best solar powered fountain

A water feature is an excellent way of adding interest and a touch of luxury to your outdoor space. 

However, running waterproof cable to power a fountain motor ranges from very effort-heavy to downright impossible, depending on the nature of your outdoor space.

The good news is that a solar-powered fountain can help overcome all those problems, and today we’re going to show you how!

Best solar powered fountains for your outdoor spaces

As with our other reviews, we’ve broken down our list of best solar powered fountains by their standout features, such as most stylish, best floating, etc and chosen ‘our best in show’ as the overall top pick.

1. Best overall – Smart Solar Mahayana 2-Tier Solar on Demand Fountain

Smart Solar Mahayana 2-Tier fountain is the best solar powered fountain of all the fountains we reviewed. It is made of super-durable glass fiber reinforced concrete with a dark slate finish. It has a water capacity of two gallons and weighs in at 48.4 lbs with total dimensions of 19.25  x 29.25 inches.

The solar panel is mounted under the water, and the pump is integral, so there are no working parts visible to spoil the lines. The pump system also comes with a one-year warranty.

The fountain uses a ‘Solar-on-Demand’ technology that combines the solar panel with a battery. The battery will fully charge in 24/48 hours in direct sunlight and provide six hours of running time.

During the day, the battery will keep the fountain flowing, even if the sky is overcast. You also have the option of turning the pump off and charging the battery during the day, so that it can be used at night.

What we like:

  • Durable construction – The glass fiber reinforced concrete is durable and sturdy. Exactly what you want from an outdoor fountain. 
  • Solar-on-Demand technology – The Solar-on-Demand technology means that your fountain won’t stop when the sun goes behind a cloud and you can make use of it at night. 

What we don’t like: 

  • Not frost safe – Leaving the Smart Solar Mahayana fountain out when the temperature dips below freezing could result in it cracking. The company is very upfront about this issue.

The Smart Solar Mahayana 2-Tier fountain looks great, is sturdily constructed, doesn’t have an obvious solar panel, and can be used at night. Just don’t leave it out where it might freeze.

2. Best runner up – ASC Cascade Ceramic Solar Water Fountain

While it didn’t quite snatch the top spot as best solar powered fountain, the ASC Cascade Ceramic Solar Water Fountain is a close runner-up with its pleasant design and easy assembly. The water circulates through five tiers of ceramic bowls and, unlike many of the other fountains on this list, has an external solar panel.

This feature means you can hide the panel, or position it to get better sunlight than the fountain’s position allows, giving you a little more flexibility. 

Because it weighs just 12.39 pounds and has dimensions of 15.7 x 15.6 x 12.4 inches, the fountain is easy to position, easy to move, and breaks down into six separate parts if you need to store it.

The only downside to this fountain is a lack of battery, so it won’t work if there’s no strong sunlight.

What we like:

  • The design – The ASC Cascade Ceramic Solar Water Fountain has a pleasing five-tiered Mediterranean design made from ceramic cups on an iron frame.
  • Easy to store – The fountain can be taken apart and stored in six separate parts.  

What we don’t like: 

  • No battery – The lack of a battery means that this fountain only works when the sun is shining. 

If you’re looking for a small portable fountain to give you some pleasant ambiance on a sunny day, then the ASC Cascade Ceramic Solar Water Fountain is a great choice.

3. Best floating – AISITIN 6.5W Solar Fountain Pump

Rather than a standalone water feature, the AISITIN 6.5W Solar Fountain Pump is the best solar powered fountain for anyone with a water feature already in their garden. And this doesn’t just mean ponds – the AISITIN can float in any body of water larger than its dimensions of 9.09 x 8.86 x 1.85 inches.

Power is provided by a 6.5W high-powered solar panel equipped with a 5000mAh battery and, after 12-hours of charging in direct sunlight, the fountain will work for seven hours in the dark. 

The primary selling point of the fountain is that it lights with seven colors of LEDs, and a color auto-cycle. The fountain jets in the top have eight different spray shapes and a double layer of nozzles for a large amount of water. 

Because it’s designed to be placed in ponds and birdbaths, the fountain has a complete set of filters to prevent debris from entering the pump. 

Additionally, there is a low water level protection function that detects when there is too little water, and will shut the power off automatically.

What we like:

  • The lights – The addition of a 5000mAh battery and seven colors of LED lights means the fountain is as useful during the night as it is during the day.
  • The filters – Because of the danger of sucking debris into the pump, this fountain comes with a full set of washable filters.  

What we don’t like: 

  • Needs standing water – If you don’t already have an area of standing water, this isn’t the fountain for you.

If you are looking to spruce up a pond or even a birdbath, the AISITIN 6.5W Solar Fountain Pump is an excellent choice. 

4. Premium pick – Sunnydaze Outdoor Solar Fountain with Battery Backup

The Sunnydaze Outdoor Solar Fountain is the best solar powered fountain for those looking for a premium fountain that still does not require mains power – but looks high-end. The fountain is made from polyresin, which means it has all the durability and lightness of a modern material, with the appearance of polished granite. 

With dimensions of 13.75 x 15.5 x 31.25 inches and weighing 15.4 pounds, this water feature won’t dominate your garden or take six people to get situated. What it will do is provide a lovely centerpiece, and some pleasant running water ambiance.

The fountain runs on straight solar power via an external panel, or an internal battery. 

A full charge of the battery will keep the fountain running for around four hours, and the fountain comes with an energy-efficient ring light to keep it illuminated when the sun goes down. 

Sunnydaze’s one-year manufacturer’s warranty covers the entire fountain.  

What we like:

  • The look – This fountain looks like a series of granite bowls, but is nowhere near as cumbersome or heavy.
  • The warranty – Having at least a one-year warranty is always a must for an outdoor electrical product.  

What we don’t like: 

  • The battery life – Even on a full charge, the fountain will only run for four hours when the run goes down. 

If you’re looking for a fountain with a little elegance but don’t want to lug some monstrous lump of rock around, the Sunnydaze Outdoor Solar Fountain makes a great alternative. It really is the best solar powered fountain for those looking for a high-end water feature without having to rely on mains power.

5. Best birdbath – VIVOHOME Polyresin Antique Outdoor Green Garden Bird Bath

While you could argue that a birdbath shouldn’t be in a list of products vying for the title of best solar powered fountain – the VIVOHOME makes the cut because it contains both the bath and the fountain, making a complete package. Made from durable weather-resistant polyresin, this fountain and birdbath looks like it’s made of weathered copper or bronze, with an attractive verdigris patina finish.  

The solar-powered pump acts as both a fountain and prevents water stagnation and mildew buildup in the birdbath. 

With dimensions of 20 x 20 x 28 inches and weighing 4.4 lbs, the fountain is easy enough to move around and is very stable once the base is filled. 

You can also fix it to the ground with the included stakes for extra stability. 

The fountain has multiple fountain nozzles to create different fountain patterns. The different heads are included in the kit and are remarkably easy to change in and out. 

What we like:

  • The ease of use – The fountain is easy to site and secure to the ground.
  • The look – All the aesthetic benefits of a bronze fountain without the weight or the need to look after the metal.

What we don’t like: 

  • The suction cups – The solar-powered pump is secure to the fountain with suction cups which don’t do a great job of keeping it submerged.

If you want to birdbath and don’t want to spend a lot of time changing out the water to prevent stagnation, then the VIVOHOME Polyresin Antique Outdoor Green Garden Bird Bath will do it for you.

6. Budget pick – Sunlitec Solar Fountain with Panel Water Pump

If you happen to have a water feature already, and just want to add fountain functionality to it, then the Sunlitec Solar Fountain will give you just that. This is the best solar powered fountain out these for those on a tight budget!

Very much at the budget end of the solar fountain spectrum, the Sunlitec Solar Fountain kit is simply a solar panel, a pump, and four types of sprinkler heads.

This feature means it can be applied to just about any area of standing water short of a puddle, and turn it into a functioning fountain. It’s great for adding more interest to your pond, making other water features solar-powered, or solving stagnant water issues in birdbaths.

What we like:

  • It’s basic – There’s nothing complicated about this fountain, it’s a panel, wire and a fountain, which is really all you need in some cases. 
  • The price – You can pick this kit up and have a solar panel fountain in your garden for less than the price of a large latte and a muffin.

What we don’t like: 

  • How basic it is – Don’t expect a battery, lights, different modes, or a dusk/dawn system. This is the most basic expression of a solar fountain.

Cheap, simple, and does what it says it will, the Sunlitec Solar Fountain might just be all that you need.

What to look for in a solar fountain

Solar fountains, for the most part, are very simple products. In fact, it’s the simplicity that makes them so attractive. However, there are a few things to consider when searching for the best solar powered fountain for your needs.

How does it work?

Solar fountains largely come in two types, external and internal panels. 

  • The external solar panel models have an external panel that you can position away from the fountain itself to get the best access to sunlight. The downside is the trailing cables.
  • The internal solar panel models normally have the solar panel situated under the water, although this isn’t always the case.

Which one you choose will depend on where you want to put the fountain. If your desired position doesn’t have good sunlight, an external solar panel model is probably the best option.

How easy is it to clean and maintain?

When it comes to clearing and maintaining your solar fountain, the first thing you’re going to want to look for is removable filters. 

This is especially important if you’re using the fountain as a birdbath or placing it in a pond or other area of natural water. 

The filters will prevent debris from being sucked up into the pump, but they will eventually get clogged, so you’ll need to be able to remove them for cleaning.

Solar functionality

Different fountains are going to have different levels of solar functionality. Of the models we’ve reviewed above, some have batteries, and some only work in direct sunlight.

  • If you’re going for a battery model, you’ll want to know how long it needs to charge for and how much functioning time that will get you, and then check that against your specific needs.
  • If you’re going for a model without a battery, you’ll want to position it where it gets the most consistent solar exposure possible to keep it working as much as possible. 

The best solar powered fountains

Solar fountains are an excellent, low effort, low maintenance, environmentally friendly solution to having an active water feature in your garden. 

Installing a solar fountain is as simple as putting it where it gets good sunlight, filling it with water, and sitting back to enjoy it. We found the Smart Solar Mahayana 2-Tier Solar on Demand Fountain to be the best solar powered fountain of all the products we reviewed – and the ASC Cascade Ceramic Solar Water Fountain came in as a close second place.

Both fountains have a pleasant design, are easy to use, and have a reasonable price point. However, all of the fountains on our list deserve their spot – so it’s very much a point of personal preference which one you choose.

Love spending warm summer nights in your garden? Check out this roundup of our favorite solar tiki torches that provide an environmentally friendly illumination to an outdoor space.

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