Outdoor Christmas lights add a festive glimmer to the front yard or garden, and with a solar-powered setup, shoppers can make their home exterior merry and bright without adding to the electric bill. Solar Christmas lights come in various styles, sizes, and colors to help create the perfect winter wonderland.
The best solar Christmas lights are energy efficient, easy to install, and easy to use. They’re also flexible since there’s no need to use extension cords or an outlet. Here are some of the best solar Christmas lights available to create a beautiful outdoor holiday light display.
- BEST OVERALL: The Holiday Aisle Solar LED String Lights
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Joomer Multicolor Solar Christmas Lights
- BEST FAIRY LIGHTS: Brightever Outdoor Solar String Lights
- BEST ROPE LIGHTS: Hampton Bay Solar-Powered Clear Outdoor Rope Light
- BEST SPOTLIGHTS: Jsot 7-Color Changing Solar Spot Lights
- BEST FOR PATHWAYS: Unique Gadgets & Toys Solar-Powered Christmas Lights
- BEST FOR HANGING: Lemontec Water Drop Solar String Lights
- BEST FOR YEAR-ROUND USE: Brightech Ambience Pro-Solar Powered String Lights
- BEST NOVELTY: Brightown Solar Christmas Snowflake String Lights
How We Chose the Best Solar Christmas Lights
With a wide variety of options available, it can be tough to narrow down the best solar Christmas lights to illuminate the home. From Christmas lighting functions to style, size, and colors, the items on our list span more than 30 options shoppers often consider, offering a diverse selection of products.
Through product research and consumer reviews, we chose reliable and beautiful solar-powered lights. We prioritized affordable lights that have good charging and runtimes as well as those that 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.
Our Top Picks
Every holiday season, shoppers looking for outdoor Christmas lights and decorations face a multitude of buying choices. We compiled the following list of top solar Christmas lights to help out, guiding shoppers to some of the best choices available.
Anyone looking for the classic glow of incandescent lights should 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 it can be installed anywhere in the yard. Multiple strands can connect to wrap the home, porch, trees, or bushes.
- Length: 55 feet
- Color: 5 color options (warm white, green, red, white, and blue)
- Runtime: 6 to 8 hours
- Traditional warm-white color always look great
- Easy-to-install ground stake solar panel
- Multiple strings can be connected; great for larger projects
- Needs a full day of sunlight for sufficient charging
Get the Holiday Aisle solar Christmas lights at Wayfair.
Drape a 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 users 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 the ideal ambiance.
- Length: 72 feet
- Color: Multicolor (blue, red, yellow, and green)
- Runtime: 8 hours
- Affordable option; great for covering large areas on a budget
- Fast 6-hour charge time provides reliable power
- Eight lighting modes to suit a range of style preferences
- Some reports of malfunctioning in cold weather climates
Get the Joomer solar Christmas lights at Amazon or Joomer (for a two-pack).
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.
- Length: 72 feet each
- Color: Warm white
- Runtime: 10 hours
- Provide a daintier look than traditional lights; great for illuminating trees
- Flexible copper wire allows for versatile placement
- Up to 10 hours of runtime; ideal for most users
- Small bulbs in fairy lights are dimmer than larger lights
Get the Brightever solar Christmas lights at Amazon.
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.
- Length: 16 feet
- Color: Bright white
- Runtime: 8 hours
- Cool bright white bulbs are brighter than warm options
- Approved for wet locations; ideal for winter
- Durable PVC construction is made to withstand any weather
- Strand may be too short for some applications; may require an extension cord
- Pricier than similar options
Get the Hampton Bay solar Christmas lights at The Home Depot.
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.
- Length: 12.9 inches tall
- Color: 7 color options (green, red, yellow, blue, cyan, purple, and white)
- Runtime: 6 to 8 hours
- Wide range of color options can suit a range of design preferences
- Charges in only 4 to 6 hours; great for the winter’s limited sunshine
- 2 color-cycling modes create a striking light display
- 6- to 8-hour runtime may not last through the night
Get the JSOT solar Christmas lights at Amazon.
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.
- Length: 25.8 inches tall
- Color: 7 rotating color options (white, pink, red, orange, green, purple, and blue)
- Runtime: 8 hours
- Sturdy metal stake allows for simple installation in common outdoor areas
- Integrated solar panel makes setup easy
- Many users report excellent customer service from this manufacturer
- Does not have a solid color mode; cycles through 7 different colors
- Could get pricey to line a long path
Get the Unique Gadgets & Toys solar Christmas lights at Amazon.
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.
- Length: 20 feet
- Color: Multicolor
- Runtime: 10 hours
- Distinctive waterdrop design adds a modern touch
- 10-hour runtime is ideal for most users
- Lights are bright and colorful
- Strands may be too short for some hanging applications
- Colors are fixed and cannot be controlled or changed
Get the Lemontec solar Christmas lights at Amazon.
Anyone looking for pretty solar lighting year-round should check out these vintage Edison lights from Brightech. Offering two length options (27 or 48 feet), 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 of up to 50 miles per 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 Christmas decor or a summer barbecue.
- Length: 2 length options (27 feet or 48 feet)
- Color: Warm white
- Runtime: 5 to 6 hours
- Shatterproof and weather-resistant construction; can stay up all year
- Large bulbs provide brighter lighting; ideal for backyards
- Edison-style bulbs give a vintage look
- The 3-foot spacing between lights may be too far apart
Get the Brightech solar Christmas lights at Amazon, Target or Brightech.
Shoppers can 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.
- Length: 24.6 feet
- Color: Warm white
- Runtime: 8 to 10 hours
- Dainty snowflake-shaped lights provide a festive look
- Elegant warm-white coloring provide a classic style
- Impressive runtime up to 10 hours
- Small snowflakes may be hard to spot from a distance
Get the Brightown solar Christmas lights at Amazon.
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 shoppers can place them anywhere in the 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 a lighting display. These pretty lights can also be used year-round as patio or backyard lighting.
- Length: 20 feet
- Color: Warm white
- Runtime: 7 to 8 hours
- Attractive globe shape provide a modern and interesting look
- Rated for direct wet exposure, allowing for easy installation
- Includes 2 light modes; also available in multiple color options (separately)
- Strand may be too short for some outdoor applications
Get the Sol 72 Outdoor solar Christmas lights at Wayfair.
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 the 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 an ideal lighting setup. Here are several features to look for when setting up an environmentally friendly lighting display this holiday season.
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, while traditional Christmas lights typically have incandescent bulbs, which have a characteristic warm glow.
Traditional Christmas lights are generally more affordable but use more energy, resulting in a higher electric bill. LED Christmas lights often cost more up front but use less energy, saving money in the long run. Because solar Christmas lights require less energy, they tend to use LEDs.
LED Christmas lights typically last longer and are more durable than their incandescent counterparts. They also stay cool to the touch, so they’re safer to use around children and 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 make 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 shoppers a good idea of how efficient the lights will be and if they’re suitable for their needs.
Charging Time and Runtime
Solar Christmas lights need exposure to sunlight to charge during 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-powered 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 the 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 needed—it’s better for lights to be a little too long than too short.
Also consider the size 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 a holiday display. Variable brightness levels allow users to customize the look of their holiday lighting, so they can choose between bright, dramatic lighting or subtler accent lighting. Dimmers also allow the lighting to be lowered or raised to set the mood when spending time on the patio or porch.
Different lighting 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 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 users can access the bulb inside. Also, keep in mind that LED bulbs can last several years, so LED light strands are a good option to avoid dealing with frequent replacements.
Solar Christmas lights are a low-maintenance, energy-saving upgrade to standard plug-in lights—not to mention they’re better for the environment. While our guide offered advice that shoppers can follow, some usually have additional questions about buying the best solar Christmas lights for their homes. Here are answers to some of the most commonly asked questions on buying and using solar Christmas lights.
Q. What are the brightest solar Christmas lights?
The brightest Christmas display option that we recommend is the Brightech solar Christmas lights, which offer 1 watt per bulb.
Q. How long will my solar Christmas lights last?
Solar Christmas lights can last more than a decade but may need replacement batteries or bulbs after 3 or 4 years.
Q. What will happen if my solar Christmas lights don’t charge fully?
Solar Christmas lights that don’t charge fully during the day will have a shorter runtime when switched on.
Q. Are solar Christmas lights waterproof?
Because they’re designed for outdoor use, most solar Christmas lights are waterproof. Before buying, shoppers will want to check the manufacturer’s recommendations for the best placement locations.
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