlights, although certain small shrubs or installations could be suited for fewer lumens.

The solar spotlights that we considered are almost all brighter than 120 lumens, and the vast majority are much brighter, with the option to use a dimmer setting if desired. They range up to 100 lumens, with most of the lights having the majority of their settings between 200 and 600 lumens.

What do I need to consider when installing my solar spotlights?

As with most solar lights, one of the most important considerations of installing solar spotlights is the placement of the solar panel kit. Most of the solar panels are built directly into the light piece and as such, the entire contraption should be installed in a place where it will receive direct sunlight for at least a few hours a day (see the charge times to see how many hours are necessary to charge a light completely).

If the solar panel is somehow separate, as it is in a few options on our list, then just the solar panel needs to be in direct sunlight and the light piece can be located elsewhere.

Why are the run times and charge times so different between all the different lights?

Run times in ideal situations are largely determined by the capacity of the battery in the solar light. Batteries with larger capacities tend to have longer run times. They also can vary based on the solar energy being used by the light (from the battery), which is often a result of the brightness of the light and if any other settings are involved (like motion sensing).

Like run time, charge time is also dependent on a device’s battery capacity, because larger capacities require longer amounts of time to charge. Charge time is also affected by the efficiency of the solar panel in absorbing energy. The more efficient the solar panel, the more that can be absorbed.

In order to charge at maximum efficiency, lights also need to be in direct sunlight. Placement and sun angle affect how directly the sunlight hits the solar panel. Thus, since so many factors are involved in both elements, the run times and charge times tend to vary largely based on materials in theory and can vary even more in practice, depending on placement and sun angle.

Back to Top

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.