Product Review: Solar Yard Lights

Spring has finally arrived, and now it’s time to start sprucing up the yard for the beautiful new season. One way to really make your property sparkle is by having a lighted pathway to the front door or trailing up the driveway. Sure, you can do this by burying a wire and tapping into the electrical grid, or you can buy a handful of solar-powered LED lights that you just push into the ground.

I chose the latter for my yard because they are quick to install, easy and convenient with the potential to be pretty inexpensive. I purchased a set of the cheapest and more expensive basic yard lights at a big box store for comparison. The cheapest set was a pack of eight for $18. The more expensive ones were two for $38! That’s a major price difference, so let’s find out how they measure up to each other!

Appearance: When you handle these two products, you will notice that the cheaper lights are plastic versus the more expensive ones being metal on top. They are similar in size, but there is a noticeable difference in the weight of the two products. The metal lights were fully attached, while the plastic lights were separate pieces. The top did not snap or twist on, it just rests snuggly on top. The metal ones have a plastic stake that is equivalent to the stake of the plastic lights.

Installing: Both lights have a similar plastic stakes that need to be driven into the ground. Of the eight plastic lights, there were two posts that cracked and one that broke completely off. The metal lights are extremely top heavy for the plastic stake and it felt like they would break while getting them into place but they did not.

Performance: With full sun exposure, both lights worked very well. There were mornings when both lights would still have a faint glow at 4:30 A.M. There were strong winds one night that actually blew the tops off the plastic lights.

Recommendation: Both lights worked well, but the simple plastic black ones had a few more mishaps than the more expensive ones. However, there are a few inexpensive tips I discovered that make the cheaper lights just as trouble free as the expensive ones. Using a screwdriver to help start a hold for light’s stake helps with getting them safely into the ground without damage, and putting a little glue on the top of the plastic lights stops the lids from popping off. For the price, especially if you are looking to have numerous lights in your yard and garden, you can save quite a bit of money by buying the cheaper solar lights. If you want to light with a more visual appeal for your yard, then you should plan on spending more money for that.

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