The Best Outdoor Solar Lights for a Backyard Paradise

Decorate, illuminate, and improve safety with the best outdoor solar lights that suit your style and property.

Best Overall

3 Brightech Solar Hanging String Lights and a solar panel on a white background

Brightech Ambience Pro Solar Hanging String Lights

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Best Bang for the Buck

4 Aootek Solar Security Lights on a white background

Aootek Solar Security Lights

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Best Path

10 Hampton Bay Black Integrated LED Landscape Path Lights on a white background

Hampton Bay Black Integrated LED Landscape Path Light

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Outdoor solar lights simplify exterior illumination, giving you beautiful, functional lighting without the need for wiring. These lights are available in a variety of forms to give your backyard or patio a cozy glow, light up gardens and walking paths, or improve home safety and security. They’re economical, too, since they harness power from the sun rather than ratchet up the electric bill.

The top outdoor solar light options are easy to install, provide reliable lighting, and suit specific needs. Yet, with so many outdoor solar lighting options available, it can be tough to find what’s right for the setup of a particular property and aesthetic sense. This guide will describe some of the best outdoor solar lights on the market today and offer essential intel on these products to help you make the perfect purchase. Brilliant!

  1. BEST OVERALL: Brightech Ambience Pro Solar Hanging String Lights
  2. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Aootek Solar Security Lights
  3. BEST PATH: Hampton Bay Black Integrated LED Landscape Path Light
  4. BEST STEP: JackyLED 3-Sided LED Solar Step Lights
  5. BEST WELL: Bell + Howell Pathway & Landscape Disk Lights
  6. BEST WALL: Home Zone Security Wall Lanterns
  7. BEST POST: Kemeco LED Cast Aluminum Solar Post Light Fixture
  8. BEST SPOTLIGHT: InnoGear Upgraded 2-in-1 Solar Lights
  9. BEST FLOOD: Sunforce 120 LED Triple Head Solar Motion Light
  10. BEST FAIRY LIGHTS: Amir Solar String Lights
  11. BEST DECORATIVE: Kooper Solar-Powered Integrated LED Outdoor Lantern
  12. BEST FOR GARDENS: Beau Jardin 8-Pack Color Changing Solar Lights
A beautiful bak patio lit by the best outdoor solar lights on the house, stairs, and decorative columns

How We Chose the Best Outdoor Solar Lights

With a huge variety of options available, it can be difficult to choose the best outdoor solar lighting for your home. To start narrowing the field, we considered the most common uses for outdoor lighting. With the goal of appealing to a variety of shoppers, we chose common lighting types to cover a range of needs, from setting a mood to boosting security.

Across each lighting type, we kept a few important points in mind: performance, ease of installation, and aesthetics. Through researching product specifications and consumer reviews, we chose solar lights that were straightforward to install, performed reliably, and looked great.

The products that made our list charge reliably, provide ample hours of runtime, and create steady lighting. While decor is a personal preference, we also made sure each light in the lineup has some intentional style. When needed, all of the solar lights chosen include installation hardware (such as stakes or mounting hardware).

Our Top Picks

Outdoor solar lights gather energy from the sun to provide lighting well into the night. The best outdoor solar lights described ahead are reliable, beautiful, and practical picks for lighting up your outdoor space.

Best Overall

Brightech Ambience Pro Solar Hanging String Lights

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Product Specs 

  • Size: 48- and 27-foot-long options
  • Runtime: Up to 6 hours
  • Light color: Warm white


  • Charming vintage look can fit in any space and provide great lighting
  • Shatterproof plastic bulbs are built for long-term use and durability
  • Detached solar panel can be placed where required for ample charging


  • Some users may not like the wide spacing between bulbs

Whether wrapped around a patio banister, draped over an outdoor seating area, or strung around the garden, Brightech Ambience Pro Solar string lights are versatile, attractive, and durable. To capture a charming vintage aesthetic, these bistro-type string lights feature plastic Edison bulbs with exposed filaments that emit a warm white light. Although the bulbs look old-fashioned, they are actually modern shatterproof LED bulbs, offering a nostalgic glow while using very little energy.

Installing these string lights is easy with the detached solar panel, which can be placed in a sunny area using the inground stake or convenient clip. The lights can be set to turn on automatically when the sun goes down, providing up to 6 hours of illumination. These lights come as a 48-foot-long strand with 15 bulbs and a 27-foot-long strand with 12 bulbs.

Get the Brightech outdoor solar lights at Amazon, The Home Depot, Target, or Brightech

Best Bang for the Buck

Aootek Solar Security Lights

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Product Specs

  • Size: 4.6 inches tall by 7 inches wide
  • Runtime: Up to 9 hours
  • Light color: Not specified


  • Bright light emitted for security and improved visibility at night
  • Wide lighting angle works well for driveways, backyards, and commercial spaces
  • 3 useful integrated modes: motion-sensing mode, motion-sensing dim-to-bright mode, and fixed always-on mode


  • Control buttons are inaccessible once the light is mounted

With three useful modes and almost endless installation options, this four-pack of lights from Aootek offers excellent value for its affordable price. These wall-mounted LED lights include installation hardware and can be placed almost anywhere, including on walls, deck railings, fence posts, and steps. The motion-sensing lights have a wide 120-degree angle to provide practical or security lighting for up to 9 hours.

These versatile and budget-friendly lights have three modes: a motion-sensing mode (that switches the light on when nearby activity is detected), motion-sensing dim-to-bright mode (a dim light that brightens when motion continues), and a fixed always-on mode. We noted just one downside to these lights: Mode controls are located on the back of each unit, so it’s best to select a preferred mode before installation.

Get the Aootek outdoor lights at Amazon.

Best Path

Hampton Bay Black Integrated LED Landscape Path Light

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Product Specs

  • Size: 18.1 inches long by 4.92 inches wide
  • Runtime: Up to 8 hours
  • Light color: Warm white


  • Beautiful design adds a touch of elegance to a back or front yard space
  • Easy install; simply press stakes into the ground and allow the units to charge
  • Rust- and weather-resistant aluminum construction lasts for years of use


  • Plastic stake may not be as durable as some comparable options
  • Not very bright compared to other lights

The best solar path lights should be as functional as they are attractive. The Hampton Bay LED path lights fit both criteria. This pathway light set includes 10 easy-to-install path lights on stakes.

Made of weather- and rust-resistant aluminum with a plastic stake, these lights are built to last in outdoor conditions. Each light has a traditional design with a lantern-style shape. The crackle glass lens adds a bit of character and creates a pleasant pattern when lit. The housing has an elegant black finish.

Each of the LED path lights automatically switches on at dusk to light the path for up to 8 hours. These lights are not especially bright, producing just 10 lumens, but the soft and pleasant warm white glow is enough to light the way.

Get the Hampton Bay solar path lights at The Home Depot.

Best Step

JackyLED 3-Sided LED Solar Step Lights

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Product Specs 

  • Size: 3 inches long by 3 inches wide by 1 inch deep
  • Runtime: Up to 10 hours
  • Light color: Cool white


  • Excellent battery life; can last for up to 10 hours for all-night visibility
  • Set of 8 lights includes all the mounting hardware required for installation
  • Flexible placement options for excellent versatility and convenience


  • Lacks motion sensors

Step lights install onto the vertical part of stairs, enhancing appearance while improving safety. With an auto-on feature and up to 10 hours of runtime, the JackyLED three-sided LED solar step lights are a stellar pick for outdoor stairs.

This set includes eight small step lights made of durable, weather-resistant stainless steel and plastic. While they’re made for the outdoors—ideal on deck stairs, for instance—they can mount on virtually any surface with the included screws.

Designed for aesthetics as well as function, these budget-friendly outdoor solar lights have three downward-facing cool-white LED bulbs. These cast a dim but beautiful glow on stairs, deck railings, fence posts, and exterior walls.

Get the JackyLED outdoor lights at Amazon

Best Well

Bell + Howell Pathway u0026 Landscape Disk Lights

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Product Specs 

  • Size: 4.5-inch diameter and 5-inch stake
  • Runtime: Up to 10 hours
  • Light color: Cool white


  • Very easy to install; simply turn on and stake the light anywhere on soft ground
  • Long runtime compared to some other options available; stays lit for up to 10 hours
  • Each light comes with a built-in solar panel; no wiring required


  • Won’t work well in shady areas; needs full sunlight for a proper charge

These Bell + Howell solar disk lights bring the lovely look of recessed lighting to pathways and gardens—and they’re a breeze to install. The eight solar-powered LED well lights are mounted in small plastic stakes. Just push the light into the ground or grass along pathways or garden borders to gain beautiful inground lighting, hassle-free.

You can choose between manual or automatic on/off modes for up to 10 hours of illumination. Each light is self-contained with a built-in solar panel, which means there is no wiring to contend with. Made from stainless steel and boasting a watertight seal, they’ll hold up to all the usual garden activities, including rainy weather, lawn watering, and mowing.

Get the Bell + Howell outdoor lights at Amazon, The Home Depot, or Walmart

Best Wall

Home Zone Security Wall Lanterns

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Product Specs 

  • Size: 6.7 inches tall by 6.25 inches wide
  • Runtime: Not specified
  • Light color: Warm white


  • Charming lantern design provides a touch of elegance to an outdoor space
  • Detachable from wall mount if desired for ample versatility
  • Durable metal and glass construction can be used long-term


  • Not very bright compared to some other options on the market
  • Runtime is not specified

With their old-fashioned design, Home Zone solar wall lanterns are a charming decorative lighting choice for exterior walls. Sold as a pair, they’re made of glass and stainless steel with a classic black finish. Their fairly large size makes a statement and is ideal for flanking a doorway, lining an exterior wall, or lighting up fence posts.

Each lantern is equipped with a long-lasting LED bulb that casts a warm white light. Since the solar panel is mounted on top of each lantern, the units can be placed together or separately. As a bonus, the lanterns are easily detachable from their mount, and with a top handle and flat-bottom surface, they can be hung elsewhere, placed on a table, or carried to lend illumination wherever the evening leads.

Get the Home Zone outdoor solar lights at Amazon or Home Zone Security

Best Post

Kemeco LED Cast Aluminum Solar Post Light Fixture

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Product Specs

  • Size: 18.1 inches high by 8.8 inches in diameter
  • Runtime: 6 to 8 hours
  • Light color: Warm white


  • Produces 150 to 160 lumens of light; suitable for driveways, backyards, pathways, and other outdoor spaces
  • Produces 2800 to 3000 kelvins of warm white light for a soft glow
  • Comes with 12 SMD LED lights, 3 upgraded 1.2-volt solar batteries, and 4 solar panels
  • All installation hardware and instruction manual included with purchase


  • No post included with purchase; may need to be purchased separately
  • May not be as weather-resistant as some comparable options

For those who want a classic look, the Kenmore LED cast-aluminum solar post light fixture may be just the ticket. This self-contained 150- to 160-lumen lamp and mounting base is great for front lawns, gates, driveways, backyards, and other outdoor spaces. Made to produce 2800 to 3000 kelvins of warm white light, this fixture comes with 12 surface-mount-device (SMD) LED lights, three upgraded 1.2-volt solar batteries, and four solar panels for 6 to 8 hours of automatic use.

This outdoor solar light should be fairly easy to install for the average DIYer, thanks to the predrilled holes and included anchors and screws. These post lights are available in two color choices, black and white, but they don’t come with the post itself.

Get the Kemeco outdoor solar lights at Amazon.

Best Spotlight

InnoGear Upgraded 2-in-1 Solar Lights

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Product Specs

  • Size: 10.24 inches tall by 3.35 inches wide by 12.6 inches deep
  • Runtime: Up to 12 hours
  • Light color: Warm white


  • Light and solar panel angle are independently adjustable for ample versatility
  • Bright, warm white light emitted; suitable for illuminating gardens, flag posts, and decorations
  • 2 lighting modes integrated to suit individual users’ preferences


  • Solar panel is not adjustable from side to side

A spotlight is the best choice for highlighting specific landscaping features. With an independently adjustable light and solar panel, the InnoGear Upgraded solar lights are a practical solar-powered alternative to standard wired spotlights.

These spotlights feature a 180-degree solar panel adjustment range and 90-degree light adjustment range (up and down). This makes it possible to shine the spotlight where it’s needed while also ensuring that the solar panel gets adequate sun exposure.

To add user-friendliness, these spotlights have two lighting modes: a low mode that provides lighting for up to 12 hours and a high mode that runs up to 6 hours. With an output of up to 600 lumens, these solar spotlights are a bright choice. Four spotlights are included in this set, but two- and six-light options are also available.

Get the InnoGear outdoor solar lights at Amazon

Best Flood

Sunforce 120 LED Triple Head Solar Motion Light

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Product Specs

  • Size: 12.9 inches long by 9 inches wide by 6.7 inches deep (light)
  • Runtime: Not specified
  • Light color: Bright white


  • Adjustable side lamp heads provide ample lighting for security and visibility
  • Direct sunlight not required for charging; can be installed in shadier areas
  • Adjustable detection distance and light duration for excellent versatility


  • Some users found motion-detection range unreliable
  • Runtime not specified

Flood lights to improve security are typically a hassle to mount and wire. The Sunforce 120 LED triple-head solar motion light takes wiring out of the equation, yet these easy-to-install options are as bright as many wired counterparts. This motion-sensing flood light features one large adjustable LED flood light and a detached solar panel. This separated design allows the flood light to be mounted where it’s needed, while the solar panel can be placed at a sunny spot nearby. (The light will still charge in indirect sunlight, though perhaps not as effectively.)

For maximum coverage, this flood light features a triple-head design, with two side lamp heads that can turn upward, downward, and horizontally. When triggered by motion, this flood light emits 1,000 lumens of light. Along with the lighting direction, you can also adjust this light’s detection distance (up to 30 feet) and light duration.

Get the Sunforce outdoor solar lights at Amazon or The Home Depot

Best Fairy Lights

Amir Solar String Lights

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Product Specs

  • Size: 33 feet long
  • Runtime: 8 hours
  • Light color: Warm white


  • Provides warm, luminescent lighting in trees, on furniture, and in gardens
  • Water-resistant construction can withstand heavy-duty use
  • Flexible and easy to shape; suitable for providing light in uncommon spots


  • Can tangle easily; may be a little frustrating to place where desired

Fairy lights are the most decorative lighting option on this lineup, providing ambient luminescence that’s more fanciful than functional. With 100 LED bulbs in a warm white color, these Amir fairy lights bring an alluring storybook quality to an outdoor setting.

This strand measures 33 feet long and has a flexible copper wire, so it’s perfect for lining banisters, stringing across bushes, or wrapping around tree trunks. Both the solar panel and fairy lights are water-resistant, which makes outdoor placement possible.

The fairy lights are powered by a detached solar panel on a stake for easy installation outdoors. Once charged, they’ll provide around 8 hours of light. Amir also manufactures these fairy light strands in various other colors and lengths.

Get the Amir outdoor solar fairy lights at Amazon

Best Decorative

Kooper Solar-Powered Integrated LED Outdoor Lantern

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Product Specs 

  • Size: Up to 10.3 inches high by 5.9 inches in diameter
  • Runtime: 8 hours
  • Light color: Warm white


  • IP65 waterproof and rust-resistant construction is durable enough for long-term use
  • Runs for up to 5,000 hours of use; comes with an 800mAh battery
  • Runs for up to 8 hours after a 4- to 6-hour charging time; turns on automatically
  • Can be hung or kept on a tabletop if desired for maximum versatility


  • May not provide as much light as some comparable options available
  • Only comes in a single colorway; may not suit aesthetics in some spaces

While many people want solar lights to operate for a specific function, some may prefer them purely as a decorative statement. For a truly pretty look, consider these eco-friendly options from Kooper, which create a floral-pattern shadow. Made with IP65 waterproof and rust-resistant construction, these outdoor lanterns have built-in

solar-powered LED lights

and a 800 milliamp hour (mAh) battery that work for up to 5,000 hours of use.

These outdoor solar lights produce a warm glow for up to 8 hours that complements any backyard, patio, or walkway. The lanterns are equipped with sturdy handles for hanging and turn on automatically at dusk.

Get the Kooper outdoor solar lights at Wayfair.

Best for Gardens

Beau Jardin 8-Pack Color Changing Solar Lights

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Product Specs 

  • Size: 16.54 inches tall by 4.72 inches wide
  • Runtime: Up to 12 hours
  • Light color: White, purple, red, green-yellow, orange, blue, or pink


  • 7 color options integrated into the design for multihued illumination
  • Color-changing and fixed-color modes to suit many users’ preferences
  • Beautiful light pattern emitted; suitable for entertaining or for children


  • Does not remember last-used color setting

With their tall height and easy-to-install stakes, path lights make an excellent garden addition and are often used to illuminate favorite bushes and ornamentals. The Beau Jardin solar lights have a classic lantern design but feature a color-changing light to add extra flair to landscaping.

This set includes eight decorative solar path lights, each with a diamond-shaped glass lens that throws a beautiful dimpled light pattern. The lights automatically switch on at dusk, and you can set each light to cycle between its seven colors (white, purple, red, green-yellow, orange, blue, and pink) or stay on one chosen color.

Each of the path lights is made of durable rust-resistant steel and has its own built-in solar panel, so they can be installed anywhere in the garden with enough sunlight for charging. Once fully charged, each light will provide up to 12 hours of illumination.

Get the Beau Jardin outdoor solar lights at Amazon

Jump to Our Top Picks

What to Consider When Choosing Outdoor Solar Lights

Outdoor solar lights can be used for a variety of reasons, from creating a warm and cozy ambience to providing security lighting. When shopping for the best outdoor solar lights for your space, consider the lighting type, brightness and settings, charge time, runtime, and installation process.


There are various types of outdoor solar lights. In fact, there’s a solar version of almost every popular wired outdoor lighting type, including the following:

  • String lights have a long cable with bulbs evenly spaced along the length. They typically shed a soft glow to create a cozy ambience rather than a strong, bright light for security or safety purposes. Variations include Christmas lights, bistro lights, and fairy lights.
  • Path lights are used to illuminate walkways brightly, adding aesthetic appeal and improving safety. The best solar path lights are often mounted on stakes, which are inserted into the ground lining the path.
  • Flood lights are a form of security lighting with a wide angle designed to flood an area with bright illumination. Flood lights often have motion sensors to activate only when needed.
  • Spotlights are used to highlight a specific area, like a statue or garden fountain. These bright lights have a narrow beam and an adjustable lighting angle.
  • Step lights for outdoor use illuminate stairs, such as those leading to a porch or deck. They make it safer to walk up and down stairs at night and add an attractive touch.
  • Wall lights are installed on vertical surfaces to illuminate the surrounding area for decorative and functional purposes. They can be mounted on exterior walls, fences, and deck posts.

Brightness and Settings

To choose the right brightness level for solar lights, consider intended use. For lighting a patio dining area, dimmer, softer lights are a more aesthetic pick. For security lighting, a brighter light is best to both startle and possibly identify any intruders.

Light brightness is measured in lumens. The higher the lumens, the brighter the light. Most indoor night lights produce under 50 lumens, while flood lights often produce around 1,000 lumens. For decorative illumination (like for string lights and other ambient options), under 100 lumens ought to do the trick. Functional lighting for paths and stairs should be around 100 or 200 lumens. Look for a light that emits over 700 lumens for security lighting.

Color temperature and brightness sometimes go hand in hand. Warm outdoor solar lights have a yellow tone for setting a cozy ambience, so they often come as dimmer lights. Cool lights have a whiter or bluer hue that is suited for functional or security lightning, so cool lights are often brighter.

Some outdoor solar lights operate with a simple on/off mechanism, while others have adjustable settings and modes. Some commonly found settings include adjustable brightness, automatic on/off, ambient-light sensing, motion-sensing features, and light-show features (like flashing or twinkling settings).

Charging Time and Runtime

Outdoor solar lights harness energy throughout the day and usually take around 6 to 8 hours to charge. Once fully charged, they can run anywhere from 4 hours to more than 10 hours into the night.

Factors like the weather and solar panel placement can affect both charging time and battery life when it comes to outdoor bulbs. When it comes to solar light performance, the sunnier, the better. If you plan on placing the solar lights in a shady area, consider a solar light with a separate solar panel, which allows the charging panel to be placed in an area that receives more direct sun a few feet away from the lights.

Some solar lights have an ambient light sensor to switch on automatically when the sun sets, while others have manual on/off switches. If battery life is a main priority, look for lights that can be manually controlled to save battery life. Another option is motion-sensing lights, which will only switch on when they sense activity nearby.


In general, outdoor solar lights are designed with ease of installation in mind. They’re built for consumers who want simple lighting solutions that don’t require outdoor wiring.

The lighting type and intended location can give shoppers a better idea of the installation process. String lights and those with stakes are among the easiest to install; string lights can be draped wherever they’re needed, and staked lights just need a soft enough spot in the ground. Wall lights or deck lights often need to be mounted, but many come with hardware like screws for this purpose.

When thinking about installation location, also consider how the lights will look during the day. If installing the lights in an open area, for instance, look for unobtrusive or attractive designs so the lights will look just as nice during the day as at night.

The Advantages of Owning Outdoor Solar Lights

One of the biggest advantages to installing the best exterior solar lights is their ease of use. All outdoor solar lights need is a sunny spot to charge—no outdoor outlets, wiring, or extension cables required. Since the lights don’t need to plug into an outlet, placement is also more flexible. Outdoor solar lights can go just about anywhere as long as the solar panel receives enough sunshine.

Since solar lights are powered by the sun, these self-sufficient lights are eco-friendly and won’t add a single cent to your electric bill.

Once installed, outdoor solar lights are low maintenance. These lights often use long-lasting LED bulbs, and some may need a fresh battery every few years to maintain performance.

In sum, the main benefits of outdoor solar lights are:

  • No outlet required
  • Placement flexibility
  • Eco-friendly
  • No electricity usage
  • Low maintenance


Outdoor solar lights boast several benefits over their wired counterparts. They’re easier to install, more eco-friendly, and won’t add to the electric bill. Set them in the best place to install solar lights in your outdoor space, and they should provide lighting well into the night. Still wondering if outdoor solar lights are right for your backyard, deck, or garden? Consider the answers to these frequently asked questions on choosing and using outdoor solar lights.

Q. Do outdoor solar lights really work?

Yes! High-quality outdoor solar lights can work just as well as their wired alternatives. Their only downside is that their performance can be affected by the amount of sunlight they receive.

Q. Do solar lights last all night?

It depends on the light. Battery life and runtime depend on the quality of the solar panel and battery, weather, and solar panel placement. Some outdoor solar lights have a maximum runtime of over 10 hours, which means they will last through the night.

Q. What should I look for when buying solar lights?

When shopping for outdoor solar lights, consider your intended location, preferred light type, ease of installation, light brightness and warmth, and any helpful settings. When in doubt, look for highly rated solar lights from reputable lighting brands.

Q. Are solar lights eco-friendly?

Yes, solar lights gather power from the sun, so they’re an eco-friendly (and economical) choice.

Q. Do outdoor solar lights need direct sunlight?

Direct sunlight is best. Most solar lights will need several hours of direct sunlight to charge their batteries fully. Some outdoor solar lights can still charge in areas with indirect sunlight, but their performance and runtime will be diminished.

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Jasmine Harding Avatar

Jasmine Harding

Contributing Writer

Jasmine Harding is a freelance writer specializing in home products. She started writing for in 2020 and covers a range of product-related topics, from the best household appliances and tools to the latest gadgets and tech for the home.