The Best Solar Christmas Lights of 2021

Make your home sparkle and shine this holiday season with the best solar Christmas lights for outdoor decorating.

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The Best Solar Christmas Light Options

Photo: amazon.com

Outdoor Christmas lights add a festive glimmer to your front yard or garden, and with a solar-powered setup, you can make your home exterior merry and bright without adding to your electric bill. Solar Christmas lights come in various styles, sizes, and colors to help create your perfect winter wonderland.

The best solar Christmas lights are energy efficient, easy to install, and easy to use, plus they’re flexible since there’s no need to use extension cords or an outlet. Create an energy-efficient and beautiful holiday light display with the best solar Christmas lights ahead.

  1. BEST OVERALL: The Holiday Aisle 100 Light Solar String Lights
  2. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Joomer Multi-Color Solar Christmas Lights
  3. BEST FAIRY LIGHTS: Brightever Outdoor Solar String Lights
  4. BEST ROPE LIGHTS: Hampton Bay Solar Powered Clear Outdoor Rope Light
  5. BEST SPOTLIGHTS: JSOT 7 Color Changing Solar Spot Lights
  6. BEST FOR PATHWAYS: Unique Gadgets & Toys Solar Powered Christmas Lights
  7. BEST FOR HANGING: Lemontec Water Drop Solar String Lights
  8. BEST FOR YEAR-ROUND USE: Brightech Ambience Solar Powered String Lights
  9. BEST NOVELTY: Brightown Snowflake Solar Decorations Lights
  10. ALSO CONSIDER: Sol 72 Outdoor Wiltshire Globe String Light
The Best Solar Christmas Light Options

Photo: amazon.com

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Solar Christmas Lights

Twinkling solar Christmas lights can spread holiday cheer to neighbors and passersby without a bump in your electric bill. Consider pairing them with outdoor solar Christmas decorations for an eco-friendly landscape. Although solar lights are less popular than corded versions, there’s still a variety of types, sizes, and colors to choose from to create your ideal lighting setup. Read on for the features to look for when setting up your environmentally friendly holiday lighting display.

Light Source Type

When it comes to Christmas lights, there are two main light source types: incandescent bulbs and LED lights. Most solar power Christmas lights have LEDs.

Most traditional Christmas lights have incandescent bulbs, which have a characteristic warm glow. While these Christmas lights are affordable, they use more energy, which means a higher electric bill. LED Christmas lights often cost more up front, but they use much less energy to save money in the long run. Since they require less energy, solar Christmas lights tend to use LEDs.

LED Christmas lights tend to be longer lasting and more durable than their incandescent counterparts. They also stay cool to the touch, so they’re safer to use around children or pets.

These days, LEDs are available in a variety of color temperatures, so the bluish light associated with early LEDs is no longer the only option.

Types of Solar Panels

The most common solar panel types include monocrystalline, polycrystalline, and thin-film solar panels. Monocrystalline and polycrystalline tend to be more efficient than thin-film options, while thin-film panels are the most portable.

Many traditional solar lights use monocrystalline or polycrystalline panels. Their efficiency and higher wattage makes them excellent for powering outdoor lights. However, it’s common to find solar Christmas lights that don’t display their solar panel type. If the solar panel type is not listed on the Christmas lights, there’s no need to worry. Most solar Christmas light manufacturers share the light’s charging time and runtime, which gives you a good idea of how efficient the lights will be and if they’re suitable for your needs.

Charging Time and Runtime

Solar Christmas lights need exposure to sunlight to charge through the day. Once night falls, the lights will either switch on manually or through a timer or sensor.

A solar light’s charging time refers to how long it takes for the light to charge to full capacity. To ensure proper charging, the solar panel should always be placed in a sunny area—the lights will take longer to charge in shady spots, and on cloudy days they may not charge at all. Charging time can range from 4 to 10 hours.

One major benefit of solar-power Christmas lights is they don’t need an outlet or extension cord to power on. However, since they don’t have a constant power source, they have a limited runtime. Most solar Christmas lights have a runtime ranging from 6 to 10 hours.

Length and Number of Lights

Christmas light strands can span from a few feet to decorate an entryway to over 100 feet to drape across an entire garden. When choosing the strand length, consider your intended coverage area.

For decorating a small surface, like a doorway or arbor, a short strand is sufficient. For adorning an entire porch, building, or trees and bushes in the yard, opt for a long strand. It’s best to go with a slightly longer strand than you need—better for your lights to be a little too long than too short.

Also consider the size of the lights and number of lights on the strand, which will affect how dense or sparse the strand looks. A denser strand will be brighter and more eye-catching than a strand with scattered lights.

Brightness and Light Modes

Adjustable brightness and light modes can add more flexibility to your holiday display. Variable brightness levels allow you to customize the look of your holiday lighting, so you can choose between bright, dramatic lighting, or subtler accent lighting. Dimmers also allow you to lower or raise lighting to set the mood when spending time on your patio or porch.

Different light modes can add even more drama to a lighting display. Light modes can include various colors, cascading twinkle strands, blinking lights, and even lights that switch on and off to a tune. They can also include more practical lighting settings, like automatic on/off modes or timer features.

Easy Bulb Replacement

Christmas light bulbs will burn out eventually. Windy conditions and accidents can cause bulbs to break before their time. In some cases, a broken bulb can cause the entire strand not to work, putting a damper on your decorating plans.

To prepare for these scenarios, look for solar Christmas lights with easily replaceable bulbs. If the Christmas lights have an encasement, look for options that are simple to remove and replace so you can access the bulb inside. Also, keep in mind that LEDs can last several years, so LED light strands are a good option if you don’t want to deal with frequent replacements.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall

The Best Solar Christmas Light Option: The Holiday Aisle 100 Light Solar String Lights
Photo: wayfair.com

If you’re looking for the classic glow of incandescent lights, consider this solar string light strand from The Holiday Aisle. These LED solar string lights capture the warm radiance of traditional Christmas lights while using less power than incandescent bulbs. Several other Christmas-themed colors are also available.

The 55-foot strand features 100 Stay Lit LED bulbs, which means the entire strand won’t go out if one bulb has trouble. The strand lights up for 6 to 8 hours after a full-day charge. This set includes a solar panel on a ground stake so you can install it anywhere in your yard. Multiple strands can connect together to wrap your home, porch, trees, or bushes.

Product Specs

  • Length: 55 feet
  • Color: Warm white
  • Runtime: 6 to 8 hours

Pros

  • Traditional warm-white color
  • Easy-to-install ground stake solar panel
  • Stay Lit bulbs

Cons

  • Need a full day of sunlight for sufficient charging


Best Bang for the Buck

The Best Solar Christmas Light Option: Joomer Multi-Color Solar Christmas Lights
Photo: amazon.com

Drape your home exterior in multicolored lights with these pretty and affordable Christmas lights. This strand from Joomer features blue, red, yellow, and green LED lights to create a bright Christmas backdrop. The 200-LED strand measures 72 feet long, ideal for decorating eaves, trees, and gardens.

A ground stake solar panel means you can place these solar Christmas lights anywhere outdoors. They’ll automatically switch off and charge during the day, then switch on once night falls. These lights quickly reach a full charge in 6 hours to provide 8 hours of lighting. Choose from eight different lighting modes, including different flashing light show modes, to create your ideal ambiance.

Product Specs

  • Length: 72 feet
  • Color: Multicolor
  • Runtime: 8 hours

Pros

  • Budget-friendly
  • Fast 6-hour charge time
  • Eight lighting modes

Cons

  • Cool blue tinge may not match warmer strands


Best Fairy Lights

The Best Solar Christmas Light Option: Brightever Outdoor Solar String Lights
Photo: amazon.com

Fairy lights can add a delicate touch to Christmas decorations. This set from Brightever features tiny warm-white bulbs that cast an elegant glimmer.

Since fairy lights are much smaller than classic Christmas lights, you’ll need more lights to make a statement. This set includes four 72-foot light strands, each with 200 LEDs, for a total of 288 feet of lighting.

A full charge throughout the day provides these LED solar string lights with up to 10 hours of runtime. With eight different lighting modes, these dainty copper wire strands can add a charming glimmer to bushes, gardens, and patios.

Product Specs

  • Length: 72 feet each
  • Color: Warm white
  • Runtime: 10 hours

Pros

  • Provide a daintier look than traditional lights
  • Flexible copper wire allows for versatile placement
  • Up to 10 hours of runtime

Cons

  • Small bulbs in fairy lights are dimmer than larger lights


Best Rope Lights

The Best Solar Christmas Light Option: Hampton Bay Solar Powered Clear Outdoor Rope Light
Photo: homedepot.com

Rope lights are a practical choice for adorning stairways, patio railings, and entryways. To brighten up your outdoor living spaces, consider this cool-hued rope light from Hampton Bay. Measuring 16 feet long, this bright strand is an excellent choice for twisting around a banister or lining a pathway, including in wet locations.

These LED solar string lights are constructed from sturdy, weatherproof PVC and have cool-toned, bright white bulbs. The neutral color is ideal for the Christmas season or for year-round use. After a day’s charge, they can be set to switch on automatically from dusk to dawn to provide 8 hours of runtime.

Product Specs

  • Length: 16 feet
  • Color: Bright white
  • Runtime: 8 hours

Pros

  • Cool bright white bulbs are brighter than warm options
  • Approved for wet locations
  • Durable PVC construction is made to withstand any weather

Cons

  • Strand may be too short for some applications


Best Spotlights

The Best Solar Christmas Light Option: JSOT 7 Color Changing Solar Spot Lights
Photo: amazon.com

Spotlights can add a wash of color to your home without the need to hang up string lights. With these color-changing lights from JSOT, you can create your ideal holiday landscape. This set includes four spotlights, each with seven color options. Choose between green, red, yellow, blue, cyan, purple, or white lighting to create a colorful Christmas scene or light up your home year-round.

The bright spotlights charge automatically during the day, and 4 to 6 hours of sunlight will provide 6 to 8 hours of runtime at night. To liven up your holiday setup, the spotlights have two color-cycling modes. For more flexibility, these spotlights can be wall mounted or placed in the yard with their included ground stake.

Product Specs

  • Length: 12.9 inches tall
  • Color: Seven color options
  • Runtime: 6 to 8 hours

Pros

  • Seven color options
  • Charges in only 4 to 6 hours
  • Two color-cycling modes

Cons

  • 6- to 8-hour runtime may not last through the night


Best for Pathways

The Best Solar Christmas Light Option: Unique Gadgets & Toys Solar Powered Garden Stake
Photo: amazon.com

Give your pathways a festive flair with novelty pathway lights. This set from Unique Gadgets & Toys features a light-up Christmas tree design. Two lights are included, and each is mounted in a sturdy metal stake to set up in your garden. The solar panel is integrated into the stake, so you don’t need to install separate parts.

Each LED light rotates through seven eye-catching color options: white, pink, red, orange, green, purple, and blue. After a day of charging, they’ll switch on automatically at dusk to brighten up a Christmas display. Each charge lasts up to 8 hours. With no outlets required, these stake lights are simple to set up along paths, flower beds, or anywhere else in your yard.

Product Specs

  • Length: 25.8 inches tall
  • Color: Seven color options
  • Runtime: 8 hours

Pros

  • Seven rotating colors
  • Sturdy metal stake
  • Integrated solar panel makes setup easy

Cons

  • Does not have a solid color mode
  • Could get pricey to line a long path


Best for Hanging

The Best Solar Christmas Light Option: Lemontec Solar Water Drop String Lights
Photo: amazon.com

With an unusual waterdrop style, these LED solar tree lights from Lemontec add a bit of elegance to hanging setups. Instead of the classic small Christmas light bulb, they feature an extended raindrop-shaped design that diffuses the light and makes them more eye-catching when draped across fences, patio railings, bushes, or trees.

Two strands are included in this set, each measuring 20 feet with 30 multicolor bulbs. After a full change, they’ll light up for as many as 10 hours. Choose from solid or flashing light modes to create your ideal holiday lighting. To save energy, a light-sensing mode can also trigger the lights to turn off when dawn approaches

Product Specs

  • Length: 20 feet
  • Color: Multicolor
  • Runtime: 10 hours

Pros

  • Distinctive waterdrop design
  • 10-hour runtime
  • Bright, colorful lights

Cons

  • Strands may be too short for some hanging applications


Best for Year-Round Use

The Best Solar Christmas Light Option: Brightech Ambience Pro Solar Powered String Lights
Photo: amazon.com

Looking for pretty solar lighting year-round? Look no further than these vintage Edison lights from Brightech. Measuring 48 feet long, these lights are a great choice for adding mood lighting to a patio, gazebo, or pergola. The strand features 15 large Edison bulbs, which offer a charming and homey appearance. The warm-white coloring makes them ideal for creating a romantic atmosphere. Plus they’re shatterproof, weatherproof, and able to withstand winds up to 50 miles an hour, ensuring they will last through severe weather.

Since these lights don’t have a seasonal design, they can be used as Christmas lights or everyday lighting. After 6 hours of charging, they’ll last 5 to 6 hours into the night to light up your Christmas decor or summer barbecue.

Product Specs

  • Length: 48 feet
  • Color: Warm white
  • Runtime: 5 to 6 hours

Pros

  • Shatterproof and weather-resistant construction
  • Large bulbs provide brighter lighting
  • Edison-style bulbs give a vintage look

Cons

  • The 3-foot spacing between lights may be too far apart


Best Novelty

The Best Solar Christmas Light Option: Brightown Snowflake Solar Decorations Lights
Photo: amazon.com

Turn any front porch or backyard into a holiday wonderland with these warm snowflake lights from Brightown. The 24.6-foot string features 50 small snowflake lights, creating a dainty look ideal for draping around a tree, porch railing, or garden.

These energy-saving lights use an LED bulb with a golden glow, similar to traditional incandescent lights. With eight lighting modes, they’re a charming choice for Christmas decorating. Cycle between modes like twinkle, flash, gradual, and more to bring a sparkle to these snowflakes. After charging throughout the day, these lights will shine for 8 to 10 hours.

Product Specs

  • Length: 24.6 feet
  • Color: Warm white
  • Runtime: 8 to 10 hours

Pros

  • Dainty snowflake-shaped lights
  • Elegant warm-white coloring
  • Impressive runtime up to 10 hours

Cons

  • Small snowflakes may be hard to spot from a distance


Also Consider

The Best Solar Christmas Light Option: Sol 72 Outdoor Wiltshire Globe String Light
Photo: wayfair.com

With a globe shape, these string lights from Sol 72 Outdoor resemble a strand of Christmas baubles. The warm-white color gives these LED lights an attractive glow that’s ideal for brightening up outdoor Christmas decor. The 20-foot strand features 30 globes rated for direct wet exposure, so you can place them anywhere in your home or yard.

After a 6- to 8-hour charge, these lights power on for 7 to 8 hours. Choose from a steady “on” mode or a flashing mode to add movement to your lighting display. These pretty lights can also be used year-round as patio or backyard lighting.

Product Specs

  • Length: 20 feet
  • Color: Warm white
  • Runtime: 7 to 8 hours

Pros

  • Attractive globe shape
  • Rated for direct wet exposure
  • Two light modes

Cons

  • Strand may be too short for some outdoor applications


Our Verdict

For the traditional, incandescent Christmas light look, consider the The Holiday Aisle 100 Light Solar String Lights, which use LED lights with a beautiful warm-white look. Another affordable choice with a classic look is the Joomer Multi-Color Solar Christmas Lights, which feature a simple multicolor design.

How We Chose the Best Solar Christmas Lights

With a sea of options to choose from, it can be tough to narrow down the best solar Xmas lights to illuminate your home. We narrowed down this list from more than 30 options, making sure to include a diverse selection in our top picks. We considered the different types of Christmas lighting and their function. To suit a vast array of Christmas displays, we chose a range of lighting to match, paying mind to style, size, and colors.

Through product research and consumer reviews, we chose reliable and beautiful solar-powered lights. We prioritized lights that are affordable, have good charging and runtimes, and are easy to install and use. For many, Christmas lights are the highlight of outdoor holiday decor, so aesthetics were also a priority in our selections. We chose a range of festive and fun designs and colors to create beautiful holiday lighting.

FAQs

Solar Christmas lights are a low-maintenance and energy-saving upgrade to standard plug-in lights—not to mention they’re better for the environment. Once you’ve bought your new solar Christmas lights, you can get creative with your display without the confines of finding an outlet. For more tips on buying and using solar Christmas lights, explore frequently asked questions ahead.

Q. What are the brightest solar Christmas lights?

Christmas lights normally have a dim glow, intended for background lighting. For brighter lighting, consider regular outdoor solar lights that you can incorporate into your Christmas display. The brightest option on this list is the Brightech Ambience Pro Solar Powered String Lights.

Q. How long will my solar Christmas lights last?

Solar Christmas lights can last upwards of a decade; however, they may be due for replacement batteries (which hold the charge from the day) or bulbs after 3 or 4 years.

Q. What will happen if my solar Christmas lights don’t charge fully?

If your solar Christmas lights don’t charge fully during the day they will have a shorter runtime when switched on.

Q. Are solar Christmas lights waterproof?

Since they’re designed for outdoor use, most solar Christmas lights are waterproof. Before buying, it’s prudent to check the manufacturer’s recommendations to make sure the lights are weatherproof enough for your intended location.