Whether you have a large backyard, a small patio, or a tiny balcony, string lights illuminate your outdoor space while adding sparkle and whimsy. String lights create a festive atmosphere for entertaining or simply relaxing with your family.
Standard string lights need to be plugged into a wall outlet, but solar lights are powered by the sun. This makes them handy if you don’t have a conveniently placed outlet or are looking for an energy-efficient and eco-friendly choice that won’t add to your electricity bill. The solar panel simply needs to be placed in a location that gets plenty of sunlight, and the lights will automatically illuminate as soon as the sun goes down.
Solar lights can be hung over a dining table, woven into the beams of a pergola, or strung from the trees to turn your backyard into an atmospheric oasis. Read on for some of the best solar string lights for your outdoor space.
Our Top Picks
The following picks consider all of the key features to look for in string lights, including length, brightness, bulb style, and color. This list offers a variety of choices for a top-notch string of solar lights to suit your needs and budget.
High-quality solar string lights typically use LED bulbs because they are long-lasting and emit plenty of light but very little heat, making them a safe choice for many settings. These Edison-style LED bulbs have a vintage look and last five to six hours on a full charge. The panel can be fully charged with six hours of direct sunlight.
This strand of lights features 12 bulbs, each spaced 20 inches apart, creating a span of 20 feet. Additionally, there’s a 6-foot wire connecting to the solar panel, allowing you to place the panel in the sunniest part of your yard. The bulbs are protected with shatterproof plastic shells that are heat-resistant up to 122 degrees Fahrenheit.
This versatile set of string lights can be used indoors or outdoors and operated either by solar power or a micro-USB cable. The string measures 44 feet long and includes 15 Edison-style LED bulbs. Multiple strands can be connected for larger spaces.
The solar panel takes six to eight hours of continuous sunlight to charge completely, with a full charge powering the lights for up to eight hours.
The set boasts excellent waterproofing, with a rating of IPX5, meaning that it can withstand even strong water jets. Meanwhile, the bulbs are shatter-proof, so you don’t have to worry too much about breaking them.
This 27-foot string of lights includes 25 large Edison-style bulbs spaced 10 inches apart. This set can be used either indoors or outdoors. For indoor use, a micro-USB charger is provided. For outdoor use, there’s a solar panel. It takes four hours to charge the battery using the former and five to eight hours using the latter. On a full charge, the lights will shine for up to eight hours. The color temperature of the lights is 3000K, giving them a versatile, neutral color that is neither too cool or too warm.
This string is 66 feet long and includes 200 tiny LED lights. These lights are studded on a flexible copper wire that you can easily bend into any number of different configurations. There are multiple different lighting modes as well—eight in all—including a firefly effect.
It takes approximately eight hours for this string to charge fully, and the battery then lasts for six to eight hours. The Brightown product offers a waterproofing rating of IP65, meaning that it’s weather-resistant but not impervious to wet conditions.
VMANOO’s string light set stands out for its unique floral design, which can bring an element of fun and whimsy to your outdoor living area. The string itself measures 21 feet long and features 50 LED. bulbs. These operate in eight different modes, allowing you to create many interesting effects. The solar panel is small, at 2.64 square inches, and the cord has a 6.5-foot lead length. The battery takes six to eight hours to charge, and a full charge enables the lights to run for eight to 12 hours.
This affordable string of solar lights is 72 feet long, features 200 tiny LED lights, and offers a number of different lighting modes. You can set the lights to fade, twinkle, flash, or steadily glow. After receiving a full charge, the lights can shine for as long as 12 hours.
The solar panel itself is small and unobtrusive, making this product a great choice for small balconies, not least because of its IP65 waterproofing rating, which means this lighting can withstand rainy and even snowy conditions.