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Best Solar Christmas Lights of 2018
Solar Christmas lights allow for more versatility and creativity when setting up your holiday light display. Our shopping guide is here to help you find the best ones to easily customize your festive decor.
Finding the Best Solar Christmas Lights
Christmas lights are as important to the holiday season as stockings, candy canes, and presents. It puts you in the Christmas spirit every time you drive down a street and see the bright illumination against a snowy backdrop, watch the eyes of youngsters light up when they witness the glow, and compare lighting displays among your neighbors to see just how bright and festive your homes can be.
There are many ways to decorate with holiday lights, from stringing them around trees to showcasing windows, doors, and roofs. But what about the places around your house and on your lawn where power cords can't reach or are impractical to use? You don't have to limit how you decorate these areas when you use solar Christmas lights because they are powered by natural light—no cords required.
Choosing the best solar lights for your holiday decorating needs can be challenging, but you don't have to take time away from your seasonal celebrations to decide. Check out our favorite picks and the advice and tips we've compiled to make your holidays a little brighter.
How Do Solar Christmas Lights Work?
Solar Christmas lights have internal batteries that recharge with the natural daylight. Regardless of the light style you choose, it will have a photovoltaic cell, often referred to as a solar panel, that converts the sun's rays into power that charges the battery. The panel is either on a stake attached to a light strand or on the top of a light unit. When placed in direct sunlight, the panel absorbs and stores enough energy to keep the light powered for hours.
Some solar Christmas lights have on/off switches that allow you to turn them off on evenings when you don't want to use them. Otherwise, they will begin illuminating as the sun goes down, producing a beautiful glow that's quite similar to light powered by battery or electricity.
Other handy features that some solar Christmas lights offer include remote control operation, multiple modes, and timers that make controlling and customizing your lighted holiday display easy, even from a distance.
Pros and Cons of Solar Christmas Lights
Chances are you've used traditional electric Christmas lights in the past and already understand their advantages and disadvantages. Here is the good and bad when it comes to using solar lights.
- Because there is no need for electricity, solar-powered Christmas lights are versatile enough to use in almost any location you want to illuminate.
- Quality solar Christmas lights are waterproof and will continue shining through rain, sleet, and snow.
- The numerous styles of solar-powered lights make it easy to customize your Christmas decor. You can find them in both clear and multicolor options.
- Solar-powered Christmas lights save energy, making them easier on your wallet and the environment.
- Optimal illumination may not be possible if the solar panel fails to get adequate light.
- Some consumers claim that electrically powered lights are brighter and more reliable than solar-powered lights.
Types of Solar Christmas Lights
Solar-powered string lights
Quite possibly the most popular choice, solar-powered string lights are similar to the traditional Christmas light strands commonly seen on Christmas trees, windows, and outdoor structures. They consist of numerous bulbs and are available in different lengths.
Solar-powered icicles and netted lights
Solar icicle lights have sections that hang to look like icicles when placed along eaves. Netted solar lights cover wide areas with numerous lights, such as shrubs, small trees, walls, and roofs.
Solar-powered wire lights
Sometimes referred to as rope lights, this variety is similar to strand lights, but they are attached to a flexible wire that can be bent to accommodate numerous holiday decorating needs.
Solar-powered stake lights
This type of solar-powered Christmas light is just like the classic solar landscaping light, featuring an individual light with a built-in solar panel on a stake. Stake lights designed for holiday use come in different shapes and colors and are perfect for lining walkways, driveways, and landscaped areas.
Solar-powered LED laser lights
Laser lights can create a magical appearance thanks to a projector unit that transfers lights onto objects, such as trees and houses. The designs range from starry-looking lights to holiday-themed patterns.
Solar-powered individual lights
These lights stand on their own and come in a variety of forms including candles, jars, and globes. They make nice focal points for fence posts, steps, and outdoor furniture and are easily transferred indoors when you want to light up an interior area.
How Much Do Solar Christmas Lights Cost?
The price of solar Christmas lights isn't that different from electric Christmas lights. Cost varies based on strand length and light style.
- Strand, icicles, mesh, and wire solar Christmas lights typically range in price from $10 to $40 per strand, with more elaborate designs with figures or intricate bulbs falling on the higher end.
- Solar-powered stake lights can be found in multipacks and average around $7 to $10 per light.
- Solar LED lights produced with laser projectors can be found for around $50.
- Individual jars, globes, and candles are available for $20 to $45 per piece. Miniature solar-powered candles can be purchased in packs of two or more for $15 to $35.
Tips for Choosing and Using Solar Christmas Lights
- Decide if you prefer lights in one color or multiple colors, as solar Christmas lights are available in both options.
- Give your outdoor solar-powered Christmas lights ample time to charge. Best results are typically seen after six to eight hours of sun exposure.
- To get a full, long-lasting charge, solar panels should be placed away from objects such as buildings and bushes that block direct sunlight.
- Pairing solar landscape lighting with solar Christmas lights creates a beautiful effect.
Q. Are solar Christmas lights tough enough to last when exposed to different weather conditions?
A. Most solar Christmas lights are made with the elements in mind, as they are used primarily outdoors. Look for options that are waterproof and come with warranties for best results.
Q. Can solar Christmas lights be used indoors?
A. While most solar-powered Christmas lights are designed for outdoor use, it is possible to use some varieties indoors. The key is to make sure the solar panel is placed either by a large window that gets ample sunlight or outdoors during the day to be able to power the light source throughout the evening hours.
Q. Will solar Christmas lights work in the evening after a cloudy day?
A. The short answer is yes, but it depends on how much natural light is able to break through the clouds. It typically takes about six hours of sunlight to charge the solar battery that powers Christmas lights, so dim or minimal sunlight may result in a weak charge that produces shorter or dimmer light in an evening that follows a cloudy day.