Best Solar Lights for Outdoor Use in the UK

Review & Comparison, Last Update September 17, 2017
Have you ever thought about installing lighting in your garden which would automatically turn on when you get into the range and turn off the moment you leave? If so, go no further. You've come to the right page. Here you can find the best solar motion lights and choose the one to light up your yard. ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2017
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
Type
Brightness
Motion sensor features
Body material
Installation
Extras
Warranty
 
PROS

The Mpow Garden Solar motion light boasts a wide range of adjustment settings and several working modes to let you customize the lighting in your yard the way you wish.

CONS

Installing and adjusting this lamp may take some time.

OUR VERDICT

This solar light with a standalone panel is perfect for illuminating almost any territory, both big and small. It delivers excellent brightness output and will suit any premises.

detailed parameters
Type

Spotlight

Brightness

200 lumen

Motion sensor features

Angle: 120 degrees
Distance: 5m

Body material

ABS plastic with aluminium, IP44 body protection

Installation

Wall-mountable

Extras

Steady on/Motion modes, motion sensor, brightness adjustment, sensitivity adjustment, lighting duration adjustment

Warranty

18 months

PROS

The light the lantern produces spreads all around 360 degrees illuminating efficiently all surroundings.

CONS

A relatively small lighting area for each lantern.

OUR VERDICT

For the price, you get, not just one, but the whole set of lanterns to light the path in your yard or other premises as well as enhance the landscape. 

detailed parameters
Type

Path lights

Brightness

Not specified

Motion sensor features

No sensor

Body material

A plastic body, IP44 protection level

Installation

Ground

Extras

Automatic mode

Warranty

12 months

PROS

Thanks to two mounting options, this color changing spotlight can be installed both on a vertical surface and in the ground. 

CONS

The way colours change is automatic and cannot be controlled or changed.

OUR VERDICT

A nice spotlight to install in any yard. The beauty about it is that it requires very low maintenance and can be adjusted to light several directions. Due to its design, its solar panel stays exposed to the sun most of the time. 

detailed parameters
Type

Spotlight

Brightness

200 lumen

Motion sensor features

No sensor

Body material

ABS plastic body, IP65 protection

Installation

Ground or wall-mountable

Extras

Automatic mode with 2 brightness levels

Warranty

Amazon's 30-day return policy

PROS

Due to incredibly long motion sensor distance, the light triggers milliseconds after it detects motion.

CONS

You will need to dismount the lantern whenever you want to change the lighting mode.

OUR VERDICT

An improved LED solar motion light that offers efficiency and ease of maintenance at a reasonable price. 

detailed parameters
Type

Spotlight

Brightness

720 lumen (strong light), 70 lumen (dim mode)

Motion sensor features

Angle:  approximately 120 degrees
Distance: 8m

Body material

A plastic body protected from elements, brass furnish

Installation

Wall-mountable

Extras

Automatic mode, motion sensor, dim light mode

Warranty

18 months

PROS

You can adjust each of the two mini spotlights by changing their direction.

CONS

The maximum brightness output of each lamp is comparatively low, thus the lighting is quite dim.

OUR VERDICT

This is one of the best options for those customers who're looking for an affordable sensor security light, capable of shedding light in several directions. For the price of one unit, you get two lights, facing either side. 

detailed parameters
Type

Spotlight

Brightness

150 lumen

Motion sensor features

Angle: 120 degrees, Distance: 5m

Body material

ABS plastic body, IP55 protection

Installation

Wall-mountable

Extras

Automatic mode, motion sensor, sensor sensitivity adjustment, lighting delay adjustment

Warranty

12 months

What is a Solar Light?

Solar panel lights are a great solution for those who want to enhance the lighting of their yards in an energy-efficient way. They accumulate enough light during a day to produce bright illumination throughout the whole night. Solar lights are convenient to use, as they are totally automatic and require no power supply. The operating principle of these lights is based on the photovoltaic effect. Solar panels gather the energy of the sun and convert it further into electrical current. If not going deep into the laws of physics, what we eventually get is a light that automatically flashes up once a photoreceptor detects a certain level of darkness. Although solar panel lights do not use electricity, they all come fitted with sun rechargeable batteries that store energy from the sun.

If you need an additional source of light to enhance your working environment, we can offer you to take a look at our review on LED desk lamps. While some of you may get interested in full-length floor lamps we've carefully researched in our other comparison guide.

What Features to Compare

Design and Construction

When choosing a solar lamp for your yard, the first thing you should decide on is where you will mount the light and with that in mind, opt for the model that offers suitable mounting options. A lot of lights are designed for mounting on a wall, and there are those that can be stuck into the ground. Some of the street sensor lights can offer two mounting options. Usually, they will come packed with all the mounting hardware you may need to connect them out of the box. While deciding on the installation place, you should make sure that you place the light so that it faces the sun and stays exposed to the rays of the sun for the most part of the day. This place can be your roof or any other spot in your yard with no tall trees in close vicinity. You should also check whether or not the chosen solar light has the required level of protection to be used safely outdoors. 

Lighting Quality

When looking through dozens of solar lights, what you should pay attention to is their brightness output. The light should provide ample power to illuminate the area you need. The other important aspect to consider is the correlated colour temperature, determining the quality of the lighting you get. Thus, 3,000K is typical of all lights glowing warm white; 5,000K will be close to the daytime lighting, whereas the temperature higher than 6,000K will specify lights glowing cool blue. 

Features

You should also check out the features that distinguish different models. Some of the outdoor lights come fitted with motion sensors that will trigger the light only when they detect some motion in a controllable area. Others may offer you several modes allowing you to adjust the settings manually with accordance to your needs. In most outdoor solar lights, the brightness level and sensitivity are also variable, which gives you the option to decide on the size of the plot you'd like to control. 

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Mpow Garden Solar Motion

Versatile Mounting Options

A lot of owners of solar lights face the same kind of problem - which is where to place the light so that it would be exposed to the sun for the most part of the day. With the Mpow Garden Solar Motion light, however, you should not come across a similar problem. Fitted with a 5-metre cable, its solar panel can be placed further apart from the lamp, to the spot where it can stay exposed to the sun all day long. When the battery's fully charged, the light has enough power to work continuously for up to 6 hours in a Steady On mode. As for the lamp, you can mount it just about anywhere you want to have the additional lighting. It comes with all mounting hardware required for installation. Despite being made of plastic, the whole unit is pretty durable and features high protection against wet, which makes it a safe option for outdoor use.

Review of Mpow Garden Solar Motion Sensor Lights

More Settings for More Convenience

The advantage of this solar panel light is that it can be adjusted to illuminate the very spot you need. On top of that, you can set it to work either in a Steady On mode so that the light would stay on throughout the night or switch it to an Auto mode in which the light would trigger only when its sensor detects motion within a controllable range. What we liked about this light, in particular, is that besides a convenient mode switch using one toggle it also has three auxiliary controllers: lux for customizing the darkness level when the light to be activated, time for setting the lighting duration, and sens for outlining the sensor's detection range.

Mpow Garden Solar Motion Sensor Lights in the use

Multiple Detection Cycles

We'd like to take a note of a powerful sensor this solar spotlight has. It boasts a huge sensitive angle of about 120 degrees and is able to detect the slightest movements in the range within 5 metres. Besides, it's possible to direct the light onto any particular spot in your yard as the whole construction of the light is tiltable and can be adjusted the way you need. It's noteworthy that the full battery charge provides up to 600 detection cycles per night, so you can be sure your path will always be well lit at any point of time during the night.

Detailed review of Mpow Garden Solar Motion Sensor Lights

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


Mpow Garden Solar Motion
Mpow Garden Solar Motion
 

Lights4fun Set of 6 White LED

Light Your Way Home

By purchasing this product, you get, not just one, but 6 lanterns to set up around your yard. The installation of the lamps requires no tools and almost no time. All you need to do is stick them into the ground in any pattern you want. If you'd like to light up a long distance, like, for example, your pathway from the gate to the porch, it is better to stick them all in one row along one side. For illuminating a bigger area, the best thing to do is dot them all around the same area but at a fair distance from each other. The illumination the light produces is emitted by a powerful LED bulb and distributes evenly around the area. Even though it might not be as bright as some other solar panel lights, it is still good for the price the whole set costs.

Review of Lights4fun Set of 6 White LED Solar Lights

Simpler Than Ever Before

Lantern design is simple and requires very low maintenance. All you may need to do is occasionally replace the parts, being worn out during use. All these parts are neatly arranged inside upper detachable lantern tops, where you will also find a solar panel, a 1.2V Ni-Mh 600 mAh battery, and a microcircuit with a light-emitting diode. So once you pull the top off the lantern, you'll get access to the lantern core. The advantage of using the Lights4fun set is that neither of the lights requires battery replacement; once they accumulate enough energy during the day, they will produce light for the next 6 hours. To save battery charge, lanterns come with a toggle allowing you to control light consumption during the night. Thus, if you don't need the lanterns to work throughout the whole night, you can turn them off manually.

Lights4fun Set of 6 White LED Solar Lights in the use

Decorate Your Yard

With the set of lights like this one, you can always enhance their look. Thus, if you plan to throw a party or you're just in a mood to add more colours to the gloominess of everyday life, you can place some colourful pieces of paper or foil inside the lantern tops and see the light completely transform. Even though it might lose some brightness, the new tints will surely delight your eye.

Detailed review of Lights4fun Set of 6 White LED Solar Lights

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


Lights4fun Set of 6 White LED
Lights4fun Set of 6 White LED
 

Bailun Solar Color Changing Spotlight

One Way or Another

Despite a relatively modest price, the Bailun Solar Color Changing Spotlight boasts some great functionality. Firstly, the light offers two mounting options. It comes with a special peg for connecting the light to the spotlight and it can be either stuck into the ground or mounted on a wall. All needed mounting hardware is included in the package, so all you're left to do is decide on the installation place and hitch it up. Make sure to install the spotlight at the sunniest place in your yard and tilt it at an angle so as to make it face directly the sun. Secondly, the Bailun Solar Color Changing Spotlight is totally safe to use outdoors. It features the highest protection level (IP65) and this means it can endure the harshest weather conditions.

Review of Bailun Solar Color Changing Spotlight

Brighter and Better

If compared to the previous model from the series of Bailun solar spotlights, this light now boasts double brightness and can light up quite a big territory. The peculiar feature of this light is that it tends to change colours throughout the night, starting from glowing blue, then changing to red, then green, and eventually lighting soft white. This all looks incredibly beautiful, especially when it's pitch-dark outside. Besides, the color brightness can be adjusted from low to high level, depending on the time of day or weather.

Bailun Solar Color Changing Spotlight in the use

Use It as an Accessory

Owing to unusual spotlight design, you can use it to light up almost any object in your yard. Thus, if you've got some ornamented or potted trees scattered along your pathway, you can enhance their look by sticking Bailun lights right next to them, slightly angled. By doing so, you will not only make them look spectacular, you will also be able to spill mild and soft illumination around all the adjacent territory making your yard a much cosier and more welcoming place to be.

Detailed review of Bailun Solar Color Changing Spotlight

Bailun Solar Color Changing Spotlight
Bailun Solar Color Changing Spotlight
 

Mpow LED Solar Motion

True Improvements

This Mpow LED solar motion lantern is quite unique because, despite its pretty small size, it's able to produce impressively bright lighting enough to illuminate quite a big plot of your yard. At 13 x 11.6 x 5cm dimensions, the light itself looks very discreet and even if you hitch it to your front facade, it won't attract attention. However, when the night comes, its 8 light-emitting diodes, all glaring, lighting brightly, will remind you of the light's presence.

The Mpow LED light is made of durable plastic and features double-layer insulation which ensures its protection from dust and water ingress in any weather conditions. Compared to the previous model of light produced by Mpow, this one has been modified and improved and it can work now with 17% increased efficiency. The motion sensor has undergone changes too and its detection range has grown from standard 5 to 8 meters wide.

Review of Mpow LED Solar Motion Sensor Lights

Pick Your Mode

The Mpow LED light has 3 modes in total, all being manually adjustable with a toggle. If you switch to the Strong Light mode, the light will automatically turn itself on at dusk and stay on until the morning. The other two modes (dim light and sensor) will trigger the light only if the sensor registers some motion within its range. The difference between the two is that unlike sensor mode, the light in the dim mode will stay on emitting dimmable lighting all night long, while in the sensor mode it will come up only when there's some movement detected. 

Mpow LED Solar Motion Sensor Lights in the use

Utterly Simple to Install

The installation of the Mpow Super Bright Led Light is a breeze. You will only need to drill two holes in a wall, insert there a pillar hinge, and fasten the light with two screws. That's it. 

Detailed review of Mpow LED Solar Motion Sensor Lights

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


Mpow LED Solar Motion
Mpow LED Solar Motion
 

Solalite Solar Motion Sensor Security Light

For Illuminating Several Directions

The SolaLite outdoor light is perfect for those customers who might want to illuminate several directions of their yards. This light consists of two spotlights, each featuring 11 light-emitting diodes to produce 150-lumen brightness in total, and you can change their lighting direction by rotating each spot around the radius you need. We suggest you set it somewhere at the corner of your house so that the light could effectively hit two walls at a time.

As for the light construction, the light is cased in a durable ABS plastic and features IP55 water protection, which means the weather conditions won't impede its efficiency and it can stay outdoors all year round.

Review of Solalite Solar Motion Sensor Security Light

Best Working Conditions

Aside from its ability to light two directions at a time, this light is also distinguished by a standalone solar panel that can be spaced from the lighting unit and placed somewhere at an elevated spot to accumulate more sun's rays during a day. The Solalite sensor security light doesn't look too eye-catchy and has very small size. It doesn't consume a lot of energy and yet it is capable of producing continuous lighting for up to 5 hours. The motion distance and lighting angle are adjustable within the range of 5 meters and around 120 degrees accordingly.

Solalite Solar Motion Sensor Security Light in the use

Convenient to Control

The controls of the light allow you to adjust sensor sensitivity and a lighting delay time. Thus, you can set the amount of time during which you need the light on after it detects a motion. This time can be adjusted within the range from 20 to 60 seconds. The same goes for the sensor sensitivity. Using the same settings, you can adjust it to control a smaller or bigger area, depending on the size of the plot you want to keep lit.

Detailed review of Solalite Solar Motion Sensor Security Light

Solalite Solar Motion Sensor Security Light
Solalite Solar Motion Sensor Security Light
 

FAQ:

Q: Why do I need a solar street light?
A: It is eco-friendly, it doesn't consume electricity, and it's cheap to maintain.

Q: What protection level is enough for the weather conditions in the UK?
A: IP44 protection is usually more than enough to protect the light from rain and humidity. Even if you stuck it into the ground, it would not decay from the wet. If you live farther west in the UK, you may want to consider buying units with higher protection level, which can be IP55 and IP65.

Q: How to get the maximum sunlight?
A:
The best way you can do is mount a solar panel on the roof of your house where it will stay exposed to the sun all day long. However, if your light doesn't have a standalone panel, you will need to find an angle at which the panel would face directly towards the sun. For that, you may need to rotate the unit several times a day, adjusting its angle in accordance with the position of the sun in the sky.

Q: What's about brightness?
A: The minimum light output for a 3-watt LED lamp is 200 lumens. That should be enough to provide several square metres with ample lighting. If we don't go deep into physics, for any 200-lumen solar light, the lighting angle of 120 degrees is considered to be optimal and shouldn't be smaller (otherwise, the brightness won't be as good). For lights controlling longer distances, this angle should be bigger, or the light will disperse and look dim.

Q: Does a street solar light have any indoor applications?
A: Solar lights aren't suitable for reading, cooking, working, etc. Besides, the light we're used to having at home is also much warmer than that most street lights produce. If you wonder whether it's possible to power conventional lamps with solar energy, well, it actually is; however, for that, you may want to consider purchasing a proper solar panel.

Q: What do I need to have to mount a solar light?
A: If you decide to mount lights on a wall, you will need to have a couple of screws at hand and a screwdriver to drill mounting holes. For installing them into the ground, a peg that comes in the package will more than enough unless the pathway in your yard is made of concrete.


Sources:

1. Joshua Duvauchelle How to Choose the Best Outdoor Solar Lights for You, eHow.

2. Brian Barth Using Solar Outdoor Lighting, LoveToKnow. April 28, 2014.

3. Outdoor Lighting Using Solar Lights, Step-By-Step.

4. Divya Bichu Popular and Fascinating Ways to Use Solar Lights, Buzzle. August 25, 2016.

5. Philip Bates 10 Reasons You Should Use Solar Lights Around Your Home, MakeUseOf. April 29, 2016.

6. Laura Gaskill How to Choose the Right Solar Lights, Houzz. April 14, 2014.

7. Annie Josey How To Choose Solar Lights For Your Yard, Pegasus Lighting. December 22, 2015.

8. Kathy LaLiberte How To Choose A Solar Garden Light, Gardener's.

9. How to Choose Solar Lights, Improvements Blog.

10. How to Choose your Solar Lights, eBay. February 28, 2014.

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Publish Date: 2017-08-29 15:13:22