Ah, Christmas time. The most wonderful season of all! The sparkling fairy lights in a whimsical yard or the blinking snowflake lights that dot the Christmas tree with unique pops of beautiful color – they just make things better.
But as you enter the holiday season or set up your party lights for your summer BBQ bash, you may find you need to replace your rope lights.
If that’s you, I recommend going solar. Water-resistant solar holiday lights are the ideal way to save some money, get green, and have a hassle-free holiday.
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How Do Solar Christmas Lights Work?
Solar Christmas lights work the way that all solar lights do. They have a solar panel for collection of photovoltaic cells that draw in solar energy — i.e. daylight and sunlight — to create electricity.
The cells convert the DC electrical currents via a solar inverter into usable AC electricity. This converted solar energy then powers your solar string lights.
Benefits and Drawbacks of Solar Christmas Tree LED Lights
Whether you like icicle lights at Christmas time that line your roof or want high-quality outdoor eco-friendly lights that give your backyard some atmosphere for summer parties, there are both upsides and downsides to solar lights.
The Upsides of LED Solar Christmas Lights
When you light up your yard and Christmas tree with warm white or multi-color lights, you’ll find these positives going on.
Solar Lights are Eco-Friendly
First off, solar-powered string lights are an eco-friendly alternative to standard electric lights. They power up by the sun and then run on their own without you having to mess with them.
They don’t draw from the power grid, which means you save fossil fuels.
Solar Outdoor String Lights are Nicer for the Wallet
Solar-powered string lights are a little more expensive than standard lights up-front, but once you won’t use up energy to run them.
That means you save on your electric bill. And if you like to light things up like Tim the Toolman or Clark Griswold, you’ll save a bundle every year.
Solar Outdoor Christmas Lights Are Easy to Use
Because solar lights don’t rely on extension cords or nearby outlets, you can do basically whatever you want in your yard safely. Solar lights are designed specifically to go outside in all kinds of weather, have bendable copper wires within the system to make them steady, and bright light bulbs that will light up all night on a full charge.
Seriously, solar string lights are the easiest Christmas decorations you can put up. Just string them anywhere, position the panel in as direct of sunlight as you can manage, and turn the on/off switch to automatic. You’ll have beautiful lights from dusk to dawn for as long as you want, year round.
Drawbacks of Solar Christmas Lights
But, like all good things, there are a few negatives on solar-powered lights.
The Up-Front Price Isn’t So Lovely
As was mentioned before, solar decorative lights can be a bit pricier up front than standard electric lights. You can grab cheap lights from Wal-Mart for a couple of bucks, but the best solar-powered Christmas lights will cost you more like $15 to $40 on the cheaper sites like Amazon.
Solar LED Bulbs are Sun-Dependent
The obvious downside with solar-powered outdoor lights is that they need direct sunlight to get a full charge in a short time — like winter. Cloudy days will still bring in power, of course, but the lights won’t necessarily last as long.
Where to Buy Solar Christmas Lights
Before we dive into the reviews, we thought we’d mention that you can find solar outdoor decorations most easily online.
We recommend buying from Amazon, as they’re most reasonably priced and most readily available for anyone to order.
How We Chose the Christmas Lights
To make sure we’re recommending the absolute best solar light strands, we did our homework. We dug around in customer reviews for a while, looked up lists of “the best” offered by other folks, and reviewed everything we could to see which ones met our standards.
We looked for:
- Bright LED lights
- Various lighting modes
- Energy-efficient options
- automatic settings
- unique designs
- fun colors
Most of all, we looked at real-life applications to make sure you were getting something that actually works, that’s easy to set up, and that’ll make your home look amazing for the holidays. Those that looked most interesting, efficient, and functional are the lights we reviewed ourselves.
Below is the result of our searching for the best solar LED string lights.
Reviews of the Best Outdoor Solar Powered Christmas Lights
If you go searching on Amazon for the best solar Xmas lights, chances are you’ll see about twenty brands that provide the same basic model, over and over again.
As we searched and researched, that’s primarily what we found.
So, instead of just reviewing the same five that all look the same, we picked the top choice from the various models, and then also found the most unique options to offer with their ratings and reviews so you’d have the best Christmas display yet.
Overall Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
These budget-friendly Christmas lights are perfect for indoor and outdoor use. They’re easy to use, have a solar panel on a stake — making them easy to install — and come with a few really great features.
First off, these lights from Joomer have an automatic on/off function. That means they click on at dusk and turn off at dawn, without you touching a thing.
Just place the solar panel in as direct sunlight as possible, flick the switch to “on,” and walk away knowing your lights are going to keep working, with or without you.
The Joomer lights also have 8 modes for your varying needs. They also have memory function so they remember your last setting and don’t revert back each time they turn off. They’re waterproof with an IP65 rating, and they’re super easy to install.
The Joomer lights have a 72-foot string with the first light 6 feet away from the solar panel for a more attractive placement.
Plus, you can choose from any of these colors for this budget-friendly option:
- Warm white
Overall Rating: 4.9 out of 5 stars
Now, if you’re looking for something a little less traditional, but still in the vain of those bendable wrap-around strings of lights, the Soco Rope String lights are a winning choice. These fun lights off two settings – steady and flashing – and come in these colors:
- Warm white
These rope lights are some of the best for social gatherings like weddings, Halloween parties, and outdoor Christmas parties.
Just wrap them around the trees and bushes, posts or poles, and click them on. They run for 8 hours continually, from dusk to dawn, for fun, unique lighting anywhere.
The rope string is 33-feet in length, with 100 LED light points throughout the encased strings. They’re IP65 rated and extremely weatherproof, so leave them up all year round, if you like.
Overall Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars
Now, here’s a twist on the traditional Christmas light strand. The Skyfire twinkle fairy lights actually have 10 strands with 200 waterproof LED lights. The lights create a cascade of tumbling, white light that almost feels like a waterfall if positioned properly.
These lights are particularly good for party and reception settings outdoors.
The light strands collect at one end in a bunch and spread out or cascade downward, depending on what you decide. They’re perfect for placing at the top of a stack of trunks or crates for decor or letting drop down a wall to add pops of light to a backdrop.
The lights are completely solar-powered and IP65 waterproof. You can put them anywhere for a safe, bright light display. The lights shine for up to 6 hours on a full charge and use a built-in 600mA backup battery. The lights have two modes — steady or flashing.
The lights come in a variety of color choices, including:
- Warm white
Overall Rating: 4.3 out of 5 stars
For another unusual and attractive take on string lights, the Bolansi Bubble Crystal Ball light strings offer larger, brighter, enchanting lights that are perfect for displaying in the yard. These solar-powered holiday lights come on a 20-foot string with 30 LED lights.
The crystal balls themselves aren’t massive in size, but the style adds a much larger pop of light and color to any space outdoors. The bulbs are extremely bright, waterproof, and they work for about 8 hours if fully charged.
The string has a 5-foot lead, plus the 20-feet of wire for the bulbs, which means you can conveniently place the solar panel safely out of sightline.
These gorgeous lights have an easy-to-replace rechargeable battery — should the need arise on low-light days — and comes with an easy-to-install stake. The lights can be set to “on” for the automatic dusk to dawn or feature or can be turned on as you decide.
The lights bulbs come in a wide range of colors, including:
- Warm white
Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
This style of Christmas light isn’t as common, but man I love it. The “drip” of the Vmanoo Outdoor Tube Meteor Shower Rain/Icicle lights is something that catches the eye faster than just about anything else.
So, if you’re looking for some pizazz, this is your best bet for unique Christmas decor.
The set of lights comes with 8 tube lights. Each tube has 36 LED bulbs inside, which light up in the cascading “drip” motion. Total, the set has 288 LED lights.
The lights are fully solar-powered, so you just stake the solar panel somewhere convenient, and let the fun meteor shower of light begin!
The lights are waterproof, dustproof, and made of anti-corrosion material. These lights are great for use on eaves, hanging from trees, putting in window sills, or even hanging from fence posts along a trail.
You can choose from blue, multi-color, warm white, or white lights.
Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
If you’re looking for a classically whimsical style of Christmas lights, you’ll want to consider the Windpnn Solar Star String lights.
These whimsy little darlings light up a tree, bush, fenceline or anything else with the charm of a fairy tale or daydream. The lights are perfect for garden parties, tea parties, weddings, or anything else that just needs a touch of fanciful charm.
The Windpnn lights come on a 30-foot string with 50 LED lights per string. You can easily connect multiple strands or stake them out in various locations in the yard. The lights are durable and safe and have an automatic dusk to dawn setting. You can set the lights to steady or flashing, as well, depending on your needs.
The star lights are IP65 water and weatherproof and safe to have around children and pets. They’re also one of the most efficient string solar lights available, working for up to 10 hours after a full charge.
The star lights come in both cold and warm white light.
Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
For a truly unique take on Christmas lights, check out the Dephen solar string Moroccan ball lights. Thes fun beauties are reminiscent of traditional Moroccan lanterns, and offer bright, cheerful light for any occasion.
The lights come on a 15-foot cord with 20 LED Moroccan ball globes. The lights are waterproof and safe for use indoors and outdoors and come with an easy-to-install solar panel on a stake.
The lights have a dusk to dawn setting and work for 8 to 10 hours after a full charge of 6 to 8 hours in daylight. The lights have a lifespan of over 50,000 hours. That means these beauties will last for years to come, as long as you occasionally clean the solar panel and do semi-annual checks for weather damage.
The Moroccan lights come in multiple colors only.
Overall Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Our final outdoor light suggestion is the fun honeybee shaped lights string from Skyfire. These zippy little lights add a unique flavor to any setting, whether you’re throwing a birthday party, going for a unique twist on the holidays, or just enjoy some fun lighting outdoors.
The string comes with 30 LED honeybee lights that are made of extremely durable plastic. The lights stay lit up to 10 hours after a full day of charging and are IP65 waterproof rated. The light string can be set to either steady or blinking and has a solar panel on a stake that can be placed in direct sunlight just out of the line of sight.
Skyfire is a well-trusted brand known for unique, fun, efficient, and durable solar light products. These honeybees are no exception to their rule, and truly add a unique, fun twist to any evening on the lawn.
Reviews of the Best Solar Christmas Tree Lights
There are two ways to set up your solar lights for indoor use.
The first is via a solar panel placed outside, with a cable connected to your lights, usually with a wire fed through a sliver in the window frame. This isn’t the safest way of doing things unless you live in a warm environment where the windows are generally open anyway.
The other, more practical way to use solar Christmas lights indoors is by setting up your solar panel in the window. Ideally, you’d place the panel directly into the window sill nearest your Christmas tree.
Most solar Christmas lights come with a stake for the solar panel, so you may wish to use an indoor flower pot for “planting” the solar panel in the window — with or without your favorite indoor plant keeping it company. You can also try a heavy-bottoms vase or jar filled with marbles or pebbles to position the stake in safely.
So, with that in mind, here are the two best Christmas tree light sets to consider.
Overall Rating: 3.9 out of 5 stars
When you want to bring a little of the winter wonderland indoors, these dazzling snowflake lights are just the ticket. The Inngree solar string snowflake lights come with 20-feet of cord with 30 LED snowflake shaped lights spread evenly across the last 15-feet of the string.
The Snowflake lights are safe for indoor or outdoor use. Just rig up your solar panel in the window — see suggestions above for the best ways to do this – and light the night for 10 to 12 hours after a full charge. The lights and string are IP65 rated for safety against heavy rain and other nasty weather.
The lights have an on/off switch or work automatically, turning on at dusk. Decide what’s best for your Christmas tree, and have a go. Just charge the solar panel a full 10-hours the first time to get things activated and ready to go all holiday season long.
These lights come in either cool, bright white or multi-color.
Overall Rating: 3.8 out of 5 stars
The Vnanoo solar lights are some of the most unique and beautiful lights we found. They’re perfect for use anywhere, including the indoor Christmas tree, patio, and deck, weddings, or just hanging around the yard for the holiday season.
The waterdrop-shape adds a unique touch, but the colorful bulbs make these incredibly fun and unique. The strings come with 30 LED bulbs on them, and they work on 8 different modes, including:
- Slow fade
- Steady on
You can use the two switches to either power the lights on or change the light modes. You can also leave the lights set to “on” for full charging and automatic on at dusk.
The lights are designed to be water-resistant and stay on for 8-12 hours, depending on how well they charged.
Your Best Solar Indoor and Outdoor Christmas Lights
So, whether you’re looking for string lights for your Christmas tree or a decorative lights to hang in your backyard, you should be able to find something among these top choices. The rope lights, the strand lights, crystal balls, and more each work from solar energy, and provide bright, warm, or colored light as you decide.
Just be sure to verify the lights you’re choosing have enough length for your needs. Some strands are much shorter than others — like the 20-foot crystal ball strand — while others come in distinct designs that are suitable to many situations but not all.
And if you plan to use any of these solar lights indoors, remember to safely position the solar panel in your window sill or just outside to avoid messy, dangerous extensions cords.