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The 5 Best Solar-Powered Christmas Lights

The Best Outdoor Solar Christmas Lights to Brighten Your Holiday Display

‘Tis the season to make your home twinkle and glow with festive Christmas lights! If you‘re looking to up your holiday decorating game this year, it‘s time to consider making the switch to solar powered Christmas lights for your outdoor display.

Solar Christmas lights come with a multitude of benefits. Most importantly, they don‘t add a dime to your electricity bill, since they are completely powered by the sun‘s rays. This makes them an eco-friendly lighting option that is better for the environment. Solar lights also offer unparalleled versatility and convenience – you can string them up anywhere in your yard without having to worry about extension cords or outlets. Finally, today‘s solar Christmas lights use durable, energy-efficient LED bulbs that will shine brightly for many holiday seasons to come.

With so many options on the market, choosing the best outdoor solar Christmas lights can seem overwhelming. Here are the key factors to consider to help you pick the perfect set for your needs:

Length and Number of Lights
First, think about where you want to hang your lights and measure the approximate length you‘ll need to cover the area. Solar string light sets typically range from 20 to 72 feet long. Also check how many individual lights are on each string – the more bulbs, the brighter and fuller the overall effect will be. For reference, a 72ft string with 200 LED lights is usually sufficient to generously decorate a 7 to 9 foot Christmas tree.

Battery Life and Solar Panel Quality
To ensure your solar lights stay shining bright all night long, you‘ll need an efficient solar panel and a high-capacity rechargeable battery. Look for larger solar panels (ideally 3+ inches squared) which can harness more sunlight to charge the battery during the day. The industry standard for battery size is 1800mAh – anything less than that may only last a few hours after dark. The best solar Christmas lights have robust batteries that can illuminate for 8-12 hours when fully charged.

Color and Light Modes
While solar Christmas lights most commonly come in warm white and cool white, many sets feature a wide range of colors to choose from. Some even include special effects like twinkling, flashing, fading and chasing. Choose colors that complement your other outdoor decorations or match a specific theme. The ability to switch between different light modes is also a great feature for creating the perfect ambiance for any occasion.

Generally, you can expect to spend anywhere from $10 to $50 on a quality set of solar string lights. However, prices can vary widely depending on the brand, bulb style, and bonus features. Most 72ft, 200 LED light strings cost between $15 to $30. Decorative or specialty options like icicle tubes or vintage-style bulbs tend to run on the higher end of the price range.

Now that you know what to look for, here are our top 5 picks for the best outdoor solar Christmas lights:

  1. Best Overall: SANJICHA Solar String Lights
    For most people‘s needs, SANJICHA‘s solar string lights check all the boxes at an unbeatable price point. You get two generous 72ft strands with 200 LED lights each, eight different lighting modes, and a memory chip that saves your last mode setting. The included solar panel is an impressive 3 inches squared to soak up ample sunlight. A fully charged 1800mAh battery powers the lights for 8-10 hours. With seven different color options, including multicolor, these lights are a versatile choice you can use year-round. At under $20 for a 2-pack, the value is outstanding.

  2. Runner-Up: Toodour Solar String Lights
    Very similar in specs and price to our best overall pick, Toodour‘s solar string lights are another excellent choice. While the solar panel is slightly smaller, the lights have a stellar reputation for durability, with many users reporting theirs have lasted 5+ years with no issues. Toodour‘s 8 light modes include unique options like gradual fade and sequential. You can also choose from 7 colors that will suit any occasion or holiday. The flexible copper wire is almost invisible, making these well-suited for decorating trees and shrubs. Expect to pay around $25.

  3. Best for Brightness: Albeit Solar String Lights
    If you really want to amp up the wattage, Albeit‘s solar string lights are the best for ultimate brightness. This brand uses premium, extra-large LED chips that emit a powerful glow visible from a block away. The hefty 3.7in solar panel and expandable battery slot (up to 3 batteries total) provide long-lasting illumination even after cloudy days. At 66 feet per strand, they are slightly shorter than our other picks, but shine with an unmatchable brilliant blaze. They currently only come in warm white and cool white, but are a smart choice for making a mega impact. A 2-pack runs about $35.

  4. Best Icicle Lights: Brightown Meteor Shower Lights
    Create a show-stopping display with Brightown‘s solar-powered meteor shower lights. The set includes 10 tubes, each containing 18 LEDs, that hang vertically to mimic the look of falling icicles or cascading meteors. Brightown‘s advanced solar panels are thoughtfully designed with an adjustable 90-degree angle and stake for optimized sun exposure in any yard. With a full charge, they can run for 8-10 hours and cycle through 8 different twinkle/fade/flash modes. For a next-level look in classic white or bold blue, these icicle lights are well worth their $30 price tag.

  5. Best Retro Lights: Huacenmy Solar Christmas Lights
    If you prefer a vintage vibe, Huacenmy‘s solar string lights feature oversized C6 "strawberry" shaped bulbs reminiscent of old-school Christmas lights from the 1970s. While they look delightfully retro, these durable plastic bulbs are illuminated by modern LED chips and powered by an eco-friendly solar panel. At 21 feet long with 50 LED lights, these strands are ideal for small bushes, deck railings, or indoor mini trees. Eight light modes, including steady glow and slow fade, let you adjust the ambiance. For a quirky, nostalgic look, these charming string lights can‘t be beat at around $20.

Setting Up and Using Solar Christmas Lights

To get the most out of your solar-powered Christmas lights, proper setup is key. Most importantly, place the solar panel in a spot that receives direct sunlight for the majority of the day – avoid overhanging trees, awnings, or other obstructions. Angle the panel slightly towards the equator (southward if you live in the northern hemisphere) to catch the sun‘s rays most efficiently.

If you live in an area that experiences overcast weather in the winter, you may need to conserve battery power by turning the lights off or using a lower brightness setting during extended cloudy periods. Alternatively, look for a set that has an additional battery slot or a backup power cord.

The beauty of solar-powered lights is that they turn on automatically when the sun sets and shut off when the sun rises, so you can simply set them up once and let them run all season long. They are designed to withstand rain, snow, and chilly temps, but bring them inside during rare blizzard conditions for safekeeping.

When spring rolls around and it‘s time to pack up the lights, wipe off the solar panel and give them a full day‘s charge before tucking them away. Most solar light sets use standard rechargeable batteries (AA or AAA size) which may need replacing every 1-2 years to maintain peak performance.

Final Thoughts

There you have it – our illuminating round-up of the best outdoor solar Christmas lights! With options ranging from classic twinkling strands to dazzling icicle tubes, there‘s a perfect set of solar-powered lights for every style and budget.

Once you try solar lights, you‘ll never want to go back to the hassle of tangled cords and skyrocketing December electric bills again. They‘re an easy, cost-effective way to spread more holiday glow and cheer, without adding stress. So why not let the sun do the work for you this Christmas season?

Trim your tree, deck your porch, or line your rooftop – get creative and have fun! No outlet access? No problem. Solar lights let you decorate to your heart‘s content. And you can feel good knowing you‘re making a smart, sustainable choice that will pay off for many bright holidays to come.