The 10 Best Solar String Lights of 2022

Learn why Brightech’s Solar LED String Lights are our pick for eco-friendly glow getters.

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Best Solar String Lights

Treehugger / Chloe Jeong

Treehugger Tested & Approved

Our testers' top choice is Brightech’s Solar LED String Lights, thanks to an attractive design and super durable construction. 

Do you want to spruce up your backyard oasis, patio, or even apartment balcony? String lights can add a festive twinkle to your space that’s perfect for romantic alfresco dinners in the summer, a relaxing outdoor happy hour, or holiday decorations. However, traditional string lights require being plugged in, which increases your electric bill and can contribute to planet-heating pollution unless your home is already powered by renewables. 

Solar string lights run on energy from the sun and are handy if you don’t have an outdoor outlet available. Just make sure the charging panel is in a location that gets plenty of sun, and as darkness creeps in, watch as your outdoor space comes to life with light. 

Here are the best solar string lights:

Best Overall: Brightech Solar LED String Lights

4.6
Brightech Ambiance Pro Solar String Lights

Amazon

Our testers loved the look and feel of these durable lights from Brightech, and found the overall setup easy to install. The lights shine for six hours on a full solar charge and come with a two year warranty, making them our top overall choice. In our tests, we subjected these lights to freezing temperatures, water, and hit them with golf balls. Both the solar panel and the individual lights held up through it all. 

The lights are powered by a solar panel, which can be positioned to get the most sun with either the included clip or ground steak. Using a sensor, the lights turn on automatically, but can also be shut off from the solar panel in case you need darkness, but this will also stop the lights from charging again in the morning. Each strand consists of 12 lights strung on a 27 foot line, with 6 feet of wire between the panel and the first bulb. There is also a 48 foot version available. 

Just keep in mind that these lights just have one brightness setting.

Price at time of publish: $51

Best Overall Runner-Up: MagicPro Solar String Lights

MagicPro Solar String Lights

Courtesy of Amazon

These solar string lights are another great choice, thanks to four lighting modes and USB charging ability. Spice up any gathering with slow flash, quick flash, pulsating, or steady light modes and rest easy knowing the set is waterproof and the bulbs are shatterproof. 

The lights can illuminate for up to 8 hours with a full charge (the solar panel requires a six to eight hour charge), and hold up well in different weather conditions. The warm white lights provide a cozy glow for birthday parties, wedding receptions, garden parties, and much more. This set allows you to connect 15 more bulbs if you want to illuminate a larger area.

Price at time of publish: $30

Best Budget: Brightown 29 Feet Solar String Lights

Brightown 29 Feet Solar String Lights

Courtesy of Amazon

The price point for these lights is great, without sacrificing useful features. The lights are made of a shatterproof material that’s also IP44 waterproof and can withstand hot and cold temperatures, rain, and wind. The lights can stay lit for up to 16 hours after 4 to 8 hours of solar charging, and the 180-degree adjustable panel allows you to move it around for maximum sun exposure. 

These lights can also be charged via USB if there’s no light during the day. The lights have four lighting modes, and the bulbs on this strand are spaced 1 foot apart for a total of 29 feet. You also don’t have to worry about the bulbs getting too hot, as they remain cool to the touch after hours of use.

Price at time of publish: $33

Best Splurge: Pottery Barn Brass Solar Hanging String Lights

4.9
Pottery Barn Brass Solar Hanging String Lights

Pottery Barn

Edison bulbs create a classic and tasteful look for any setting, and this set is even more elevated thanks to warm brushed brass bases instead of the typical black plastic. The cables are commercial grade, and the solar panel is 1.5 watts, to power the lights for 6 hours on a full charge. 

The 28 foot strand has 12 LED bulbs, each of which is 1.75 inches in diameter and spaced 18 inches apart. The clear bulbs have an exposed filament look, adding to the vintage feel. They’re also made with Fair Trade certified labor, and are wet UL-listed for outdoor use.

Price at time of publish: $99

Best Fairy Lights: DeVida Solar LED Fairy Lights

DeVida Solar LED Fairy Lights

Courtesy of Amazon

Make trees sparkle, add a twinkle to your tent while camping, or create some magic to your garden with these fairy lights from DeVida. These lights feature a 55-foot strand with 120 LED lights, plus an extra-long lead wire to position the solar panel in the sun and out of the shade. 

The extra length also means you can wrap trees and still have enough room to move the solar panel into optimal sunlight. DeVida delivers a quality product that is backed behind a family-owned U.S. company that donates a portion of net proceeds to charities.

Price at time of publish: $45

Best Mini Bulbs: Sol 72 Outdoor Santorini Solar-Powered LED Mini String Light

4.8
Sol 72 Outdoor Solar Powered String Lights

Courtesy of Wayfair

Available in multiple colors, these mini string lights come with a panel and a solar rechargeable battery. Simply stake the panel into the ground (or mount on a wall) and allow the panel to get six to eight hours of full, direct sunlight. The lights will glow for seven to eight hours, creating the perfect environment for parties or simple outdoor dinners. 

The lights also feature a dual-mode button that allow you to choose to have the lights flash or shine steady. Don’t worry about wet weather, as the lights will still twinkle despite rainy conditions.

Price at time of publish: $36

Most Colorful: Lemontec Solar String Lights

Lemontec Solar String Lights

Courtesy of Amazon

These multicolored lights create a fairytale aesthetic and add a bit of whimsy to any outdoor space. The water droplet shape also adds an element of fun and creates an Alice-in-Wonderland-meets-mad-scientist’s-lab vibe. 

A built-in sensor switches the lights on at night and off during the day while charging, and the lights can shift from colorful to warm white with the touch of a button. Don’t worry about wet weather, you can leave these lights outside and they’ll be fine after a rainstorm. These are perfect for night-time swims, groovy garden parties, children’s birthday parties, and even seasonal holiday decorating.

Price at time of publish: $20

Best Festive: QiShi Fairy Blossom Solar Flower Garden Lights

Qedertek Garden Solar String Lights

Courtesy of Amazon

Time travel back to your childhood with these multicolor lights that are reminiscent of vintage multicolor holiday lights and all things Lisa Frank. The lights need to charge during the day for six to eight hours, but will illuminate for more than eight hours at night. Fifty flower lights dance across a 21-foot strand, providing light that’s also waterproof and can withstand heavy rain and snow. 

Two switches on the set allow lights to either flash or shine steady. Users love these lights for indoor and outdoor uses—they’re perfect for little girls’ bedrooms, dreamy gardens, and anywhere you want to add a touch of color.

Price at time of publish: $16

Best for Holidays: Supsoo Solar Christmas Lights

Supsoo Solar Christmas Lights

Courtesy of Amazon

Available in an array of colors, these solar lights from Supsoo help to create a magical holiday scene. Choose from warm white, green, blue, cool white, or multicolored lights that are perfect for decorating an outdoor Christmas tree, wrapping around the exterior of your house, and using throughout your holiday decor. 

Eight different light modes also allow you to set the lights to twinkle, flash, fade, or steadily glow. On a full charge, the lights can shine for as long as 12 hours. The lead cable is also six feet long, allowing you to place the panel in the sunniest location for maximum charging. The set is also waterproof, so rest easy if there’s bad weather.

Price at time of publish: $16

Best for Holidays Runner Up: Huacenmy Outdoor Solar Snowflake String Lights

3.8
Huacenmy Outdoor Solar Star String Lights

Amazon

Our tester found that these lights are a bit harder to set up than other string light options, because the shape of the snowflakes can get tangled more easily. However, once up, the effect is so charming that they're worth the extra effort. The solar panel has a steak to secure it to a sunny spot in the ground, and the strand is 30 feet long.

The 50 snowflake lights are lit by LED bulbs, and there are eight lighting modes, including twinkling, slow fade, chasing, slow-glow, and more. There are also multi-color and star-shaped versions of these lights.

Price at time of publish: $16

Final Verdict

The MagicPro string lights offer a classic look, plus additional lighting modes and the ability to charge via USB, which gives them a leg up from many traditional, white solar lights.

If you want something more festive, consider the Lemontec water droplet lights, with their fun look and multicolored lights.

What to Look for in Solar String Lights

Size and Shape

Different types of string lights serve different purposes. For example, Edison bulbs offer a soft, glowing appearance that are great for romantic settings like patios and outdoor dining spaces. Rope lights, for example, serve a different purpose in that they’re often used more to light pathways like docks, fences, and pathways. When choosing your solar lights, be sure to consider what you’ll be using them for and the space you’re putting them in.

Brightness

You'll want to think about how bulbs are that you’re buying will illuminate your space. Many times, string lights won’t put out quite as much light as traditional lights, but many users are okay with that, as they’re trying to create an ambiance of soft light or add to a romantic setting. Although some products don't list the number of lumens produced by string lights, a higher number of lumens indicated a brighter bulb. If you really want to light up a space using string lights, you might want to consider getting additional strands.

Weather Resistance and Durability

Be sure that the outdoor string lights you purchase are weather-resistant, since they’ll be exposed to elements like rain, cold, and heat. Look for lights that are backed by a robust warranty, or that say they are "commercial grade" or "professional grade." These lights are more lightly to last you for many seasons. UL or IP listings are also a good indicator of durablility and quality.

Brightech’s Solar LED String Lights with golf ball.
Treehugger tested the durability of the Brightech Solar LED String Lights by dropping golf balls on them.

Dera Burreson / Treehugger

Frequently Asked Questions
  • How do you hang solar string lights

    You can hang outdoor string lights from trees, railing, posts, ceiling beams, and more. You’ll need to measure the distance of the space you’re planning to hang lights from to determine how many feet of lights you’ll need. If you want to drape your lights or have them wrapped around beams or hung loosely from posts, you’ll need to add to your footage.

    You can use small hooks if you’re hanging lights from beams and posts. If you’re draping lights from a railing, simply drape the lights to your liking, and secure them with twine, wire, or even zip-ties. Or you can consider purchasing gutter clips, which allow you to attach string lights to gutters or awnings without making any holes.

  • Can solar string lights start a fire?

    Solar string lights harness their power from energy from the solar panels that charge the batteries. While the risk for a fire is low, it can happen, especially if your solar lights contain lithium-ion batteries. Check to make sure you know what kind of batteries your string lights contain, as cheaper materials can sometimes put off more heat and cause a fire to start in the light’s casing. Overall, it is not likely that your solar lights will catch on fire, but it can happen.

  • Can you use solar string lights indoors?

    Yes. Some solar lights come with USB charging capabilities, and if that’s the case, you can definitely use that USB charging port to power the lights and use them inside. You can also place the solar panel near a bright window to gather sunlight for charging.

 Why Trust Treehugger?

Treehugger is committed to helping readers reduce the environmental impact of our day-to-day lives. To make this list, we researched the market to find the best options available. Treehugger also tested top products, to get insights into how these lights perform in real-world conditions.

Author Amanda Ogle is a veteran reporter who loves writing about sustainability and believes it is important that we all strive to be as environmentally friendly as we can. She loves educating consumers on sustainable products and the importance of knowing what they’re buying.