Last Updated: Feb 13, 2021 @ 1:53 pm.

What are the best outdoor sconces that are solar powered? To find out, we asked our parent readers for their favorite outdoor solar lights. What worked best for a deck? Or a playhouse? We took these suggestions and then did seven more hours of homework, comparing quality, durability and price. Here are the ones we'd recommend.

FYI: We've been reviewing and rating products for the home and families since 1994. To keep things independent, we don't take money or freebies from brands we review! Our work is 100% reader-supported!


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Best Budget-Friendly

Warm, soft light
Loved the look and light pattern from this 2-pack of sconces. Great for decks or sheds. Easy to install and compact in size. Caveat: not very bright.
$16.99

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Best Budget-Friendly: Maggift 2 Pack Solar Wall Lantern

Let’s talk outdoor solar-powered sconces!

Before you get a pack of these lights, here are a few tips to understanding what they can (and can’t) do:

• Direct sun is best. These lights work best when they can recharge in DIRECT sunlight. You’ll be disappointed if you place them under an eave or other shaded spot—they simply won’t charge (and work) as well.

• The rechargeable batteries in these lights only work for so many cycles. After a few months, they may stop holding a charge. But there is good news: some of the lights reviewed in this article have REPLACEABLE batteries—yes, this is an extra expense, but it will extend the life of the lights beyond one or two seasons.

• Set your expectations lower for use in winter months. Since the sun is typically more filtered (or at a lower angle) in the winter, these lights won’t perform as well as they’d do summer.

• Consider what these lights do best: provide a few hours of ambient light after sunset next to a shed, playhouse or deck . . . somewhere it may be difficult to add a hardwired light. We would not recommend these lights for security purposes. Why? They just aren’t that bright. And they won’t work for more than a few hours after sunset (that is, not all night). 

Ok, now that the tips are done, let’s talk best picks. For the best budget-friendly solar outdoor sconces, we’d recommend a favorite among our readers: Maggift 2-Pack Solar Wall Lantern. We like that these lanterns come with a mounting kit and the light is a warm, white color.

What We Liked

• Nice pattern of light. These lamps cast a rather artsy-looking light pattern to the side and ground . . . very impressive, in our opinion.

• Easy to install.

• Look expensive, especially from a distance. Some of the solar lights we researched for this article had a cheap, plastic look—these lights are much nicer.

• Warm, white light.

• Auto turn on at dusk, off at dawn.

• About 5-6 hours of actual light time, based on real-world tests. The maker claims 8-10 hours.

What Needs Work

• Small overall size.

• Light doesn’t last all night. However, that is true for nearly all the outdoor solar sconces we researched for this article—so adjust your expectations accordingly!

• Must charge in the full sunlight for six to eight hours. Like many of these lights, you’ll get less light if they aren’t in direct sun for that length of time.

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Best Solar Deck Lights

Easy to install
The multi-color changing feature of these lights is the star here. But we liked the overall Craftsman aesthetic and build quality.
$28.99

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Best Solar Deck Lights: SUNFACE Solar Deck Lights

Decks are a popular place for solar sconce lights and after looking at several options that our readers said worked well, we pick SUNFACE’s Solar Deck Lights as the best bet for most folks.

We liked how easy these lights are to install—yes, you can use double-back tape to attach them to non-porous surfaces. The Craftsman style fits in with most decor and the warm white light is a winner. 

Here’s more:

What We Liked

 Color! Yes, you can set these lights to rotate through 7 colors if you wish. Caveat: you can’t sync multiple lights together, so they will change color at different intervals. That didn’t both us, but we can see why some folks would want that feature.

• Easy to install.

• Nice aesthetic design.

• Can change the battery.

• About 5-6 hours of light in the real world.

What Needs Work

• Not very bright. These lights have about 10 lumens. If you want something brighter, consider the next pick.

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Best Bright Outdoor Solar Lanterns

Steel and glass construction
We found these lights to be the brightest of the bunch we tested—and the lantern style has a nice vintage or farmhouse vibe.
$34.99

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Best Bright Outdoor Solar Lanterns: Otdair Solar Wall Lantern Outdoor

One of the most common complaints about outdoor solar lights is a lack of brightness: most lamps have only 10-15 lumens.

That’s why this pick, Otdair’s Solar Wall Lanterns, stood out in our research: they have about twice the brightness (25 lumens). Now 25 lumens isn’t exactly a spotlight, but you’ll notice the difference over lights with less light output. 

Here’s more:

What We Liked

• Lantern style with included bracket.

• Look impressive for the price.

• Made of stainless steel and glass—not plastic.

• Great for decks or fence posts.

What Needs Work

• Limited run time. In the real world, this is about 3-4 hours. The maker claims 8-10 hours.

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Best Decorative Outdoor Solar Lights

Sparkly plastic covers are nich touch
Great bang for the buck here—yes, they look expensive, but no one has to know how little they cost! Also nice: 7 colors that can auto cycle . . . or just go with warm white.
$23.99

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Best Decorative Outdoor Solar Lights: Timeflies Solar Wall Lights Outdoor

Loved the look of these outdoor solar lights—and quite a bang for the buck. The black with branches pattern gives them a rich look . . . but no one has to know how little you spent.

What We Liked

• Look expensive.

• Waterproof.

• Sparkly plastic cover.

• 7 colors or warm white light.

• Waterproof.

• Metal shell.

• About four hours of light if put in direct sun.

What Needs Work

• Not bright enough for some folks. At 10 lumens, these lights offer nice ambient light . . . but that might be enough for some applications.

Why Trust Us

We’ve been rating and reviewing products for the home and families since 1994. We do extensive research, surveying our readers and evaluating recommendations with an eye toward quality, ease of use and affordability.

Here’s another key point: we don’t take money from the brands we review. No free samples, no sponsors, no “partnerships.” Our work is 100% reader-supported!

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