Best solar lights: illuminate your garden space on many a balmy evening

Our pick of the best solar lights will brighten up your outdoor space all summer long. Functional and stylish, you just need a little help from the sun

Best solar lights: solar ground lights with a flickering flame effect in a flower bed
(Image credit: Argos)

Illuminating your garden with the best solar lights available right now is quite simply a must for summer. Whether you’ve a large garden, a small patio, or even a balcony as your only outdoor space, solar lights really can make your surroundings that extra bit special. 

From solo entertaining and alfresco zoom calls, to dinner parties, BBQs and more, we’ve selected the latest beautiful and functional solar lighting options that will work for your space, style and budget. 

Scroll down to find your perfect solar lights, then take a look at our other outdoor lighting ideas for even more great buys for your garden. 

Best solar lights for every space

Lights4fun Set of 2 Rattan Solar Powered LED Outdoor Garden Lanterns

(Image credit: Amazon)

1. Lights4fun Set of 2 Rattan Solar Powered LED Outdoor Garden Lanterns

Best solar lights: keep your outdoor settings stylish with this lovely pair of rattan lanterns

Specifications
Dimensions: Small: H15xW16cm. Tall: H25xW16.5cm
Battery included?: Yes
Bulb colour: Flickering amber
Run time when fully charged: 8 hours
Reasons to buy
+Imitates a real flame+Round and gorgeous design+Can be hung from above or displayed on surfaces
Reasons to avoid
-Not the cheapest

Rattan is a trend that isn’t going away in a hurry and these lanterns are sure to bring the feeling of summer to your surroundings. The flickering amber bulbs imitate a real golden flame, making these a great alternative to candles on an outdoor dining table or even small coffee table (especially if kids are about). You can even hang these from up high, using the built-in handle. Sturdy, well designed and modern to boot, simply switch them on when fully charged and brighten up dinner time (or cocktail hour) in an instant. 

Buy the Lights4fun Set of 2 Rattan Solar Powered LED Outdoor Garden Lanterns

40cm Lucena Tassel Solar Lantern Trio

(Image credit: Lights4fun)

2. Lucena Tassel Solar Lantern Trio

Best solar lights for big gardens: cool, contemporary, functional and with tassels, what's not to love?

Specifications
Dimensions: Dia.40cm
Battery included?: Yes
Bulb colour: Warm white
Run time when fully charged: 8 hours
Reasons to buy
+Pretty design+Easy to hang
Reasons to avoid
-Not waterproof-A little pricey

Brand new this season, this trio of lanterns are perfect to create a boho vibe in your outside space. A statement piece, these promise a warm glow for up to 8 hours when fully charged and we can’t get enough of the tassels. 

Each lantern is 40cm in diameter, and wherever you choose to display them – hang them together on different levels, separately in neighbouring trees or from a pergola perhaps – they are sure to bring joy to your surroundings.

Buy the Lucena Tassel Solar Lantern Trio

Ranex Solar LED Wall Light with Motion Sensor

(Image credit: Argos )

3. Ranex Solar LED Wall Light with Motion Sensor

Best bright solar garden light: ideal for security and to keep intruders at bay

Specifications
Dimensions: H16xW20xD12cm
Battery included?: Yes
Bulb colour: White light LED
Working time when charged: Not specified
Reasons to buy
+No wiring needed+Motion sensor +Added security
Reasons to avoid
-More pricey (but worth it)

We had to include a practical number, of course, and this LED wall light is the perfect fit. The motion sensor will not only help you avoid any run-ins with the garden hose, or worse, half-filled paddling pool, but it will also give you peace of mind around intruders. 

It's a sturdy, well designed – and not unsightly – number, then the fact that it has integrated solar power means that you won't need to faff around buying or changing bulbs because it will charge 'naturally' during the day, then shine in the evening, if and when motion is detected. 

Buy the Ranex Solar LED Wall Light with Motion Sensor

Solar String Lights Garden, 24 Ft 30 Crystal Balls

(Image credit: Lilghts4fun)

4. Solar Crystal Ball String Lights

Best solar lights for garden parties: these look gorgeous and shine bright (even in the rain)

Specifications
Length: 24ft
Battery included?: No
Bulb colour: Warm white
Run time when fully charged: 8 hours at least
Reasons to buy
+Magical and super bright+Waterproof+Different modes+Great price point
Reasons to avoid
-Battery not included

These festoon-style solar light bulbs are about as swanky as they come, and this 24ft garland of 30 crystal balls is perfect for display high above dining and seating areas, from a pergola or in a luscious green canopy. 

These will emit a fair bit of light – far more powerful than some other fairy lights – making them both functional and beautiful. And, when they come waterproof, warm-white in colour and complete with eight fun lighting modes, these are sure to get the party started.

Buy the Solar Crystal Ball String Lights 

20M Solar String Lights

(Image credit: Cox and Cox)

5. Solar String Lights

Best solar lights for trees: simple and so much more than your average fairy light

Specifications
Length: 39.9m
Battery included?: Yes
Bulb colour: Warm white
Run time when fully charged: Not specified
Reasons to buy
+Simple but effective+Perfect for trees+Very 'Midsummer Night's Dream'
Reasons to avoid
-Expensive

For a luxurious, striking and versatile addition to all types of garden, these warm white lights are just the ticket. Guaranteed to add the ambiance you’re looking for, whether you choose to drape these over hedges, large container plants or amongst the trees. The 400 warm LEDs lights are set on a green wire and they will take a night under the stars to a new level of lovely.

Buy the Solar String Lights

Argos Home Solar 20 Festoon Warm White Light

(Image credit: Argos)

6. Solar String Festoon Lights

Best solar lights for small gardens: on-trend and easy to display, these will transform every tiny space

Specifications
Length: 600cm
Battery included?: Yes
Bulb colour: White white
Run time when fully charged: Not specified
Reasons to buy
+No wiring needed+20 bulbs is the perfect amount for a small space+Good price point
Reasons to avoid
-May behave sporadically if not fully charged

We're seeing festoon lights everywhere this year. The simple but cool and industrial style of these solar lights can complement lots of different garden settings, whether you're decking out your outside living room or trying to add more character to your tiny balcony. These are faff-free and will be able to create the relaxed atmosphere you're looking for. 

Buy the Solar String Festoon Lights

How to buy the best solar lights

Solar lighting is a no-brainer for all gardens, saving you on electricity bills by using a very renewable source of energy, dear old sunlight. They are fuss-free, usually requiring little to no installation – depending on the style of light you choose – and aesthetics-wise, there are some very beautiful designs on the market. 

Use yours for practicality, security or even to highlight your expert planting. Solar lights really are a great option for low-maintenance outdoor lighting, so your options are endless.

How to use solar lights

The charging panel may be integrated to the lighting, but If your solar lights come with the charger on a stake, then then it’s simply a case of sticking the stake in the ground where the sun hits, and hanging your lights where you so wish. 

A wall light will need to be fitted, of course, but the key to ensuring that your solar lights work efficiently, is to keep the sensor in direct sunlight for the stated minimum amount of time to ensure it is fully charged – usually between 4-8 hours. 

How long do solar lights last?

The best solar powered lights should remain in fine working order for at least two years, with LEDs standing the best chance of a longer lifespan. 

Check out our other garden lighting ideas: