Best solar lanterns for the garden

Add a soft flickering garden glow to your outdoor space with our pick of the best buy outdoor lanterns - no batteries or wires required!

Best solar hanging lanterns

by Angela Kenny |

Getting ready to kick off the summer with new decorative lanterns or just looking to spruce up your garden landscape? We’ve chosen our pick of the best outdoor solar lanterns to give your exterior living space a decorative touch.

We know all about the best garden accessories, and with solar lights becoming a more efficient method of lighting your garden, you’ll want the best decorative lights to ensure the most comfortable atmosphere for your guests. Whether you’re hosting a garden party or BBQ, we recommend placing solar lanterns on trees and fences or alongside fire pits or chimineas to have your garden glowing. Shop our pick of the best outdoor solar lanterns to give your exterior living space a decorative touch.

Where can I hang lanterns in my garden?

Many solar garden lanterns will already come with hanging hooks or needles so that you can simply attach them to a tree, bush, or pergola. Some garden floor lanterns work best on the floor, especially if they’re big enough to make a scene on their own. Garden lanterns also look good on an outdoor dining table or side table as a centrepiece, if you’re struggling to find a space to work with them.

Don’t have hooks but want to hang your garden lantern? You can always attach outdoor hooks such as gutter hooks – S-shaped hooks you can purchase at most supply shops – or adhesive hooks, so you don’t have to do any drilling.

The best hanging solar lanterns

Gardman Crest Solar Santa Maria Large Lantern

Best bronze hanging solar lantern
Gardman Crest Solar Santa Maria Large Lantern
Amazon

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Diamonds are forever With a bronze finish, diamond pattern and twinkling micro LEDs, this lantern will impress wherever it is in your garden. Itu2019ll charge even in low light and automatically switches on and off, so itu2019s one youu2019ll want to hang on to. It hangs at 33cm so you can hang from branches or even pop it on your garden table.

Garden Theme Handmade Solar Lantern Bird Feeder - Peacock

Best colourful solar lantern
Garden Theme Handmade Solar Lantern Bird Feeder - Peacock

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Feather your nest This colourful hanging garden lantern will certainly be a talking point for any garden visitor. Make your garden more homely with this outdoor light, which will cast colourful shadows on your patio when hung overhead. This multipurpose bird-feeder can also be used as a lantern at night owing to its solar-powered attribute.

Lights4fun Set of 3 Outdoor LED Solar Hanging Chinese Garden Lanterns

Best hanging solar lantern set
Lights4fun Set of 3 Outdoor LED Solar Hanging Chinese Garden Lanterns
Amazon

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Cream of the crop Give some life to a bare tree branch or pergola with a group of these lanterns with a diameter of 40cm. In a set of three, you get cream, pink and yellow lanterns to brighten up your garden. You can also choose from a small or medium hanging set so that you can tailor your choice of decoration. Up to six hours of illumination time so you can make the most of your garden lanterns, lit up with flashing LED bulbs.

Crackle Glaze Globe Solar Lantern

Best hanging solar lantern for sparkles
crackle glaze solar lantern with rope handle

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Snap, crackle & pop Snap up this decorative lantern and add a pop of wow to your garden. Hanging at 14cm from shepherd hooks, a group of these would look fab lighting up your path or driveway. This garden lantern also has an on and off switch so that you can preserve the battery life if you need to.

Solar Infinity Hanging Lantern

Best copper hanging solar lantern
copper solar hanging lantern with ceiling rose

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Copper load of this! With a cut metalwork ball and cool white bulb hanging from a dome u2018ceilingu2019 rose, hang this outdoor copper decor from the centre of your pergola over garden furniture where itu2019ll look like the real wired-up deal! Just make sure the solar panel lantern is in the light in the day. With a diameter of 12cm and a length of 35cm, this copper garden lantern is a statement piece.

Table Lantern Solar Powered Lantern

Best value solar lantern
Table Lantern Solar Powered Lantern
Amazon

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Flicker effect With a realistic flickering flame in the electric candle inside, a pair of these would look great on your patio ordecking tables. This modern table lantern is the ultimate accompaniment for candlelit dinners u2013 and a garden bargain.

Cole & Bright Solar Sphere Stargazer Light

Best holographic solar hanging lantern
Cole & Bright Solar Sphere Stargazer Light
Amazon

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Amazon

Super stars This stunning shooting star effect design beautifully projects a holographic 3D light effect throughout the night. Place it onto your table or attach a hanging accessory to add to this lantern. The Cole & Bright range also has two other hanging lights with this u2018stargazeru2019 effect so you can place them all over the garden.

Solar Giant Damasque Lantern

Best giant hanging solar lantern
gold damasque solar hanging lantern
Amazon

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Be bold with gold Whether used solo as a focal point of your garden design or to dot the steps up to a deck, this lantern will cast intricate patterns wherever itu2019s placed. With a Middle Eastern pattern, this garden lantern has delicate cut-outs and is made from weather-resistant materials. At a huge 41cm, this giant solar lantern can be a centrepiece of its own, hanging or freestanding.

LED Solar Lantern Outdoor

Best creative solar lantern
LED Solar Lantern Outdoor
Amazon

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Enchanted garden This stunning solar lantern will cast off trees, creating a beautiful atmosphere in your outdoor space. It is freestanding and works best when placed on the ground rather than hanging up for the best image projection.

Garden Lights Outdoor Solar Lantern

Best traditional solar lanterns
Garden Lights Outdoor Solar Lantern
Amazon

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Medieval tavern Dine in style with these outdoor solar lanterns illuminating your meal. The lantern comes with an integrated photocell sensor to detect light, so it will automatically turn on at dusk and off at dawn. It is the perfect decoration for your garden, terrace, courtyard, pathway, porch, lawn and more.

Solar Crackle Globe Hanging Ball Lights

Best hanging ball light solar lanterns
Solar Crackle Globe Hanging Ball Lights
Amazon

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Crackle and light Hang these shimmering crackle glass globes on your tree to create an elegant enchanted garden. The unique crackle glass globe design makes it possible to create beautiful fractal patterns and a glow that creates a welcoming ambience.

How do solar lights work?

The word ‘solar’ literally means relating to or determined by the sun, so as the name states, solar lights work with the sun. Without getting too technological, solar panels on lights soak up solar energy with light from the sun and store them, then when the sun goes down and it gets darker, the panels release this energy – this is why many solar lights are automatic.

Many solar lights and lanterns for your garden will have a small solar panel on either the top of them or as an attachment. All you need to do is ensure this panel is placed in a space where sunlight can reach it strongly, and then your lights should brighten up as much as possible.

Why have my solar lights stopped working?

As mentioned above, your solar panel must be in the light of the sun. Most of the time when your solar lights aren’t working is because they haven’t charged up enough in the sun. Make sure there are no bushes or branches shading the panel and your lights should work. Some solar lights have an on/off button so make sure it’s in the ‘on’ position before you put it out in the sun and don’t make the mistake of assuming that solar lights will work instantly either – you’ll have to charge them in the light for a day before they work at full power.

If there’s still a problem with your garden solar lights, you may need to check the battery and get it replaced. Some solar light packs may even come with a spare battery just in case this happens.

Will my solar lights work in winter or the shade?

Yes, they will thankfully! Even when there’s a cloudy day or winter has hit; the solar panels are charged by light. There are fewer daylight hours in the winter, but they will still be able to charge up with the amount of light from the darker seasons. It’s worse to take your solar lights down completely, as keeping them in a dark room or cupboard for an extended period will damage the batteries.

What to read next:

Garden lights: the perfect way to illuminate your outdoor space

The best garden pods to buy in the UK

Best buys for rainy day gardening

Best garden furniture for dining alfresco

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