Lighting up fixed structures of your home can be a hassle whether it’s your porch, patio, driveway fence or what have you. Solar deck lights come in as an eco-friendly, cost-effective and easy to install solution that can easily vanquish any of these preoccupations.
Functioning solely on solar energy or if need be, on a back-up rechargeable battery, solar deck lights are an incredibly versatile and often stylish way of keeping the outer regions of your abode well-lit without added costs.
Let’s check out some of the most popular and well-reviewed solar deck lights on the market and see what factors to consider when purchasing the best solar deck lights for any possible purpose.
Our top overall pick combines versatility, durability and efficiency. A standard looking model from the outside, the Aootek New Solar Deck Lights is one of the most, if not the most well rounded solar deck lights on the market based purely on its superior tech, efficiency, ease of installation and added features.
A model of solar deck light that could’ve easily won first place as it is both a powerful and versatile set of 8 durable, resilient, efficient and highly waterproof set of solar lights with an added aesthetic touch.
This 12 pack set of solar deck lights take the prize of best premium pick due to their higher cost. This doesn’t take away from the fact that these are some of the most sought after models on the market due to their efficiency, long lighting time, intuitive installation and extreme durability.
How Do Solar Deck Lights Work?
Here at Semprius, we cover just about everything solar powered you can think of. One of the areas in which we’ve found solar product manufacturers tend to focus is lighting; most likely because the energy required to produce excellent quality lighting can easily be met by the power output of solar technology. And yet, whilst the mechanics of solar panels remain ostensibly the same no matter where or how they’re applied, the way in which they’re implemented can change drastically from product to product, even within a market as niche as lighting.
This applies to solar deck lights, too. For example, we’ve just reviewed one set of deck lights which has been designed to withstand up to 20 tons of pressure (that’s a lot of pressure!), in order to facilitate their use as driveway lights (in case they’re run over by a car). In this case, the solar panels situated on top of the lights have to be made of durable enough material to withstand 20 tons of pressure, whilst also being made of thin enough material that sunlight can penetrate and be converted into energy. That’s a lot of innovation in just a deck light! But how exactly do they work?
Solar deck lights cover a range of uses – from decorative and aesthetic to practical and utility, and every combination in between. Ultimately, though, they are all comprised of high-powered LED bulbs housed in casing (whether designed to be durable or attractive). This casing, made to be weatherproof and waterproof, is designed to be mounted either above or directly into decking (depending on its style or intended use). Built directly into the casing is a solar panel in each unit, generally located on the top of the unit so as to point directly upward, toward the sun. These solar panels are comprised of many smaller, individual solar cells; these solar cells are made of thin films of silicon (either polycrystalline or monocrystalline). When sunlight hits these films, it knocks electrons from one layer to another in a process known as the photovoltaic effect. The transference of electrons generates volts of electricity, which is then stored in a battery housed in the light casing.
Most solar deck lights (though not all) are equipped with light sensors which allow them to operate an automatic ON/OFF function. This means that during the day they are off, and charging under sunlight, but when evening falls, they automatically switch on and start drawing electricity from the rechargeable battery to power up the lights. These lights can often stay on at full brightness all night after a full day’s charge (some can even work for days on one charge alone). Then, when morning comes, they automatically switch off again and begin recharging, in preparation for the next night.
Some solar deck lights come with additional features, such as motion sensors, different lighting modes, remote controls and so on.
Pros and Cons of Solar Deck Lights
We think solar deck lights are winners all round, but even so it’s still worthwhile taking the time to assess both the positives and negatives surrounding the technology. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of solar deck lights.
- Versatility. Whether you need deck lighting for safety and security, or just want to spruce up your outdoor area with something pretty, solar deck lights are versatile enough to suit a range of purposes and needs.
- Sturdy. Even those deck lights not built to withstand 20 tons of pressure are still built to last. They have to be, after all they house precious solar panels which need to be kept waterproof, weatherproof, and operational in all but the most extreme of weather conditions.
- Free electricity. This is surely one of renewable energy’s biggest pulls: free electricity! Instead of having to fork out hundreds of dollars every year just to light your patio, garden, driveway or deck, you could harness electricity from the sun and never pay another cent.
- Easy to install. Mount these solar deck lights straight out of the box, and turn them on immediately. No need to worry about additional wiring, nor any trouble with the mounting since they should come with all you need for installation and a handy installation guide.
- Green energy. The world is in climate crisis right now, and we need to do everything we can to help keep it healthy. One way to ensure you make a positive impact on the planet is by swapping out fossil fuel powered lighting for green, carbon-free renewable energies like solar and wind.
- Attractive. Let’s not forget that you also want your deck area to look appealing so that you, guests, and passers-by can admire the area and enjoy its welcoming, inviting appeal. With these solar deck lights coming in a variety of styles and colours, you can find something to suit your taste and style.
- Sunlight dependent. This goes for all solar powered technology: in order for you to get the most out of your solar deck lights, you’ll have to ensure that their exposure to direct sunlight is consistent and as lengthy as possible. Otherwise, your solar deck lights will be weak and may not last the night.
- Inconsistent brightness. This is mostly tied to con #1, but can be a separate variable depending on the quality of the individual product. Essentially, though, you will find that solar deck lights may appear a little less bright on nights following overcast days, or days with little sun, compared to their brightness on nights following cloudless, sunny days. This can cause some frustration, but should be an understood and accepted part of buying renewable, weather-dependent technology.
Best Solar Deck Lights Reviewed
Aootek New Solar Deck Lights
- Brand: Aootek
- Three Optional Modes
- Sensitive PIR Motion Inductor
- Ultra Bright Lights
- Waterproof IP65 and Heatproof
Our top overall pick encompasses all the defining factors that make the perfect solar deck light. Versatility, efficiency and durability were all highly considered when the Aootek New Solar Deck Lights were designed.
These lights come with three optional modes that include a: Security light mode, motion sensor . permanent all night mode and smart brightness control mode. Added security measures also include a sensitive PIR motion sensor coupled with an upgraded motion sensor detector that can detect movement up to 26 feet with and angle of 120°. On the technical side, the lights are powered by a 2200mAh rechargeable lithium-ion battery. The lights themselves are ultra bright highly efficient 120 LED lights with a wide-angle illumination.
One of the main features, and a defining one when considering solar efficacy is the actual panel that powers the unit. An energy saving PET laminated solar panel with integrated LED lights, which boasts a 20. 5% conversion rate thanks to its premium 1. 2W Monocrystalline silicon composition that makes it ideal for long term use.
Extreme durability is also a factor as these lights offer an almost unbeatable IP65 water and heat -resistant rating that makes them ideal for positioning in virtually any part of the house and resistant to even the most extreme bouts of weather.
Simply put, Aootek New Solar Deck lights provide far brighter lighting and wider detection range than other similar models on the market all at an accessible price and their widespread popularity shows this.
- Added lighting and security features including a high-end PIR motion sensor
- Ultra-bright light with wide angle
- High-quality integrated rechargeable battery
- Extremely efficient solar panel with high conversion rate
- Affordable price
- Extremely high durability and water resistance
- Some setup issues have been a concern for some customers (very few though, it is an overwhelmingly popular product)
LOFTEK Solar Fence Lights
- Brand: LOFTEK
- High efficient Poly-silicon Solar Panel
- Automatic work on/off Day & Night
- Charge in Direct Sunlight
Our runner up choice from LOFTEK are a set of 8 gorgeous outdoor lights defined by their hollowed out flower pattern and are completely powered by sunlight which is absorbed and stored in each unit’s Ni-Mh AA 600mAh battery. They are also fully automatic, turning on as the light fades and dusk sets in before turning off at the first lights of dawn. With a full charge reached in around 6 hours, these solar deck lights will then provide up to 12 hours of consecutive lighting at night
Apart from being a beautifully designed decorative addition to any yard, these solar deck lights shine a warm white light that confers a charming and relaxed atmosphere, suitable for any occasion.
On the durability side, the LOFTEK Solar Fence Lights are made of an incredibly of sturdy and durable ABS hard plastic shell and equipped with quality poly-silicon solar panel with an IP54 waterproof rating which allows it withstand rain, snow, thunderstorm and frosting. No external wiring, outlets or need to replace batteries makes installation and maintenance a piece of cake.
- Highly aesthetic desgin
- Efficient poly-silicon panel for heightened solar energy coversion
- Reliable and powerful Ni-Mh AA 600mAh
- Fully automatic
- Very durable
- Warm white light is not the brightest
VOLISUN Solar Deck Lights
- Brand: VOLISUN
- Color: White
- Solar Powered
- Long Lighting Time
- Waterproof & Resistance to Pressure
Our top premium pick is a 12 pack of extremely high-quality metal encased solar deck lights that are covered by highly efficient solar panels. These lights automatically recharge during the day and start glowing when night falls. As the most high-quality model reviewed on our list, each individual light has 6 powerful LEDs that guarantee a steady and intense light.
The built-in 600mAH large storage battery of each light takes no more than 8 hours to charge with a steady supply of sunlight. On a full charge these lights can last up to 5 days!
Durability and water resistance are also key factors that define the VOLISUN Solar Deck Lights. Boasting the highest IP rating on our list (IP67) these lights can face any kind of atmospheric intemperance. The high quality and polished steel frame can bear high levels of weight and distress. Even driving a car over these lights will not damage them.
Installation is incredibly easily and versatile, just place the lights anywhere the sun reaches them. No wiring is needed just utilizes the 12pcs screws included in the package and your good to go. These are a top of the line product (shown also by the higher price tag). VOLISUN lights are certified by a higher standard from the FCC.
- Extremely high-quality product
- Extreme durability and water resistance
- Off the charts durability and quality metal build
- Versatile and intuitive installation
- Very bright lights and longer lighting periods
SEZAC Outdoor Solar Lights
- Brand: SEZAC
- Color: Black
- 3 Lighting Working Modes
- 150 ° Wide-Angle Lighting
- 2000 mAh of Solar Security Lights
- Wireless Waterproof IP65
A great mid range solar deck light with an emphasis on security as exemplified by 3 useful lighting modes that include: Dim long light mode, strong light sensor mode and motion sensor mode. The integrated sensor ball head provides an efficiency motion sensitivity of people, objects or animals up to 10-16 feet.
These solar deck lights are very durable, made from a hard casing of IP65 water resistant plastic making them perfect for placement virtually any place outdoors. The solar lights themselves are powered by a powerful and eco-friendly 2000 mAh rechargeable lithium-ion battery working together with a highly efficient mono-crystalline solar panel.
Security needs are covered by motion sensors and an all-encompassing 150º wide angle lighting that will more then adequately flood the outdoors of your home for the whole night. A standard nightly timing frame for these lights is 10 hours.
Finally, the easiness of installation with these solar deck lights is total. There are no extra cables or complicated steps to follow just use the provided screw or 3M double-sided tape to mount the device.
- High-quality light geared towards security
- 3 lighting modes
- Efficient motion sensor
- Good energy conversion rate and longevity
- 150° wide angle lighting
- The lights themselves could be considered small by some
SARCCH Solar Ground/Deck Lights
- Brand: SARCCH
- High quality solar ground lights
- High power efficiency
- Solar Ground Lights Easy To Install
- Disk Lights Waterproof adopted IP65 grade waterproof design
These nifty looking disk lights from SARCCH offer an incredible versatility and a touch of modern flair to your garden as they can be placed in courtyards, gardens, sidewalks, lawns and corridors hyping up any location they are placed in.
This pack of 8 LED lights are has an incredibly efficient conversion rate (up to 14% more than models with similar specs). Up to 10 hours of uninterrupted, cool and bright light is guaranteed.
Their disk-like composition and sturdy and durable build boasts an IP65 waterproof rating. No worries concerning even heavy rain, snow, frost and sleet. These lights can withstand even unpredictable or severe weather.
Installation is extremely easy. Just turn on the switch under the cap and push the stake which each individual unit possesses preferably into soil (these are also considered garden lights after all). Affordability is also a defining feature as these are the second cheapest option on our list.
- Unique disk design
- Sturdy and durable composition (IP64 rating)
- Very good conversion rate
- Some (but still very few) customers complain of at least one faulty light per pack (there are 8 individual lights)
TIJNN Solar Deck Lights
- Brand: TJNN
- Color: Amber
- 2 Modes Lighting
- High Conversion Rate, Auto on & off
- Durable IP65 Waterproof
Another set of 6 warm white solar deck lights that put elegance and aesthetic value at the forefront. These are high-end ambiance lights with 2 lighting modes and 7 different colors that are sure to create a suffused and relaxed atmosphere in any position you place them.
Boasting a very high solar conversion rate thanks to each light’s large poly-silicon solar panel. Only around 4 hours of sunshine can provide up to 10 hours of light, one of the best charging periods on this list. These lights are completely automated due to their dusk to dawn feature.
Sometimes aesthetic concerns can get in the way of efficacy and durability. Not in this case, as a resilient and IP65 water-resistant build defines these solar lights and makes them highly weather and heat resistant. Installation can be easily done in less than a minute, but for any concern, TJNN offers a 12 month warranty and a full refund within 60 days of your purchase.
- Elegant design
- 2 lighting modes and 7 different light colors
- Extremely efficient panel and conversion rate
- Very efficient charging and longevity
- Durable, water and heat-resistant
- 12 month warranty
- Not the best charge in cloudy weather
- Not exceptionally bright
Solar Deck Light Buyer’s Guide
What to look for and factors consider when buying solar deck lights.
A wide variety of bulbs are found in deck lights, the most common being LED. These bulbs offer the best energy saving, as well as the longest lifetime and are the best option to go with. However, depending on the type of lighting you want, an Edison-style bulb may be better if you are looking for a softer light.
Types of lighting
When looking for deck lights you need to consider the type of lighting you prefer, whether you opt for a cooler white light, or a warm white, it is important to know which type of lighting you prefer when looking to buy.
As your lights will be exposed to the harsh weather conditions of the outdoors, it is vital to ensure your lights are waterproof. The last thing you want is your new lights being destroyed by the rain. You also want to ensure that your lights are wet-proof, meaning that no water is able to slip through the seal and compromise the safety of the lights.
How to Install Commercial Grade Outdoor Deck Lights
The installation process depends on where you decide to place your deck lights. They can be embedded or affixed into different types of structures including walls, fences, pathways, porches, patios etc.
- Using a pencil, draw around the deck light in the place you desire.
- Using a 8mm bit, drill a hole in the edge of the traced circle.
- Using a jigsaw, cut around the line until the circle is complete.
- Clean up any rough edges with a round cut file.
- Switch on the light using the bottom on the underneath.
- Place the light gently into the hole, the light will automatically turn on at night.
With all these factors considered and taking into account versatility, efficiency and durability our best overall choice for solar deck lights are the Aooteck New Solar Deck Lights.
Check out our updated Pinterest board with the best solar deck lights:
As they are made to be affixed or embedded in walls, fences and other delineating structures, solar deck lights may need a little more effort during installation than for example string solar lights. Not to worry though, all models reviewed come with easy to follow installation manuals and only very simple tools are needed making installation a strictly DIY affair.
Ni-Cad rechargeable batteries for example will last around two years if used with care and are recharged. Replacement batteries can also be ordered from the manufacturer or online. The LED light bulbs will run up to 100,000 hours each and are not replaceable.
Because solar lights are powered by direct sunlight, they need to be cleaned periodically from dust or mud, so they can easily store energy for the night. They also do not work as well during the winter or on cloudy days, so you may want to store your them indoors during rainy or snowy seasons. Switch them to the off position when they are not being used and store them in a dark place.
While solar lights are designed for all temperatures, the models that include glass should not be left outdoors if you receive a lot of rain or snow. They should not be exposed to windstorms or extreme storms, either, as they can easily be damaged. You can buy hanging fixtures if you’re worried about your lights blowing away; hanging lights also work well for lining swimming pools, ponds and creeks.
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