2021 Best Solar Deck Step Lights Review and Buying Guide

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Do you want to lighten up your porch stairs, fences, driveways, deck and other part of home?  Do you also want to save money and do it in a way that not destroy your current natural garden or yard? Then solar deck lights are the best choice to lighten up area around your home.

These solar deck step lights are attached with a solar panel that you place in an area where they can collect lighting from the sun, storing the energy in a  rechargeable battery, then it will automatically turn on once it gets dark. Solar-powered deck step lights are completely wireless and no external electricity source is required. Once you’ve set them up no ongoing maintenance is required either.

So whether you want to light up the paths and stairs that lead to your front door, accent and decorate your beautiful garden and flower-beds, or just overall enhance the security surrounding your property, these solar deck  lights can do it all.

There are dozens of excellent solar deck/step lights on the market, and finding the right fixture for your property may be difficult. That is why we have written this article and recommend these top rated  below, because of their feature, price, durability, brightness and stylish design, so hope at least one of them contains exactly the specifications you are seeking and help you in the selection process.

We make this decision by comparing hundreds of solar deck lights by considering  various factors like the  price, design, durability,  illumination, run time weather resistance and lifespan. We also read hundreds of customer reviews to get a sense for how well these solar lights lived up to their marketing hype. In the end, we came up with this list of some best selling solar deck step lights in the market.

Best Solar Deck Step Light - Light Every Step You Take

1: Hampton Bay Solar Silver LED Deck Light (4-Pack)

hampton bay solar deck disc light 4pk

This Hampton Bay aluminum solar powered deck step lights (4-Pack) come with a number of mounting options. There are plastic anchors for a wall or brick installation. Included screws can be used with the anchors or by themselves to mount the lights to decks, railing or wooden steps. There are also stakes that easily snap into place for installing the lights along paths and in plant beds. Directions are straight forward and easy to follow.

Since they are solar powered, they obviously need exposure to sunlight to work. So you need to make sure your location isn’t shaded. Also, light from other sources may confuse them so do not place it under other light source. Otherwise, life with these lights could not be easier.  They have a flush ON and OFF push button a the back  that you need to turn on. Note that there is not an ON/OFF indicator. You can check though, by covering the solar panel with your hand to see if they light up.

The sleek looking, and dotted lens design make the solar panel is invisible, not like the other deck light with an obvious black solar panel under the clear lens. It also make the lighting is not dazzling when you look down and go through the walkway, but offer a full bright light from the side to illuminate the pathway, stairs or plant beds.

They operate simply and stay lit well into the night, dusk to dawn on a sufficient charge. I tried them along one side of the drive using 10’ spacing. They really light up and display well. In the total darkness where I live, they shine brightly.

The silver finish and quality aluminum alloy construction make it can withstand all weather condition.it is ideal addition to your outdoor space. There is a gasket over the bottom plate make it waterproof  IP44 and no worry about the water intrusion when you install it at a low lying area.

EC41057

plastic stake, screw with anchor fit for versatile mounting

EC41057 Parts

battery pre-installed with a push button, stakes easily snap into the holes at bottom

Specifications:

  • Product Size: H5.1 x W4.8 x D4.8 inch.
  • Solar Panel: 0.42W high efficiency laminated poly crystalline solar panel .
  • LED: 12 x LEDs strip.
  • Light Color: 3000K warm white.
  • Battery: 1x AA 1000mAh rechargeable NI-MH battery.
  • Charging Time: 6-7 hours
  • Work Hours:  up to 8 hours
  • Material: Cast aluminum
  • Color: Silver
  • Waterproof: IP44.

 

 Advantages

  • Metal construction, weather resistance, make it longer lifespan.
  • Can be mounted in different way, stake mounting or screw onto a flat surface with the included hardware.
  • 15 lumens bright provide a lot of light to make your front yard look way different from the others.
  • Dotted lens design make the lighting is not blinding upward and bring more security.
  • Stay on all night after full charged .
  • Automatically turns on dusk , off at dawn .
  • Waterproof IP44

 

Disadvantages

  • The dotted lens may block the sun lighting going through to the solar panel. But according to the customer reviews, they can still work  and light on all night.
sterno solar deck step light multi surface

Illuminate your outdoor areas with these versatile weather resistant multi-surface lights.  It collects the power of the sun to light the night. Each light features a 12-Lumen light source with 360 degree lighting.  Each light runs on 1 AA Ni-Mh rechargeable battery (included). Set includes 4 path lights with ground stakes and mounting screws.

Aluminum top housing, aluminum bottom plate and aluminum stake, all metal design make them very sturdy, and won’t break like the plastic ones do and they come with metal stakes to ensure they can pop through landscaping material or through any roots that might impede placement. Not like the other plastic pieces that snap into flimsy lights, these lights are solid.

The nice thing about these lights is that they are different from the other solar LED puck lights. These not only shed light vertically, but also horizontally for that nice 360 degree illumination. Perfect for flower gardens at night without being obnoxious like spot lights might be.

For these solar deck lights, the batteries are not preinstalled, you have to installed them first by removing 6 screws from the bottom plate, the large Philips  screwdriver is recommended which is more effective and utilize more pressure while unscrewing.

The lights are well made and very versatile with the screw and stake, you can secure it on any flat surface like decks or front steps ,or you can just put it in the garden or plant beds by the stakes. They light up the area really well.

battery is not pre installed

battery is not pre-installed, sturdy metal stake

sterno home solar deck light

use a Philips screwdriver to open it carefully

Specification:

  • Dimensions:13 cm x 13 cm x 2.8 cm(1 in x 5.1 in x 1.1 in)
  • Weight: 280g / 0.62 lbs per fixture.
  • Aluminum construction
  • 12-Lumen light source
  • 3500 Kelvincolor temperature
  • Long-life LED technology
  • Ideal for walkways, steps, docks, poolside and gardens
  • No wiring – easy to install
  • Color: black

 

Advantages:

  • Metal housing and metal stakes, durable and sturdy.
  • Versatile, can be mounted in different ways.
  • 12 lumens brightness cast 360 degree lighting
  • Automatically turns on dusk , off at dawn .
  • Waterproof IP44

Disadvantages:

  • Batteries are not preinstalled, have to remove 6 screws at bottom plate first, you have to prepare a Philips screwdriver at home, and the screw is tight, and stripped easily, tedious and time consuming for opening it. Most of the one star reviews are complaining the screw issue.
sterno solar deck step light multi surface 2
sterno solar deck step light multi surface 3
sterno solar deck step light multi surface 4
hampton bay Solar Black LED Deck and Step Light (4-Pack)

This Hampton Bay solar LED deck and step light 4-pack offers an easy way to illuminate pathways or decks and rails. They have the versatility to be installed on the included ground stakes or screwed onto a flat surface, like on decks, steps or rails. It is very thoughtful in the design and make sure that everything you need for either mounting option was included.

 The installation is quick and easy with no wiring.  We love the fact that they are basically set and forget lights, meaning you just flip the push button and they will turn themselves on from dusk to dawn. Each light has 6 integrated LED lights and produces 10 Lumens of light output. Like the other solar lights, it turns on automatically at dusk and run up to 8 hours after full charged, each light has one AAA 900mAh NI-MH rechargeable battery included.

You may be worried the compact size 4.1x3.2 inch is small but it do produce plenty of light for the intended purpose, see below photos will give you some ideas about the brightness.

Overall they are very attractive deck lights adding ambiance to your deck area and are highly recommended.

 

Specifications:

Product Size: 4.1x3.2 inch 

Solar Panel: 0.3W high efficiency laminated poly crystalline solar panel .

LED: 6 x LEDs strip.

Light Color: 3000K warm white.

Battery: 1x AAA 900mAh rechargeable NI-MH battery.

Charging Time: 6-7 hours

Work Hours:  up to 8 hours

Material: ABS plastic

Color: Matte Black

Waterproof: IP44.

 

Advantages:

  • Can be mounted in different way, stake mounting or screw onto a flat surface with the included hardware.
  • Good value for money , 4pk at $22.97, these solar deck rail lights are extremely affordable.
  • 10 lumens bright enough to navigated your driveway or porch steps on even the darkest nights.
  • Stay on all night after full charged .
  • Automatically turns on dusk , off at dawn .
  • Waterproof IP44
  •  

Disadvantages:

  • Plastic design may not resist the deterioration of prolonged exposure to harsh environment and weather condition.
  • The fixture size is a little small .

For attractive outdoor lighting which is suitable for any environment or outdoor location, choose this solar LED outdoor light from VOLISUN. This light contains 6 LEDs each emitting a lovely bright glow, it is perfect for steps, pathways, porches, decks, balconies and more. The LED lamp turns on automatically at dusk and off at dawn, and being solar powered you pay zero in power-bills or installation and maintenance fees. Just set up in a location where the solar panels can collect plenty of solar rays, and you are good to go. The lightweight but sturdy aluminum alloy design is able to withstand all the bumps and bruises nature inflicts on it, even drive over them with trailer , SUVs, lawnmower and golf cart, they all continue to work with absolutely no issue .this light from VOLISUN is a fantastic outdoor lighting option, that is also efficient, cost-effective, and low maintenance. Ward off intruders, light up your driveways and porch steps, or accent your garden beds, this ‘super-light’ will do it all.

 

Specifications:

  • Manufacturer: VOLISUN
  • Wattage: 0.3 watts
  • Light color: warm while / cool white / blue option
  • Solar Panel : 0.24 W mono-crystalline solar panel
  • Battery: Built in 600mah -NI-MH battery
  • Charging time: 6-7hours
  • Run hours: over 8 hours after full charged
  • Material: aluminum alloy
  • Color: silver grey
  • Other features: weatherproof
  • Waterproof: IP67
  • Mounting screw included

 

Advantages:

  • Aluminum alloy design is light but sturdy and durable, heat-, water- and rust-resistant.
  • contains 6 LEDs emitting super-strong light, perfect for steps, stairways, porches, patios, driveways, dockand much, much more
  • Can be mounted on any surface, either vertically or flat.
  • Automatically turns on at dusk, off at dawn.

Disadvantages:

  • Need to install at with plenty of direct sun lighting, or that the work hours at night will be short

The XLUX Solar Deck Step Lights are made of stainless steel and have a clean looking, sleek,low-profile design that enables them to illuminate your deck staircase without posing a tripping hazard. You can also attach them to a fence post or deck railing if you prefer, They have the anchors and screws included.  Despite its slightly industrial appearance, the XLUX Solar Lights deliver a surprisingly warm white light. There is also a white light option for those who want a brighter white light, but most users prefer the warmer light option. You can purchase the lights in packs of two or six.

Customers have said that the lights were pretty easy to install and that they hold up well in severe weather. They aren’t as bright as some solar deck lights, but most reviewers agree that they put out just right amount of ambience light to be useful without being so bright to intrusive or disturbing the neighbor, but compliments from them.

As with any solar light, you’ll get best results when your XLUX Solar Lights are in direct sunlight for most of the day, but these lights tend to perform well even on cloudy days and they automatically turn on and off when they sense the light in the surrounding environment changing.

 

Specifications

  • Solar Panel: polycrystalline silicon solar panel
  • LED Type: Floodlight
  • Light Color: Warm white
  • Lumen: 6 lumens
  • Battery: 1.2V/700mAH AAA Ni-MH
  • Material: Stainless Steel +ABS+ PC
  • Product Dimension: 10*2.8*8.3cm
  • Net Weight: 86.5g

 Advantages

  • Clean looking , sleep and modern design.
  • Stainless steel construction isbut sturdy and durable and rust-resistant.
  • Soft warm lighting which decorate your house and garden beautiful, without bothering your neighbors.
  • Suitable for stairs ,porches, patios, driveways, dock,railing
  • Automatically turns on at dusk, off at dawn.
  • Weatherproof and waterproof with durable stainless steel case.
  • 12 month warranty, friendly customer service. 

Disadvantages

  • Need to install them at a deck or stair that can face sun with a certain time to make sure the lights can absorb enough sun lighting , if they are installed in a shade or blocked from sun lighting, they will work short hours like 2-4 hours. The stair and deck light can not be like the pathway lights which the solar panel can face upward the sun to collect enough sun lighting for charging the battery. The users should note that.

 

XLUX

Solar Deck Step Lights Buying guide

 

In this review article, we have looked at five of the best solar deck step lights available on the market today. As we have seen, these lights vary a lot when it comes to price, power, and features. You are probably wondering which one will work best on your deck. In the follow we will introduce details about how to choose the right solar lights for your deck, stairs or dock?  and what you need to know before buying the solar deck lights.

 

The features of solar lights

Before you make the decision to buy any solar lights:  solar deck lights, pathway lights, post cap lights etc , you need to have enough knowledge about the features of solar lights. As the name SOLAR means they need to absorb the sun lighting then convert it into electricity and store the power into a rechargeable battery. So that it can turn on the lights automatically at night with the power from battery. The important features are:

  • The work hours at nights depends on the power stored in the rechargeable battery .
  • The power in the battery depends on how much sun lighting it collects and converts.
  • How much sun lighting it can collect depends on the size of solar panel,  the bigger solar panel , the more power it can collect.
  • The brightness depends on the discharge current, the bigger discharge current is ,the much brighter, but the shorter of the work hours at night .

Most of the solar lights have the balance of specification for solar panel size , battery capacity, brightness , and work hours at night, to ensure the lights work more than 8 hours after full charged. But it has a condition that : the solar lights are charged at STC (standard testing condition) and at least 5 peak sun hours , to make sure it is full charged.

(to learn more about STC and peak sun hours , visit our another article)

 

But in actual , different areas, different weather conditions, and different installing ways will make it have different charged status. That mean the work hours depends on these above conditions, and you need to keep in mind about these features of solar lighting before buying.

Where are the solar deck lights are installed ?

 

Most of solar deck step lights are installed on deck, stair, dock, railing, walkway or driveway sides. You can install them at anywhere you prefer. But one rule you need to understand that : do not install the solar lighting in a shade of trees, shrubs, wall, posts, and any other objects that will block the sun lighting. As said above the features of solar lights, you need to make sure the solar panel collect more sun lighting. But we know sometimes it is difficult to meet the condition, we just say it is better if you can do it.

Another point is do not install the solar lights under other lighting source like street light, the lighting from other light source will make it think it is daytime and turn off the light automatically .

 

in the shadow under tree

in shadow of a tree

in the shade of post

blocked by post

in the shade

fall in shadow when sun goes down

How to install the solar deck step lights.

 In order to make the solar panels can collect the maximum sun lighting, the best way of installing the solar deck lights is make the solar solar face sun or face upwards, but not vertically.

volisun solar deck light.4

correct way

vertical isntall

vertically installing ( not suggest )

How to choose the best solar deck step lights ? 

If you are thinking about buying some sets of solar powered deck step lights, make sure your target models have the follow features.

 

Fixture Construction:

 

Since most of the solar deck lights are installed on a driveway sides, docks, stairs. It is better to choose the metal construction which the materials are not only weather resistance, but also can withstand the people stamping and trucks drive over them .

 

Lighting Direction:

 

There are two kind of solar deck lights which have different lighting direction on the market  ,one is the lighting put out from side, one is lighting upward.  We suggest choosing the side lighting deck lights, while the one lighting upward will be dazzling , make you blinding if they are installed on the walkways or stairs, that will be dangerous make you miss step and fall down , especially for some old men.

 

Light Brightness and Color:

The brightness of the light sets the ambiance on the deck. If you have a bright light, it’s going to cause a sense of discomfort in your guests.

We recommend looking for the warm white light 3000K color temperature is the best choice for entertaining guests on the patio. Warm white light emits a soft glow, sort of like a candle.

The deck lights should not be too bright to blind the eyes, just have proper lighting to illustrate the deck and stairs to guide the way to your front door.

 

Solar Panel and Battery Capacity :

Look for the lights that offer you the bigger power (size) solar panel, mono crystalline or poly crystalline solar panel on your deck lights have higher efficiency can convert around 19% sunlight into energy. Your solar panel should be durable and weather resistance.

The deck lights will come with battery capacity according to the solar panel power by manufacturers. Too big capacity battery will be not full charged by solar panel , it is a waste and does not make any sense, low capacity battery can not make the lights work more than 8 hours So the manufacturer will choose proper size battery to fit the solar panel. Normally at least 600mah battery is your choice, but the bigger the better, as It’s important to note that batteries eventually start to lose capacity after around a year. You’ll eventually start to see less and less performance out of your light, and you’ll need to replace the battery to restore its performance.

 

Weather Resistance and Waterproof:

Your deck light is a permanent outdoor fixture. Most of the times the designs are low profile and installed at low-lying areas, where are easily covered by water.  Therefore, it must have an IP rating for weather resistance. IP44, IP45, and IP65 water-resistant ratings are the most common options in deck lights. This rating provides you with all the protection your light needs from the rain and extreme weather conditions. 

Easy to install 

 Most of the deck lights come with the hardware included like anchors and screws to make sure they can be mounted in different ways. But you have to check if the installation is easy and quick. It is better for the fixtures installing with no need of special screwdriver or drills.

 

Design and Styling:

Deck lights come in various designs and styles. As the technology improves, there are more designs launched each year. You have the option of choosing a deck light to match the decor in your outdoor living area.

 

Warranty:

Check that your deck lights come with a warranty. LED lights can be somewhat unreliable, and if the light fail to work, you need to know you can exchange it with the seller or get a refund. Thanks to the amazon return policy and other stores like  Home Depot, Costco, and Lowes all have the great return policy, you can return or refund the orders easily.

 

Tips for Using Your Solar Deck Lights

Follow these tips to make the most out of your new deck lights.

  • Turn on the switch and leave the light to charge for at least 6-hours before your first use. We recommend installing it first thing in the morning to get as long a charging time as possible.
  • Make sure no tree branches or plants are blocking the solar panel from receiving light.
  • Look for models with an automatic operation to save battery life.
  • If your light starts to look weak after a year or so, it’s time to change the battery.
  • Make sure that you check the light settings before you turn on the light for the first time.

 

After reading through the reviews and buyers guide, you should have a good idea of the right solar deck lights for your home. However, we understand if you’re having a hard time settling on your preferred settings. If that’s the case, why not go with one of our top picks?

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