best solar fence lights

Solar lighting is effective, efficient, and environmentally friendly. You don’t need to wire them into your mains, they’re low maintenance, and you don’t need to pay for electricity, which makes them ideal external lights.

But, let’s face it, when it comes to buying a set, they all pretty much look the same, which can make it difficult to know if you’re picking the best solar fence lights for your needs. 

To help you out, we’ve broken our reviews down by what we think the stand-out feature of each set of lights is. We also explain why we think our top pick, the JSOT Waterproof Fence Lights, sits head and shoulders above the rest.

Best solar fence lights reviewed for 2021

As we mentioned, because solar fence light sets can seem, on the face of it, to be near-identical, we’ve broken down our reviews by each set’s stand-out feature and added in a top pick and runner-up that we think we’re best overall.

1. Our top pick – JSOT Solar Powered Waterproof LED Deck Lights

The JSOT Solar Powered Waterproof LED Deck Lights get the nod as our top pick because of the quality of their construction. 

The casing for the light is made from IP44 waterproof stainless steel and the solar panels are constructed from polycrystalline silicon, which makes them extremely durable. The lights also have an internal silicone case to improve their waterproofing.

The 0.3W solar panel charges a powerful 700mah rechargeable battery, giving you 8-10 hours of illumination in full charge. The lights project a 31-degree cone of light from the base. The inclusion of an automatic light sensor means you don’t have to worry about manually turning the lights on and off.

What we like:

  • The quality – A good quality stainless steel shell and polycrystalline silicon solar panels make the JSOT lights very durable indeed.
  • The waterproofing – As with any set of external lights, having the shell be IP44 waterproof is ideal, and the internal silicone case only improves on that.
  • The light sensor – Given the number of lights you get in the pack, having to turn the on and off manually would be a nightmare. Thankfully, the automatic light sensor takes care of that for you

What we don’t like:

  • The brightness – These lights won’t project floodlight levels of brightness. They are better suited for ambient lighting. 

Durable, great quality, and easy to use and install, the JSOT Solar Powered Waterproof LED Deck Lights give you exactly what you need from solar fence lights.

2. Our runner-up – Greluna Outdoor Solar Wall Lights

Hot on the heels of the JSOT lights is our runner-up, the Greluna Solar Wall Lights.

One of the stand-out features of the Greluna Solar Wall Lights is the fact that they have alternate color modes, warm white and color changing. Warm white is great for everyday illumination while color-changing lets you add an element of festive décor to your outdoor spaces.

The light covering is made of high-quality ABS material, making them both weatherproof and durable. The solar panel supplies power to a built-in rechargeable 1.2v 600mah nickel-cadmium battery. That power is then turned into 3000k of illumination on the warm white setting.

What we like:

  • The color-changing – Having the ability to set your lights to color-changing mode lets you project a little festivity for the holidays or if you’re having a party. 
  • The ABS shell – ABS, or Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene, is both waterproof and heat/frost resistant, making it ideal for outdoor lights.

What we don’t like:

  • Auto on/off only on warm white mode – Unfortunately, the lights will only automatically turn on and off when set to warm white mode.

While they don’t quite have the build quality of the JSOT lights, the Greluna Solar Wall Lights are still waterproof, durable, and have a fun color-changing feature.

3. Best looking – Sunny Park Solar Post Lights

Obviously, aesthetics are subjective. However, for our money, the Sunny Park Solar Post Lights have a very specific look that we really enjoy. 

It’s important to note that these are post lights, so they are designed to be attached to the top of fence posts, rather than to flat surfaces.  

Each cracked glass dome is lit by 10 copper wire LEDs, powered by a polysilicon solar panel and a rechargeable nickel-metal hydride battery. When charged by 6-8 hours of direct sunlight, they give off 10-hours of light.

What we like:

  • The look – The cracked glass dome of the Sunny Park Solar Post Lights has great aesthetics. 
  • Easy installation – As long as you have the right-sized posts, installing the Sunny Park Solar Post Lights is simple and easy.
  • Color-changing options – The Sunny Park Solar Post Lights are available in a color-changing option that can help bring a little ambiance to your outdoor spaces.

What we don’t like:

  • Post lights only – Unfortunately, the lights are designed to be attached only to posts, which means they will only suit certain outdoor spaces. 

Effective and aesthetically pleasing, the Sunny Park Solar Post Lights are a great addition to any garden with the right fixing spaces.

4. Premium pick – Sterno Home Solar LED Post Cap Light (Paradise)

As with the Sunny Park Solar Post Lights, the Paradise lights are designed to be set on top of a post, rather than fixed to a flat surface. What makes the Paradise lights stand out is the quality of their construction. 

The base of the light is made from cast aluminum with a bronzed finish. The full metal body, combined with the hammer glass panels, gives the lights excellent durability and weatherproofing. 

The solar charging panel is made from polycrystalline silicon, which is also more durable than cheaper amorphous solar panels and charges the nickel-metal hydride battery faster.

What we like:

  • The premium build – The stand-out feature of the Paradise lights is their look and the quality of the cast aluminum case with hammered glass panels. 
  • The durability – The combination of the metal outer casing and polycrystalline silicon solar panels gives the Paradise lights excellent durability.

What we don’t like:

  • Post lights only – As with the Sunny Park light, Paradise lights are designed to be attached only to posts, which means they will only suit certain outdoor spaces. 

The Paradise solar lights post lights deliver a premium build and look with excellent durable parts and a great aesthetic to the finish. 

5. Best post lights – KMC LIGHTING Outdoor Solar Light – 6 Pack

Made from black plastic with a traditional neo-gothic look, the KMC Lighting solar post lights are powered by a rechargeable Lithium Iron Phosphate battery connected to a polycrystalline silicon solar panel and 15-lumen LED lights.

The post lights are completely wireless and can be installed with minimal effort. Since they draw their energy directly from the sun and have long-life LEDs, these post lights are also extremely low maintenance. You just need to wipe the solar panels with a damp cloth every few weeks. 

All of the components of the KMC Lighting solar post lights are covered by a one-year warranty against defects in material and workmanship, excluding the batteries.

What we like:

  • Low maintenance  The only maintenance required is an occasional wipe of the solar panel with a damp cloth.
  • The look – The KMC Lighting solar post lights have a very inoffensive, traditional lamppost look that will fit well into most outdoor spaces.

What we don’t like:

  • Battery issues – A number of reviewers have mentioned battery reliability issues with the KMC Lighting solar post lights and the batteries aren’t covered by the warranty. 

Easy to fit, easy to use, and low maintenance, the KMC Lighting solar post lights are a great choice for outdoor lighting.

6. Best flame effect – Blue Yang Solar Post Light with Flickering Flame Effect

Designed to provide a realistic flickering flame effect, the Blue Yang Solar Post Lights are made from sturdy, weather-resistant outdoor plastic and are IP55 waterproof. 

The design is simple and low-key enough to fit into any outdoor space without standing out or appearing ostentatious.

This solar post cap light will light up 10 hours in summer and 5 hours in winter after fully charging under the sunlight for about 8 hours. The light is automatically turned on and off by a built-in light sensor to preserve battery life. 

What we like:

  • The flickering flame effect  Customers report that the flickering flame effect is remarkably realistic and quite bright.
  • The waterproofing – IP55 waterproofing is ideal for any outdoor solar lightning to keep it safe from the elements. 

What we don’t like:

  • The day look – A number of reviewers pointed out that, while the lights looked great at night, the large white LED bulb did rather stick out during the day. 

With a great realistic flickering flame effect and a solid waterproof shell, the Blue Yang Solar Post Lights are an excellent way to add to the atmosphere of your outdoor spaces. 

Other solar fence lights to consider 

While the lights above are our top picks for each category, there were some other lights we’d like to draw attention to that were close runners up:

1. OTHWAY Solar Fence Post Lights 

Made from durable plastic with a pleasant art deco style, the OTHWAY Solar Fence Post Lights have a built-in sensor and automated switch that will automatically turn the lights on when it’s dark and turn off during the day.

The installation is quick and easy and the lights require the bare minimum of maintenance. The lights also come with a 60-day money-back guarantee and a 12-month warranty. 

2. Pxwaxpy Wireless Motion Sensor Solar Lights

Rather than being permanently on, these lights are triggered by a PIR motion sensor. The motion sensor has a 270 wide-angle to quickly and easily pick up on movement. 

The ABS case for the light is IP65 waterproof and installation is easy, only requiring two screws. 

The manufacturer, Pxwaxpy, offers a 30-day hassle-free return service, 24-month after-sale service, and 24-hour-a-day professional online customer service.

3. ROSHWEY LED Solar Fence Lights

The ROSHWEY LED Solar Fence Lights have a unique fitting that allows them to be attached to guttering or an overhang, rather than mounted on posts or fence panels. 

This makes them ideal for outdoor spaces where it would be difficult to mount more traditional solar panel lights. 

The lights themselves are IP55 waterproof and constructed of durable and weatherproof ABS.

Things to consider when buying solar fence lights

Now that we’ve shown you some of the best solar fence lights you can buy in 2021, here are some additional factors you should consider when choosing solar lights for your own outdoor spaces:

Solar vs mains powered fence lights

Generally, fence lights are either powered by mains electricity or solar panels, each having its advantages and disadvantages.

Mains-powered fence lights: pros and cons

ProsCons
Mains-powered lights aren’t dependent on weather conditions and provide a consistent level of light all year round.Installing mains lights means running cable, possibly underground, which can be a lot of work.
You have to pay for the electricity that your mains-powered outdoor lights use.

Solar-powered fence lights: pros and cons

ProsCons
You don’t have to pay for the electricity you use as the lights are powered by the sun.Solar lights won’t provide consistent illumination in poor weather conditions or in the winter months because of the lack of sunlight.
Solar lights are entirely wireless, so no need to run cables

Aesthetic considerations

When it comes to picking the right set of solar fence lights for your garden, aesthetics are always going to be a consideration. After all, you want your solar lights to blend into or enhance the look of your outdoor spaces, not stick out like a sore thumb.

So, when it comes to picking the right look for your solar lights, here are a few things to consider:

Uplight vs downlight vs post light

Solar fence lights can generally be sorted into one of three light-emitting categories:

  • Downlighters – emit light down
  • Uplighters – emit light up
  • Post lights – tend to emit light in a 360-degree arc

The design of light you choose will be informed by the space you want to light and where the light will be positioned. 

Post lights are great for setting around the edge of fenced-off decking, for instance, while downlights are best arranged around the walls of an indoor courtyard or above a doorway.

Multi-color functions

Another thing to consider is what light you want to emit. Most of the lights on our list emit a warm or bright white light. However, some have the ability to project a colored light if you want a more festive atmosphere.

Installation

The good thing about solar lights is that they require a significantly less involved installation process than mains-powered lights. There’s no need to run any cables, just a few screws and you’re ready to go.

For up or downlights, you can usually attach them with the provided fittings, although it’s normally a good idea to drill a pilot hole for the screws first. 

For post lights, it’s very important that you measure your posts first and find a post light that fits correctly, as nearly every post light has different attachment-point dimensions.

Durability and functionality

When it comes to the durability and functionality of your lights, there are a number of factors that you need to look out for:

Waterproof rating

As with any outdoor electrical light, its longevity is directly related to how waterproof it is. The best way to understand the waterproofing of a particular light is to look for an IP rating.

IP stands for ingress protection and the two digits after the IP tell you what the item can be exposed to before water or dust is able to get into its inner workings.

IP65 is the most common rating for waterproofing. The first digit, six, tells you that the light is completely dustproof. The second digit, five, lets you know that the light can withstand powerful water jets without letting in water.

So an IP65 rated solar fence light is both dust and watertight unless it is fully submerged. 

Construction materials

The more durable the materials your lights are made out of, the longer they will last. Cast aluminum and Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) are the most durable and weather-resistant materials for a solar fence light to be constructed from. 

Charging and runtime

Because solar lights need to charge during the day in order to provide light at night, each model will have its own specific charging time and run time.

How long a light will need to charge versus how long it will emit light will depend on the type of solar panel being used, the size of the battery, and the number of LEDs that need to be powered.

Type of operation

The vast majority of solar fence lights will include a light sensor that tells the lights when to turn on and off, also called a dusk/dawn sensor. 

However, you can also manually turn your lights on and offer and some models have a motion sensor. Motion sensors are ideal if you live in an urban area, and don’t want lights on all the time, but still need extra illumination for certain outdoor areas, like a particularly dark staircase, for example. 

The best solar fence lights

As you can see from our reviews and buying guide, despite solar fence lights looking very similar, there are some factors you need to consider when buying your own.

If you want to illuminate your outdoor spaces, but can find a set of fence lights you like, or you just want a more festive ambiance, check out our article on the best solar tiki torches. 

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