Outdoor lighting adds character to your home’s exterior. It ensures that you and your friends enjoy a cozy social night gathering in your backyard.
While you can always find garden lights to showcase the beauty of your ornamental plants, the best solar deck rail lights take that to another level.
You can use it to light up nearby steps, fences, or even handrails. We have compiled reviews of the five solar deck lights for adding energy-efficient lighting to your outdoor spaces.
- Best Solar Deck Rail Lights Reviews
- Buyer’s Guide
- 1. Quality and Capacity of Solar Panel
- 2. Brightness
- 3. Type of Bulb
- 4. Battery Capacity and Lifespan
- 5. Recharging and Running Duration
- 6. Color Variations
- 7. Range and Angle of Illumination
- 8. Appearance and Style
- 9. Weather Resistance
- 10. Durability and Lifespan
- 11. Automatic or Manual Switching
- 12. Price and Warranty
- Solar Deck Lights FAQs
- What Are the Best Solar Powered Decking Lights?
Best Solar Deck Rail Lights Reviews
1. Solpex Solar Deck Lights, 16 Pack
The Solpex Solar Deck Lights are perfect for illuminating outdoor stairs, paths, and garden decks.
You can also use them along the driveway and the garage or install them near your front door.
Solpex Solar Deck Lights can make your outdoor spaces cozier with their soft, warm lights. Use them to illuminate your patio, yard, garden, and fences.
These solar deck lights make your outdoor spaces safer by making your path visible even at night; however, they do not come with any switches.
Instead, they arrive pre-packaged with an insulator tab so that the built-in battery does not supply power to the light source.
Simply pull out the tab after installation, and let the lights automatically turn on at dusk and switch off at dawn.
On warm sunny days, the Solpex Solar Deck Lights only take about four to five hours to charge at total capacity.
They offer easy installation with the included screws and anchors.
Compared to others in this compilation, the Solpex Solar Deck Lights come in packs of 16 lights at a very affordable price.
With just one pack, you can already illuminate a wide area.
Additionally, the components are housed inside a reinforced ABS case, which protects the solar panel from harsh weather conditions.
We don’t particularly like that these solar deck lights have a generic brown color. As such, it can be challenging to pair them with light-colored spaces.
They might be better suited for brown-colored or wooden surfaces.
- Cheapest product in this selection
- Contains 16 solar deck lights
- Blends perfectly well with brown-colored steps and rails
- Fast charging time
- Reliable aftersales support
- Relatively short service lifespan
- The plastic housing is not so durable
2. Melunar Solar Deck Lights, 6 Pack
The Melunar Solar Deck Lights provide another option for zero-cost outdoor lighting.
It is an excellent choice for adding decorative lighting effects on outdoor surfaces, including staircases, fences, garden rails, docks, backyard walls, and mailbox posts.
The Melunar Solar Deck Lights are made of ABS plastics to house the solar panel and acrylic for adding a lighting effect.
Its semicircular acrylic bottom housing acts like a textured prism that creates rays of light from the central LED light source.
The built-in battery is a 1.2-volt nickel-cadmium cell that can fully charge under intense sunlight in just four or five hours.
At full capacity, the battery can keep the light source running for at least eight hours.
For your convenience, they also arrive with fasteners, which are anchor and screw attachments.
The Melunar Solar Deck Lights have a built-in switch. This allows switching between warm white, multi-color changing lights, or OFF mode.
Some may not like the sun-rays effect of the transparent casing on the light source.
Others may think that the multi-color option, coupled with the radial light rays, may exude a festive environment rather than a warm, cozy home setting.
- IP55 waterproof rating
- Automatic ON/OFF switching
- Choice between warm white or RGB colors
- Reversible installation
- Simple black and transparent plastic design
- Inconsistent lighting shades and brightness levels
- Sun-ray effect is more festive than cozy
3. DenicMic Solar Deck Lights, 6 Pack
The DenicMic Solar Deck Lights feature a more minimalist approach to zero-cost outdoor lighting.
These lights are slim and simple, and they can be used on any outdoor wall in addition to their handrail and stair-step application.
Each DenicMic Solar Deck Light provides 10 lumens of illumination, enough to brighten up staircases and pathways.
The built-in rechargeable battery fills up in just four or five hours, and it stays lit for up to 10 hours.
The solar panel and light source casings provide waterproof and heatproof resistance for durability and longevity.
Moreover, each one has a built-in switch for turning the device off and switching between standard warm white light and seven-color RGB.
What we like about the DenicMic Solar Deck Lights is its relatively simplistic and minimalist design.
Its light source casing has a bubble pattern that makes the light output look more vivid and natural. This results in a homier, cozier ambiance.
The product comes with somewhat brittle screws that easily break and have to be replaced during the installation process.
You’ll be better off getting replacement screws from your local hardware before starting the installation process.
- Minimalist design
- Optional switching
- Seven-color RGB lighting
- Reversible installation
- Automatic ON/OFF switch
- IP45 waterproof rating
- Very brittle screws
- Some reports of fewer operational hours
4. TIJNN Solar Deck Lights, 6 Pack
TIJNN offers solar deck lights similar to the Melunar’s, and they boast 100 percent customer satisfaction.
What’s even better is that these come with a 12-month warranty and a 60-day money-back guarantee.
TIJNN Solar Deck Lights feature a black ABS plastic housing for the solar panels.
On the other hand, it uses a transparent semicircular textured acrylic to house the light source.
This zero-power lighting device has a built-in switch for turning off and switching between warm white light and seven-color RGB.
It has an IP65 rating, which means its interior is protected from small dust particles and water jets from any angle of approach.
What we like the most about this is the fact that it’s very easy to use.
You can also choose from different-colored lights, allowing you to add a personalized touch to your outdoor space.
It is a bit of a hassle to switch between power OFF mode, warm white light, and RGB lights.
This is because the transparent light source housing should be removed to access the switch.
- IP65 waterproofing technology
- 12-month warranty
- 60-day money-back guarantee
- Aftersales support
- Choice of warm white or RGB light
- Built-in ON/OFF switch
- Inconsistent light shades
- Light cover has to be removed to access the switch
5. APONUO Solar Deck Lights, 8 Pack
At first glance, you’ll notice that the APONUO Solar Deck Lights look similar to the Solpex Solar Deck Lights. However, they come half the quantity.
Each purchase comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee; you’ll also get a 200-day product warranty.
The APONUO Solar Deck Lights feature an automatic on and off switching.
As soon as it gets dark, the built-in warm white light turns on.
It will turn off as soon as the built-in battery loses power or the solar panel starts to absorb light.
These deck lights run on 300mAh batteries paired with three-lumen LED light sources.
The APONUO Solar Deck Lights come in packs of eight solar lights.
With each pack, you will get a little bit more than most solar deck lighting products within its price range.
The APONUO Solar Deck lights only have a 300mAh battery reserve.
Also, the light source can only produce three lumens of brightness.
These levels are relatively low for adequate lighting in dark outdoor spaces.
- 200-day product warranty
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Relatively affordable
- Easy to install
- Installation options include double-sided tape and screws
- Short battery output time
- Only three lumens per deck light
Here is a list of things to look for and consider when purchasing solar deck lights.
1. Quality and Capacity of Solar Panel
Solar panels are exposed to various weather conditions, so they should be able to withstand the test of time.
You can choose from concentrator photovoltaic, polycrystalline, monocrystalline, and thin-film amorphous silicon cells.
Concentrator photovoltaics and monocrystalline cells offer the most durability and efficiency, but they cost more.
The thin-film amorphous silicon and polycrystalline cells are more affordable, but they offer a shorter warranty period.
To know the capacity of a solar panel, check its power conversion rating.
Compare this rating with the built-in battery charging rate to determine how fast the solar panel fills up the battery to a full charge.
The brightness from any light source is measured in lumens.
The best solar lights must provide the maximum brightness using the smallest amount of power from their built-in power source.
To check the brightness of a particular solar-powered light product, there are a few things to consider.
First, look for the brightness level of the product indicated in lumens. A higher count points to a higher brightness level.
In case of a low brightness rating, add more lights and install them close together to compound their brightness.
Ideally, a good brightness level for any light source is anywhere between 100 and 200 lumens.
To determine the number of solar deck lights needed for an outdoor space, divide the recommended lumens with each light source lumens rating.
For example, if you want a brightness level of 200 lumens, and each solar light can produce 40 lumens, you will then need five solar lights.
Before purchasing solar-powered deck rail lights, keep in mind that their brightness output should be inversely proportional to their power usage.
3. Type of Bulb
The type of bulb installed into a light source is also vital when choosing a solar-powered product.
There are different types of bulbs, and they all differ in the amount of electricity they use.
Since solar-powered lights are designed to maximize power consumption, they are typically equipped with low-consumption bulbs like fluorescent lamps and LEDs.
LEDs are the most efficient bulb types, and the best solar-powered lights are fitted with LED bulbs.
With a rated lifespan of about 50,000 hours, LEDs may outlive the service life of solar batteries.
4. Battery Capacity and Lifespan
Any solar-powered equipment typically has a built-in battery for storing the energy converted from the solar panel.
Batteries have specific capacities for storing, recharging, and producing energy for the light source.
Choose a solar deck light that can store enough charge to power the light source overnight.
The type of battery is also crucial to longevity.
Rechargeable batteries may be lead-acid, nickel-metal hydride, nickel-cadmium, lithium iron phosphate, or lithium-ion.
Of these, lithium-ion batteries are the longest-lasting variety.
5. Recharging and Running Duration
The battery must also have a fast recharging rate to ensure it is at total capacity as soon as night falls.
Some solar deck lights take less than five hours to charge fully and run up to eight hours continuously.
Low-quality solar deck lights have batteries that will need more time to charge fully, and they only run for a few hours.
It may be challenging to look for these specifications in particular models, so keep an eye out for reviews and customer ratings.
6. Color Variations
While brightness is measured in lumens, color temperature is measured in Kelvin degrees.
Lower color temperatures produce warm, cozy white to yellow lights. In contrast, the higher ones illuminate to a bright cool white or blue light.
The best ambiance for outdoor residential lighting is a calm, cozy, and intimate approach.
For solar deck light products with a single, fixed color, choose the warmer light tones that measure between 2000 and 3000 degrees.
There are solar deck lights with variable color options. Some allow shifting between warm and cool white light, while others have RGB features.
You can set up a party-themed environment using RGB lighting, as well as make clean-up time effortless at night with the daylight option.
7. Range and Angle of Illumination
Light brightness and color temperature can be enough to determine if a solar light is an excellent choice. Still, the housing material may affect its lighting capacity.
It can help define the illumination range of all light sources when determining their placement and quantity.
The illumination range is greatly dependent on brightness level, but the unit housing can reduce its lumens.
Moreover, the housing design and placement dictates where the light source directs its light.
For example, it can illuminate downwards like a narrow-angle droplight.
Alternatively, it could have a prism-type housing, which creates light lines emanating from the source.
When it comes to illumination range and angle, the choice is yours to make.
8. Appearance and Style
The function of solar deck lights may remain stagnant for years to come, but its design style has continuously evolved.
Solar deck lights come in different shapes and housing colors, and they can vary in light output design.
Some look very simple and blend with any outdoor setup flawlessly.
Others appear somewhat eye-catching, and their ultra-modern appearance can enhance the overall timelessness of your home.
The overall appearance and style of solar deck lights are also up to you.
9. Weather Resistance
We purposely want solar lights to sit under the bright sun to collect all the energy they need to stay lit up at night.
Still, we do not wish for moisture and rains to damage their internal parts.
A high-quality solar deck light should be waterproof or at least water-resistant.
Water can cause short circuits in the internal connections; it can also damage the solar cells.
Additionally, its housing material must stand up against both the extreme summer heat and winter cold.
This way, you won’t have to dismantle them every time.
10. Durability and Lifespan
As with any other utility product, we all look for durability and service lifespan.
Solar deck lights can be attached to stair steps, where they are most probably stepped on by anyone who passes.
The housing material, and any other built-in components for that matter, should be highly durable and long-lasting.
Some solar deck lights have rubber housing for cushioning and traction, while others are made of ultra-hard plastics.
You can also find ones with metal frames for shielding impact.
Weigh the pros and cons of these different construction materials to find out the best product for you.
Varying options offer different service lifespans, so go over all pertinent manufacturer details before any purchase.
11. Automatic or Manual Switching
Automatic switching is a plus for several solar lighting products.
This means the device turns off as it detects daylight and then switches on as soon as it gets dark.
Some with automatic switches incorporate motion sensors, but solar deck lights are so small that they can only hold so much.
Alternatively, some let you choose when to turn the lights on or off using a built-in manual switch.
Other less-innovative solar lights turn off when the battery is drained and turn on again when the battery is full.
12. Price and Warranty
The fitting of any home improvement product will entail purchase, installation, and maintenance costs.
Weigh these costs against included product warranties to determine the very best option for you.
Some solar deck lights are more expensive, but they offer more extended warranty periods.
Solar Deck Lights FAQs
1. How long do solar deck lights last?
When looking at solar deck light service lifespan, one has to check for at least three items: light source, solar panel, and battery.
A good quality pick should have a light source lifespan of about 15 years and a solar cell that may last well beyond the same number of years.
Keep in mind, though, that even the best rechargeable batteries will last only up to four years.
Since the light source and the solar panel would probably outlast the built-in battery, an excellent solar deck light should have replaceable batteries.
2. Is it OK to leave solar lights out in the winter?
While most of the solar deck light products presented here are weatherproof, solar panels slowly degrade over time.
The degradation means the panels produce less and less electricity from the same amount of sunlight.
Thermal cycling causes expansions during warm weather conditions, and it results in contractions when it gets cold.
This cycle between contractions and expansions causes microcracks on the solar panels.
However, degradation due to thermal cycling happens at a plodding pace.
On average, solar panels degrade at a slow rate of one percent annually. Hence, it is OK to leave solar lights out in the winter.
However, if you want them to have enough stored power for illuminating the space at night, remove all the snow covering the solar panels from the daylight.
3. Should you turn solar lights off at night?
The option to shut down solar lights at night is entirely up to you.
Some of the solar deck lights included in this list have built-in power switches so that you can toggle them on or off at night.
If you want to keep your outdoor spaces illuminated at night, leave them on.
However, you can turn them off if you have other light sources.
4. Where should decking lights be placed?
The options presented here have a standard right angular shape.
This means you can attach them to corner edges with a horizontal and vertical face.
The horizontal components contain the solar cells, while the vertical parts hold the embedded light source.
Their design makes them suitable for stair-step nosings, flat-top handrail bars, and flat-top fences.
These solar deck lights may be placed along the fences of a dark area in your yard, or you can use them to illuminate the steps leading to your house.
Even so, consider the attachment media included.
Some need fastening perpendicular to the horizontal part of the area, and others require installation through the vertical face.
These products come with screw fasteners and anchors, and some even include double-sided adhesives.
5. How far apart should decking lights be?
When positioning decking lights, consider the brightness, illumination range, and angle of illumination.
These three factors will tell you how close or far apart decking lights should be positioned around your outdoor space.
Positioning them too far apart may result in a dimly lit area.
On the other hand, putting them too close together may result in an unnecessarily bright outdoor zone.
If an area is too dark, increase the brightness by installing more light sources closer together.
Yet, if an area has ample lighting and you just want to add a warm, cozy treatment to the fence or outdoor steps, install the deck lights farther apart.
What Are the Best Solar Powered Decking Lights?
We recommend the DenicMic Solar Lights as the best solar deck rail lights out of all the choices presented.
They have a very simple, minimalistic design, which means the aesthetic is addressed more by illumination.
Additionally, they do not have to be installed at the top face of a fence because they allow reverse installation.
If a fence is too tall, the DenicMic Solar Deck Lights can be installed anywhere on its vertical face.
To put it simply, they allow wall installation.
Pair these with highly functional garden lights, and you’ll have an outdoor area that will be the envy of the neighborhood.