Christmas lights are one of the best parts of decorating for the holidays, but they can end up costing you a pretty penny — that is, unless, you’re using the best solar Christmas lights for your display. Since the sun powers these gorgeous bulbs, high electric bills— not to mention faulty power outlets and broken batteries — will be a thing of the past.
Like all solar-powered lighting, solar Christmas lights also allow you to light your home without contributing to harmful greenhouse gas emissions the way that regular energy consumption does. Keep reading to find out how they work and where to pick up the best solar Christmas lights to make your home more merry and bright.
Benefits of Solar Christmas Lights
Though similar in appearance to regular holiday lights, solar Christmas lights get their energy directly from the sun instead of your power outlet. That means that not only will you be cutting back on CO2 footprint, you’ll be saving money on your electricity bill — a fact that’s music to any Christmas light-lover’s ears in the month of December.
Energy.gov estimates that the LED bulbs found in solar Christmas lights will see you paying $17.99 to light a tree for 10 holiday seasons as opposed to the $122.19 it would cost you to use regular, incandescent bulbs. What’s not to love?
How do solar powered Christmas lights work?
Solar Christmas lights have intricate scientific concepts behind them. Essentially, your lights come with a mini solar panel that takes its energy from the biggest star in the sky and funnels it into a battery, which has a diode (an electrical device that allows a current to flow easily in one direction while stopping it from flowing in the opposite direction) to keep energy from escaping.
Once night falls, a light-detecting controller board signals the artificial lights to turn on. Hours later, when the sun comes back up, this same board switches the lights off and the process begins all over again.
How to Fix Solar Christmas lights
You bought them, set them up, and ta-da! They’re not working. Before you find your receipt and get ready to head back to the store, there are a few solutions you can try. First, double-check that the lights are switched on and any tabs or stickers are removed.
If you have this all in place and the bulbs are still putting up a fight, make sure that the solar panel is clean of any dust or dirt and facing the direction of the sun. A final option is to switch the lights off and let them recharge for a few days to make sure the battery is full.
The Best Solar Christmas Lights
Ready to get decorating? From white lights that will turn your home into a winter wonderland to multi-colored displays that are both joyful and triumphant, we’ve rounded up 15 solar Christmas light displays to round out your holiday décor. Keep scrolling to shop FIRST for Women’s favorite Christmas solar lights below.
We write about products we think our readers will like. If you buy them, we get a small share of the revenue from the supplier.
Candy Cane Path Lights Solar
Best Solar Christmas Pathway Lights
Philips Solar Candy Cane Lawn Stakes
Where to buy: $17.49 (Originally $24.99), Target
These darling candy cane path lights are not only perfect for celebrating Christmas, they'll also light your way when it’s dark or snowy. Each set comes with six lights and one solar panel stake, so you won’t have to deal with wires that could potentially cause you to trip.
“We have purchased a total of 10 sets of these lights and LOVE them,” wrote one reviewer. "If you have a good location for direct sun, you will not be disappointed!”
Red Green Laser Lights Solar Christmas
Best Solar Laser Christmas Lights
URPOWER Solar Lights
Where to buy: From $28.99, Amazon
Stake these solar laser Christmas lights into the ground and watch as their four bright LED bulbs offer a dazzling spectacle for neighbors and passersby. Fully adjustable and built to withstand all kinds of weather, these lights are color-changing, alternating between red, green, blue, and yellow. They feature a sizable solar panel, and each bulb stays lit for six to nine hours once fully charged.
One happy Amazon buyer wrote, "I love this solar-powered laser light. It was so easy to set up and took so much stress [out of] decorating for the holidays. Not only is it incredibly beautiful, but it's also solar-powered, which I love. No wires, no electricity. And the range is phenomenal. The entire back and side of my house is covered."
Snowflake Path Lights Best Solar Powered
Best Solar Stake Lights
Unique Gadgets Solar-Powered Snowflakes
Where to buy: $19.99, Amazon
These pretty little snowflakes can help light walkways — and your rows of plants — with a simple stake that goes into the ground. The vivid rainbow glow they emit switches between seven different colors: white, pink, red, orange, green, purple, and blue.
“Love the solar snowflakes!" one shopper wrote. "The color changes are dramatic and distinct."
Another buyer raved, "These are BEAUTIFUL to see at night time. ... I get all kinds of compliments about them."
Solar Icicle Lights Christmas
Best Solar Christmas String Lights
Dedeo Decox Solar Curtain Lights
Where to buy: $25.99, Amazon
We all know and admire the neighbor who has those impeccable icicle lights hanging from her roof, and with these lights, you’ll be that neighbor! Strung with 300 waterproof LED bulbs, this solar-powered set charges fast and can stay lit for up 12 hours at night.
Exclaimed one reviewer: "These work really well and are non-stress Christmas lights — what can be better?"
Snowflake Fairy Lights
Best Solar Snowflake String Lights
Inngree Solar String lights
Where to buy: $15.99, Amazon
We may not like shoveling it, but without snow, winter doesn’t seem nearly as stunning. Revel in the beauty of a fresh snowfall by draping these little snowflake lights from your roof or wind them up around your lamp post. Featuring 30 LED waterproof lights and eight different modes (flashing, twinkle, waves, sequential, slow-glow, chasing, slow fade, and steady on), these stunners will add a gorgeous finishing touch to your winter display.
One buyer shared, "These are great! They look nice, charge easily and are perfect for our house because we don't have plugs that are accessible for the front of our house. [They] ... charged well in the daytime and ran for about six hours at night. No need to turn them off, they go off [by] themselves when they are out of power or when the sensor detects light."
Colorful Fairy Lights Solar Powered
Best Solar Colored Christmas Lights
Qedertek Solar String Lights
Where to buy: $31 (Originally $32.98), Amazon
If white lights just don’t do it for you, pick up this colorful bundle instead. A rainbow assortment that will light up the outside of your house and truly bring the holiday cheer, these solar lights feature 200 bright LED bulbs, waterproof construction, and a long-lasting solar panel that will keep your lights lit well into the night.
More than one reviewer was impressed by these stunning strands, with one raving, "I can not say enough about these lights. They look amazing and even on cloudy days they still light up bright during the night."
White Fairy Lights Solar Powered
Best White Solar Christmas Lights
Toodour Solar Christmas Lights
Where to buy: $16.99, Amazon
There are two types of people: those who are colored light fans and those who appreciate a clean white look. If you fall into the latter category, these warm white lights are the perfect addition to your home. Featuring 200 bright LED bulbs and eight light modes (combination, waves, sequential, slo-glo, chasing flash, twinkle, slow fade, and steady), these lights will add just the right amount of glow to your home.
Wrote one happy purchaser: "These look great at night. We put several strands throughout our backyard around our trees and a few bushes. I was pleasantly surprised how bright they were for being solar lights! All-white is a beautiful way to have a cohesive, timeless look for Christmastime, and just because they're solar doesn't mean they won't light up your yard."
Bird Branch Solar Lights
Best Outdoor Solar Lights
GeKLok Tree Branch Lights
Where to buy: $21.99, Amazon
These vintage-looking stakes are perfect for adding some seasonal flair to your yard. Made from wire and acrylic, they're equipped with powerful LED bulbs and are rust-proof for year-round use. Offering the ability to switch between white and colorful displays, these flexible branches can be illuminated for up to eight hours.
One Amazon reviewer wrote, “A beautiful Christmas decoration. The quality of the product is high. Very colorful and bright. That is what I was always looking for. I love it. Five stars.”
Poinsetta Mailbox Wreath
Best Mailbox Light Solar Powered
Collections Etc Solar Poinsettia Swag Holiday Mailbox Decoration
Where to buy: $17.96, Amazon
While wreaths are a popular form of greenery to hang from windows and doors, this little Christmas floral mailbox arrangement offers up a different way to approach outdoor decoration. We adore its pretty poinsettias, holly berries, and pinecones almost as much as the fact that it lights up — using solar power, of course.
One buyer raved, "[I] love this decoration for my mailbox. ... [It's] just perfect! I have gotten a lot of compliments from my neighbors. The lights are pretty too!"
Best Solar Ornament
Icicle Dangler Solar Christmas Light Decoration
Where to buy: $17.98, Walmart
With the addition of this solar-powered icicle chandelier to your yard, which emits a blue solar-powered light, you’ll feel like Elsa of Arendelle decking out her icy kingdom in honor of the season!
Raved one Walmart shopper, "Very pretty at night when lit up and also pretty during the day!"
Meteor Shower Lights
Best Solar Snow Lights
Vmanoo LED Outdoor Lights
Where to buy: $18.99, Amazon
If you think static lights are too plain and blinking ones are too flashy, this is your happy medium: These raining weather-resistant lights are mesmerizing and quickly turn any home into a holiday wonderland. Coming with eight tubes with 36 lights each, they'll make your trees look like something straight out of Whoville!
“These lights are fantastic! The ‘meteor shower’ action is beautiful," wrote one buyer. "The colors are pure and very bright. The solar cells charged quickly, and lasted all night long."
Solar Hanging Christmas Tree
Best Solar Light Christmas Tree
Solar-Lighted Christmas Tree Hanging Decoration
Where to buy: $29.97 (Originally $39.95, Plow & Hearth)
This darling spiral Christmas tree is just the right decoration to take the place of your wind chimes for the season. Measuring in at 18 x 8.5 inches, it's a sizable piece of décor, complete with a festive topper that's sure to get you compliments from holiday guests.
Customer Kristine is a fan, writing, “[I] love this! Works great and looks so cute hanging on my front porch! ... The tree is perfect and [helps] add to my festive Christmas decorations!”
Outdoor Solar Decoration
Best Outdoor Solar Candles
MAGGIFT Solar Christmas Decorations
Where to buy: $37.99, Amazon
Welcome guests by candlelight with these adorable solar-powered candle decorations. Staked right into the ground and equipped with a solar panel that will help light light up your entryway, they feature two bright flickering flameless LED candles surrounded by wire Christmas trees and holiday poinsettias.
One customer wrote that they" add a nice touch to the yard. They look like they will hold up well.”
Solar Crystal Ball Lights
Best Solar Ball Lights
SUPSOO Solar LED Crystal Ball String Lights
Where to buy: $13.99 (Originally $15.99), Amazon
For a glass-blown look, try these crystal ball string lights. Featuring eight light modes and a myriad of festive hues, these lights will add an icy, colorful touch to any holiday display. Their solar panel kit saves your light mode preferences, so you won't have to mess with them more than once after you string them along your banister or wrap them around that gorgeous tree out front.
One happy decorator shared, "Installing these was simple and obviously saves money on the electric bill as well. No hassle! Just turn them on and when the sun comes up they go off, and as soon as the sun goes down they come on very brightly! Fantastic lights!”
Solar Star Lights
Best Solar Star Lights
Grezea Solar Star String Lights
Where to buy: $13.99, Amazon
Create a starry night overhead with these gorgeous star-shaped solar string lights. Featuring 50 LED-powered stars and eight different light modes (waves, sequential, slo-glo, chasing/flash, slow fade, twinkle/flash, and steady on) this pick is energy-efficient and immediately begin to light up once dusk arrives.
“Loved these lights," one buyer wrote. "They were perfect little stars with just the right amount of light. ... They are very pretty on their own during the day, but are beautiful when they light up at night. They stay lit almost all night and really look good.”