Energy-saving technology doesn’t have to be expensive or unsightly. Check out our favorite solar-powered outdoor lights that will give your yard that perfect evening glow.

By Hannah Bruneman
June 12, 2019
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There’s nothing quite as magical as a summer night spent enjoying your backyard, whether you have a large deck with a fire pit or a modest concrete patio. Of course, you'll also need something to light the way. Until recently, outdoor lighting choices were limited—hardwired systems made it difficult to stretch enough light to reach all corners of your yard. But today's solar-powered lights, lanterns, and bulbs are good-looking, efficient, and reliable to keep your entire yard well-lit. Plus, they’re a win for the environment. Here are a few of our favorite solar-powered outdoor lights.

mirrored lantern sitting on table
Image courtesy of Walmart.

Mirror Geometric Lantern

Fully charged, this lantern lasts up to eight hours—a generous amount of time to spend outside with good company. The stylish, compact lantern can sit idly on a picnic table or hang for overhead lighting. The metal handle makes it easy to carry from your back door out to the fire pit or patio seating area.

copper string lights on a wood fence
Image courtesy of Allsop Garden.

Metal String Lights

What's better than the starry glow from a Moroccan-style punched metal lantern? A string of 10 little ones. These copper solar string lights are punched with holes to give a soft illuminating glow.

modern solar lamp on table
Image courtesy of IKEA.

Solvinden Solar Lamp

Solar panels and sensor are inside this mod 17-inch cone. It comes on at dusk and shines until dawn. At full charge, this unique lamp can last up to 12 hours!

purple and green lanterns on beach
Image courtesy of Amazon.

LuminAID Inflatable Lantern

Inflatable and floatable, this 4-1/2-inch cube has three brightness levels and a battery indicator. It's perfect for relaxing poolside or to bring along on your camping trip. The LuminAID solar lantern glows in seven distinct colors.

paper lantern in a garden
Image courtesy of Amazon.

Printed Solar Lantern

This 12-inch indigo globe looks like hand-dyed cotton but is actually weather-resistant Tyvek. Look out for plenty of other color and shape options, too! Place it in direct sunlight for optimal results.

paper lanterns strung from trees
Image courtesy of Anthropologie.

Lace Solar Lantern

Make your backyard look like a fairytale with one of Anthropologie’s hanging lace lanterns. They come in various shapes and sizes so you can mix and match to achieve your desired look. The synthetic lace mimics the look of delicate paper lanterns, but these solar lanterns are tough enough to withstand the weather.

string lights drop out
Image courtesy of Amazon.

Solar-Powered String Lights

Even if you’re in a city, you can pretend to see the stars with solar-powered string lights. Weave these around your pergola or your balcony railing. Each bulb in this set has a hole at the top that makes it easy to string anywhere. Plus, they're LED, making them even more energy efficient and durable.

modern copper path lights
Image courtesy of Target.

Solar Path Lighting

It's important to light pathways at night, especially if you have stairs. Install a set of LED path lights to guide the way. This set of six features a rust-resistant stainless exterior and LED bulbs. When the sun goes down, the solar path lights automatically turn on so you never have to think about them.

outdoor lantern dropout
Image courtesy of Walmart.

Solar Lamp Post

For homeowners looking for a little elegance in their yard, a vintage-style lamp post might be the answer. With solar-powered technology, this version combines modern-day lighting with a classic design. The solar lamp post automatically comes on at dusk and an aluminum exterior stands up to the elements.


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