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The best solar lights

Whether you’re looking to add some character to your garden or some extra illumination to guide you up your front walk, outdoor solar lights are a practical — and often inexpensive — way to bring new life to your property. Another huge advantage is that these solar bulbs have a self-contained power source, which prevents hikes in your electric bill. Outdoor solar bulbs run off rechargeable batteries that receive their charge directly from sunlight.

Many of the best outdoor solar brands offer simple installation and plentiful control options for their hardware, from simple buttons and dials to more advanced smart home controls you can access right from your phone. Here are some of our favorite outdoor solar lights for 2020.

InnoGear 2-in-1 Solar Spotlights

InnoGear solar light installed in lawn shining at night in the rain.

If you’re looking for a quick and easy install with impressive results, the folks at InnoGear have what you need. This four-pack, 1.5-watt LED landscape system is made for both ground and wall-mounting (screws and hardware included). Just set the light switch to on, mount or stake the lights, and the setup is essentially complete. The only other thing you’ll have to choose is whether you want bright or dim illumination. During install, press the light switch once for bright mode or twice for low-lighting.

The attached solar panels collect and store energy during daytime hours and can be adjusted up to 180 degrees. Once the sun sets, the bulbs of the InnoGear 2-in-1 Solar Spotlights automatically power on, staying lit until sunrise. The lights are also heat-, frost-, and weather-proof, so feel free to use them in your yard or garden year-round.

Gigalumi Solar Pathway Lights

Gigalumi Solar Pathway Lights in a garden.

This regal six-pack by Gigalumi is a great way to add style and eloquence to any part of your home’s exterior. Like the Urpower (and other entries on our list), the Gigalumi fixtures use LED bulbs, producing a vibrant, long-lasting shine. The built-in batteries get charged during the day and will keep the bulbs lit for up to 10 hours. That means you’ll be able to count on them for the darker days of winter. Setup is as simple as turning the posts on and staking them in your preferred location.

Aesthetically, we love the craftsmanship. The bronze casing gives off quite the rustic charm, and the glasswork is pretty impressive, too. Our one small qualm with the Gigalumi Solar Pathway Lights is that we wish they came with mounting hardware. If you’re okay with your solar lights staying on the ground, though, this is a solid choice for the lawn-and-garden connoisseur.

Ollivage Motion Sensing Solar Lights

Ollivage Solar Light mounted by door.

If you’re in the market for a good set of security spotlights but don’t want to fork over the dough for an entire system, this Ollivage solar fixture might be the answer. Featuring three rotatable LED bulbs, along with a positionable solar panel, the fixture collects sunlight during the day to power the bulbs all night. Standard for outdoor solar, the housings are weatherproof, and the lights are automatic. What truly sets Ollivage apart from its competition are the fixture’s motion sensors.

When powered on, the Ollivage Motion Sensing Solar Lights are in dim mode, but once you cross over the 120-degree motion threshold, the bulbs are thrown into bright mode. The boosted brightness will last for up to 30 seconds.

Sanjicha Solar String Outdoor Lights

Whether you’re decorating for Christmas or adding some year-long charm to your patio, this 72-foot strand of twinklers uses 200-watt LED bulbs that truly shine. The cord itself is well-insulated against the elements and wraps back to a stake-mounted solar panel. Under peak conditions, the panel can collect enough energy to power the entire strand for up to 10 hours!

We also love that the Sanjicha Solar String Outdoor Lights have eight different modes and a memory chip that remembers your last preset, functioning much like a smart strand of Christmas lights. The only thing missing is an app to control the lights from indoors.

Davinci Flexfit Solar Post Lights

The Davinci solar light mounted on a fencepost.

These 25-watt LED lamps are specifically designed for 4-by-4, 5-by-5, and 6-by-6 wooden fence posts. Setup is as simple as mounting the fixture plate to the top of your post. Once attached, the lamp gets locked into place. The shell is made of an industrial-grade plastic that, aesthetically, convincingly mimics higher-quality metals. The Davinci Flexfit is a great system for small yards, but the $20 for a two-pack can quickly grow expensive for larger properties that feature more fencing.

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