Best solar Christmas light

Lighting

Direct sunlight allows your solar panels to collect and store more power in their batteries, meaning the lights will last longer after the sun goes down. However, solar panels will still charge on cloudy days and in indirect light.

BestReviews is reader-supported and may earn an affiliate commission. Details.

 

Which solar Christmas light is best?

Solar Christmas lights can help conserve energy and lower your electricity bill while still showcasing your holiday spirit all season long. Though you can’t plug solar lights into your outdoor outlets, the most significant benefit is their convenience and energy conservation. Before picking out your holiday lights this year, consider going solar for an even greener Christmas. If you’re looking for a string of solar Christmas lights that lends a classic holiday touch, the Correare Multi-Colored Outdoor Solar String Lights are the top choice.

What to know before you buy solar Christmas lights

Even though these lights are powered by solar energy, you can still enjoy all the trimmings that come with regular Christmas lights. You can find many solar lights in various colors, lengths, designs and installation styles. Consider where you plan to install them to help determine what type of lighting is best for your home.

Color

Solar lights can come in various colors, just like regular Christmas lights. Most solar Christmas lights are LEDs. You can find strands with solid shades of lights like white, yellow and blue, and also multi-colored strands of lights. Some solar lights can also change colors with specific settings. If you’re looking for a warm glow, look for yellow lights rather than a cold white light.

Length

Solar light strands are generally shorter than regular wall-powered strands of Christmas lights since they are powered by a solar panel and can’t rely on AC power sources. However, solar light strands can measure between 8 feet to 40 feet long. If you’re planning to decorate a large area or hang a long stretch of lights, be sure to measure the space to know how many strands of solar lights you need to order.

Type

Solar Christmas lights come in three modes of operation. They can turn on automatically when the sun goes down, they can be motion-activated or they can have timer control settings to only operate during set hours. Motion-activated lights will conserve the most energy, but automatic lights are the most convenient.

Design

You can find solar Christmas lights in different shapes and styles, such as fairy lights, classic bulbs, shaped bulbs, globes, icicles, netting and individual lighted figures. Keep in mind that shaped bulbs and unique solar light figurines will have a higher price tag, but they will also have a larger impact on your lawn decorations with their season-specific designs.

Installation

Installing solar lights is typically straightforward. Many solar Christmas lights include a solar panel with an arm and a stake. Other lights may come with prefabricated holes for screws or adhesive tape. If your lights have a stake, you can push the stake into the ground and then continue to hang your lights as desired. Wall-mounted solar panels may need a bit more preparation to mount safely to a fence or wall. If the on/off switch is located on the back of the solar panel, be sure you can access it after it’s mounted. Alternatively, you could turn it to the desired setting prior to installation.

What to look for in quality solar Christmas lights

High-quality Christmas solar lights will soak up the sun while withstanding brutal winter weather. If you’re planning more elaborate decorations, keep an eye out for features such as multi-strand plug-ins and different light settings to up your seasonal lighting game.

Weather resistance

If you plan to use solar Christmas lights in inclement weather, they are more likely to last if they are waterproof and heatproof. Look for solar panels that can withstand weather conditions and light strands with waterproof covering over the electrical wires.

Multi-strand capability

Some solar Christmas lights can plug into other strands, extending the length of lights you can hang. Connecting multiple strands of lights is especially useful if you plan to hang a long string of uninterrupted lights across rooftops, railings or pathways. Multi-strand capabilities are an extra feature, so not all lights will be able to accommodate it. If that’s the case, you can still stake multiple strands along the ground or install them consecutively to appear like one long strand.

Light settings

Some solar lights can do more than just turn on and off. Extra features may include additional light settings, such as firefly flashing, waves, fading, chasing, fading slowly, twinkling and steady on. Lights with these extra features can quickly expand the range of your Christmas light display.

How much you can expect to spend on solar Christmas lights

Most solar Christmas lights cost between $12-$20, depending on the number of lights, unique shapes and additional features like custom light settings.

Solar Christmas lights FAQ

How long do solar Christmas lights last?

A. Generally, the solar-powered battery packs for Christmas lights last a couple of years. If you want to extend the lifespan of your solar lights, keep the solar panels clean and try to protect them from harsh weather and storms.

Do solar lights need direct sunlight to charge?

A. Not necessarily, though direct sunlight will charge your batteries quicker. Direct sunlight allows your solar panels to collect and store more power, so the lights will last longer after the sun goes down. However, solar panels will still charge on cloudy days and in indirect light, but they may not perform as well at night.

Where should I install my solar Christmas lights?

A. Where you install your solar lights depends on the type of light, type of installation hardware and your personal preference. Consider where your solar panels can be mounted or staked to soak up the most direct sunlight for the most amount of time during the day. Also, plan your lights around your lawn chores and walking path so they are out of the way of day-to-day activities.

What are the best solar Christmas lights to buy?

Top solar Christmas lights

Correare Multi-Colored Outdoor Solar String Lights

Correare Multi-Colored Outdoor Solar String Lights

What you need to know: These colorful globe lights offer classic Christmas mood lighting with 100 multi-colored bulbs.

What you’ll love: This strand of solar lights has 100 LED bulbs on a 39-foot string. The 1-inch bulbs are waterproof and weather-resistant. The solar lights can hold 8-14 hours of battery life. There are eight light settings to choose from, including an automatic timer setting.

What you should consider: The globes are smaller than some customers expected.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top solar Christmas lights for the money

KeShi Star Solar Powered String Lights

KeShi Star Solar Powered String Lights

What you need to know: These star-shaped solar lights add a warm twinkle to your holiday decorations.

What you’ll love: The string of star lights measures 40-feet long and has 100 LED lights. The strand of lights is waterproof, heatproof and will last for up to 3,000 hours of use. After a full day’s charge, the solar lights will last 8-12 hours at night. The lights have eight different operating modes.

What you should consider: Some customers have had issues with the light mode selection.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Inngree Solar Snowflake String Lights

Inngree Solar Snowflake String Lights

What you need to know: These colorful snowflakes are a durable and fun addition to any Christmas decor.

What you’ll love: The strand of snowflake-shaped lights features 20-feet of 30 LED multi-color lights. The lights are waterproof and turn on automatically at dusk. Control various light settings with eight different light modes and an easy on/off button. With a full charge in sunlight, the lights will last 8-12 hours at night. The unique snowflake shape also comes in an-all white version.

What you should consider: The strand is relatively short for the price.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.

Katy Palmer writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

Copyright 2021 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.