Solar rope lights are a simple yet effective solution to decoratively lighting your yard, while relying entirely on solar energy. These are our top five picks for the best solar rope lights, with the standout winner being the IMAGE Solar Rope Lights.
Long-lasting, thanks to their large solar panel and powerful battery, these are the best solar rope lights combining functionality with durability, and for a reasonable price. But if you’re still not sold – we’ve reviewed the five best solar rope lights on the market today.
Top solar rope lights reviewed
These solar rope lights are all highly durable, waterproof, and suitable for outdoor use. The various products come in different lengths, colors, and effects, so choose the one that best suits your needs and preferences!
These solar rope lights are nearly 80 feet long, and can be used indoors or outside.
They are powered by a large, high-density solar panel, connected to a 2400mAh battery. You’ll be able to fill this generous battery even on a cloudy day, and then have enough power to run the rope lights all night. This battery is big enough to power these energy-efficient lights for 10 hours or more!
We love how the solar panel is detachable, so you can take it and charge it outside while leaving the lights in place.
The lights come with eight different modes, allowing you to choose between dimmable, flashing, and other options, all in a warm white tone that will throw a cozy glow on your garden party or provide subtle outdoor lighting. You can easily switch modes with the buttons conveniently located on the back of the solar panel.
What we like:
- Long lasting: Thanks to the large solar panel and powerful battery.
- Detachable solar panel: For easy charging.
- Generous length: At nearly 80 feet long.
What we don’t like:
- Thin: Some online reviewers complain that these lights were thinner than they expected.
The lights are completely waterproof so will stand up to all types of weather and have a safety voltage feature. All of these handy features combined with a reasonable price make these the best solar rope lights on the market right now, in our humble opinion.
These AMIR LED strip lights are on the shorter side, at nearly 10 feet, so while they’re not the longest, they are some of the best solar rope lights for people who don’t need to light up a large area. The strip itself is ideal for decorating individual trees or lighting a smaller space such as along the top of a sailboat.
One of the key advantages of this product is that you can customize the length: there are cutting marks between each LED light, so you can cut anywhere you like without damaging the strip.
These strip lights have eight different lighting modes, from waves and fades to steady and twinkle marquee. They are also waterproof to IP67 standards.
We love how these lights automatically turn on and off: they automatically turn off when the sun rises and absorb solar energy, and then the lights turn on when it gets dark. The solar panel will fully charge in four to six hours in bright sunlight, and once fully charged, the lights will shine for up to 12 hours.
What we like:
- Customizable: You can cut the lights to your desired length.
- Automatic: The lights will turn on when the sun goes down.
What we don’t like:
- Shorter: The rope is only around 10 feet long.
These are easy to install thanks to the self-adhesive tape on the back of the lights. All you need to do is stick the lights where you’d like them! The panel comes with screws so you can mount it to a wall or another surface, and a spike if you’d prefer to stick it in the ground.
These rope lights from Hampton Bay are made from heavy-duty plastic to be resistant to the elements, including rain, sun, and snow. The battery cover also has a rubber internal cover for water resistance.
You can choose to turn the lights on, off, or set to flash mode, and they cast a bright white light. These high-quality and well-made lights come with a built-in lithium iron phosphate battery that charges with solar energy, and has enough capacity to run the lights all night.
What we like:
- Weather-proof: The lights and battery cover are built to be water-resistant.
- High-quality battery: The lithium iron phosphate battery is long-lasting and durable.
What we don’t like:
- Limited lighting modes: With only three modes, much less than most solar rope lights.
Overall, these lights are well-built and durable and will withstand all kinds of weather, and continue to perform well.
These are some of the best solar rope lights for anyone looking to inject a bit of color into their illumination! They have a rainbow option for a stunning visual effect that’s ideal for parties, or to simply add some joy to your yard. This is just one of eight different lighting modes you can choose from depending on your mood (others include ‘warm’ and ‘romantic’).
The lights will run for eight plus hours if the battery is fully charged.
They’re rated IP65 waterproof and are also frost-proof and sun-proof, so you can feel confident to leave them outside in all weathers and they’ll keep working well.
What we like:
- Visually stunning: The lights have a multicolored option, among other aesthetic modes.
- Weather-proof: Rated IP-65 waterproof, frost-proof, and sun-proof.
What we don’t like:
- Shorter run time: At just eight hours, these are less long-lasting than some of the lights on this list.
The seller also offers a one-year warranty for the lights, so you can rest assured that any issues with the product will be addressed.
Some of the best solar rope lights for color and variety; the JosMega string lights come in various different colors. You can choose between purple, blue, green, and multi-colored.
After charging for four to eight hours of sunlight, these lights will shine for between six and 12 hours, so may last all night depending on the amount of sun they get during the day. Even on overcast days, the solar panel will charge enough to provide at least a couple of hours of light.
Like others on this list, these lights have eight different lighting modes and they also come with a temperature sensor to prevent the system from overheating.
What we like:
- Different colors: Choice of various colors as well as multi-colored lights.
- Safe: The lights have a built-in temperature sensor to prevent overheating.
What we don’t like:
- Dim: Some online users complain that the lights are a little dim.
Although these lights do not give out a lot of light, they still work as a decorative item to add a little magic to your yard.
How to choose the best solar rope lights for your needs
Solar rope lights have become extremely popular in recent years. This means that you have plenty of products to choose between, but not all solar rope lights are the same.
Here are some important tips to help you choose sturdy, durable lights that will last a long time and meet your needs.
consider the length
To work out the length you need, think about what you’re planning to use them for. How long is the space you want to decorate?
Keep in mind that you’ll need to factor in extra length if you want to wrap the lights around objects like tree branches. Likewise, if you want to provide actual lighting, you may want to double wrap the lights, so you’ll need double the length.
However, if you’re after really bright lighting, such as for security purposes, you’re probably better off with alternatives such as solar motion lights.
Look at their durability
If you plan to put your solar rope lights outside, then you need to make sure they will stand up to the elements without losing their aesthetic value or functionality. Look for models that are rated IP65 waterproof, and preferably snowproof, depending on the climate where you live.
Similarly, it’s important to make sure the lights are made from durable materials. The best solar rope lights will be made of sturdy materials, such as high-quality PVC, to ensure that they will stand up to all weathers and continue to work well.
On the other hand, if you just want to hang the lights up inside, these considerations are not so important.
How bright are the lights?
This is another factor that comes down to what you are planning to use the lights for. If you want your solar rope lights to provide substantial light, you’ll need to choose a brighter model with a higher density of LED lights, like the Hampton Bay Solar Rope Light.
On the other hand, if you want lights for decorative purposes only, they don’t need to be very bright at all. In this case, you’re better off choosing a dimmer model such as the AMIR LED Strip Lights that will run longer on the same amount of solar energy.
It’s also worth considering that the brighter the light, the more likely the rope will fade to invisible when the lights come on.
Solar power and output
If you’re buying solar rope lights, you probably want them to shine for as long as possible.
There are two factors that affect the runtime and output for any type of solar lighting:
- How much power is collected during the day
- How much power is used to run the lights at night
The first factor depends on the size of the solar panel, as well as the battery capacity. For a maximum run time, ideally, you want a larger solar panel attached to a battery with decent capacity, like the IMAGE Solar Rope Lights.
However, this is not necessarily required if the lights do not need too much power to run.
Solar rope lights with more LED lights – whether longer or with a higher density of LEDs – require more power to run.
Consider the color and hue
Some of the best solar rope lights on the market offer a choice of different colors and hues so that you can customize your lighting, so look out for different color options when you shop.
Many are soft white, others have a bright white tone, and there are also rainbow-colored options as well as tones such as purple and blue. Some lights, such as the JosMega Solar String Rope Lights let you switch between different colors.
Where you’re planning to put your solar rope lights can also greatly influence the choice of product. For example, some lights are appropriate for inside use only, while others are suitable for outside.
All of the products we’ve listed here can be used either inside or outside.
The space you want to hang the lights will also make a difference, particularly when it comes to the length you need.
Some models are designed so that you can cut them, and so customize them to the size you need. However, not all solar rope lights can be cut, so make sure to check this before buying and certainly cutting into the lights!
Also, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions to cut them properly to avoid damaging the lights.
How to get the most from your solar rope lights
Solar rope lights can be a fantastic addition to your home, yard, or other outdoor space. However, there are a few things you should keep in mind to get the most out of these eco-friendly lights.
Solar rope lights are highly versatile – you can put them up in your yard, inside your house, or even on your boat, tent, or RV.
Most solar rope lights are very flexible, so you can mold and shape them however you like. This makes them easy to put up as you can wrap them around poles or tree branches, or even shape them into creative designs.
LED lights in general should not overheat, so you can install them on any surface, including on wood or plastic.
Whichever lights you opt for, be sure to install the solar panel where it will receive direct sunlight, in order to get enough light. You should place it in the direction where it will receive the most sun throughout the day.
If putting solar ropes up inside, obviously you need some way to expose the solar panel to sunlight in order to charge the battery. You could use lights with a detachable solar panel such as the IMAGE Solar Rope Lights and take the panel outside to charge it, though this is quite a bit of work.
Ideally, set up your lights with the solar panel sitting outside where it will receive direct sunlight, and connect to the rope lights inside. For example, you may be able to place the panel on your roof and feed the cable inside.
If you want to put your solar rope lights up outside, they’ll need to be able to get wet when it rains. Look for products that are rated IP65 waterproof: you can be confident these will withstand plenty of rain.
There are some additional points to consider depending on the climate where you live. You want to ensure that the ropes will stand up to sun damage, particularly if you live in a very sunny climate.
In this case, the best solar rope lights you can choose are highly durable ones, made from high-quality plastic.
On the other hand, if you live in a cold climate, you’ll need to make sure that the lights will tolerate snow and frost.
Care and maintenance
Good-quality solar rope lights don’t need very much ongoing care or maintenance. However, dust and dirt can build up on the PVC tubing over time, as it is exposed to different types of weather. This may block the lights and cause them to become dim.
Therefore, it’s a good idea to wipe the tubing down with a cloth and soapy water from time to time. If your solar rope lights are really dirty, you may need to take them down completely to clean them and then hang them up again. You should also regularly clean the solar panel.
Dust and dirt will build up on the surface of the panel: not only will this reduce the amount of light that reaches the PV cells and so make the panel less efficient, but over time this may permanently damage the equipment.
Remove any accumulated dust and grime with a soft cloth and soapy water, as well as a soft-bristled brush if necessary to shift mud and stubborn debris.
If you ask us, the IMAGE Solar Rope Lights are the best solar rope lights you can buy right now. We think these high-quality, durable lights are the best solar rope lights because of their length, as well as the size of the solar panel and battery. We also like that they have a detachable solar panel.
Regardless of the product you choose, make sure that it is appropriate for your intended use, as well as the climate where you live. Properly maintaining the rope lights and regularly cleaning the solar panel will also help you to get the most out of these stunning, decorative, and sustainable lights!