A deck is an extension of a house without roofing where you can relax and enjoy the outdoors with your friends and family. You can choose to enjoy your relaxation time during the day or night time. Either way, to create a more relaxing ambiance that is useful for entertaining, your deck should have adequate lighting.
The best solar deck lights should give you beauty as well as functionally. They should be brighter and durable, making them a worthy investment, have in-built or external solar panels and batteries, and be weather resistant. They should also have automated switches and should be easy to install. We have reviewed over 20 solar lights and picked the best solar lights for gardens, steps, railings, pathways and even for boats. Here are our top picks.
In this article, we will list some of the best solar deck lights that you can find in the market today. We will also explore the various reasons you should install solar deck lights, things to consider when buying solar deck lights, and making a deck lighting plan.
#1. Sunface Solar Deck Lights – Best Side Mount Lights
|Name||Solar Deck Lights, Led Outdoor Garden Decorative Wall Mount Fence Post Lighting|
|Max output||2 Volts|
|Weight||5 ounces (28.3 grams)|
|Dimensions||10.67 x 5 x 4.33 inches (27.1 x 12.7 x 11 centimeters)|
|Features||Waterproof Solar panel, 7 Colors, Auto on/off|
|Luminous Flux||10 Lumen|
|Suitable for||Garden, Outdoors, Railing & Posts|
The Sunface deck lights are a convenient lighting solution that is nature-friendly and can help you save on cost significantly. Since they use solar power, you can also save on energy. The solar deck light is one of the best in the market, mainly due to the features that give it a reliable performance.
The light is made with an ABS plastic that is tough enough to withstand any extreme weather conditions. It does not matter how much it rains or snows; the fixture can stay in place while still producing light. The LED lamp comes with a built-in sensor and automatic switch that switches on when it becomes dark and off during the day to charge.
It produces a warm light that is not too bright to affect the neighbors. The light fixture is just good enough to act as decorative light. Additionally, it also has a colorful light mode that gives your deck a cozy and fun atmosphere. The light can change into seven different colors making it especially useful when holding a celebration outdoors.
You do not have to worry about installing the fixture since it comes with everything you need to guarantee a smooth and easy installation.
The only negative aspect worth mentioning is that it has a short run-time compared to other solar lights in the market. The Sunface solar deck light can last for about 4 to 5 hours every night. The time can further reduce during winter.
Irrespective of the letdown, the solar deck light is one of the most reliable fixtures you can choose to purchase. It comes with a one-year warranty and a 60-day money-back guarantee.
#2. Best Landscape Lights: Siedinlar Solar Deck Lights
|Name||Siedinlar Solar Deck Lights -Driveway Dock LED Light Solar Powered Outdoor Waterproof|
|Max output||1.2 Volts|
|Weight||1.75 pounds (793.8 grams)|
|Dimensions||5.7 x 4.7 x 4.1 inches (14.5 x 11.9 x 10.4 centimeters)|
|Operating Temperature||After 24 hours of sunshine|
|Special Features||Water Proof, Frost Proof, Heat Resistant, Auto on/OFF, Can withstand weights up to 20 Tonnes|
|Use cases||Paths, Steps, Sidewalk, Garden, Pathways, Outdoors, RV & boats|
Siedinlar Solar Deck Lights are the best option to consider if you are looking for solar lights to accentuate the walkway leading to the deck or any other outdoor spaces such as gardens and driveway.
The deck lights have an elegant design that makes them ideal for accentuating landscapes and lighting pathways. The lights are made of premium aluminum alloy and have a wireless design that makes it easy to set up and use. You only need to place it on the sidewalk or pathway, and you are good to go. You can also opt to mount them since they come with a set of screws you can use.
You do not have to worry about damaging them when you step on them or pass anything over them. The deck lights can resist a pressure of up to 20 tons, preventing damage even if you run it over with a vehicle.
When you install the lights for the first time, you will need to charge them for 6 to 8 hours under the sun. They will then light automatically, providing you with light for up to 15 hours. Every other time that follows, ensure that the solar panel is directly exposed to the sun every day for the battery to charge fully.
The solar deck lights come with a good battery of more than 5000mAh that can pack plenty of power to light the fixture. The lights are also made with waterproof material with one of the highest ratings of IP68. They can, therefore, work under the harshest weather conditions such as rainstorms and even blizzards.
The Siedinlar solar deck lights are durable and ideal for use in any environment. When installing, you have to ensure that other lights do not affect the fixture’s photocell. If you face any battery problems, you can request a replacement. The deck light comes with a 1-year warranty and provides 24-hour customer service.
#3. Best Post Cap Lights: Davinci Flexfit Post Cap Lights
|Name||Davinci Flexfit Solar Post Cap Lights – Outdoor Lighting for 4×4 5×5 and 6×6 Wooden Posts – Bright Warm White LEDs|
|Max output||3.2 Volts|
|Weight||0.01 ounces (0.28 grams)|
|Dimensions||6.3 x 6.3 x 3.74 inches (16 x 16 x 9.5 centimeters)|
|Luminous Flux||25 Lumen|
|Best uses||Normal Posts,Wooden Posts|
If you are looking for a post cap light to complete your railing and add more detail to it, you can choose to install a Davinci Flexfit post cap light. Not only does it act as an excellent decoration during the day, but it is also a good source of light at night. It comes with a unique design that many people find appealing.
It is the best option for lighting your lamppost tips and stairways while avoiding the need to run any messy and complicated wiring. Moreover, it helps you to save energy, power, and the environment since it utilizes solar energy to operate. The solar deck light has a built-in photo sensor that automatically switches it on and off.
The Davinci Flexfit post cap lights come in a pair, producing a warm white light that totals 25 lumens. It can illuminate light for up to 100,000 hours without the need to replace the bulbs. It runs with a 300mAH lithium-ion battery that you can charge by exposing the monocrystalline solar panel to direct sunlight for about 8 hours. The result is an illumination that can last for 6 to 8 hours.
The deck light is durable as it comes with a UV-resistant housing and a tempered glass casing to offer maximum protection. It is also waterproof, with the material having a rating of IP44.
#4. Best Stair and Step Lights: JACKYLED Solar Step Lights
|Name||Solar Step Lights – LED Solar Powered Deck Lights|
|Max output||2 Volts|
|Weight||1.96 pounds (55.6 grams)|
|Dimensions||8.58 x 4.84 x 3.77 inches (21.8 x 12.3 x 9.6 centimeters)|
|Operating Temperature||14℉-122℉ (-10℃-50℃)|
|Features||Weatherproof Outdoor Lighting for Steps Stairs, Decks, Fences, Paths, Patio Pathway|
|Best for||Outdoor Stair, Garden and Steps|
The JACKYLED solar step lights are just what you need to get rid of the darkness in areas of high traffic, such as on staircases and the pathway leading to your deck. During the day, the LED lights absorb enough energy from the sun to allow the light fixtures to run throughout the night.
The solar step light carries a 1000mAh Ni-Mh AAA battery charged for about 6 to 8 hours when you expose the polycrystalline silicon solar panel under direct sunlight. It lights up for as long as 10 hours, which is more than what a 200-600mAh battery can do.
Installing the light is simple since it does not come with any unnecessary wiring. You only need to screw the light onto the surface you want to illuminate. Since the deck lights have a stainless-steel body and a high-quality lamp shell, they are highly durable and can withstand any environment. Additionally, they are waterproof with an IP44 rating that allows them to work even when it rains or in wet conditions.
Each fixture comes with three high-quality LEDs that deliver a light bright enough to illuminate your path. You do not have to light the fixtures manually. They come with an automatic mode that switches the lights off during the day to charge.
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What to Consider When Buying Solar Deck Lights?
Buying a solar light for your deck is one of the best investments you can make for your home. Not only will you benefit from a cost-effective solution, but your environment also stands to gain from an eco-friendly lighting option.
By installing solar lights, you can benefit from their convenience, but there are specific considerations you need to make before ordering one.
Purpose of the Lighting
For what reason do you want to purchase your solar deck lights? Do you want to brighten the dark areas around your house, or do you want to decorate the compound?
Additionally, where exactly do you want to position the lights? Do you want them on the walkway, wall, or even next to your pool area? There are various deck lights designed for different parts of your property. Once you figure out precisely what you want, it becomes easier to make a purchase. You can read through reviews online to find what worked well for others and make your decision accordingly.
The weather conditions in your home area can have a significant impact on how your solar light operates. If you stay in an area that experiences more rainfall, ice, and snow, your solar-powered deck lights may not function in the right way due to a low collection of sunlight.
Although you can find some waterproof lights, you may end up with dim lights at night if the amount of sunlight is not enough. Moreover, the lights may not last for long due to a lack of enough power.
Before purchasing any solar deck lights, you need first to figure out how the weather can impact the lights you buy. You can opt for other alternatives for areas without much sunlight throughout the year, such as using low voltage lights.
Location of the Deck Lights
Where do you plan to install the lights? Do you plan to hang them on the wall, or do you want to light your pathway? There are different types of deck lights, depending on the location you plan to install them. Some examples of different types of deck lights include:
- Under the rail lights: These are lights you can install under long rails to brighten up individual sections of your deck without stealing the focus away.
- Stair and step lights: These are the ones you can mount in the risers of your stairs or along the deck perimeter. Stair and step lights help to brighten the high traffic areas to protect your family and friends from stumbling as they walk at night.
- Side mount lights: these are deck lighting fixtures that can supplement a railing light. It can add a subtle amount of light to your deck or highlight certain areas.
- Landscape lights: these are fixtures that you can position around your deck or walkways to accentuate the space and help visitors find the direction to your deck. There are various designs such as accent, path, and wall wash that you can use to light up your night.
- Post cap lights: If you have a railing, you can complete it with an eye-catching post cap lighting fixture. They add more detail to your deck during the day and create a lovely ambiance at night. They are what you may need if you want to brighten your deck perimeter.
What is the light output of the fixture you select? The lighting fixture that produces the brightest light with minimum power is what you should choose. If you want to know how bright a light fixture is, you should check its lumen count.
An excellent solar deck light should provide you with a brightness of between 100 to 120 lumens. If you opt to go for a lower lumen count, ensure that you acquire enough bulbs to provide you with the lighting you require.
The number of lumens produced by single-deck lights is not the same as that by string deck lights. The lumens by string deck lights are less per bulb. You can calculate the brightness by multiplying the lumens by the number of lights on one strand.
Recharge Time & Run Time
How long does the deck light take to energize completely, and how long can it last when fully charged? You need to purchase a deck light that can take less time to charge and provide light for more hours. The average charging time you should consider should be less than 5 hours and a lighting period of more than 8 hours.
Deck lights that have a short recharge time can provide you with lighting even when the weather rapidly changes, providing you with less sunlight during the day.
Quality of the Solar Panel and Capacity
You should select a deck light that only comes with a high-quality solar panel if you want to enjoy a better life. Moreover, it should deliver a maximum output wattage by consuming a small amount of power.
Types of Batteries
Solar deck lights come with solar panels that absorb light from the sun and convert it into energy stored in the in-built batteries. The batteries then power the fixture to light up at night. The larger the batteries, the longer the lighting fixture can produce light.
You can find different kinds of batteries, depending on the solar deck lighting that you choose. Some of the most common types include:
- Lead-acid batteries
- Ni-MH batteries
- Lithium iron phosphate batteries
- Lithium-ion batteries
The most common battery you will find is the lithium-ion batteries since they are long-lasting.
Since solar deck lights are installed outdoors, you should ensure that they are weather-resistant and able to work even when it rains or snows. If the deck light has a poor solar panel, it can become affected by moisture leading it to produce a dull glow and run for a shorter time.
The lighting fixture you choose should be waterproof to protect the electrical components from damage due to rain. It should also be heat resistant to prevent any damage due to excess heat.
Additionally, you should also pay attention to the material that makes up the lighting fixture. It would be best to consider deck lights with a metallic build since those made of plastic may not last for a very long time. However, if the only option you have is deck lights made of plastic, you should opt to use those made with heavy-duty plastic.
It is common to forget to switch off deck lights in the morning, especially when you have too much to do. To avoid such scenarios, you should consider purchasing the deck lights that come with an automatic on and off switch.
You only need to install it and turn it on. It will automatically switch itself on and off when it becomes bright again for the rest of the time.
Cost of the Deck Lights
The price of a solar deck light should match its quality. If you are not careful, you may end up spending too much money on bad lighting. When choosing a deck light, you should consider the purpose of the light you intend to buy and quality.
Avoid falling for lighting fixtures that are cheap and instead focus on the purposes, features, and benefits. Even though you end up spending a high amount when you purchase the light, it may save you plenty more money than you would have instead spent on other expenses such as electricity.
Does your solar deck light come with a warranty? Even though most solar deck lights are durable and require less maintenance, some provide you with a warranty to instill confidence in the product’s effectiveness. As such, you should consider getting a light fixture that comes with a warranty against any manufacturing defect.
Most solar deck lights offer a warranty with a minimum of 1 year. Others can provide coverage of as long as 3 to 5 years.
Summary of the Article
- #1. Sunface Solar Deck Lights – Best Side Mount Lights
- #2. Best Landscape Lights: Siedinlar Solar Deck Lights
- #3. Best Post Cap Lights: Davinci Flexfit Post Cap Lights
- #4. Best Stair and Step Lights: JACKYLED Solar Step Lights
- What to Consider When Buying Solar Deck Lights?
- Advantages of Using Solar Deck Lighting
- Disadvantages of Using Solar Deck Lights
- Designing a Solar Deck Light Plan
Advantages of Using Solar Deck Lighting
There is a good reason why the popularity of solar deck lighting has been growing considerably. Here are some of the advantages of this versatile light.
Easy to Install
Most of the solar lighting options in the market are self-contained units and wireless. They are, therefore, easy to install. You may not even require any electrical knowledge. First, you need to mark the area you intend to set up the lights. As you install, you should ensure that the solar lights are well-positioned at equal intervals.
Easy to Maintain
Solar deck lights can last for a very long time with little maintenance required. Typically, you may not have to do anything apart from occasionally replacing the battery and ensuring that the solar panel is clean. It is common for dust and dirt to cover the solar panel reducing its ability to absorb solar energy. However, before you can clean them, it is best to look for any manufacturer’s instructions.
The following is a video on how to clean, renew, and restore solar pathway lights:
Adding solar lights to your deck can increase safety at night by illuminating the areas around the seats, stairs, and railing. It gives you a clear view of where you are stepping to protect you from tripping or making a wrong step.
Solar deck lights are different from traditional lighting options that are prone to malfunctions and power shortages. Since solar-powered deck lights store their energy in batteries, they can guarantee consistent lighting throughout the night, even when there is a blackout.
Expands the Use of Your Deck
A deck offers you more benefits if you can use it both at night and during the day. If you love to entertain your guests outdoors, relax on the deck after dark or enjoy summer barbeques, you should install an outdoor solar lighting system that can create just the right ambiance you need.
Increases Your Home Value
Installing solar deck lights is a quick way to increase the value of your home. When you visit a neighborhood at night, the houses that stand out are those that effectively utilize lighting to highlight their landscape features.
Deck lights increase the beauty and safety of a home increasing its value to potential buyers in case you want to sell.
Offers Several Brightness Options
Unlike traditional lighting options that come with only one brightness setting, solar deck lights offer you the option of choosing various brightness settings. Some lights glow brighter and consume more power, while others are slightly subdued. You can use either type by placing them in certain locations to create a specific mood and ambiance for your deck.
Offers a Green Alternative
Solar lights are very beneficial to the environment since they help to reduce the carbon footprint. Most of the lights are designed with eco-friendly materials since they use renewable energy from the sun. Moreover, they are very durable, reducing the need to dispose of any dead incandescent light bulbs continually.
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Once the panels absorb light from the sun, they transfer the energy to powerful batteries to use when it gets dark. Most manufacturers use batteries that are also recyclable. Without wasting anymore time buy the best solar deck lights for garden.
Disadvantages of Using Solar Deck Lights
As with everything that has a positive, there is also a negative. Not everyone can benefit from solar deck lights. Since they require solar energy from the sun to function, it may not work well if you live in a region that experiences little sunlight throughout the year.
The amount of light the solar panels collect during a cloudy day may not be enough to power your deck lights fully. Therefore, they may appear dimmer and may not last for a long time. Even in such a case, you can still benefit from the light given off. You only need to ensure that the light panels are put in a way that ensures they receive maximum light exposure.
Additionally, solar deck lights are not cheap when you compare them to the other available options. Although the initial cost can be high, it is considerably less expensive when you consider the amount of money you will save when choosing to use a solar lighting option. The amount of money you may spend on your electricity bill when using a traditional lighting system is a lot more than the amount you would invest in acquiring a solar deck light.
Designing a Solar Deck Light Plan
Once you decide to purchase solar lights for your deck, you should first develop a blueprint design to guide you on the areas you need to mount or install the lights. You can create the layout on your own or seek professional help.
Once you draw a layout of your deck, carefully inspect your deck, preferably at night, to figure out the essential areas needing lighting. You can prioritize places such as around your seating area, cooking setup such as a grill, on the steps leading to the deck, near outdoor plants and art, or around any outdoor feature.
Ensure that you accurately mark all the areas you want to install a solar light on your deck blueprint. It will provide you with the proper guidelines as you go shopping. If there are posts around your deck, include their size since you want to purchase the right size of post cap lights.
When installing an electrical lighting system, you need to have all the lights with you for a one-off installation. On the other hand, solar deck lighting allows you to install the fixtures you can afford at a particular time, especially if you are on a budget.
It also makes it easier if you want to switch your electrical lighting with solar lighting gradually. Let us know your experience of using one of the best solar deck lights for steps or pathways or in your outdoor garden.
Summing Up: Best Solar Deck Lights For Garden and Steps
Adding Solar LED deck lights to your outdoors can help you enhance your living space and improve your compound’s safety. They are becoming more popular since they are energy efficient and highly durable. Moreover, since they utilize a renewable energy source, they are environmentally friendly and a better alternative to traditional lighting options.
Since they come in various shapes and designs, you can choose whichever deck light best suits your needs and preference.
Sources and External References for Solar Deck Lights:
- United to Light: How Solar Lights Work
- Energy Saver: Turning Off Your Lights
- Buy a Battery.co.uk: Solar Light Batteries
- Solar Power Genie: Regular Batteries for Solar Lights?
- Lighting Control Association: Introduction to Lighting Controls
- Energy Sage: Solar Lights for your Home
- Energy Saver: Outdoor Solar Lighting
- SF GATE: Pros and Cons of Solar Lighting
- Energy Advisor: How Weather Affects Solar Panels
- Install It Direct: Cleaning and Maintaining solar lights
- Solar Energy
- Learn About LED lights | ENERGY STAR