Last updated: August 5, 2021

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What lighting is suitable for a cosy summer evening with your loved ones, or an exciting garden party? Of course, the solar light. Due to its energy-saving power supply, the solar light is very popular for placements on balconies, in the garden or in driveways. With the various motifs and creative designs, there is guaranteed to be something for everyone!

Moreover, solar lights differ in their light intensity or in their additional functions. Whether colour-changing systems or motion sensors, there is a suitable solar light for every application. In our solar light test 2021 we present great solar lights in different designs and give you the most important background information to make your purchase decision easier.




The most important facts in brief

  • Solar lights are cost-effective and environmentally friendly options for providing lighting in the garden, on the balcony or around the house, especially in summer. They supply their electricity solely from sunlight and thus consume very little energy.
  • They create cosy atmospheres or a party atmosphere, but can also be used for practical lighting in driveways.
  • Solar lights differ in material, light intensity, additional functions and design, but there is a perfect solar light for every use. Depending on your taste and intended use, you can find the right solar light for you too.

The Best Solar Light: Our Choices

Solar light: Buying and evaluation criteria

If you are looking for a solar light to make your summer beautiful, you should consider some criteria before making your purchase decision.

The following criteria are important when buying a solar light.

Material

The workmanship of the solar lamps is also an important criterion that you should definitely pay attention to.

Good solar lights are waterproof and made of ABS.

Metal housing is also a very high-quality material, but it is also more expensive. Solar lights made of plastic are usually stable, but they must be weatherproof and above all waterproof to protect the electronics. Insulation therefore also plays a major role. If you want your solar light to illuminate your garden during the winter, you should make sure that the battery is well insulated. In winter, you should still remove the snow from the solar light so that light can shine onto the panel.

Light intensity

Before you buy a solar light, you should consider what you want to use it for. There are solar lights that can be placed to illuminate paths or lights with dimmed lights in the garden to create a beautiful atmosphere. The different models of solar lights do not give the same light. Before buying a solar light, you should therefore pay attention to the light source. Halogen lamps provide brighter light, while LED lamps provide a more cosy light.

Battery life

The battery of quality solar lights should be long-lasting, this can be read in the specifications of a product. The ampere indicates how long a solar light can shine. A solar light should be able to withstand at least 1000 charging cycles.

With Li ion batteries, with which solar lights are equipped, 1000 charging cycles correspond to a realistic service life of 2-5 years.

Therefore, always check the miliampere value (mAh) on the packaging or in the product specifications.

Charging time

The charging time of the solar light must be taken into account and you should think carefully about where you want to place your light and whether there is enough sunlight. For places that are protected from light, solar lights that can charge with less light would be more advantageous.

So before you buy, make sure you know how much sunlight the solar light will need and how long it will take to charge. There are micro-UBS charging ports on some solar models to charge it from a mains supply, as an alternative for dark places or for winter time.

Additional function

Popular additional functions are motion detectors and night sensors. Here, the sensor detects movement and automatically switches to a very bright mode to detect strangers on the driveway.

For the practical use of your solar light, additional functions could be an important criterion.

Colour-changing systems are colourful light shows and well suited for children's birthday parties, pool parties and barbecues in the garden to create a cheerful mood. In addition, remote controls for the different mode settings of solar lights are also a practical additional function to avoid always having to adjust everything on the lamp, provided the solar light contains many mode settings.

Solar lights: Frequently asked questions and answers

The demand for solar lights has risen very high in recent years due to their environmental friendliness and energy efficiency, which is why many questions have piled up. We answer all the important questions about solar lights below.

What is a solar light?

A solar light is an electric lamp that gets the energy it needs from the sun. The sunlight is converted into energy by the solar cells in the lamp and stored in a battery. While the solar lamp remains switched off during the day to recharge, the process of charging ends when dusk falls and the lamp then switches on. The advantage here is that only natural energy sources are needed, which consume almost nothing.

solarleuchte-test

Solar lamps can create a beautiful atmosphere in various designs and light up the summer nights until dawn. (Image source: Sven Aeberhard / Unsplash)

Solar lights are popularly placed as decoration in indoor and especially outdoor spaces and are used, for example, to brighten up the driveway or the cosy summer evenings. Solar lights come in individual designs and different material finishes.

How does a solar light work?

When sunlight falls on a solar cell, positive and negative charge carriers are released and a direct current is generated. The sunlight is converted into electrical energy, which is usually temporarily stored in a battery or directly drives a motor. When dusk falls, this energy is emitted in the form of light via the LEDs or halogen lamps. It goes without saying that the solar light is switched off during the day to supply electricity and automatically switches on at night. LED lamps are very advantageous here because they require less energy and can therefore shine for a very long time.

What types of solar light are there?

Solar lights can be found in different designs.

Type Description
Outdoor wall light This is an ordinary solar light that is suitable for the outdoor wall and usually has a motion sensor.
Solar light with colour changing system This solar light is equipped with a colour changing system and therefore has several mode settings, you can get it in different motifs.
Solar ball A solar ball is available in different sizes and is often used at pool parties or placed on driveways.
Solar light chain A solar light chain is an indispensable decoration that creates a beautiful atmosphere in every garden.
Solar light ground spike A solar light that is inserted into the ground is often used on flower beds or paths and is also available in different designs, the flame effect is also popular here.

There are many different motifs and designs of solar lights, where there is certainly something for everyone. The individual and creative shapes make solar lights all the more popular.

How do I clean a solar light?

In the following, we have provided you with a small guide on how to clean your solar light.

  • The solar panel should be uncovered.
  • Clean it with a brush, lukewarm water and some washing-up liquid.
  • You can also carefully remove faded areas with very fine sandpaper.
  • Allow the solar panel to dry sufficiently.
  • Apply UV-resistant clear varnish to the solar panel to prevent it from fading again.

The solar light should now be fully functional again. This cleaning should always take place every few months, especially in winter it can lead to levelling.

What alternatives are there to a solar light?

As an alternative to solar lights, you can use cable-bound lights, these are independent of the weather and can be used flexibly, but the cable can be a nuisance and must be laid. In the following, we have compared the solar light and the cable-bound light.

Type Advantages Disadvantages
Solar light Independent of power supply, no electricity costs, environmentally friendly and energy-saving ,cosy decoration dependent on sunlight therefore not suitable for shady places, weaker light
Cable-bound light Independent of weather, flexible location, stronger light electricity costs, cable can interfere and must be laid

The solar light and the cable-bound light each have their advantages and disadvantages and can have a practical function depending on their use. While the solar luminaire provides a beautiful and cosy atmosphere on summer evenings in the garden, cable-bound luminaires can provide strong light. If you value environmental friendliness and efficiency, you should get solar lights.

Conclusion

A solar light can add a touch of harmony and romance to any event or summer evening. Certain additional functions, such as colour-changing systems, can ensure the perfect party atmosphere. The increase in sustainability in recent years has made solar lights particularly popular. They are efficient, environmentally friendly and consume virtually no energy. The solar light is only dependent on sunlight and can therefore be perfectly placed outside in summer.

In winter, the solar light may lose its light intensity but you can temporarily resort to alternatives or still be happy with the dim light of the solar light. Nevertheless, you have to pay attention to some criteria before buying a solar light, which depends especially on its planned use. Nevertheless, the solar light is a must-have in every garden, balcony or driveway. In the end, you can put it wherever you want if there is enough sunlight!

Image source: 123rf / 44248428

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