Finding the Best Solar String Lights Outdoors: Tips & Tricks

Let’s talk the best outdoor solar string lights!

Solar-powered string lights are a great way to add ambience to a backyard deck, patio or pool area. They can be strung along a fence or other area where there isn’t ready access to an electrical outlet. 

Before purchasing these string lights, keep in mind these tips:

• The solar panel that charges the lights needs direct sunlight. Without direct light, you’ll get dimmer lights for a shorter period of time.

• All of these bulbs add ambience—but they aren’t very bright. That’s the biggest complaint we see from our readers about solar outdoor string lights: they are too dim. Perhaps the best advice is to set your expectations accordingly: these lights add ambience. Don’t expect them to fully light up a deck so you can read a book at night outside!

• Most lights stay on for six to eight hours after dark. Some may last the entire night, but most are designed only to work for a few hours after dusk. Hence they probably aren’t the best oiption for security lighting.

• You may have to reset the solar panel. Some lights may need to be reset if they don’t light, typically by holding in the power switch by a few seconds.

After trying out several brands and gathering feedback from our parent readers about their favorites, here are the solar string lights we’d recommend:

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