The Best Solar Christmas Lights in 2023 - Solar-Powered Christmas Lights

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The Best Solar Christmas Lights in 2023 - Solar-Powered Christmas Lights

Energy-efficient solar Christmas lights come in the same colors and styles as plug-in or battery-operated lights—from traditional white and multicolor to novelty stars and snowflakes to net lights that drape over your hedges. They’re a great option if you’d rather skip the hassle of running wires to outlets—plus, you can save a bunch of money on your energy bill. And, in terms of price point, solar-powered Christmas lights cost roughly the same as plug-in lights.

Whether you go all-out with your winter wonderland display and want to add solar lights to the mix or are simply looking for quality holiday lights that are easy to install, read on for our top recommendations, plus advice on what you need to know before you shop.

Prep for the holidays with the best Christmas tree lights, artificial Christmas trees, and Christmas window decorations.

All solar Christmas lights are LED and waterproof to varying degrees, with an optimal rating of IP65—that means the lights are totally water- and dust-proof. Some manufacturers list the type of solar panel used—either highly efficient monocrystalline cut from a single piece of silicone, or less efficient polycrystalline.

Regardless, you can judge the lights’ efficiency by looking at the charge time and the number of hours the lights stay bright at night. But keep in mind that runtimes listed by manufacturers are an estimate calculated in perfect conditions, and daytime cloud cover decreases efficiency. As with any solar-powered lights, you’ll have to manage expectations when it comes to runtime, particularly during short winter days.

Most of the solar panels on these lights have a rod and stake for ground installation, and a few offer the option of mounting the panel (handy if your property is shady).

Many sets have different lighting modes to choose from, and some change color, which is a nice feature for mixing up your display. If this is your first holiday season hanging lights, check out our deep dive on the topic .

We cast a wide net to find lights that are the most efficient and offer the best value. We identified high-quality picks with decent solar panels and excellent feedback from customers. We sought out nice-to-have extra features, such as multiple lighting modes, timers, memory functions, and remote controls, making sure to include a few options with mountable solar panels. Our selection includes single- and multi-set lights in a range of styles and colors so you can decorate your entire home without plugging in a thing.

You’ll get plenty of coverage with this two-pack of warm white solar Christmas lights, as each have a whopping 480 mini LED bulbs on an 85-foot green wire.

The solar panels are adjustable and set on a 7.2-inch-tall rod and spike, with an 1800 mAh battery inside. Another plus is that they have a runtime that’s longer than most, listed at 10 to 12 hours, on a 6- to 8-hour charge.

There are eight lighting modes to choose from, though no remote control.

This set of solar Christmas lights is another option for more coverage, with 350 mini multicolor LED bulbs on a 121-foot black wire. It features eight lighting modes, a memory function that automatically turns on to the previous setting, and an IP65 waterproof rating.

There’s also a 6.5-foot lead wire, which is helpful for trees and wreaths, and they’re available in several single-color options.

These solar Christmas lights are an excellent deal, both because of the price and because you can use these so many ways. There are 200 LED bulbs along 72 feet of black wire that switch from all-white to multicolor to a mix of both with 11 lighting modes to choose from, plus a remote and memory mode that automatically remembers your last setting.

The set has a IP65 waterproof rating and takes approximately 4 hours to charge—less than most of our other picks—with up to 8 hours of brightness on steady mode.

Net Christmas lights are brilliant for blanketing bushes and hedges, or even hanging on fences rather than stringing single wires. Solar panels make them even easier—just throw the net, place the solar panel, and enjoy a perfectly-decorated yard all season long.

There are 300 multicolor LED lights on this net, which gives you 74 square feet of coverage. The set has an IP44 waterproof rating, so it could get damaged if it were submerged in water. It also has eight lighting modes, plus it comes with a remote.

Spotlights take outdoor holiday decorating to the next level, transforming the front of your home into a spectacular Christmas wonderland. Each of the monocrystalline solar-powered lights in this four set emits 600 lumens of brightness, with 22 LEDs you can shine at your house or a tree in your yard.

The lights include seven color options, along with a 2200 mAh battery. The solar panels rotate 360 degrees and tilt back 180 degrees, making it easier to find the best angle to catch the sun, and can be set at two heights.

These Christmas lights are designed to shine for up to 10 hours on a 6- to 8-hour charge and have an IP65 waterproof rating. They’re available in cool white as well, in a two-pack and a four-pack.

These snowflake solar Christmas lights are a wonderful addition to any outdoor holiday display. There are 50 cool white lights inside the crystal-clear snowflakes, which are strung on a clear wire that glows in the brightness.

The snowflakes shimmer in eight lighting modes for up to 10 hours at night, and the monocrystalline solar panel has a 800nmAh battery and adjusts 180 degrees. There's also a timer and the set has a IP65 waterproof rating.

The light set additionally comes in warm white and multicolor options.

These multicolor vintage-style strawberry solar Christmas lights show up beautifully on bushes and hedges. Each of the 50 LED bulbs is 2 inches, and they’re spaced 4 inches apart on a 21-foot green wire. The 3.2-foot lead could be longer, but considering these are made for outdoor use, it shouldn’t be much of a problem.

There are eight lighting modes, with a button on the solar panel to cycle through options and turn the lights on and off. The brand says the lights shine for approximately 6 to 8 hours on a full charge.

Rachel Klein is a Senior Commerce Editor for Popular Mechanics, where she writes about everything from garden hose reels and patio furniture to mesh wifi systems and robot vacuums. She started her career as a daily newspaper reporter and was a travel editor for more than a decade before she started testing and reviewing luggage, noise-cancelling headphones, and other travel-related products. Fast-forward another five years and her area of expertise includes home decor, appliances, tech, and outdoor adventure gear. In her spare time, you'll find her planning her next trip, reading historical fiction, and seeing as much art as she can squeeze into a weekend. 

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