24+ Types of Modern Solar Lights: Uses, Benefits and Buying Guide

Solar lights are the new breakthrough in technology. Cost-efficient and used for both indoor and outdoor lighting purposes, they are a new and advanced technology which cannot be even compared to the conventional methods of lighting—bringing a lot of benefits to the table.

24+ Types of Modern Solar Lights - Social Cover

If you think of solar-powered lights as ones that utilize the basic mechanism of converting solar energy into electricity to power the lights, there is a lot more knowledge behind this. In today’s guide, we will help you understand:

  • Everything that defines solar LED lights technology and how it works.
  • The benefits of using solar lights compared to conventional lights.
  • The concrete uses and benefits of solar lights in different scenarios.
  • The classification of solar lights, when and what they are called and where/when they are used (as well as their benefits).
  • The best solar light products and useful buying guides.

…and a lot more.

In a nutshell, you have a chance to learn all the important things that you need to know about solar-powered lights, the best solar lights out there, the average prices and the value for money on the most popular products. So, let’s begin.

How does solar work and the benefits of solar lighting

As we have already hinted, the main principle of how solar lighting works is very simple. These lights collect solar energy and transform it into lighting—through a technology called the photovoltaic effect which is used in a solar panel. This effect collects solar energy throughout the day and stores it in a rechargeable gel-cell battery that can be used later in the evening when there is no sunlight.

Diagram of How a Solar Light Works

Solar LED lights can be installed in many different areas. They offer amazing environmental benefits and can burnish a building owner’s green credentials, serve as a unique selling point for attracting and retaining tenants and help buildings or retrofits to quality as LEED points.

Basically, the benefits of solar lighting are numerous.
These lights are great because they are…

Point of Advantages List IconEnvironmentally friendly

Using solar lights plays a major role in reducing the global carbon footprint that is a problem nowadays—created from non-renewable energy sources. Solar LED lights utilize a technology that is renewable which decreases the problems caused by the exhaustion of our planet’s resources.

Point of Advantages List IconUnlimited energy

Whether you use yours as solar yard lights or one solar lamp in the middle of your living room, another great thing for going solar is the fact that it is an unlimited source and inexhaustible by itself. As long as you live in a place where there is sunlight, there is absolutely no reason why you can’t use solar lights the entire time and produce energy out of them.

Point of Advantages List IconCost-effectiveness

The biggest advantage of solar lighting is its cost. Even though they usually include a higher upfront cost, the best solar lights pay for themselves over time—best seen through the fact that they don’t use any electricity but the sunlight.

Point of Advantages List IconLittle maintenance

Easy to be maintained, the solar light products only require a few check-ups and cleaning throughout the year. There is literally nothing else much that you have to do to ensure their longevity.

Point of Advantages List IconWide variety of styles

There are numerous styles, shapes, sizes, and types of solar lighting. All of them were designed to be aesthetically and visually pleasing. The entire range of solar motion light is great and there are literally tons of products that can fit your style and needs.

Speaking of, there are so many solar lights for sale from different vendors and companies. Even though they seem almost identical, there are different types of solar lights. We are listing them below.


The two main types of solar lights

If you thought that solar lights come in one form and a couple of uses, you are not the only one. However, you should know that as technology evolved, solar lighting systems also evolved—with two main types.

Solar lighting can be installed in different areas. From homes to parking lots, sensitive areas and remote locations where no grid infrastructure exists, it removes the costs of trenching and wiring which is why it is considered as the cheapest solution in numerous cases.

The two main types of solar lights are:

  1. Outdoor solar lights
  2. Indoor solar lights

Now, the classification around solar LED lights can be branched out to even more types. Home lights, yard lights, street lights, solar lights for parking lots and garden lights are just some of the examples.

Below, we are listing the examples of different solar light bulb types for different applications—as well as their indoor and outdoor uses.

Outdoor solar lights

The outdoor solar light market is very popular nowadays. These products can be very useful when it comes to anything from lighting garden paths during the night or decoration for the home, backyard or terrace.

As many of you already know, solar LED lights charge up when the sun is shining. Therefore, the outdoor lights receive a lot of sun energy, storing it for later use and resulting in brighter lights. When they are fully charged, some solar lights can last up to 10 hours.

Aside from their cost-effectiveness, using these solar outside lights gives you the freedom of choosing where you want to place your lights. There are no wires at all, which means that you can place as many solar powered outdoor lights as you want.

Solar garden lights

The first category in this list is solar garden lights. Solar gardens are a hot topic nowadays, and the best solar garden lights are usually products that can be placed to light up the porch, terrace or create a great environment around the grass fields, trees and flowers.

These outside garden lights are very effective when it comes to saving on the electricity bill. They can make a garden completely lit even at night. Perfect to use in any environment, there is a variety of models which you can consider.

We are featuring the best solar garden lights below.

Solar Light Bulb Icon#1: Solar string lights

Solar String Lights Profile Banner

Solar string lights are energy-efficient and help with any decorative attempts. They can illuminate the outdoor space at home or work, and can also be used indoors. They are easily wrappable around trees which gives them an extra benefit. You can also position them in branches, shrubbery, furniture, and home and office signs.

Since they are positioned on a string, they can be perfectly used as solar Christmas lights or solar fairy lights. Perfect for special occasions, the decorative solar garden lights can also be hung from one end of the backyard to the other, in any pattern of your choice. Aside from these, their most popular use is as solar tree lights.

Solar Light Bulb Icon#2: Solar deck lights

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Also known as solar patio lights, these solar LED lights come in a variety of styles and choices. They give the perfect ambiance to stairs, walls, siding and patios, creating a rich and vibrant effect.

There are lots of solar-powered deck lights from popular manufacturers—allowing homeowners to gain a gorgeous and soft glow without any wiring. Knowing that wires do not look good on stairs and walls, this type of lighting is the perfect type of fixtures for long-lasting solar LED technology.

In short, the solar-powered patio lights and deck lights can help you make the most of your decking, especially in summer nights. They will improve visibility and create great effects.

Solar Light Bulb Icon#3: Solar spot lights

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In times when the popularity of the solar industry is at its peak, new advancements have brought solar spot lights to life. They are perfect for placing on any walls or high areas (spots) which is how they got their name.

Designed to illuminate larger outdoor areas, these types of solar LED lights use solar energy and can be placed on any corner, above the doors and every focal point of the outdoor area. To make sure that you are getting the brightest solar spot lights, consider the lumens measure as the main indicator for the strength of the lights.

Solar Light Bulb Icon#4: Solar post lights

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According to many design experts, solar post lights come in a variety of styles. As you probably know, post lighting can truly make the difference for safety—and lighten your garden in style. Also, this type of solar lights is known for creating a more relaxing and useful atmosphere for entertaining.

Every homeowner can consider solar-powered patio lights and be creative. The truth is, new solar post lights can be just as beautiful as traditional electric lights—priced reasonably and providing optimal energy-saving benefits.

Apart from serving as decoration, solar post lights are the most environmentally friendly way to light up your pathway, driveway and garden. They are known for providing beautiful effects and a relaxing vibe to any outdoor environment.

Solar Light Bulb Icon#5: Solar flood lights

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Outdoor solar spot lights known as flood lights are perfect for illuminating certain areas and floods. This is obviously the most important aspect because based on that area you need to choose the right LED flood light type, level of brightness as well as the durability of light. There are lots of places that can be illuminated with a flood light and many manufacturers are trying to make LED solar spot lights suitable to different situations and areas.

Some of the most common outdoor cases include the front door, around the house, the backyard and garden (and around them) areas, parking lots, driveways, streets and in general, places without electricity.

Solar Light Bulb Icon#6: Solar fence lights

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Solar-powered lighting finds another great use in the solar fence lights. Their name obviously comes from the fact that they are used on the fence. Also known as garden fence solar lights, these create a wonderful atmosphere which is visible from both inside and outside of the backyard.

So, whether you want to impress your neighbors and increase your curb appeal or just want your fence area illuminated, solar fence lights are the perfect way to do so. There are a lot of different designs and styles to choose from, which is another great selling point of these lights.

Solar Light Bulb Icon#7: Solar lanterns

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Solar lanterns are a popular type of solar lights. There are in fact many different sub-categories of this type including hanging solar lights, solar garden lanterns, etc. A solar LED lantern can be great not only for use in the home but for camping activities as well. In times when camping equipment needs an update, outdoor solar lanterns are the perfect answer.

Compact and portable, these solar garden lanterns are perfect for use in the backyard. They can come in the form as hanging solar lights, providing light in all the remote places where you need them.

Solar Light Bulb Icon#8: Solar wall lights

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Besides being a green option, solar wall lights equal free electricity which is why they are great for the outdoor areas. A solar wall light is not only an important piece of equipment for your outdoor use—it can also be invaluable in emergency situations.

When searching for the best solar exterior lights, you should make sure to look for the brightest possible models and products which are reliable and made of top-quality. Once you put them on the wall, your solar exterior lights should make most of the free energy.

Solar Light Bulb Icon#9: Solar driveway lights

Solar Driveway Lights Profile Banner

The driveway is often a place where lights are needed—but homeowners don’t actually care for putting ones around it. This is mostly because of the fact that standard lights need wires or batteries and can be an additional cost in the electricity bill.

All of these reasons make solar driveway lights perfect in every option. They are reliable, provide the light you need when parking your car and give you the bright path that you need from your vehicle to your door. There are literally thousands of different models—and solar LED lights are proven to be one of the best additions to the driveway.

Solar Light Bulb Icon#10: Solar walkway lights

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Also known as solar path lights, these can create the perfect ambiance for your guests and yourself, illuminating your walkway and making sure that your outdoor area is not dark or scary. They are cost-efficient, easy to install and attractive—but also shockingly bright when compared to traditional wired options.

Still, with so many options on the market, it is tough to choose the best path lights for your outdoor area. This is why you should carefully evaluate your needs and consider their design as a priority.

Solar Light Bulb Icon#11: Solar porch lights

Solar Porch Lights Profile Banner

A solar-powered porch light can come in many shapes and forms. Aside from modern solar lights, these cheap solar lights can come in a vintage form. You can illuminate your porch using solar power and save energy and cost. Affordable and reliable, these porch lights are an inexpensive way to provide bright illumination.

If you are looking for solar lights for house use and want the brightest porch lights on the market, look no further as these solar-powered LED lights have everything you need. And if you are looking for the absolute best model for outdoor use, consider choosing a waterproof porch light and carelessly mount it in your walls.

Solar Light Bulb Icon#12: Solar step lights

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Slim and featuring the very best of solar LED technology, the solar step lights are a stylish addition to the home. They add a sufficient amount of lighting and are very modern, which is why they are a popular choice for many homeowners. Also, they are easy to install and eco-friendly, coming with a built-in solar panel.

You can use them as pathway lights or place them anywhere in your garden or patio. In times when deck lighting needs a bright new upgrade, the LED deck lights are a perfect way to ramp up your outdoor area and get a perfectly illuminated garden or landscape.

Solar Light Bulb Icon#13: Solar candles

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Outdoor solar candles can be the best replacement to the traditional flame lights. While candles are romantic and nice, they can tip and cause a disaster, spill hot wax or tempt a tiny child to injure themselves. This is why flameless solar candles are seen as their perfect alternative.

All of the aforementioned are reasons why solar candles are the next wave of outdoor lights. They can provide a house with the aura and comfort of a candle without the safety concerns which come along with a normal burning candle.

Solar Light Bulb Icon#14: Solar pond lights

Solar Pond Lights Profile Banner

With no AC or DC power needed at all, solar pond lights and solar pool lights bring a new revolution in lighting. Charged by sunlight, they will continuously light up during the night and submerge the garden and pool in beautiful colors.

The best thing about solar pool lights, for example, is that they eliminate any wiring or electricity inside the water, going on and off completely because of their exposure to direct sunlight. Every one of the solar pond lights is adjustable by 90 degrees in the base and is heavy enough to stay within the ground of a pool or pond.

Solar Light Bulb Icon#15: Solar umbrella lights

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The concept of solar umbrella lights is a revolutionary one because of the actual placement of the lights. Embedded into the umbrella, these LED lights are positioned well and allow you to use the umbrella not only for shade during the day—but also for illumination during the night.

With the best solar umbrella lights, you can light up your porch, patio, decks, balcony and/or gazebo when it gets dark. Perfect for outdoor dining, barbecues and pool parties, they are cordless and hence ideal for outdoor use. Some of the advanced models are also waterproof and can be mounted by using the clamp on the light, producing a soft and warm glow which is far from the harsh and bright light that attracts insects and is unpleasant to look at.

Solar Light Bulb Icon#16: Solar lawn lights

Solar Lawn Lights Profile Banner

There are a lot of types of solar lawn lights out there on the market. These include solar LED lights being used in different parts of the lawn. For example, there are solar flower lights, angel solar lights, solar mushroom lights, solar ball lights and many other options.

Generally speaking, these solar lights can be very useful for residential homes and commercial properties. Not only they add style—the solar rock lights can actually create the perfect ambiance at hosted events and give a presentation which wards off many dangerous threats.

Affordable, eco-friendly, safe and versatile, these lights present a new technology which is becoming more and more popular in outdoor areas throughout the world.

Solar Light Bulb Icon#17: Solar street lights

Solar-powered street lights are usually independent of the utility grid, which can make them affordable and completely wireless. Without any connection to an electricity provider, an all-in-one solar street light can be the perfect way to save on electricity and be used by neighborhoods, communities, and cities.

An integrated solar street light features panels which are solely dependent on the sun, hence eliminating the carbon footprints contribution. Some part of the solar street lighting can be easily carried to remote areas making them more efficient and handy for potential lighting problems.

The only requirement for solar-powered street lights to work is a relatively higher initial investment (compared to conventional street lights). This, at the same time, is the main reason why most people and authorities are having second thoughts about switching to solar street lights.

Solar Light Bulb Icon#18: Solar parking lot lights

Solar Parking Lot Lights Profile Banner

Solar LED parking lot lighting is one of the most efficient ways to provide lighting to parking areas without the need for standard electricity and utility power. The solar parking lot lights are products of a system which provides no electric bills for the lifetime of the system. Installed in many businesses and industrial facilities, the solar LED parking lot lights provide security, sustainability and an eco-friendly image for the business.

Every self-contained solar parking lot light features its own solar panel array, an optional aluminum panel pan, control electronics and welded power bracket to bolt to a pole or wall (depending on their specific use).

Solar Light Bulb Icon#19: Solar sign lights

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Solar sign lights may have not crossed your mind, but are a useful addition to any illuminated sign and something that is used all around the world. They can come in the form of solar-powered street signs, solar-powered traffic signs or signs which advertise a specific business.

They come in different sizes and in different brightness levels, perfect for signs in different locations. With systems suitable for any sized sign (externally or internally lit), solar sign lights are a one-off investment without any recurring cost in the form of monthly electricity bills.

Solar Light Bulb Icon#20: Solar traffic lights

Solar Traffic Lights Profile Banner

Solar-powered traffic lights are a new revolution in traffic signaling. Powered by solar panels which are positioned in road intersections, they are efficient and automatically control the flow of traffic without actual electricity being used.

A lot of cities and states have embraced solar traffic lights because they are more reliable and offer more advantages over other lighting devices such as CFL lamps. They are more energy-efficient, have a longer life span and turn on and off quickly.

The use of solar-powered traffic lights is especially important during periods following natural disasters where the street lights may not function due to power outages. In such situations, solar traffic lights help regulate traffic in an efficient way.

Solar Light Bulb Icon#21: Solar emergency lights

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Solar emergency lights are perfect for emergency cases which result in power outages. They are bright, have the power to illuminate different areas and often come with an in-built power bank that charges your devices. This makes them an additional source of electricity too and gives them use in outdoor situations.

If you are tired of regular power cuts or want to go on a nighttime adventure and take some light with you, you need a strong and sturdy lantern. The solar emergency lights can be perfect in cases like these, bringing an array of benefits that you will love. The new generation of solar lights can be used all year round and even in cold temperatures.

Solar Light Bulb Icon#22: Solar camping lights

Solar Camping Lights Profile Banner

The concept of a solar camping lantern has been embraced by many campers and outdoor enthusiasts all over the world. The ideal features you should consider when searching for the best solar-powered camping lights include brightness, long-lasting, quick charging and mobile charging features too.

Featuring both ambient light and bright illumination, there are many products based on the collapsible solar light model—perfect for bringing self-rechargeable light in remote outdoor areas.

Indoor solar lights

Just like the outdoor models we have reviewed above, indoor solar lights also come in many different types and offer different features. The general rune to know when it comes to these solar LED lights is that they can be only used indoors and are typically connected to solar panels which are located on the top of the building.

Perfect for use as alternate power sources but also main power sources, these solar lights offer a lot of fruitful benefits. Below are the two main types of indoor solar lights.

Solar Light Bulb Icon#23: Solar shed lights

Solar Shed Lights Profile Banner

Solar lighting for sheds is something every homeowner should consider. You can position the solar shed lights in any location you want, making sure that there are enough LEDs, lumens and luxes to illuminate your shed.

The main benefit of solar shed lights is the fact that sheds are typically far from the house or other power sources—and most homeowners don’t want to add them to their utility bills. In an ideal scenario, a solar shed light would be connected to a motion sensor so that it lights up every time you enter the shed. This can be useful and can help you prevent any bumps on your head or unnecessary reaches for the power switch.

Solar Light Bulb Icon#24: Solar desk lamps

Solar Desk Lamps Profile Banner

Solar energy can even be used on your desk—in the form of solar desk lamps which are completely flexible and remote accessories that you can bring everywhere with you. Because of its “no-cords” design, you can use a solar desk lamp on your desk, in your bed, in the kitchen at night or wherever you need it.

Also known as a solar table lamp, the concept of this lamp is simple—to give you enough light for your working or reading areas while not bothering other people in the room or house. Self-charging (in a quick time) and energy-efficient, it is definitely a gadget every late worker should have.


A step-by-step solar lights buying guide

Now that you know all of the models of solar-powered LED lights, it’s time to see which ones you need most.

The first thing you need to do is analyze your site or area where you want to put a solar lighting system.

Step 1: Analysis of the site

As we hinted above, the first thing in our solar light buying guide is the location where you want the best solar lights installed.

Analysis of the Site You Want to Install Solar Lights On

If you are looking for indoor solar lights, you should know that you can use them on every wall or as accessories on your desk. However, they must have a charging base which will be directly exposed to sunlight.

This is why for indoor locations, solar lights are usually linked to solar panels located on the top of the property (house or building).

For outdoor locations, solar lights can be used for security, access, more illumination and comfort. You can use them in the patio, around the pool, in your driveway, walkway or even under your umbrella, as reviewed in the list of best outdoor solar lights above.

Step 2: Analysis of your needs

Once you have found the right solar lights for every area in and out of your home or business, it is time to see what your needs are.

This is important because most of the solar lights are different in terms of their features (illumination, lux, design, etc.). For example, if you want the brightest solar lighting system for your shed—you may not want the brightest one for your walkway (it would be too aggressive).

This is why you should carefully look and consider buying the best solar lights for every area and needs.

The general rule is that:

  • 100 Lumens is considered bright enough for most walkways including commercial properties—equivalent to about 20 watts.
  • 50 Lumens is considered generally sufficient to add dimension, color and interest in your backyard, walkway, driveway, fence and other locations.
  • 75 Lumens is the ideal light for gathering—not too bright and not too dim for your occasions.

Step 3: Finding the best quality solar lights

Last but not least is the step on finding the best solar lights at the best prices.

You should know that nowadays, there are tons of manufacturers, wholesale distributors and shops that sell solar-powered lights. Whether you choose a Chinese solar lights manufacturer or want to buy solar lights directly from a shop near your location, make sure that there is a warranty and that the products are as good as promised.

If you are searching for the best solar LED lights online, make sure to only buy from manufacturers and distributors that have real and positive user reviews.


Final words

Even though it may seem complicated, the solar lighting system is one of the simplest systems out there. Designed to use the sun’s energy and convert it into electricity, it comes with no wires or power bases which is why it is perfect for outdoor use and remote locations .

From solar-powered security lights to solar ambient lights, these lights present a new revolution in the world. They are more and more popular among the masses and get people the most light for their money.

And while the initial investment for solar panel lights may be a bit bigger than you expect it, using solar LED bulbs is an investment that pays for itself over time and gives you continuous electricity bill savings for years to come.

We hope this guide helped you understand the concept of solar lights and showed you their most common uses inside and outside of a property! comment

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