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Best Solar Lights for Your Patio or Garden

Updated on May 9, 2013
This is the glass solar powered lights I purchased.
This is the glass solar powered lights I purchased. | Source

What are the best solar powered lights for your garden or patio?

There are many different ypes of solar garden lights available. If you're reading this, you're probably trying to make a decision on which solar lights to buy. I'm not going to try to convince you to buy one brand over another. I'm going to give you the pros and cons of the products I've used, so that you can make an informed decision. Every family and home is different, right? This is why I believe that one size doesn't always fit all! On to the solar patio lights review...

Solar powered lights are a great green and frugal way to light your garden, patio or driveway. There are a few things that I considered before making this purchase:

  • Should I get glass or plastic solar lights?
  • Should I get the solar powered lights that were hung on shephard's hooks or the ones that were staked into the ground?
  • Should I opt for solar sconces so that path would be lit from above?

Decisions, decisions, decisions. I made up my mind and the following describes what happened.

Glass Solar Powered Patio Lights: Pros and Cons

After mulling over for some time, I made my first solar powered patio light purchase!  I chose glass solar powered lights that resembled the one in the image above.  They were supposed to be hung on the shephard's hook provided.  The reason I chose this style was because I thought it would be easier to see the pathway and the surroundings at the same time. 

I need to give a little background.  I live in the middle of nowhere.  No, I'm not exaggerating.  I literally live in the middle of nowhere in upstate NY.  This town is so small, we have one pizzeria, 2 delis and a video store.  You can aslo find a dairy farm and horse farm walking distance from my home.  There aren't any lights out here.  I'm a NYC girl, so that took me some time to get used to.  The worst part is that when it is dark, it is pitch black.  Did I mention Yogi Bear, Rudolph and friends, Pepe Le Peu, and some of their other animal friends often visit my property?  This is exactly why I bought solar lights!  I still remember the first time I walked outside in the dark and got skunked!  Unfortunately, the glass solar lights didn't last very long.  Back to the story...

One morning I woke up and found the lights had been shattered.  I don't know if it was Yogi Bear, a deer, one of the kids or the lawn service.  However, one by one they all broke until there were none. 

Here are some things to consider before you purchase glass solar lights:

  • How careful are your kids or your spouse around glass objects in your yard?  Do they play sports and may there be an accident involving the glass patio lights?
  • Do you have any frequent visitors like bears, deer, racoons or opposums that may damage your lights?
  • Do you live in area that has many storms?  You may find fragments of your lights after a nice thunderstorm..

Hey, if at first you don't succeed-try, try again.  Right?  Naturally, I bought plastic solar lights next...

Plastic Solar Powered Lights: The Pros and Cons

 When the glass lights didn't turn out to be the best purchase I ever made, I bought plastic solars.  They were similar to the top image on the right, except they were two tiered instead of three.  They were the kind you stake into the ground.  I assembled them, which was a snap.  After that, I chose where I wanted them and staked them into the ground.  I was worried that they wouldn't get enough sun to work, but that wasn't a problem.  Even though they didn't get a full day of sun because trees are located on the right of them, they managed to charge. 

I know what you're wondering!  Did they work out better for me and my active family (remember-I have 7 kids)?  The answer is yes.  I've had them for about 10 years.  Some of them did break, but it wasn't because of faulty manufacturing.  The lawnmower wrecked a few.  I also caught my kids jumping from one to another as if they were stones in a creek!  I think considering they were a great buy, considering they were abused so much.  Actually, there were a few that were left out all winter and they survived the shoveling!  

As you see for me, the plastic solar lights were the perfect match.  I know I only gave you pros, but I really didn't have any negatives to share. 

Why Did I Choose Solar Powered Patio Lights Instead of Electric Outdoor Garden Lights ?

Why increase your electric bill if you don't have to. Whether you want patio lights to entertain or garden lights to see where you are walking-it's the perfect solution.

  • You never have to worry about shutting them off.
  • You don't have to hire someone to install them.
  • If you rent or move away, you can take them with you!
  • They are affordable.
  • They come in many different colors, shapes and sizes.


I hope that my personal experience has shed some light on some questions you may have had. If you'd like to ask me something else, feel free to do so in the comments area.

Please, join the conversation by leaving a comment...

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    • profile image


      5 years ago

      What brand of solar light do you use? I noted the 10 year life but my experience with solar lights is the ones I've used have quit in about four years max.


    • alocsin profile image

      Aurelio Locsin 

      6 years ago from Orange County, CA

      I like the concept of solar lights a lot, but the reason we haven't installed them is that the light seems to disappear long before we would still like to see them at night. Voting this Up and Useful.

    • brsmom68 profile image

      Diane Ziomek 

      6 years ago from Alberta, Canada

      I like to move mine around to give the garden a different look and to light a temporary path.

    • supermom_in_ny profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from NY

      @brsmom68 That's another great point I didn't mention. You can move them around from place to place without worrying about digging them up and/or getting shocked!

      Thanks for the positive feedback.


    • brsmom68 profile image

      Diane Ziomek 

      6 years ago from Alberta, Canada

      I have had solar lights for years, and love them. They are easy to move around and are a nice touch for an otherwise very dark yard. I have around 20 at the moment but would love to add more. Voted up, useful and pinned. Have a great day!


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