Summer is quickly approaching. And for those of us in the woods – whether camping or living – that means insect season has already begun. Mosquitoes, flies, gnats – obnoxious creatures! – plague us. But that doesn’t mean we need to live with that plague.
In fact, you can decrease the swarms with a handy, dandy solar powered bug zapper or two.
At least, that’s what my plan is for this year.
And since I’m diving into the solar outdoor bug zapper world anyway, I thought I’d bring you along for the ride, in case you want a good one, too.
Below I’ll walk you through the basics, and then give you our reviews for the best solar powered bug zapper.
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Why Solar Power?
You can grab a bug zapper just about anywhere, so why should you focus specifically on using solar? There are a couple of good reasons.
Solar Zappers are Eco-Friendly
First off, solar power is an eco-friendly way of powering electronics.
If you have the right device, you don’t need any energy from the grid whatsoever, which means you’re not creating any emissions or further depleting fossil fuel resources. Win-win.
Solar-Powered Mosquito Killers are Portable
Solar-powered devices are portable. You don’t have to rely on wiring or outlets, and they’re often lightweight in design.
Bug zappers are particularly portable, as they just need to be set on a hook, placed on a table, or moved around from spot to spot in the lawn as you migrate in the evening.
That means you keep the mosquitoes away while you watch the kids in the pool or chill by the campfire.
Solar Bug Lights are Pocketbook Friendly
The final thing I’d like to mention is that solar-powered bug lights are usually pretty cheap.
They often cost the same as standard electrical devices that need to be plugged in, but since they’re solar, they don’t require that electric.
How Do Solar-Powered Bug Zappers Work?
Just like any other solar-powered device, solar bug zapper and garden lights use solar cells – technically photovoltaic cells – made of silicon to draw in energy from the sun.
These are the small black cells you see on a solar panel, set up in a grid pattern.
These cells use that drawn sunlight – solar radiation – to create electricity that’s usable by standard electrical equipment.
The wiring and cells in the system work together to convert the energy and translate it through the wiring into your electronics and appliances.
How Well do Solar-Powered Bug Lights Work?
This is a subjective question, of course, as some products are just better than others.
However, as long as the light has enough power, is positioned well to attract insects, and is fully charged in time for your evening adventures outdoors, the bug zappers that run on solar power should work just as well as standard electric zappers.
How to Choose the Right Solar Bug Zapper Lights
Before we get into actual reviews, there are a few things you might want to know before choosing your own solar mosquito zapper for home and RV use.
Thankfully, bug zappers don’t need to be super powerful unless you live in an extremely heavy insect-population area. Sadly, this area can change from year to year, so it can sometimes be challenging to understand your exact needs.
Most bug zappers don’t have the wattage listed, so this can be a bit tricky.
Instead, look for the length of time it takes to charge and review the ratings given by real-life users.
Look for thoughts specifically on how long the zapper lasts, whether or not there’s an on/off switch, and anything else related to power.
This is another subjective portion of the bug zapper dilemma: how effective is it?
Most of the time, you’ll have to understand this from reviews from pros and average consumers, since every company will claim theirs is the most effective on the market.
Read reviews like the ones below for clues and let them help guide your decision.
As mentioned above, solar power mosquito repellent lights should be affordable. You’ll find some models that cost over $100 – and may or may not have the higher ratings to match the significant price difference – or as little as $20.
You’ll want to think about your own budget before making the purchase and determine what kind of investment you’re willing to make in saving your skin from those nippy bugs.
Other than things like solar fly swatters that are usually made of heavy-duty plastic, you’ll want to make sure the bug zapper you’re considering is made of something like stainless steel or aluminum.
They’re less likely to break and are waterproof and incredibly durable. Plus, they’re more attractive than the tacky plastic options available.
How We Chose the Best Solar Insect Zapper Options
This was one of the toughest hunts I’ve gone on for solar products to recommend. Most of the reviews I found from other pros offered only products “not currently available” for purchase through the typical channels.
This meant I had to wade around for a while longer than usual, creating a completely new list of products to review without thoughts from other folks in the industry.
And that wasn’t easy.
I did already have a list of options in mind that I’d seen or used before, like the Solar Garden Owl Bug and Mosquito Zapper, but most of these were also no longer available – and some couldn’t even be found in search engines anymore!
I engaged a lot of search terms, like “bug wacker solar insect control reviews,” (crazy, right?) to find these products, but so few are currently available that my research was fairly disappointing.
Most of the solar bug zapper lanterns and lights that were available had really low ratings – or none at all – and I had nothing to gauge my research on save the price and materials and actually using them for awhile. But since I’m anxious to have a decent model on hand – and I know you are! – I wasn’t about to give up.
I spent hours digging through options, reading descriptions and the few reviews available. This produced a list of about 12 options that looked like they’re worth reviewing.
At this point, I dug in deep on each of the twelve options I was reviewing. I knocked out a few based on experience and research into choosing these, and the rest are found below in my round up of the best options currently available.
Want to know which one I bought? Check below…I’ve labeled it our Editor’s Choice!
Reviews of the Best Solar Bug Zappers
Here’s what I could find, review, and honestly recommend. I hope these solar powered bug zapper reviews are as helpful to you as they have been to me to create!
Overall Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
This little bug lantern is a great option for anyone looking for a versatile, beneficial, and long-lasting zapper. The MeetUs wireless solar power mosquito light is great for indoor or outdoor use, and is fairly lightweight – less than 3 pounds – so it’s extremely portable.
You can use this zapper at home in the yard, a stable, out camping, on the fishing dock, or just about anywhere you want. It’s got two modes with the zapper as one function and as a general lantern as the second.
The light doesn’t use any harmful chemicals or radiation and is completely safe for use around people of all ages. It’s resistant to high temperatures as well and has a convenient carry handle so you can move it around as needed, hang it from a post, or just carry it while walking.
You can use the solar panel on the top of the lantern to charge, or plug it into DC power via the USB port. If it’s out in the sun, it will automatically charge via solar power, and then turn the light on when it senses the daylight disappear.
It takes about 5 hours to charge the mosquito light for full brightness.
The MeetUs mosquito light is made of stainless steel and comes with a 12-month warranty.
This is the one I chose to use most regularly, so I’m hopeful it’ll help you, too!
Overall Rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars
Another great option for your backyard BBQ bug zapping is the Exteren Solar-powered portable electric mosquito lamp.
I personally find this one of the more attractive options, but I also love the convenience of the exact style of the lamp.
It’s a sturdy metal lantern with a slim carry handle that allows easy placement just about anywhere. And because it’s so attractive, you won’t even think about the fact that it’s zapping away those nasty mosquitoes, houseflies, and ants.
The mosquito lamp takes between 6 and 8 hours to charge but gives a full return on the same number of bug zapping hours.
Just turn it on and let it go…or let it do its automatic thing as it senses daylight fading.
Switch between the two modes – bug zapper or lantern light – for the right fit for your evening.
This is a 1-watt light with 24.7 lumens brightness.
The light has battery backup, is waterproof – with an IP65 rating – and is made of aluminum alloy for a long, durable life.
Overall Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
More reminiscent of a traditional pathway light, the Luckstar Solar Mosquito Zapper is perfect for taking care of both insects and lighting your way home.
They’re on stakes, like standard pathway lights, so they’re easy to mount, but they’re actually portable as needed.
I personally recommend these for folks with a long path from the garage to the main functional area of the yard, as they help reduce the bug population all around.
The purple light of the solar bug zapper draws in the bugs, then boom – they’re taken care of without effort. The light is an LED so it’s more efficient than some, plus there’s no need for chemicals or other unsafe substances.
The solar panel is built-in on the top of the light, again like a traditional solar pathway light, so you just stake them in where you want, and let them charge.
You can set the lights to white light for landscaping in non-insect season or click them over to the purple bug zapping light anytime. They turn on automatically at dusk and turn off when the power’s gone – or daylight hits – so they’re just a set and forget sort of model.
The lights come with a 45-day money back guarantee and 180-day product warranty, in case there are any issues.
Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
One of the main times my family needs the best solar powered bug zapper is when we’re camping. I love to bring along citronella candles and use other natural deterrents, but a zapper seals it by eliminating those nasty creepy-crawlers and flying insects.
The Anordsem camping light is a great choice for this situation. It has three levels of brightness, which makes it uber versatile, with a bright light at 280 lumens, medium light at 100 lumens, and low-light at 50 lumens.
This means I can use it when I’m moving about needing solid light, have a warm ambiance light, or low light for emergencies – potty break in the night! – at the campsite. This isn’t bright enough to read by comfortably for long, but it’s certainly suitable for other camp life activities.
If you’re looking for a cheap way to light up the site while zapping mosquitoes, you’re on the right track with this one. And since they are modestly priced, you can grab a few of them if you do want to read.
The lights are IP67 rated, meaning they’re highly water- and weather-proof, they only weigh 7-ounces, and they have a removable shade for whatever use you have for them. They also have a sturdy retractable hook for hanging from anywhere, but they’re also safe to set on a table. They’re also pretty small, so they’re perfect for hikers.
The lanterns give very long hours on the various settings.
- Bright light: 12 hours
- Medium light: 16 hours
- Low light: 18 hours
- UV bug killer only: 11 hours
Another nice thing about this camping lantern bug light is that you can charge it up via solar power while you’re out there, but you can charge it ahead of time at home using a USB port if you like. It takes about 3 hours to charge via USB or about 6 to 8 hours via solar panel.
All-in-all, this is a fantastic camping lantern and bug zapper. I’d even recommend it for lawn and garden use, especially for kids who need a light-weight lantern that’s safe for them to move around.
The Solar-Powered Bug Zapper Runners-Up
Since the quality options appear to be so limited, I wanted to make sure I suggested every single choice that might be worth looking into – at least that I could find! – so I’m including a full review of each of the runners up, as well.
There may be some reason why you might choose one of these over the top choices – aesthetics, general appeal, or some other reason are all valid (i.e., one of the ones above goes out of stock like they seem to always do!).
So while these may not be our top picks for our own home and campsites, these are still excellent solar-powered bug zapper choices that may suit your circumstances well.
Overall Rating: 3.8 out of 5 stars
A great runner up for the staked pathway light category is the solar-powered light and insect zapper from Pure Garden. Most people wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between these and a standard solar pathway light, so if you’re looking for a moderately attractive pathway light that also kills bugs, this is a good choice.
The lights are easy to mount – just stake in the ground – and effective for lighting up and killing bugs along the pathway, lining the garden or deck, or staked in planters on the deck. And since the light is so effective at killing the bugs on contact, you don’t have to use the nasty chemicals that you don’t want around the house.
The Pure Garden lights use UV light to zap bugs and solar energy to offer energy-saving, eco-friendly lighting at once. Just be sure to place them where the tops – the solar cells – will receive plenty of sunlight throughout the day.
The lights function as either a bug zapper or LED light – you just have to flip the switch. The lights also charge automatically and turn on automatically at dusk, so you don’t have to worry about remembering to turn them on.
The lights from Pure Garden are durable and safe for use just about anywhere.
The problem with these is that they’re very hit or miss in terms of quality, so plan accordingly.
Overall Rating: 3.8 out of 5 stars
A second alternative from Pure Garden is the 50-173 Solar UV Mosquito light. It’s also a staked garden or pathway light, but it’s a little more aesthetically appealing than some of the other bug zapper lights. The lights are square and look a little more like a traditional lantern style light than the round models.
The Pure Garden 50-173 solar UV mosquito lights add attractive features to your garden, patio, deck planters, or pathway, while also providing light and zapping away those nasty mosquitoes determined to ruin your night on the lawn.
The lights are safe and durable, and because they’re on stakes, they’re easy to move around as your landscaping changes. They stand 23.5-inches tall (with stake) and are 6-inches wide. They use safe UV light to zap bugs, so they’re safe around kids and pets, or you can switch over to standard light during non-insect seasons. The lights store up to 8-hours of energy in the batteries and can be switched on and off or switched to the UV bug zapper setting.
Again, they’re not the best, but might do in a pinch.
Overall Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
For a lantern runner up, I’ve selected the AGPTek Indoor/Outdoor Solar Power Mosquito killer UV lamp.
The reason? It’s a fairly attractive option that works fairly well.
It has a rustic brown metal frame and projects 360-degrees of beneficial light or UV light to either light up your campsite and patio or zap away the nasty bugs we hate buzzing around our heads.
The lantern has a convenient carry handle which makes it ideal for camping, using in the backyard, out on the fishing dock, or just about anywhere else, including indoors.
The light turns on and off automatically at dusk and dawn and charges all day while in the sun, providing up to 8 hours of bug-killing power and light at night.
Read the Reviews and Choose Your Best Solar Bug Zapper
These solar bug zapper reviews should provide you with the basics on what you need to know for finding the right choice for your house, backyard, or campsite this insect season. Be sure to review each one for yourself – read the limited reviews offered by real-life users, verify they’re currently available, and that they are affordable on your budget – and get them in time for your next outing.
The lanterns are a great option for portable big killing power while the staked pathway lights are great for your home use on the patio and backyard. A combination of a few of them is my personal preference to keep bugs at both the low-flying level and the head-level taken care of, but feel free to get creative with your own placement.