yards improved is a website devoted to advice on how to get the most out of your yard and outdoor areas
This article may contain links which lead to us earning commissions at no extra cost to you.

Top Solar Pathway Lights

It ne1qver hurts to see where you’re going! And that’s just one of the positives you get when you add solar lighting along your pathways and driveways. Modern technology makes it easy to install lights that will brighten your path after sunset. They will increase safety and security while also adding nighttime beauty to your property!

Path lighting can help keep you from straying into the lawn or garden. It can also help highlight your flowers, trees, and bushes even when the day’s natural light ends. 

Nowadays, most path lighting is powered by solar energy. The lights themselves are usually LEDs. These two factors make it simple to add these features and keep them working.

In the past, such lights either had to be wired into the electric system of your house or powered by regular batteries. That meant a high cost. However, the newer ones simply need to be plunged into the ground. During the day, sunlight charges them so they can shine throughout the night.

What To Consider In Path Lighting

Of course, when you buy lights for your driveway or path, there are several factors to keep in mind. Let’s have a look at the major considerations.

Brightness

Brightness is an important feature for any light, indoor or outdoor. You want something bright enough to see by, but not so bright as to be overpowering. What’s that mean for pathway lighting?

In general, you want to be able to see where you’re going. Most solar-powered pathway lights point downwards. That helps keep the light focused. In general, the light spreads out three or four feet in each direction. 

In addition to showing you where to walk, your lights may also highlight the features within a few feet of the path. That means that many plants and other features will be illuminated. 

Normally, the goal should be to provide enough light to see by without detracting from the night’s special sensation. Subtle lighting is best!

How Many Lights You Need

You’ll have to decide how many lights you need, too. This will depend on the size of the area you need to light.

If you want to light a driveway to make it easier to pull into, you may want lights along both sides. If you have a path that’s only a few feet wide, though, you could keep all the lights on one side. The light should spread all the way across.

An even better look might be to alternate the side the light is on. Plant one light on the left and the next on the right. Keep them at intervals of about three to four feet. The circle of light will still reach almost every point of the path, and you’ll have an attractive pattern, too!

If you want lights on both sides of your path, divide the path’s length by 4. If you want them on only one side or alternating sides, divide by 8. This will allow circles of light with minimal overlap.

We suggest careful planning in case you need extra lights. You never know when your favorite design might disappear from the market!

Battery Life

Of course, you want lights that will stay lit as late as you need them to. Since the lights aren’t too bright, they won’t bother you or the neighbors even if they stay lit until dawn.

Solar-powered batteries can absorb enough energy on a sunny day to keep LED lights going for more than a single night. Photoreceptors turn the lights on automatically when it gets dark and off when the sun comes up.

In short, battery life usually isn’t a problem. If you have several dreary days in a row, of course, the batteries might not be able to recharge and the lights might not power up. However, that’s a rare problem!

Architectural Design

Last but not least is the design of the light fixture itself. This is a matter of taste and there are all sorts of designs available. From classic to ultramodern, you’ll be able to find something that suits your home and garden. There are even some that look like actual torches!

Your choice depends on your taste. Be confident that you’ll be able to find something that complements what you’ve already done with your home.

Tips For Using Path and Driveway Lighting

Using driveway and pathway lighting doesn’t take a lot of work or skill. But we still have a few simple pointers.

Allow adequate space between lights and path

There’s no need for your lights to be right on the edge of your path. It often looks best if you allow about a foot between the path’s edge and the light. 

That can also be safer since it will give you more room to walk or move objects along the way.

Plant firmly

Don’t forget to plant your lights firmly in the ground when you set them up, too. It’s pretty simple. Most come with a pointed spike at the bottom that you push into the soil. 

You simply want to push the fixture into the ground. Be sure to choose a spot where the soil is firm enough that the light won’t get knocked over.

Alternate sides

As we mentioned above, placing lights in a staggered fashion along alternating sides of the walkway or path. This can create a more artistic and even relaxed feeling to the design. 

Remember that the fixtures and the light itself aren’t just practical – they’re a wonderful part of your whole design!

Bring Them In For Winter

If you live in a region that has harsh winters and deep snow, you probably want to remove your path lights over the cold season. They could get buried in a bad snowstorm. Even with a few inches of snow, they may end up in the way of your snow blower or shovel.

Fortunately, they’re easy enough to pick up and replace in the spring!

Our Reviews Of The Best Solar Path Lights

There are tons of great options out there, but we’ve picked a few of our favorite solar path lights to share with you. Before you buy your solar pathway lights, be sure to check these out! We based our choices based on design, durability, and effectiveness. We also included a variety of pack sizes, since everyone’s needs are different!

Balhvit Glass Solar Lights Outdoor, 2 Pack

These bright lights from Balhvit are available in both two- and eight-packs. Both cool white and warm white are also available!.

The beveled-glass design of the light holder is a wonderful look. It helps refract the light, creating a great look as it falls on your plants and walkway.

You’ll get great output from these, as well. It takes 6-8 hours of direct light to charge them fully, and from that, you’ll enjoy 10-12 hours of light. The output is about 10 lumens, which is pretty bright for this type of light.

These pieces are made of stainless steel and glass. The ground spikes are sturdy plastic.

There’s also an 18-month warranty – far better than most competitors! The spike is ridged to provide a better grip, too.

The entire piece measures 16.7 inches tall. Of that, 3.7 inches is the plastic spike. The cap is 4.8 inches across.

These get high marks all across the board! They’re our favorite and we think you’ll love them too, as long as the design meets your needs.

Gigalumi Solar Pathway Lights

These popular pathway lights have a modern, streamlined design. They fit in fantastically with recent architectural trends. At the same time, they’re unobtrusive enough that they won’t clash with more traditional designs, either!

These also stand out because they are available in various light colors. Not only can you choose between cold white and warm light, but you also have the options of multicolor packs or even color-changing lights! These options can help set the mood you want. Each type is at a different price point.

The light is about 8.5 inches tall overall. Three inches of this is the spike. The tube is about ⅝ inch in diameter, and the top about 2 ¼ inches across.

The pole is stainless steel, but the spike and the cap are plastic. The stainless steel is very lightweight.

The lights fully charge on a moderately sunny day. Each light contains one rechargeable AAA battery (included). And they’ll stay lit for eight hours in the darkness. There’s an on-off switch under the cap in case you want them to stay off. They’ll still charge when turned off.

The most common complaint is that the lights are somewhat dim. However, this seems easy to fix with better batteries. You can replace the included ones – this seems to solve the issue! We do wish the manufacturer would publish the lumens produced, though.

One order of these lights includes 12 lights. 

TomCare Solar Lights Metal Flickering Flame Solar Torches

This set of landscape solar lights goes for – and achieves – a much more ancient feeling. They look like open flames! This is a great look that can go with any home and garden style. 

These lights come in a pack of four. And they are pretty expensive compared to the other entries on our list. However, the lights are of great quality. They are also much taller than most competitors.

You can choose between black or bronze poles. They measure over 43 inches, including the spike and light. That will provide you with a high light source that will spread out further.

On a typical charge of 8 hours of summer sunlight, you’ll get around 10 hours of “flame.” The weaker winter sunlight will still get you over 5 hours of light.

They throw off a gentle, warm light. It almost looks like a miniature lighthouse light inside the cage. 

The plastic construction is a drawback, although newer models do have a metal frame around the light itself. They’re still reasonably sturdy and look good, though.

Staaricc 6Pack Solar Torch Light with Flickering Flame

Another take on the flame design, these landscape path lights from Staaric have a goblet-shaped light fixture. It’s a unique design that adds something special to your walkway!

We love the look, but even more importantly we love the light these produce. Rather than just presenting an orange flame-shaped light, these flicker like a real torch.

You’ll get 4-6 hours of light in winter, and 8-10 in summer after a full day’s light of charging. The light intensity is more decorative than illuminative, though. If you need a good amount of light, these probably aren’t for you. If you just want a great look, though, they’re awesome.

Besides their unique lighting style, these also stand out because they include THREE options for mounting. You could use the stake to stick them in the ground, but they also offer bases to set them on a flat surface. They also include L-shaped hooks to replace the pole; with these hooks, you can hang them from a wall!

The overall unit with the pole attached measures 22 inches. Of that, 5 inches is for the stake, providing a solid anchor into the ground. 

The light fixture itself is about 3 inches across and nearly 8 inches high. 

For wall mounting, screws and anchors are included. 

There are six lamps included in this set. 

XMCosy Solar Pathway Lights 4 Pack

XMCosy’s 4-pack of solar landscape lights with beveled glass holders offers adjustable lighting levels from 10 to 40 lumens! That means you can go from subtle lighting to something much brighter. That’s unique among the lights we’ve found here. But it could come in handy, for instance, near the door to the house when you’re trying to find your keys. That extra light could surely help!

These also have an electroplated copper coating on the pole which adds to their unique appearance. The lens is glass.

The stake is made of sturdy aluminum and the pole is stainless steel.

Of course, the light intensity will affect the life of the battery. However,  even at the 40-lumen setting, you’ll still get a solid 5 or 6 hours of light out of a battery that’s about ¾ charged. At the lowest light level, you can get 10 or more hours.

The light level is controlled by a knob, so it’s easy to change when you want something different.

Conclusion 

Add a little light to your garden path, driveway, or walkway with solar-powered pathway lights! A little light goes a long way. It will help you trod your path safely as well as add some nighttime beauty to your home. Fortunately, they’re easy to install and use and don’t require much of you once set up! Pick a favorite design and enjoy the appeal it adds to your home.