Picture this - you're coming home and it's late at night. Maybe you've just been out on the town or with friends at a late-night dinner party, or maybe you've just returned after a twilight stroll.
The sun is down and as you come back to your house it's hard to see.
Your porch is covered in shadow and as you walk up its steps and towards your door, you're having to take small steps and hold a hand out in front of you to make sure you're not bumping into anything. It's only when you manage to open your door that you're able to light it up.
Bright light for your porch is important, and thankfully there are lights made specifically for this purpose. Not only do they give your back or front yard the right amount of light to illuminate your space, but they can also be the finishing touch to how your porch looks.
If you've ever come home and struggled in the dark trying to find your way to your door then porch lights will be a great addition to your home.
Among dozens of other features, in recent years solar panels have been added to porch lights as a way of not only making them more efficient but also more environmentally friendly. if you're looking for something to light up your porch, solar porch lights offer the best of both worlds.
So you look online or in stores for solar porch lights - you search the shelves, you scroll through online pages, but there are so many options and features that it's hard to make sense of it all. how are you supposed to know if you want motion sensor lights or not? if the set you're looking at is truly weather resistant?
If this is you then don't worry! We're here to help! We've created this handy guide outlining the 5 best Solar Porch Lights on the market right now, breaking them down into simple lists of pros and cons to help you decide without confusing amounts of information.
We've also decided to include an extensive buyers guide if you're looking for something more in-depth, as well as a handy Frequently Asked Questions section to help answer any questions you might have.
So then, let's explore the best solar porch lights and find the best one for you!
OUR TOP PICK
These might not be the prettiest outdoor solar lights you'll find, but they are some of the most reliable we found. These solar lights come with three intelligent lighting modes to help you manage their power and lighting.
Mode 1 is your simple, constant light mode which knows to turn on during the night and off in the day. Mode 2 gives you a dim light when there is no movement detected and full brightness otherwise.
Mode 3 is the default sensor mode that switches off when there is no movement and lights up bright when it detects motion.
Like most solar panels, they come with a slanted light panel and a solar panel up top. We also noticed that these lights have side panels which give extra reach to their illumination.
They come in a fairly modest, modern style and will light up your patio with white light. They're fully waterproof and come with snow protection for the most biting of winter days.
These porch lights offer 8 hours of lighting, but make sure they get at least a full day of direct sunlight before testing this!
We would also like to point out that they come in either a 2 or 4 pack - so if you have a big area to light up then these might be the right package for you!
- Optical and infrared sensors - which respond to different modes and motion depending on what kind of lighting you want.
- Highly Weather Resistant - including snow.
- Charge - 8 hours of continuous charge after exposure to direct sunlight.
- Adjustment - no adjustment for light setting or distance which could be a pain.
If you're looking for something that is both stylish and reliable, then HLFVLITE has you covered. They're a company that made slick, discreet, and modern-looking lights that will give your porch a touch of style.
These are some of the most economical solar lights we found, with solar power and an auto on/off feature which saves energy when it's too light out to need light.
Their solar feature comes with advanced monocrystalline silicon to charge your lamps in the day so they're ready for nighttime. For every 12 hours of sun exposure, they will supply around 8 hours of continuous nighttime lighting.
It's also worth noting that their color shade is a warm white, which will give the lighting of your porch a calm but modern feeling.
In terms of how they look physically, these solar wall lights have been made to fit in with your porch. They come in a simple black color with a cylinder body and a small solar panel on the top.
They're also easy to set up with no wiring, nor need for extra power. You simply fix them onto the part of your porch you want to and they do the work for you!
We recommend these lights if you're looking for something that will look stylish and discreet on your porch.
- Looks - stylish and unintrusive.
- Switch - built-in on/off switch means you don't have to.
- Solar Material - modern monocrystalline silicon.
- Waterproof - aluminian body with powder coating. Suitable for any weather including snow/hail.
- Size - small and unimpressive if you're looking for something gaudier.
The Orion Solar Wall Light from Gama Sonic is another stylized solar light that means you don't have to miss out on reliability. It is small and sturdy, with an ABS Resin water-resistant cover and plastic lens alongside an urbanized style that would fit a variety of different porches.
It charges quicker than other Porch Lights we looked at, within 6 hours of direct sunlight. It's also automatically operated, which turns on at twilight and shuts off once morning light cranes over the horizon.
It's also worth noting that there is no wiring needed for installation, so it is as cost-efficient as other solar lamps on this list. If you're looking for a porch lamp that has multiple traits - small, reliable, and stylish, then this is the one for you.
- Warm White light - for gentler lighting of your porch.
- Morph Technology - bent solar cells which fit its curved surfaces. This means more surface area and more power.
- Charge - promises 2 nights of charge after 6 hours.
- Light - softer light than other lamps could mean you miss out on some sight.
Do you have a big space to light up? is your porch gigantic? Or maybe you're looking for something abrasive that will really light your area up - then look no further than these CLV Solar Landscape Spotlights.
Like other products on this list, they are solar-powered and fully waterproof. They come with 120 degrees angled adjustable solar panels which allow you to absorb more sunlight and charge them for more reliable periods.
They also come with three lighting modes with three light colors - natural white, warm white, and cold white. We found this aspect really handy and something that sets them apart from other outdoor solar lights.
Another important feature to highlight is the installation choice provided. You can either place them in the ground with stakes or mount them on your porch with included screws.
This makes these Solar Lights more versatile than others on the market. They're suitable for grass, patios, porches, paths, decking, pools, and even garages.
Perhaps you would like one for the ground on the walkway to your porch, or perhaps you have a long driveway and need something that will illuminate all that space up to your porch.
If you're looking for something with some power and something you can easily use in multiple places then these might be the outdoor solar lights for you.
- Light Settings - choose between warm white, natural white, and cold white.
- Installation Choices - Choose to use stakes or screws to fit these lamps in a variety of different places
- Weather Resistance - High protection from difficult weather.
- Charge - only six hours at high brightness setting.
Gama Sonic is a company that prides itself in making reliable and stylized solar lights.
We had to include the Solar Garden Light Shepherd Hook on this list purely for how great it looks. Its traditional style is bound to transform your porch, taking it back in time to when lanterns were more common.
This product is built to last, made from a black resin frame and aluminum pole that has been designed to be weatherproof and resistant to rust.
Don't feel nervous because of its delicate look, it's just as tough as other solar porch lights out there! Gama Sonic promises that the light will work for about 3 years - which is equal to around 1000 charges - before its battery pack will wear out and need a replacement.
Thankfully they've made sure that the battery is easily replaceable.
You don't miss out in terms of light or power with this light, Gama Sonic have you covered. It has an impressive solar panel which allows for up to 12 hours of light.
Another feature to take note of is that the Game Sonic LED Light Bulb has a 10-year lifespan and has been designed to ensure a 360 degrees illumination spread - this means this small light bulb packs a punch and we were impressed with quite how big it is.
- Charge - up to 12 hours of charge.
- Look - stylized old lantern look for your porch.
- Install - easy to install with manual and easy stake into the ground/decking.
- Stake - only available as a stake, no wall fixtures. This is only a product for if you have the right setup for it.
Best Solar Porch Lights Buying Guide
So we've given you a rundown of a variety of different Solar Porch Lights, but there's still a huge amount of information to look through before you can make your perfect purchase.
That's why we've included this extensive buyers guide that will break down each aspect of solar porch lights so that you can choose with confidence.
Here are some of the most important things to keep in mind when searching online or in stores for your perfect porch lighting!
Installation/Amount of Lights
The first thing you should consider when searching for your Solar Porch Light is how and where you'll want to install it. For example, first, work out where you'll want to put your solar light and the space you have available.
If you have a small space then one light might be enough to illuminate your porch, but if you have a much bigger space then you might need multiple. Considering the space you have to fill is vital when picking an outdoor solar light.
Stake Vs. Screws
Stakes vs. screws is one of the most important features you should consider when making your purchase. There's nothing worse than ordering or buying a brand new Solar Porch Light, only to unbox it and discover it's not right for your porch.
Maybe it has a stake and you have no grass or soft terrain to stab it in, or maybe you were searching for something that could illuminate your garden path but what you've bought is something to be mounted on a wall.
Make sure you know which one you're buying before making your purchase. Stake lamps are better for patios and gardens with soft ground, where-as screw fixtures will allow you to mount them on your wall or wooden railing.
Depending on your porch and your aims, the style of your solar porch light could be the most important thing, or the least important.
Perhaps you want something gaudy and stylized like a traditional lantern, or perhaps you want something that will blend into your modern garden and be as unobtrusive you can find.
Either way, there are hundreds of options available. We recommend getting a picture of the kind of style lamp you want before you go searching for it.
Consider color and tone - if your porch is carved out of wood then you probably don't want a porch light that looks like it would be more at home on a spaceship. Similarly, if your porch is slick and modern then you might not want a traditional lamp.
Bulbs for Solar Light
When considering a bulb the measurement you want to look out for is called 'Lumens.' Lumens are the standard uni for the luminous flux of a lamp. Luminous flux is just a fancy way of saying how much light something emits.
Generally, the more lumens the better, though too many and the light you're looking at could be far too bright for your porch. We suggest somewhere between 90-200 lumens.
When looking at solar panels the jargon and terms used to describe them can be intimidating and overwhelming. If you find yourself scratching your head at the descriptions of the different silicon and materials used to create a solar panel then don't fear!
The main thing you want to look out for when it comes to a porch light is the estimated charge time under direct sunlight, as well as how long the stored solar energy will keep your lights powered.
Generally, we found that eight hours fully powered on is the general standard for porch lights, though you will find a little higher or a little lower.
Lower quality products will tend to have less storage ability and take much longer to charge. A full day to charge is recommended for many of these porch lights, though we did come across products that can charge in under eight hours.
Considering the solar panel and how long it will take to charge is important - you don't want to come out onto your porch one night to find yourself in darkness because your lights have no charge!
If motion sensors are a feature you're searching for, we recommend getting a product with a light sensor.
These are good for two reasons - firstly they turn off when nobody is around which helps you to save power, but they also alert you to when somebody is on your porch late at night, which can be good for security!
Frequently Asked Questions
Do Solar Lights Work in the Winter?
Solar lights are generally designed to work well in the winter, even during periods of snow and ice, providing they get the required amount of sunlight to fully charge.
It can be important to check the strength of your solar panel if you live somewhere that doesn't get much sunlight in the winter - maybe you'll need something higher-tech, or that holds much more charge!
How long do solar porch lights last?
This varies drastically depending on the quality of the materials used to build your solar light.
Because solar-powered outdoor lights are more exposed to the elements, it can be important to make sure the materials used to make it are strong and durable. A lot of products will specifically outline how long they expect to work for, so this is a good thing to consider.
What is a good brightness for outdoor solar lights?
We recommend 90-200 lumens depending on your requirements, though that said 100-150 would be the sweet spot for most porches.