A great way to spread some Xmas joy is with festive lights. An even better way is to do so in an environmentally conscious manner, with solar powered Christmas lights! Not only will your friends and family appreciate them, but your electricity bill will too. There are a plethora of different options and items on the market today. From string lights, to specialized led type lights, to fairy lights, rope lights and icicle lights. Let’s check out some of the most popular models around.
There is a huge variety of different Christmas lights currently available. Whether short or long, with no support or on strings, monochromatic or multicolored. Dimensions also play a very important role as does the arrangement of bright spots and lighting modes. From a budgetary perspective, any solar powered light helps with bills (obviously if sunlight is available) so we will be factoring cost-effectiveness greatly. Choosing the right type of outdoor solar Christmas lights for the holiday season can be more tricky than it seems.
These are our final top picks based on the reviewed models.
Our top pick due to their length, versatility, appearance and potency. These are popular and easy to install model string lights that can be used as pleasing decorations throughout the year (obviously including Christmas), due to their 8 light modes and durable, waterproof composition.
Our top pick for fairy lights are a set of beautiful and long lasting 200 high-quality multi-color LED lights on a resilient 66ft wire. These lights can be shaped into almost any form and are some of the most durable on the market.
Our best pick for globe lights are a highly affordable but still high-quality set of 30 LED lights that can be used as house, garden or Christmas tree decoration. These ball lights have an extra long running time and are powered by high-quality rechargeable 600mA NI-MH batteries that are both energy saving and environmentally friendly.
How Do Solar Christmas Lights Work?
Free electricity, a stunning variety of styles, environmentally-friendly consumerism, budget-friendly buying and plenty of festive cheer! It all sounds pretty great, right? Well, we’d have to agree. But just exactly how does it all work, anyway? Getting to grips with the inner workings of a new technology is a great way of feeling more comfortable in your investment, whether you’re spending $20 or $200. We’re here to explain just exactly how solar Christmas lights work.
The lights themselves function like any conventionally-powered lights do. LED bulbs are either exposed bare, giving that small, twinkling silvery-gold look so synonymous with the holidays, or are housed in carefully designed casings to give them a particular hue (think the reds, greens, ice blues, and golds of the festive season!) These lights may be hanging individually from a string, be bunched altogether, or might actually be contained within plastic tubing, offering a versatile range of display options, to suit not only taste, but the practical dimensions of your home and garden.
What sets solar Christmas lights apart from the rest, though, is the ‘solar’ part. Whilst conventional AC powered solar lights, plugged into a wall socket, can quickly double or triple a normal month’s energy bill, solar powered Christmas lights won’t cost you a single cent in energy. That’s because all of the electricity used to power them is taken from sunlight, and sunlight only. But how?
Solar Christmas lights are attached at one end to a small solar panel, which itself is pretty innocuous looking and will certainly not cramp your style. These panels are typically attached to staked which are then pushed into the ground (though there may be options for mounting them elsewhere, if preferable). During the day, the solar cells which comprise the solar panel convert the energy inherent in sunlight into electricity we can readily consume. They do this because they are made of polycrystalline or monocrystalline silicon film, a substance which reacts chemically and physically to sunlight, in a natural phenomenon known as the ‘photovoltaic effect’. This electricity is then stored in a small battery inside the solar panel during the day. Come evening, the electricity is sent from the battery to power your Christmas lights, making them shine out bright throughout the night.
Some solar Christmas lights have automatic ON/OFF functions, others you have to manually operate. All of the solar panels which come with festive solar lights are waterproof and weatherproof, and can be place outside (faced toward the sun) in all but the most extreme of weather conditions (just make sure you wipe any snow off their screens and keep them clean!) The lights can then also be strung up outside (provided they are also weatherproof), or fed through a window or door to decorate your house.
Pros and Cons of Solar Christmas Lights
As with any solar product you’re considering buying, it’s well worthwhile taking the time to examine both the positives and the negatives surrounding it. Don’t worry, though, we’re certain you’ll still be in love with the idea of solar Christmas lights come the end of this section!
- Free electricity! There is surely no time of year during which money is tighter than at Christmas. What with all the presents to buy, the family to feed, the fuel for long car journeys for festive vacations, the cost of heating the house. The last thing you need is the additional cost of electricity guzzled by Christmas lights. With solar Christmas lights, you’ll never pay a single cent more than the initial cost of the product.
- Green electricity. Aside from the budgetary benefits of buying solar, it’s always important to remember how crucial it is that we don’t use any more non-renewable energy than we have to. Since Christmas lights are most certainly something of a luxury, if you can go solar (thus protecting the planet) we recommend you do so.
- Versatile and varied. There are such a wide range of solar Christmas lights to choose from, many of them being very pretty, that we’re sure you’ll be able to find something to suit your taste and your needs, when it comes to what part and how much of your home and/or garden you need to cover with lights.
- Affordable. Thankfully, unlike some of the more high-powered, residential and industrial solar powered products on the market, solar Christmas lights aren’t about to break the bank. Ranging from just $8 to around $20 or $30, these are super affordable (especially once you consider the lack of associated electricity bills!)
- Easy to use. Simply stake your solar panel into the ground, face it toward the sun, and string your lights up. That’s it! That’s how easy it is to install solar Christmas lights.
- Sunlight dependent. This should really go without saying, but when it comes to a season-specific product, it does become more of an issue. Whilst not true everywhere in the world, for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, wintertime means less light, less light means less opportunity for our solar panels to charge their batteries. Whilst you should still be fine (these lights don’t take all that much power to run), it is worth making sure that you’re doing all you can to expose your solar panel to as much sun as possible every day.
- Placement. Whilst most solar Christmas lights are designed to be versatile in their placement, there’s no denying that having to place a solar panel outside can limit our options when it comes to where we can string our lights.
The Best Solar Powered Outdoor Christmas Lights Reviewed
With no further ado, let’s jump right it into it and rate the best solar Christmas lights on the market today.
SUPSSO Solar Christmas Lights
- Brand: SUPSSO
- Solar Powered, Long Time Working
- Durable waterproof materials
- 8 Lighting Modes & Memory Function
- Waterproof IP65
- Easy to Stall & Anto On/Off
Our top overall pick combines versatility, aesthetic pleasure, durability and affordability. These are 200 high-quality and ultra-bright blue LED lights on a 72ft durable and highly water resistant string. This is a highly popular and universally well-reviewed model that is perfect as both a holiday and all year-round light thanks to its 2 switches and 8 versatile light modes (steady, flashing, twinkle, light fade and more) all in a frosty blue light that is perfect for winter settings.
Both the bulbs and wire are highly durable and IP65 water-resistant, meaning these lights are made for long and consistent use. Powered solely by the sun with no extra costs or power sources needed apart form the solar panel that can be plunged into soft ground with its stake or propped on a wall, balcony or any other hard surface.
These lights have a daily lifespan of 8 to 12 hours turning off automatically at dawn and turning back on with memorized light modes at dusk. The versatility and resilience of this product means they can be shaped and positioned at will, your creativity is the only limit!
- Highly durable and very snow and water-resistant
- Very long and malleable string
- 8 light modes
- Very affordable
- Only one color available per model
UPOOK Solar String Lights
- Brand: UPOOK
- Color: Warm White
- Solar Powered String Lights
- 8 Flashing Modes
A great solar Christmas light from UPOOK featuring a 33ft resistant copper string dotted by 100 high-quality warm-white LED lights.
These lights are both eco-friendly and super versatile and can be placed virtually anywhere lighting up your patio, pathway, porch, garden or indoor areas at your whim. Also presenting 8 light modes, these lights put a more emphasis on subtlety and ambiance instead of sheer brightness. The copper wire is extremely durable and flexible meaning you can coil these lights around just about any surface from trees to columns to bushes and shrubberies.
The UPOOK Solar String Lights are extremely reliable and safe to use (low temperature bulbs meaning shocks or burns are impossible). The advertised total lifespan is a whopping 30000 hours!
- 100 quality LED lights
- Eco-friendly and super long lifespan
- 8 light modes
- Extremely flexible wire
- Very good price
- Shorter string than other models
- Only one color available per model
JMEXSUSS Multi-Color Solar Fairy Lights
- Brand: JMEXSUSS
- 2 Pack Multicolor Solar String Lights
- 8 Impressive Lighting Modes
- Flexible & Durable
- IP44 Waterproof Solar String Lights
Our top pick in the fairy light section are a set of gorgeous 200 multi-color LED lights peppering an ultra-resistant 66ft silver wire that is extremely ductile and can be shaped in any form. Create the ambiance for an unforgettable Christmas with these dazzling and colorful lights.
Featuring 8 awesome light settings that include: Waves, combination, fading, fireflies, chasing, twinkle, slow fade and steady-on.
The flexible silver wire can easily build any shape you want, covering your garden in beautiful fairy lights by wrapping them around any surface from tree trunks to gazebos. These lights are made to last and will not overheat even after hours of usage. They are highly eco-friendly, durable and safe to use.
The JMEXSUSS Multi-Color Solar Fairy Lights are completely powered by solar energy, working up to 8 hours after a charge of around 8-12 hours. They turn on automatically at night and turn off during the day. Concerning durability they posses an IP44 waterproof rating (both the bulbs and wire) withstanding all kinds of winter weather, including heavy rain and snow.
- High-quality bright bulbs
- Durable and highly malleable silver wire
- Improved safety features (very low risk of short circuits or overheating
- Very long daily and total lifespan
- Multiple colors and light modes
- The wire may be prone to tangling if mismanaged
Kolpop Solar String Lights
- Brand: Kolpop
- Color: Warm White
- 8 Modes and 2 Switches
- Energy-saving & Eco-friendly
- Waterproof and Heat-resistant
A great string light option from Kolpop. These warm white patio lights (also coming in a multi-color option) are about 78ft long with over 240 separate LED lights (the highest length and number of bulbs on our list). Completely dependent on solar energy, this model does not need any additional batteries or extension cords to function.
They shine continuously for up to 12 hours, shutting off automatically during the day and sparking up at night. With a protection level at IP55 the string the bulbs rest on are very resistant to the lights heat and atmospheric agents (completely waterproof in case of rain or snow). Lighting modes include: Light combinations, glowing, slow fade-outs, scintillation and constant illumination.
The malleability of the wire the bulbs rest on is extremely high, you can make practically any shape with these solar string lights, even better if the shapes are Christmas themed!
- Highest number of bulbs on our list
- Also longest length
- Very durable composition
- Very flexible
- 8 light modes
- Actual bulbs are very small
- May not charge as well in cloudy weather
SUPSSO Crystal Ball Lights
- Brand: SUPSSO
- 30 LED Solar Garden Lights
- Extra Long Run Time
- Simple Installation & Operation
- Indoor & Outdoor Decoration
Our top pick for Christmas ball lights. These are a splendid set of 30 high-quality LED lights that are completely solar powered but also backed up by a built-in 600mA NI-MH batteries which is both energy-saving and friendly to the environment.
These lights are both highly waterproof and heatproof, appreciated for their durability and versatility as they can be propped just about anywhere: House, garden or more obviously as a Christmas tree decoration.
These cool white ball lights have two lighting modes (also come in multi-color and warm white models and can sustain a charge of up to 8 hours a night if sufficiently charged during the day. The on/off function is automatic but they can be turned off all at once with the intuitive remote control manually to prevent over-consumption. Extremely simple to place and install these lights will create a both festive and laid back holiday atmosphere in no time.
- 30 high-quality LED lights
- Battery power backup
- Highly waterproof and heatproof
- Durable and versatile
- Long lifespan
- Only two lighting modes
- Low brightness if not sufficiently charged
JMEXSUSS 2-Pack Solar String Lights
- Brand: JMEXSUSS
- 100 led solar string light white*2 pack
- 8 modes & memory function solar Christmas lights
- Waterproof and safety solar Christmas lights
One of the most popular solar string lights for the Christmas season, these rope lights are some of the best of their kind when it comes to perfectly balancing affordability, durability and attractiveness. Available in 5 base colors (blue, green, multicolor, warm white, and bright white). Each purchase comes with two sets of 200-string LED light bulbs. The strings themselves measure a whopping 75ft, meaning they can be placed almost anywhere. Wrapped around a tree, porch, roof or inside your home. Technological perks include a built-in memory chip that saves your last lighting mode setting so you don’t have to reset it every day.
The solar panels come with a stake that can be placed anywhere, while the IP44 resistant string is not only extremely malleable but operates at a very low temperature using low energy consumption and guaranteeing high safety. This was a hard choice between this model and our top pick. Customer reviews on Amazon have routinely chosen this model as the best overall solar powered Christmas lights, so we’re not alone on this one. The only reason it does not top our list is its slightly higher price tag.
- 200 high-quality LED lights on a 75ft string
- Available in multiple colors
- Durable and flexible string
- Advanced safety features (low temperature and low energy consumption)
- Customer favorite
- Slightly more expensive than other models reviewed
Solar Powered Outdoor Christmas Lights Buyer’s Guide
Outdoor solar lighting is on the fast track to completely substitute conventional lights in the near future, this also applies to solar Christmas lights. Solar lights are affordable, durable, easy to install, extremely safe to use and reduce bills and energy consumption. Before purchasing a specific model you should have in mind exactly what kind of lights you need and how and when to use them. In this section we will be going over the main variables to consider before making the perfect outdoor solar Christmas lights purchase.
First of all ask yourself, what is the main function of your prospective lights. Do you want to completely cover your house, your garden or do you just want to spruce up you Christmas tree? String lights are normally the best option for both indoor and outdoor decorations, while single lights are best used indoor and in strategic areas outside for example along your pathway on your patio or even on a cocktail table. Always calculate the positioning of your solar panel outside, especially if your lights are indoors or envelop both the internal and external space of your house.
As we’ve seen, a major draw of solar powered Christmas lights is their affordability and the fact they can save a lot on your electricity bill. That being said its always better to not go overboard with a costly model to then use it for a few days around Christmas. Specific Xmas oriented lights are great for lovers of the season, but keep in mind that many models (especially of the monochromatic variety) can be used for a variety of different events and holidays all year round.
Sunlight Intensity, String Durability And Weather
Before purchasing solar Christmas lights and deciding where to install them a good tip is to find out if the model needs full sunlight or not. Many lights recharge even in overcast weather and can work perfectly in shady or more wooded areas of your yard. Check to see if the brands you think about buying are more suitable for the Christmas holiday season.
As mentioned in some model reviews the value most associated with durability is the IP. This is a value used to determine protection of accessories to possible outside threats, ranging from dust to snow and water.
The choice of right solar Christmas light is directly affected by weather and location. As mentioned, all products reviewed are completely waterproof and work in total security in poor weather conditions (to a certain degree like all products). Many solar lights come with USB chargers to recharge the lights when the weather is cloudy for long periods. Other models have a dimmed light function that saves energy.
Solar Christmas lights are an awesome way to really get into the holiday spirit and transform your home or yard into a fairy tale setting. Having said this our top overall pick remain the SUPSSO Solar Christmas Lights. Between lowering your electricity bill, your carbon footprint (the less we depend on fossil fuels even for seemingly trivial accessories, the better) and setting the mood for a fantastic Christmas shindig there are almost too many positives to choose from. We hope this review helps in making your Christmas a little more magical and luminous.
Check out our updated Pinterest board with the best solar Christmas lights:
The runtime of a solar light refers to the period of time in which the bulb is functional from a complete charge to when it runs out. A solar light’s recharge period is instead the time it takes for a light to recharge itself (usually during daytime).
Basically all solar powered lights in general are attached to a solar panel that is in most cases stuck directly into the ground. For homes surrounded by cement, many solar panels come with mounting accessories that can be placed even in elevated areas. The most important thing is that the panel should face the sun as much as possible
All the solar powered Christmas lights in this article use an automatic on/off system, usually turning off during the day before flickering back on when the sun goes down.
The greatest benefit of solar powered Christmas lights is the fact they need no electrical source to function. That being said they can’t simply be placed anywhere. The most important factor is adequately positioning your solar panel and investing in string lights of a preferred length to avoid an incomplete or unfinished looking lighting system.
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