Solar lights have many uses and look beautiful at night. The automatic ones are the best since they charge during the day and turn on when they sense it is starting to get dark outside. However, there are so many options for them online; how do you know you are getting the best automatic solar lights?
These types of products can vary drastically in quality between brands. Some work wonderfully and last you a very long time. Others might burn out quickly or have issues holding a charge. Because of this, we decided that we would do all of the research for you.
So, if you are looking for a quality set of solar lights this year to decorate your yard, you have come to the right place! We will be covering features to keep an eye out for and much more in this article.
Most often, those looking to buy automatic solar lights want to decorate their yard, light a path, or enhance a patio or porch area. However, they have many more uses than those alone.
A quality set of lights will have specific product features that make them stand out amongst the competition. Keep reading to learn more!
Automitic Solar Light Features
When searching for the best automatic solar lights, there are certain features that you want to find. The following are signs of a quality product and have uses that enhance your experience with the product.
A Quality Solar Panel
The solar panel is what provides power to your automatic solar lights. Without a quality one in place, the lights will not last you very long when it gets dark outside. There are three different types of solar panels, each with its own benefits.
First, monocrystalline panels are the most effective but cost more than the other types. Amorphous and polycrystalline panels are cheaper but not as efficient as monocrystalline ones. Overall, you want to choose something that lasts and has good enough efficiency for you if you want to get the most out of your product.
Every person is going to prefer a different brightness level when it comes to their automatic light. You might want something relaxing and dim for use on your porch but need a brighter light to guide your path inside in the dead of night.
Brightness levels are measured in lumens. For example, landscape solar lights could fall between 50 and 130 lumens. This is not terribly bright since most path lights are 150 lumens on average. Solar string lights are not very bright but make gorgeous decorations.
The battery life is also going to be essential to consider. Would it be worth buying a set of string lights if they only last an hour or two at night? Longer battery life is usually better, but it is going to depend on how much you want to use them.
The batteries in these types of lights are typically lithium ion batteries. They are small and can hold a lot of power. Quality ones will have a decently long battery life- about 6 to 12 hours of running time.
Top 10 Automatic Solar Lights
1. Aootek Solar Motion Sensor Lights
Includes three different lighting modes
It has a motion sensor that reaches up to 26 feet away
Bright LED lights with a wide range
Efficient monocrystalline solar panels
Water and heat proof
This set of lights is more for security purposes than decoration. They are powerful and come with a large solar sensor. The reason we gave it the best overall is because of the three lighting modes that it comes with.
The first mode is designed for security. The lights will turn on automatically when someone sets off the motion sensor, which has a large range. The sensor will also turn them off on their own too, so you do not have to worry about doing that.
The next included mode leaves the lights on all night. This feature can be useful to use if you are working outside or need to see it in your yard. The final mode is called smart brightness control. This setting keeps the lights on all night but makes them brighter when the sensor detects motion.
And finally, this product is durable. It resists heat and water and provides many benefits if you need to have more security at night. You can install it easily anywhere- on your porch, side of your home, in a garden, and more.
The solar panels even have a 20.5% conversion rate. The only real downside to this item is that it does not have a warranty.
2. LITOM Original Solar Lights
Includes three different lighting modes
Illuminates up to 200 square feet
It is efficient and will last at least three years
You can consider this product as a more cost-effective option compared to our Best Overall pick. These solar security lights have many of the same features; however, it is not as durable or high-quality as the best solar security lights.
Still, this security light does everything that the advertising says it does, at a lower price. There are three modes that you can make use of. The first one is a medium light mode, which stays on all of the time at a lower brightness.
The second is the dim light sensor mode. This setting keeps the lights on all of the time at a low level but will brighten when the sensor detects motion. The final method is the primary sensor mode, which keeps the lights off until it senses something moving.
Most users find that these lights also work well for getting into the house at night. They will turn on when they sense you walking towards the front door, so you can see better to use your keys and get inside without any hassle.
They are quite bright, and we are confident that you could find many uses for these automatic solar lights around your property.
3. AmeriTop Solar Motion Sensor Lights
Three head design
Polycrystalline solar panels with 20% conversion rates
Senses motion within 26 feet
Can light a wide area
The three light design of this product is unique and allows it to illuminate a wide area. If you have a large yard or need the light to cover a lot of space, these automatic solar lights could be the best option for you. Since the three heads together can produce between 1500 and 5000 lumens on their higher settings.
The Auto Mode feature will turn on the lamps from dusk until the sunrises again, then allows the panels to charge during the daytime. We appreciated that the solar panel could be removed from the lights. That way, you can set it somewhere that gets a lot of sunshine- making the light last longer at night.
The three lamps have the unique ability to shine light across a large angle. The motion detector also has a wide range, meaning you can rely on the security lights to brighten any space when there is someone outside.
Overall, this set of automatic lights is best for those who need to brighten a wide area at night. It does have multiple lighting modes as well, so you should easily be able to find a use for it.
4. SEZAC Solar Security Lights
It comes with six security lights
Three different lighting modes
Ultra bright lights
The motion detection range of 10 to 16 feet
These lights also have three different modes; however, it was not ranked as high because the motion detection range is lower than those above. The first mode is the basic motion sensor mode, which turns on when it detects movement.
Second, the strong light mode provides constant bright light. And the final mode, normal long dim light mode, keeps the light on at a lower brightness. It will also brighten when it detects movement.
While the motion detection range is a bit lower than other products on this list, what it does sense in that range is very accurate. The lamp and panels are made from high-quality materials that resist water damage as well.
The lights still do reach a large area, plus you get six of them for a fantastic price. That way, you can illuminate an ample space with ease. You can have a setup front, in your backyard, one on each side of your house- and still have two more lights to place. If you need a lot of lamps, we would recommend this pack to you.
The lithium ion battery needs to be charged between 8 and 10 hours if you want it to last the entire night. We appreciated that this item came with an alternative charging method, making it perfect for use during cloudy weather too. The order comes with everything you need to install your lights, so you will not need to buy anything extra to set them up.
5. LEPOWER Solar Security Light
Powerful 2400mAh battery with a long run time
72-foot motion sensor range
Easy installation process
Super bright, with three lamp heads
The LEPOWER security light is another three lamp head option for automatic solar lights. The three head design allows the light to reach a wide range, making this item best for anyone who wants to illuminate a larger space than most.
The motion sensor can detect movement at a range of 72 feet and a degree of 180. The battery can run about 8 hours a night after taking power from the amorphous silicon solar panel. This material works even in low levels of sunlight, so you should be able to charge your lights even on cloudy days.
The solar panel can be moved and placed wherever the sunlight is. That way, you can charge the battery much more efficiently. The lamps do take a lot of power to run since they fall in a range of 1600 lumens and 5500k lumens- which is very bright.
The brand says that the solar lights will last 50,000 total hours. Their product is quite durable, water proof, and comes with 20 feet of cable on top of that.
Users of this product praised the brightness of the lights and how long the battery lasts. However, some users did wish that it stayed on longer between detecting motion. The longest setting is two minutes before the lights will turn back off.
6. Vivii Motion Sensor Solar Security Lights
The motion detection range is 26 feet
It comes in a four pack
A long-lasting battery offers 12 hours of light after charging for 7 hours
We really appreciated the battery on these lights. Twelve hours of power is a long time- it will certainly light up your property until the sun comes back up. All of the pieces for installation are provided, too, so you do not have to worry about the installation being complicated.
Most users who reviewed this product had positive statements to make about it. They thought the lights were bright, the motion detector sensitive, and a good price for the product. Some users felt the lights could have used more weather protection, but there were no issues with the damages mentioned.
We also appreciated that they come in a pack of 4. Some users said that four lights were enough to illuminate everything that they wanted them to. The battery can fully charge even when the sun is only halfway out, so you will be able to rely on them most days.
However, there seem to be some issues with customer service regarding this product. Users talked about being offered replacement lights when their lamps burned out but never received them. Often times, they would try to contact the company again but would never receive a response.
7. Towkka Wireless Solar Lights Outdoor
It comes in a pack of 8
Three different automatic lighting modes
Sensitive motion detector, with a range of 3 meters and 120-degree angles
Can be adjusted to the 300-degree detection range
2200mAh lithium ion battery with a 17% conversion rate
All of the additional hardware you need to set up these solar lights is included with your order. Many customers appreciated how easy it was to install the lights using the materials given- some users even said that it took only 10 minutes to install all eight of the lights.
These security lights also have the same three lighting modes that you have grown to expect. There is a motion only option, constant dim light, and constant dim light that brightens when motion is picked up by one of the sensors.
Users found that they were bright enough, and many noted that they use them to find their keys to get inside at night or take their dogs outside. If you need a reliable product for that reason, this option would be a decent choice.
The battery will last during the night as well, as long as there is a fair amount of sunshine for it to charge. One customer even mentioned that these lights ran the entire night without being in the sun the day before- so, we would have to say the battery is reliable too.
The brand also stated that they are water proof and durable. We would have ranked them higher, but they seem to have a longevity issue. The lights might start to slowly stay on less and less- until they just stop lighting up
Not every customer had this problem, but it is still worth mentioning here.
8. Luposwiten 100 LED Solar Lights
100 LED lights that provide up to 2000 lumens
2600mAh lithium ion battery, a long life span of 50,000 hours
Easy installation process
The Luposwiten LED solar lights come in either a 2 or 4 pack, so you can be sure that the light from their lamps will cover the area that you need illuminated. Plenty of customers love them but say that you should not drill into anything to install them. Sturdy mounting tape works perfectly, and your property is not damaged.
They also said that the motion sensors work great and stay on for about 75 to 90 seconds. In most cases, that is enough time to get inside, but when carrying something like a bag of groceries, people do wish that there was a longer “on” period.
If you want a larger motion detection range, then you should mount the item higher. There also is a tool that comes in the packaging that is used to turn the lights on and off, instead of a switch. If you do lose it, you might be able to access the power button with an unwound paperclip.
This tool feature can be annoying, so we would recommend that you leave them on all of the time. The lights will shut down on their own in the morning, so you will not have to worry about them once you have them installed.
9. ZOOKKI Solar Lights
It comes in a pack of 4
Easy installation process
Detects motion up to 26 feet with a 120-degree wide angle
Water and heat proof withstands intense weather
1200mAh lithium ion battery and 400 lumens of light
Customers love the ZOOKKI Solar Lights. They are bright, able to detect motion accurately, and can run for a long time. These features led to the solar lights receiving great reviews online.
The lights are good if you need multiple of them since they come in packages of 4. You could set them up in various places on your property, lighting up everything you would need to see. The installation process also seems to be simple.
Overall, these are a pretty standard package of lights. They do not have any additional features, but they still do work well as security lights. There is only one light mode to use, which is the basic setting.
It is worth mentioning that these solar security lights are very durable. They are both waterproof and heat proof, allowing them to survive even the harshest weather conditions. So, if you live in an area with frequent thunder or snow storms, these lights might be worth checking out.
Some customers attempted to contact customer support for their warranty when their lights stopped working. However, they never heard back. The lights are pretty good, but you might not receive any help from the brand after you buy them.
10. LE Automatic Solar Lights
Ultra bright solar lights that illuminate from 4 different sides
Can run for 6 to 8 hours after being in the sunlight
Motion detector range of 120 degrees and 16 to 26 feet
Water and heat resistant for extreme conditions
These bright solar lights only have one setting, which is turning on when they detect motion at night. However, the motion detector has a substantial range, even in the dark. You can feel confident that these lights will turn on if something is moving nearby.
Customers mentioned that these lights were easy to install and could light up their yards sufficiently. The battery lasts all night long for most users when they can fully charge. We appreciated that you could plug them in as well, which is useful if you need to charge them, but the sun is blocked by clouds.
These lights are relatively simple and do not offer more features than most other brands. However, they made this list because they are reliable and durable- even if they are in an intense storm, they should still run afterward.
However, they still run into some of the issues that other solar lights do. They are bright for a while but start to lose their max brightness over time. After a few months, you will begin to notice that they are not illuminating your space as much as they once were.
Automatic Solar Light Buyer’s Guide
We thought it would be a good idea to cover the most important features that automatic solar lights offer. That way, you will be able to determine which brand has the features you need and will work the best for you.
But first, why you would want to have solar lights at home.
Why You Need An Automatic Solar Light
Solar lights have many purposes. You can use them as security lamps, provide light when you are unlocking your door at night, have path lighting, or use them if you want to step outside in the dark.
The options we have listed in this guide are primarily used as security lights. That means they light up when they detect motion. This feature lets you know if a person or animal is outside- which has plenty of safety benefits on its own.
Overall, there are a lot of reasons why it is a good idea to have automatic solar lights. The best part is that they are energy efficient and do not cost you a dime to run!
Solar Panel Types
We mentioned above that there are three main types of solar panels. Each one has its own efficiency, although some cost a lot more than others. The following are the three types and what each one does.
Monocrystalline Solar Panels
If you want the most efficient cells, then monocrystalline is the way to go. These panels are better at converting sunlight into usable power and have higher efficiency ranges than the other types. This range is usually between 15 and 21% efficiency.
While these solar panels are much more effective, they cost a lot more than the other models. If you want to buy this type, it is best to think of it as a long-term investment.
Polycrystalline Solar Panels
These types of panels usually fall into an efficiency range of 16%. They are less efficient but have a much more affordable price tag, making them a popular option. The polycrystalline panels are also much more durable than the other types.
Amorphous Solar Panels
These solar panels are very thin. This feature makes them cost way, way less than the other two types. However, they also have less efficiency because of it- normally at about 10% efficiency. You might even find panels that have a lower number attached to them.
Recharge Time VS Running Time
Thinking about how long the lights take to recharge compared to how long they can run is also going to affect your buying decision. Charge time is how long they take to make power during the day and reach a full battery. If it is cloudy outside, it will take much longer.
How long the lights will be able to run is even more critical, since you will want something that lasts the entire night. You will need to make sure the solar panels work well, and the battery can hold all of the power that they make.
Before you run your lights for the first time, it is essential to let them charge in the sun entirely for at least a day. That way, you know that the battery is going to work as intended.
Overall, 6 to 7 hours is the average amount of time it takes for a solar battery to charge. The sun will always be out at least that long in most areas, so you can be confident that you are getting a full charge in.
As for run time, you will want the lights to stay on for at least 10 to 12 hours. This amount of time is going to ensure that your lights run from dusk to dawn, which is when you need them the most. Some lights have run time settings that you can mess with or will run on a timer that you set.
Motion Detection Coverage Angles
The coverage of a solar lamp is going to determine the range the motion sensor has. You want to make sure that it has a good angle so that you know everything that comes into the range is detected by your lights.
A 120-degree angle is going to be suitable. Although, if you have a larger yard, you will want to make sure the angle is higher. The light will be turned on continuously if you go with an angle that is too high, even in response to people not nearby.
The distance the detector covers is also worth knowing. The farther away, the motion sensor can detect is usually better. You will want to make sure that the lights do not react to people that are not passing by, or you will likely become annoyed with the constant flickering outside your window.
Twenty-six feet is a great range and probably will not set off the lights too much, depending on where you decided to install them.
Can you leave Automatic solar lights out in the winter?
If you live in an area that experiences extreme conditions, you will still not need to bring the lights inside. Most of them are designed by the companies to be waterproof and resistant to intense weather.
If you want to store them, make sure that the solar panels are not stuffed into a dark box- they should still be left out in the sun, if possible. You might also want to check out the batteries and replace them after removing the product from storage.
How can I make my Automatic solar light last longer?
If you want to make them last longer, one of the best things you can do is turn them off when it rains or snows. Other than that, there are a few more steps that you can take.
First, make sure they are not near any street lamps. Next, clean up the solar panels often. If you have clear paint at home, you can apply it to the solar panel to give it an extra layer of protection.