The 7 Best Solar String Lights

By Kami Turky

Last Updated:

There are hundreds of solar string lights on the market today, and sifting through them all to find the best ones can be quite a daunting task. 

But don’t worry, I’ve done the legwork for you.

I’ve spent loads of hours checking out over 50 models to find the top picks that stand out.

After all that digging and testing, I’ve narrowed it down to a few choices that shine brighter than the rest in their categories. 

So, let’s dive in and find the perfect solar string lights for your space. 

The Best Solar String Lights Selection

Key Features

  • Length: 144 ft
  • Charge Time: 6 hours
  • Run Time: Up to 8 hours
  • Waterproofing Rate: IP65

The Toodour Solar String Lights pack 200 LEDs along a 144-foot string, spreading light evenly to brighten your yard with just the right vibe.

Plus, they come with eight cool lighting modes—from flashy chases to gentle waves, and even a steady glow—so you can switch up the atmosphere to match any occasion.

What I love about these lights is the smart memory chip. 

Do you know how annoying it is to reset your lights every time you turn them on? 

Well, with these, you just pick your favorite setting once, and it remembers it for next time.

I’ve put these lights through their paces in all kinds of weather, and they didn’t let me down. 

In the sunny summer months, they soak up the sun and charge in just about 6.7 hours

I remember one July evening, I had them on from 8 PM for a backyard BBQ, and they kept going strong until 2 AM—seven solid hours of light.

Even in the colder months, they might take a bit longer to charge, around 9 hours, but they still shine bright for over 5 hours straight.

And don’t worry about rain; these lights have an IP65 waterproof rating, which means they can handle some pretty heavy downpours.

Now, if you’re looking to light up a big area, you might find these lights a bit on the dim side. 

They’re great for setting a mood with a soft, ambient glow, but for more practical lighting, you might need to double up and layer the strings or spread them out more.

Despite this minor hiccup, I still think the Toodour lights are a fantastic choice if you’re looking to add some charm and character to your outdoor space. 

Pros

  • A long solar string of 200 LEDs 
  • 8 different lighting modes 
  • Built-in memory chip 
  • Durable IP65 waterproof rating

Cons

  • Not as bright as some may prefer for visibility

Key Features

    • Length: 96 ft
    • Run Time: Up to 30 hours
    • Waterproofing Rate: IP56
    • Warranty: 1-year

If you’re not sold on the Toodour lights, let me swing you towards the SUNAPEX Solar String Lights. 

They stretch a whopping 96 feet and are packed with 150 LED bulbs that give off a soft, warm amber glow, perfect for creating a chill vibe in your space. 

What’s cool about these lights is their hefty 5,200mAh battery.

It can keep the lights on for up to 30 hours after a full charge—now that’s impressive, especially when the sun decides to play a game of hide and seek.

Now, you might be wondering about the charge time with such a big battery. 

Well, I’ve done the legwork for you, and the news is good.

On a clear, sunny day, these lights can charge fully in just about 7 to 8 hours

If the clouds roll in, no panic—it’ll take a bit longer, around 9 to 10 hours, but they’ll still light up your night just fine.

SUNAPEX also stands behind their product with a 1-year warranty, and their customer service is on point. 

When I had a question about installation, their team was quick to help and knew their stuff.

The only downside? 

They’re a bit pricier than some other options. 

But, from my experience, they’re worth it for their quality and longevity. 

If you’re looking for reliable, versatile outdoor lighting, SUNAPEX lights will light up your nights and just might be the upgrade your backyard needs.

Pros

  • 150 soft, warm LED bulbs
  • Spans an impressive 96ft
  • Long-lasting battery (up to 30 hours)
  • Easy operation via switch control
  • Durable IP56 waterproof rating
  • 1-year warranty

Cons

  • Higher price compared to other models

Best Bang for the Buck

Brightown Solar String Lights

Key Features

    • Length: 32.8 ft
    • Waterproofing Rate: IP65
    • Warranty: 1-year

Sometimes you need something snazzy but your wallet’s feeling a bit light — that’s where Brightown Solar String Lights come into play. 

You get 40 LED bulbs tucked inside crystal teardrop casings stretched over a total length of about 32.8 feet

They even offer eight fun lighting modes like Twinkle/Flash and Steady On—enough variety to jazz up any setting.

Last Thanksgiving, I strung up three sets of this model around my backyard, draping them along the porch edges and over tree branches. 

The ‘Chasing/Flash’ mode was a hit, especially with the kids. 

Even my cat Luna got in on the action, chasing the light patterns all evening, which was a riot for everyone watching.

Despite being November in LA, where the days are shorter and the sun isn’t as strong, these lights didn’t miss a beat. 

The solar panel, though small at just 2V 170mA, kept those lights glowing well into the night, every night. 

Now, if I had to nitpick, the battery capacity could be better. 

It’s great on a sunny day but might not pull through till morning if it’s cloudy. 

And the brightness? 

It’s more of a gentle glow than a beacon, which is great for mood lighting but not if you’re looking to light up a space.

Despite these small drawbacks, the Brightown lights are a solid choice if you’re looking to add a little magic to your outdoor space without breaking the bank.

Pros

  • 8 lighting modes
  • Efficient Solar panel
  • Durable IP65 waterproof rating
  • 1-year warranty

Cons

  • The battery can falter on cloudy days
  • Soft light might not suit all needs

Key Features

    • Length: 72 ft
    • Charge Time: 4-6 hours
    • Waterproofing Rate: IP65
    • Warranty: 1-year

Looking to create a cozy vibe on your rooftop or backyard? 

I recently tried out the Brightown Solar String Lights, and they might be just what you’re looking for. 

Each set comes with 120 LED bulbs spread over 72 feet, giving off a nice warm white glow. 

I set up two packs on my rooftop, which covered about 144 feet altogether. 

One thing I appreciate about these lights is how fast they charge—just about 6 hours of direct sunlight, and they’re good to go. 

But I was curious about their durability, so I tested them in a pretty tough situation. 

I left them out during a heavy rainstorm where we got nearly an inch of rain. 

They stood up to the challenge without any issues, all thanks to their IP65 waterproof rating, which protects them against dust and low-pressure water jets from any direction.

Plus, these lights come with a 1-year warranty

It’s comforting to know that the manufacturer has your back if something goes wrong. 

A heads up though—the bulbs are on the smaller side, so they won’t flood your space with light. 

They’re more about creating a subtle, twinkly effect, which is perfect if you’re going for ambiance rather than bright illumination.

All in all, if you’re in the market for some reliable, charming lights that are easy to set up and maintain, these Brightown Solar String Lights are a great pick.

Pros

  • 120 warm white LED bulbs
  • Generous 72 feet length
  • 8 lighting modes
  • Efficient charge time of 4-6 hours
  • Durable IP65 waterproof rating
  • 1-year warranty

Cons

  • Small LED bulbs

Key Features

  • Length: 48 ft
  • Charge Time: 6 hours
  • Run Time: Up to 6 hours
  • Waterproofing Rate: IP55
  • Warranty: 2-year

The Brightech Solar String Lights stretch a handy 48 feet, with bulbs spaced every 3 feet, providing both useful light and a decorative flair. 

I strung them around the wooden beams and branches at our family cabin in Michigan for a test run during a family gathering. 

As the sun set, they automatically lit up, casting a warm, inviting glow that not only brightened the area but also added a vintage vibe that everyone adored.

These lights are tough, too. 

Made with shatterproof plastic, they survived a surprise gust of wind without a hitch.

Plus, they come with a 2-year warranty

When one bulb conked out unexpectedly, a quick call to Brightech’s customer service had a replacement on its way to me in no time.

A couple of heads-ups, though: they’re rated IP55, so while they’re fine for a drizzle, they might not hold up in a major downpour. 

And the battery life is about 6 hours on a full charge. 

So if it’s been a cloudy day, they might not make it through a long night without a bit of help.

All in all, if you’re after lights that offer both style and substance, the Brightech Solar String Lights are a top-notch choice.

Pros

    • Vintage Edison-style bulbs
    • Easy Installation
    • Shatterproof design
    • 2-year warranty

Cons

  • 6-hour battery life under sunny conditions
  • Low IP55 waterproof rating

Key Features

  • Length: 105 ft
  • Charge Time: 6-8 hours
  • Run Time: Up to 12 hours
  • Waterproofing Rate: IP65

The Joomer Solar String Lights bring the magic, stretching an impressive 105 feet with 300 LED bulbs per string, perfect for decking out big spaces. 

Last Christmas, I tried to give them a thorough test by decorating my 1,200-foot outdoor area

I went all out, draping them over the roof, down the house sides, and weaving them through the shrubs and small trees in the yard. 

They were just enough to throw a radiant, festive glow over the entire area

What I appreciate about these lights is their staying power. 

They have a 2,000mAh battery that can keep them glowing for up to 12 hours on a full charge. 

Even on those short, cloudy December days, they soaked up enough solar power to stay bright all night. 

And talk about tough.

Despite some heavy snowfall on Christmas Eve, they kept shining bright. 

Their IP65 waterproof rating means they’re built to withstand rain and snow without a hitch.

I did hit a small snag when setting them up—the plastic stake for the solar panel broke when I tried to push it into the frozen ground. 

But no biggie – I just swapped it with a sturdier metal stake from the hardware store, and it was all good.

All in all, the Joomer Solar String Lights are a great choice for anyone looking to jazz up their home with a captivating display of lights.

Pros

  • 300 LED bulbs
  • Generous 105 feet length
  • 8 lighting modes
  • Run time up to 12 hours
  • Durable IP65 waterproof rating

Cons

  • Weak solar panel stake

Key Features

  • Length: 85 ft
  • Charge Time: 6-8 hours
  • Run Time: Up to 12 hours
  • Waterproofing Rate: IP65

The Albelt Solar String Lights come in a handy 2-pack with each string stretching 85 feet

That’s 170 feet of lighting, perfect for big setups like wedding receptions where you want that cozy, yet elegant look. 

One of the best things about these lights is the eight different lighting modes they offer. 

You can switch up the vibe with just a click—from a calm, steady glow that’s perfect for dinner to a livelier sparkle that’ll get everyone on the dance floor.

And these aren’t just pretty lights; they’re super practical too. 

Just pop them in the sun for about 6-8 hours to charge, and they’ll light up your night for up to 12 hours

Even in October, when days started getting shorter, I tested their performance and they pulled their weight. 

They managed to charge up fully in just about 7 hours of not-so-strong sunlight and kept the party glowing right till dawn for a solid 9 hours.

The only little hiccup might be the size of the bulbs—they’re pretty small. 

While they do give off a lovely, gentle twinkle, if you’re after a brighter, more powerful light, these might not cut it. 

But overall, the Albelt Lights nail the blend of style and versatility, making them an excellent choice for anyone looking to add a bit of magic to their outdoor events.

Pros

  • 480 LED bulbs
  • Generous 84 feet length
  • 8 lighting modes
  • Run time up to 12 hours
  • Durable IP65 waterproof rating

Cons

  • Small bulb size

How to Choose the Best Solar String Lights?

1. Cable Length

When picking out solar string lights, it’s all about the length.

The longer the string, the more ground you can cover, which makes a big difference depending on the space you’re aiming to light up. 

For instance, if you’ve got a small space, like a cozy balcony or a little garden nook, you won’t need much. 

A shorter string, something like the 32.8 feet Brightown lights, should do the trick perfectly. 

On the other hand, if you’re looking to deck out something bigger, like a big ol’ Christmas tree or maybe you’re planning a wedding reception outdoors, you’ll need more length. 

In these cases, you might look at something like the Joomer lights, which come in at 105 feet, or even the Albelt lights, offering 170 feet with two strings at 85 feet each

I’ve made sure to include options for all kinds of setups in this guide, whether you’re throwing a small dinner on the patio or going all out for a grand outdoor celebration. 

So think about your space, figure out how much area you need to cover, and pick a string length that matches your needs. 

2. Style and Shape

Solar string lights come in so many styles and shapes, and each kind brings its flair and feel to your space. 

It’s all about what vibe you’re going for with your decor. 

For instance, if you’re after a cozy, snug atmosphere, you might want to opt for what we call ‘fairy lights.’ 

The Toodour lights are a good example—they give off a gentle, warm glow that’s just right for a relaxed evening under the stars or a quiet dinner outdoors.

If you’re leaning towards something with a bit of a retro touch, then Globe-style bulbs like those on the Brightown lights could be your go-to.

And if it’s a full-on vintage vibe you’re after, the Edison-style bulbs of the Brightech lights are perfect. 

So, when you pick your string lights, think about the mood you want to create.

 Whether it’s a touch of nostalgia, a bit of romance, or just some cozy ambiance, there’s a style out there that’s just right for your outdoor setup.

3. Brightness Level & LEDs Number

When it comes to solar string lights, the brightness boils down to two things: the number of LED bulbs and how powerful each bulb is. 

More bulbs and higher wattage mean brighter light. 

If you’re after a gentle glow for cozy evenings, you might want lights with fewer, less powerful LEDs. 

The Brightech lights are perfect for this. 

They have 15 lower-power LEDs that cast a warm, inviting light—ideal for a chill vibe in your backyard or on a balcony.

On the flip side, if you need to light up a bigger area or you’re aiming for a more festive, energetic feel, you’ll want something with more juice. 

The Albelt lights are a good pick here. 

They pack 480 high-power LEDs along a 170-foot string, making them great for lighting up large spaces or party settings.

But remember, more light isn’t always better. 

Super bright lights can be a bit much and might even be uncomfortable if you’re just going for a relaxed setting. 

On the other hand, not enough light can leave your space dimmer than you’d like. 

The key is to find a balance that matches the atmosphere you want to create and the area you need to illuminate.

4. Charge Time

When you’re gearing up for an evening event, the last thing you want is to be twiddling your thumbs waiting for your solar string lights to charge. 

The charge time for your solar string lights boils down to two main things: how good the solar panel is at doing its job and how big the battery is

A solar panel’s efficiency is all about how well it can catch and convert sunlight into electricity. 

The better it is, the faster your lights will charge. 

On the other hand, the battery capacity tells you how much juice it can hold. 

Bigger batteries mean longer light times, but they also take more time to charge up.

It’s like a balancing act. 

You want a solar panel that’s quick to charge and a battery that lasts long enough to keep the sparkle going all night. 

That’s why I’ve made sure to test each set of lights in real-world conditions to guarantee they can shine for at least an hour for every hour they soak up the sun. 

This way, you can focus more on your party plans and less on whether your lights will stay lit.

4. Run Time

Getting your outdoor solar string lights to last all night boils down to two things: how big the battery is and how many LEDs are on the string. 

Battery size is measured in milliampere-hours (mAh), and basically, the bigger the battery, the longer your lights will keep shining.

But here’s the kicker: the more LEDs you have, the quicker they’ll drain that battery. 

So, you need to find a sweet spot between having enough lights to make your space bright and not so many that they go dark before the party’s over.

Remember, the run times you see in ads are usually the best-case scenario. 

That’s why I test each model to ensure they can last between 6-8 hours on a full charge. 

This way, you get a realistic idea of how long your lights will last during your event, without any surprises.

5. Material & Quality

The material of the string lights is what determines how durable and long-lasting they are. 

So, you need to look for lights made from heavy-duty wire or tough plastic. 

These materials can stand up to all kinds of weather, from blazing summer heat to freezing winter nights, and they’re usually UV-resistant too, so they won’t fade over time.

Now, about the bulbs—your choice boils down to plastic or glass. 

Plastic bulbs are hardy and shatterproof, perfect for spots where they might get knocked around a bit. 

Glass bulbs might be a bit more delicate, but they give off a warm, inviting glow that can cozy up a space.

Don’t forget to check the sturdiness of the solar panel stake and the quality of the connectors and fittings. 

You need a stake that can be firmly planted in the ground and will stay put no matter the weather. 

Strong connectors are crucial too; they keep your lights from drooping or falling, which could ruin the look of your setup and be a safety hazard.

I’ve tested each set of lights listed here to make sure they’re up to the task. 

They’re built to handle the setup and withstand long-term use outdoors. 

6. Waterproofing Rate

Like any other outdoor solar lighting, solar string lights need to be tough enough to handle whatever the weather throws their way. 

The waterproofing is usually noted as an IP (Ingress Protection) rating, which shows how well the lights can keep out dust and water.

The IP rating has two digits: the first one tells you how good the lights are at keeping out solids (like dust), and the second one shows how they handle water. 

For example:

  • IP55: This rating means the lights have limited protection against dust ingress (no harmful deposits) and are resistant to water jets (6.3mm nozzle) projected by a nozzle against the enclosure from any direction.
  • IP56: These lights have the same dust protection as IP55-rated lights but can handle powerful water jets (12.5mm nozzle) projected by a nozzle against the enclosure from any direction
  • IP65: This rating indicates the lights are completely dust-tight. In terms of water resistance, they can handle low-pressure water jets (6.3mm nozzle) from any direction.

If you plan to leave your lights up through all seasons, I’d recommend going for at least IP65

Anything less might not hold up, which could mean your lights won’t last as long as they should, and you could end up with water damage or dust messing them up inside.

7. Warranty

Always make sure your solar lights come with a warranty. 

Why? 

Well, even with the best planning and the manufacturer’s promises, stuff happens. 

Lights can break or just not work right, and you don’t want to be stuck with a dud. 

A warranty acts like your safety net, giving you peace of mind.

 It means the company stands behind its product and will fix or replace it if something goes wrong within a certain period, usually a year.

That’s why I’ve only picked out solar string lights that come with at least a 1-year warranty or a 30-day money-back guarantee for this guide. 

It ensures that you’re covered, just in case you need to return them or get them fixed. 

FAQs

Do Solar Powered String Lights Work?

Solar-powered string lights work effectively, harnessing energy from the sun during the day and emitting light when it’s dark.

How Long Do Solar-Powered String Lights Last?

Solar-powered string lights last between 2 to 5 years, depending on the quality of their components, particularly the battery and LED bulbs.

Are Solar String Lights Better Than Electric?

Solar string lights are better than electric as they use solar energy, a renewable resource, reducing electricity costs and contributing to environmental conservation.

Conclusion

We’ve gone through all the ins and outs of solar string lights, covering various models, their key features, and some important things to consider before you buy.

If you’re looking for my top pick, I’d recommend the Toodour Solar String Lights

They stand out with their bright light, long cables, quick charge times, long-lasting run times, solid waterproofing, and a great warranty.

But remember, the best choice depends on what you specifically need for your space. 

Have any more questions or need further advice? 

Just drop them in the comments below, and I’ll help you out!

Kami Turky

Kami is a solar engineer with nearly a decade of experience in researching, testing, and reviewing various solar products.He has also provided technical consultation to several organizations on the best ways to incorporate solar energy into their operations.When he’s not busy helping others find the best solar solutions, Kami enjoys spending time outdoors, hiking, camping, and exploring the natural wonders of his home state.

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