Best Solar Christmas Lights

Americans pay as much as $1,500 to get a professional to hang their Christmas lights every year. And that doesn't even account for what they must pay when their December electricity bill arrives in the mail.

Solar Christmas lights offer homeowners a way to save on festive season decoration costs. They're easy to install and don't need municipal electricity. Read on to learn which lights to buy!

Solar Christmas Lights Buying Guide

Solar technology was once seen as a fad-despite continual advances over the past 30-plus years.

But nowadays, there is a vast array of solar lights, from garden pathway lights to decorative Christmas lights. How do you know which to choose?

QINOL 400 LED 72FT Solar String Lights-2 Pack

These lights answer the question, "What are solar Christmas lights?" They're the number one choice and best seller on Amazon.

They can be used indoors or outdoors and come in three festive colors: green, white, and cool. They are, of course, solar-powered but can also run on standard batteries. That's great for those days when the winter sun isn't offering enough charging power.

They feature upgraded, super-bright LED bulbs (the company calls them "starbright"). LED bulbs are, by their very nature, energy-efficient, meaning you'll save even more of that precious solar energy.

These string lights come in a pack of two and, once fully charged, will last up to ten hours. They take eight hours to charge fully. This free (yes, FREE) energy from the sun is stored in the high-quality 1200mah built-in battery.

With eight different modes, there's lots of creativity to be had. Owners can choose from combination, waves, sequential, slo-glo, chasing/flashing, slow fade, twinkle/flash, and steady light arrangements. A memory chip embedded in the light's operation panel remembers the last mode, so you don't need to reset it once you find your preferred option.

Top features include:

  • Three colors: green, white, and cool
  • Super bright 400-lumen LED bulbs
  • High-quality 1200mah built-in battery
  • Fully charged in 8 hours
  • Lasts 8-10 hours once fully charged
  • 8 modes and memory function

What are users saying about the product?

  • Do these last in the winter? Specifically Chicago winters. Hi, yes, this can work in winter, but kindly note during winter, the charging time will need to longer and usage time will be shorter due to the sunshine is not as bright as it in summer days. All solar items will face the same problem. Longer using time in summer and shorter using time in winter.
  • When I set my solar lights outside, do I need to turn them on & off? Or can I just leave them on in the morning? Once the lights are set up, you can turn them on and leave them there. They will automatically turn on when its dark and will turn off during the daytime because they have a built-in light sensor. We recommend placing the solar panel away from any shade where they can receive sufficient sunshine.  
  • Is the cord brown or black? The cord is very dark green.

If you're looking for lengthy outdoor solar string lights, look no further than these lights from YIQU. They come in at a whopping 72 feet and have other exciting features.

As with the QINOL, these lights feature super bright, high-efficiency LED bulbs, though they come in at 200 lumens versus the QINOL's 400 lumens. However, the YIQUs make up for this slight dip in brightness with their super-long length and durability.

The upgraded LEDs are fitted on a sturdy green wire. The batteries have also been upgraded from 1200MAH to 1800MAH, so they charge quickly, hold more charge, and, therefore, run longer. Best of all, these 72-foot-long solar Christmas lights feature IP65 waterproof performance.

The eight lighting modes ensure these lights are flexible, suiting any occasion. They also have a memory function to remember the last setting used and, of course, a simple on/off switch.

Top features include:

  • 72 feet long
  • Super bright 200-lumen LED bulbs
  • High-efficiency 1800mah battery
  • IP65 waterproof performance
  • 8 modes and memory function

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What are users saying about the product?

  • How long is the wire from the solar panel to the first light? The wire is five feet long.
  • Are they durable? Super easy to use, charge quickly in light and have different modes. We tested them out in Atlanta, Georgia and they endured the Southern storms, heat and cold. They are bright enough light to illuminate the front patio area but won’t attract moths unless you use BRIGHT mode. By the way, you can learn how to make your lights brighter here!

No solar Christmas lights guide would be complete without including some classic white Christmas string lights. And this offering from JMEXSUSS is just that.

These solar fairy lights come in a pack containing two 33-foot-long copper wire strings fitted with 100-lumen LED bulbs.

A neat feature of these lights is their unique bulb arrangement. A selection of bulbs can be seen from any angle. We're talking 360-degree viewing!

The copper wire is flexible, so you can easily bend it around tree trunks, branches, fence posts, bushes, and pergolas. The lights themselves and the solar panel are IP44 Waterproof, so they will keep working in even the heaviest rain and snow storms.

You have eight lighting modes to choose from, including waves, combination, fading, fireflies, chasing, twinkle, fading slowly, and steady. These lights won't overheat, making them safe for families with small children and pets. Use them outdoors and inside.

Charging takes eight hours, and the lights will last eight to twelve hours once fully charged. The auto function is perhaps their best feature; they automatically turn on at night and turn off once the sun rises.

Top features include:

  • 33 feet long
  • Flexible copper wire with 360-degree viewing
  • 100-lumen LED bulbs
  • IP44 Waterproof performance
  • Fully charged in 8 hours
  • Lasts 8-12 hours once fully charged
  • 8 lighting modes
  • Auto turn off/on function

What are users saying about the product?

  • Is each strand 16 ft with a total of 32 in or are both strands 32 ft? Each strand is 32 ft.
  • Noticed that the copper wire is exposed, is there any danger of a short out? No, the surface of the copper wire is coated with an insulating layer to prevent electric shock.
  • What are the measurements of the solar panel box? The solar panels are 2.5 in squared.

Have you ever wanted remote-controlled solar Christmas lighting? Well, Blingstar has you covered with this 75-foot-long string of colorful 200-lumen LEDs.

The remote control features an on/off switch, a dimmer, and a timer. You can turn your festive lights on without getting up from the couch!

As with the other lights on this list, there are eight lighting modes to scroll through and an auto shut-off feature controlled by a built-in light sensor. This means the lights automatically switch off in the daytime and turn on again when it gets dark.

Blingstar has given homeowners a larger solar panel that provides 24 hours of operation when fully charged. The 9.8-foot-wide solar panel is connected to the lights by cable. There's no need to charge batteries.

The remote uses a CR2025 3V lithium battery and you can order a replacement here.

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Top features include:

  • 75 feet long
  • Remote control operation
  • 200-lumen LED bulbs
  • Lasts 24 hours once fully charged
  • 8 lighting modes
  • Auto turn off/on function

These solar Christmas lights from the brand JMEXSUSS are a 2022 upgrade. The company added a larger solar panel (3.94 x 3.74 inches), and the bulbs are more reliable with a softer light.

Where customers complained before about a short run time, this is no longer the case. With the bigger panel, these 75-foot-long string lights will last a total of eight hours with an eight to twelve-hour charge.

Like the other lights in this selection, you have eight lighting modes to choose from: wave, sequential, slo glo, chasing/flash, slow fade, twinkle/flash, and steady. There is also a combination mode that cycles through all the modes.

These classic, easy-to-install decorative lights are ideal for roof lines, trees, pergolas, and fences and add a festive touch to patios, fire pits, and BBQ areas.

Top features include:

  • 75 feet long
  • 3.94 x 3.74-inch solar panel
  • 200-lumen LED bulbs
  • Fully charged in 8-12 hours
  • Lasts 8 hours once fully charged
  • 8 lighting modes (including a combination mode)


Will Solar Christmas Lights Survive Freezing Temperatures?

Yes, all of the lights listed in our handy guide are designed for outdoor use. This means they're able to withstand freezing temperatures. After all, it's called a solar Christmas light for a reason-it's made for use in the middle of winter!

However, depending on where you live in the US, you may not have enough sunlight hours in winter to charge your lights completely. For example, Anchorage (Alaska), Indianapolis (Indiana), and Boise (Idaho) receive well under 400 average total sunshine hours in winter. In places with low sunshine hours, you'll need to charge your lights for longer and won't be able to use them for as long.

This issue isn't limited to solar Christmas lights. All solar-powered products face this issue, from generators and radios to enormous solar arrays on a rooftop. Essentially, you get more usage out of your solar products in summer and less in winter.

Lucky Floridians won't face this issue. Tampa alone receives close to 600 average sunlight hours even in winter!

Lights designed for outdoor use are also made of durable materials that can survive adverse weather conditions. They feature waterproof wire casings and connections to ensure they're safe to use even when it's raining, hailing, or snowing outside.

How Long Do Christmas Solar Lights Last?

Traditional outdoor Christmas lights with incandescent bulbs last between four and six years. How do their solar counterparts-which typically feature LEDs-compare?

On average, you can expect your solar lights to last between one and two years before you need to replace them. This is the equivalent of 300 to 600 continuous charges. The LEDs last considerably longer, meaning you only need to replace the rechargeable batteries inside the solar light's panel.

The exact amount of time your solar lights will last depends on the batteries you use. Solar Christmas lights use rechargeable batteries, charged using a solar panel. Newer lights use 1.2V NiMH (Nickel Metal Hydride) batteries, which have now mostly replaced the less efficient NiCds. Sizes range from AA to AAA, just like standard batteries.

You can learn more about how solar lights work here. 

When replacing your batteries, try to match the capacity, called the mAh rating.

You know when it's time to replace the parts in your solar Christmas lights when they start to dim consistently. They'll no longer be as efficient at lighting up an area at night.

Once your solar lights are spent, you can recycle them-either by putting them out for collection by your municipal recycling system or repurposing the parts yourself if you're handy. This only adds to their environmental benefits.