Last updated: August 6, 2021

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The whole world is focusing more and more on protecting the environment. Solar outdoor lights show you just how good something like this can actually look and how practical it is to boot. With a variety of mounting and application options, they are perfect for illuminating or designing almost any conceivable corner.

In this way, you not only make nature look good in your garden, but also do something good for it. To ensure that you can do this successfully and without any problems, we have presented various models of solar outdoor lights. We also give you some information on what to look for when buying and what you should know about solar outdoor lights.




Summary

  • With a solar outdoor light, you can protect the environment, save energy and still effectively illuminate your home, your garden and everything around it.
  • Depending on the function and area of application, there are different solar outdoor lights that can be mounted on the wall, set up or hung.
  • In most cases, solar outdoor lights can be used all year round.

The Best Solar Outdoor Light: Our Choices

Buying and evaluation criteria for solar outdoor lights

In the following, we show you once again in summary what you should pay particular attention to when buying solar outdoor lights. These are the following criteria:

We have explained the criteria so that you can evaluate and compare the products in a sufficiently informed manner.

Luminaire type

When it comes to the type of light, you can choose between the three typical types of solar outdoor lights. Here, you should consider the desired function and the area of application. A wall luminaire is particularly useful as a bright, functional light source. In addition, the elevation of the light source means that you can illuminate a wider area. A floor luminaire is often a luminaire with a ground spike. They vary in size but can be up to one metre high. Since you can place them according to your individual ideas without worrying about spacing, they cover both the decorative component and a functional component.

Ground luminaires are particularly often used to illuminate paths. A solar outdoor light for hanging or standing very often serves a decorative purpose. They are extremely mobile and you can freely design your balcony, garden or flower beds. When choosing the type of luminaire, the strength of the luminosity also plays an important role. This is particularly dependent on the area of application. You should pay attention to the indication of the brightness of the lamp, which is called lumen. For the garden and its decoration, a strong floodlight is probably rather unsuitable because it disturbs a cosy atmosphere. On the other hand, a strong light is all the more suitable for providing an overview of your entrance area in the dark.

Colour

The choice of colour for your solar outdoor luminaire is also particularly dependent on the function of the placed light. A neutral, white light illuminates brightly and is particularly suitable for lighting the entrance area and terrace. In terms of decoration and beautiful light accents for a pleasant mood and cosiness, a warm white light is a good choice. As you can see, colour temperature can play a really important role. To exploit even more decorative possibilities, you can also choose a colour-changing product that allows you to choose between all kinds of bright colours according to your wishes. So there are absolutely no limits.

Material

For a solar outdoor light, you should choose robust and weatherproof materials. Appropriate suitability is important to ensure that you get something out of your luminaire in the long term. Stainless steel and glass are among the more robust materials and are highly resistant to weathering. They are also much heavier. A solar light made of glass is also available as a recycled glass version, which is particularly environmentally friendly. Plastic, on the other hand, is much cheaper but not as durable. Another alternative would be aluminium. This is light and resistant, but easily deformable under appropriate weather conditions such as hail. To ensure that your luminaire lasts for a long time, you should therefore not be too economical.

Charging time

The charging time of a solar outdoor light depends on the amount of sunlight on the solar panel. In the ideal case of sunshine throughout the day, it usually takes 8 hours for the battery of a solar light to be fully charged. Of course, this varies somewhat from model to model. The size of the solar cells and the battery capacity are important and can be found in the product description of the product. Also consider that the choice of location can be decisive. The solar cells should not be covered, as this has a considerable influence on how quickly the battery is charged.

Special features / functions

There are various additional functions that bring special advantages when choosing a solar outdoor luminaire for an appropriate area of application. A motion sensor is particularly practical in the entrance area or directly in front of the front door. This is mainly found in products with wall mounting. A motion sensor is not only very helpful for you in the dark but also in terms of your safety. In addition, you save a lot of energy because the light is only switched on when movement is detected.

However, it is unsuitable for cosy garden lighting, as constant triggering by you, animals or blowing leaves is rather counterproductive. Another possibility to save your battery is a manual control option. This way, the light is only switched on when you really want or need it. A separate photovoltaic panel allows you to place your solar outdoor light in darker locations and at the same time provide sufficient charging. A cable allows you to place the panel where the sun shines longer or more often.

Guide: Frequently asked questions about solar outdoor lighting answered in detail

In this section, we answer the most important questions you should ask yourself if you want to buy a solar outdoor light.

What is a solar outdoor light?

Just like the solar lamps on the huge solar plants or various house roofs that are now quite common, the special feature of a solar lamp is that it uses solar energy to convert it into electricity. In this way, you have a functioning illuminant without cables and electricity from the socket.

Solar Außenleuchte

The most important thing for a solar light is, of course, the sun. (Image source: Vivek Doshi/ Unsplash)

Who is a solar outdoor light suitable for?

Besides the already mentioned functional aspect of illumination before dark and the decorative aspect for garden, terrace, balcony and co, a solar outdoor light is something for everyone who wants to act in an environmentally friendly way. In addition, you save a lot of energy without explicitly using an energy-saving lamp. A solar outdoor luminaire is also easy on your wallet, as it eliminates ongoing operating costs. If you also want an uncomplicated installation, you are on the safe side because the installation is not very complicated.

What does a solar outdoor light cost?

The price ranges for solar outdoor lights vary greatly. Factors such as product scope, quality, type of installation, function and similar factors play a role. In order to clarify the price differences, we have created an overview for you here.

Product type Price
Solar outdoor light with ground spike 20 - 50€
Solar outdoor light with motion detector 20 - 100€
Solar outdoor light with wall mounting 20 - 150€
Solar outdoor light for hanging 20 - 30€
Solar outdoor light with remote control 20 - 50€
Solar outdoor light with colour change 20 - 100€

While the price ranges are wide, it doesn't mean that there isn't something of reasonable quality for every budget.

How does a solar outdoor light work?

The most important component of such a light is the solar cells. These can generate a current flow with the help of solar energy by exciting the electrons that are present in the solar cell. As a result, they start to move. The resulting voltage and current flow is transmitted to the batteries of the solar light. This is how the batteries are charged. These rechargeable batteries emit the current to the LEDs of the luminaire. Depending on the type of luminaire selected, the current is emitted either when the luminaire is switched on manually or by a twilight sensor, thus switching on the lamps. According to the strength and duration of the sunshine, the batteries are charged. This determines how long the lamp is active.

How do I install a solar outdoor light?

The installation of a solar outdoor light depends on the product type and the mounting. For all of them, there are no power cables to lay and you should provide sufficient light. Depending on the type, the product is hung, mounted or set up. For more information, see the steps in the operating instructions.

Is a solar outdoor luminaire suitable for winter use?

Most solar outdoor luminaire models can fulfil their function without any problems, regardless of the weather. These lights have an IP protection factor. This expresses the weather resistance. The higher the IP protection factor, the more weather-resistant the luminaire. You should take this into account when choosing a location so that the luminaires will last through the winter.

Conclusion

A solar outdoor luminaire is a great environmentally friendly and energy-saving alternative to illuminate and design outdoor areas. Depending on the area of application, you should choose an appropriate type of light and pay particular attention to the type of mounting and the luminosity of the light. This is particularly important in terms of function. In terms of decoration, the colour scheme, the design of the lamp and an appropriate placement play a role. Regardless of the purpose of your luminaire, you should pay attention to the IP protection factor so that your lamp can withstand changeable weather conditions. This way, you don't even have to dig deep into your pocket to get a good product.

(Cover photo: Nick de Partee/ Unsplash)

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