27 Outdoor Solar Lighting Ideas to Inspire

New and inspiring outdoor solar lighting ideas for backyards and patios are on our minds as the days grow longer. The sun is giving us all this free power – we might as well use it to jazz up the garden. As long as there is a clear path to the sun, you can put your solar lighting in any location. We’ve collected 27 of the best outdoor ideas for 2016 below.

Outdoor Solar Lighting Ideas
Outdoor solar lighting ideas from Plough & Hearth are some of the best of 2016.

The wide variety of designs available these days is astounding, from bottles to glass flowers to solar orbs to mason jars to solar planters and string lights. There’s solar lighting for your pool, for your pond, your terrace and deck. You can go whimsical, you can go funky and you can go ultra-elegant. Make no mistake, solar fixtures have gone upscale in the last decade. Some of the glass flower lights for your garden are exquisite. You can turn a plain backyard space into a funky grotto for entertaining with some creative lighting ideas. And all these lights can help keep your maintenance costs down, no power required. You see, they were right all along. The best things in life are free.

Solar Lighting Ideas for Bottles

Outdoor Solar LIghting Ideas for Bottles
These bottles cast a warm glow when hung from trees.

Multi-color solar bottle lights will hang in trees in your backyard or you could sit them on your outdoor patio table. Source

Solar bottle lanterns are great outdoor solar lighting ideas
Save your most interesting empties for this cool solar bottle top with wire LEDs.

This solar light started life as a bottle cap with lights attached – you bring the bottle. Save your most interesting bottles for these wire LED mini-lights. This one looks like Crown Royal. Much more personal to choose your own bottle, plus you save shipping fees. What a great outdoor solar lighting idea. Solar bottle light top available at Gardener’s Supply (one of our favorites).

These are great outdoor solar lighting ideas
Line up your solar lighting against a fence.

These solar lights were built using the same bottle cap as the photo above – different bottles, different look. From Gardener’s Supply.

Solar Lighting Bottle Tree
A solar bottle tree will light up the night.

This outdoor solar idea is part of the popular bottle tree art garden trend. With the addition of  lights.

Outdoor Solar Lighting for Mason Jars

Mason jars – they’re everywhere from your local discount store to the thrift store to the grocery. Who would have thought that they could be such a player in the solar lighting game?

Solar Lighting Ideas for Mason Jars
These Mason jar solar lights display great color.

It’s the tops of these jars that hold the key – and the solar light and collector. Because mason jars have one standard size top, selling the top as a stand-alone piece is one of the better solar lighting ideas we’ve come across in a while. Inspiring.

Solar Lighting Ideas for Mason Jars
Hang your colorful Mason jar solar lights on the fence.

You can use assorted color Mason jar bottoms for your solar light tops. Hang them from hooks on the fence, as above, or hang them from trees. If you’d like to buy the jar and top as one piece, check out Etsy. To buy the tops and supply your own jars for these funky fixtures, Michael’s is your spot.

Solar Lighting Ideas for Mason Jars
Called Sun Jars, these solar powered canning jars have incredible light.

These canning jar solar lights cast an incredible glow – they are different from others in the way the light is distributed. From Amazon.com.

Solar Lighting Ideas for Mason Jars
This is a superb outdoor solar light.

These solar lights are mercury glass mason jars and make for a great light display when activated by nightfall. Color changing LEDs bring a rainbow of color to the surroundings. There are a lot of pretty cool outdoor solar lighting ideas at Plow & Hearth. They have great taste.

Solar Lighting Ideas Mason Jar chandelier
We love this solar light chandelier with its blue/green glass.

This stunning chandelier uses six Ball Mason jars in that gorgeous recycled green-blue glass. It’s perfect for your outdoor backyard solar oasis. From Etsy.

Solar Lights as Flowers

Solar lighting ideas Bromeliad
Stunning Bromeliad solar light in glass.

The Bromeliad light, made from glass, is one of the nicest we’ve seen. It looks great in with other spiky (actual) flowers in your garden. Available at Home Depot.

Solar lighting ideas moonflower glass
Moonlight flower solar light trio.

Moon flower trio in glass – blue, red and yellow speckled art glass. Creating art glass flowers was another inspired solar lighting idea that was clearly embraced. From Gardener’s Supply.

Solar Lighting Ideas Lily Pad
Floating water lily solar lights.

Floating water lily solar lights look great in the pond at night. You really can create a wonderful space in the backyard with your outdoor lighting. Lights are such an easy thing to do, especially when you don’t even have to turn them on.

Solar Lighting Ideas Tiger Lily
Solar light stake – Tiger Lily.

These glass Tiger Lily stake lights are available in a variety of colors. Another inspired outdoor solar lighting idea is to group a bunch of these flowers (all the same style, different colors if you choose) in a flower pot. Point their solar collectors in the best direction and your work is done. Use five (or more) and a tall pot for the intended effect.  Source

Solar Lighting ideas Morning Glory Lights
Morning Glory Solar Light Vine.

As a rule, Morning Glories open in the morning – but not these babies. This vine of blue morning glory blossoms comes to light at night. From Gardener’s Supply.

Solar lighting ideas Bird of Paradise
Great colors on this Bird of Paradise.

Another find is this stunning Bird of Paradise light made from glass. Also a good candidate for the solar light flower bunch. From Home Depot.

Solar Ideas for Planters

Solar light planters are an incredible way to grotto up your backyard, your patio, your pool and pond areas.

Colorful solar lighting ideas: planters
These colorful solar light planters are fiesta-ready.

Colorful solar light planters can really brighten up the pool area at night. And they cast a happy glow. From ebay.

Solar Lighting Ideas white planter
Green and white are always such a nice contrast.

Solar lighting comes to life in these planters. The white looks great contrasted against a deep green.

Solar Lighting Ideas white planter
These planters really light up the night.

Spread your solar planters outdoors around the garden to provide enough light at night for an alfresco party.

Solar Lighting for the Backyard and Patio

And you can use solar lights on your balcony or terrace, too. Anywhere you can get a clear line to the sun and your lights can collect their solar power. There are solar string lights, stake lights, lanterns, even side tables. So many ways to execute those best outdoor solar lighting ideas you’ve been having all winter. There is no reason not to lit up your nights.

Solar Lighting Ideas: Furniture
Solar lights double as lamps and tables.

Solar side table lamps give off light and provide a tabletop. From Foscarini.

Solar lighting ideas white bulbs
Nothing says summer like white solar bulb lights.

White solar bulb lights are an elegant idea for any backyard. When you are going through your outdoor ideas, consider all-white. It can be so elegant and graceful looking. From Amazon.com.

Solar lighting ideas colored tea lights
This is a great solar lighting idea – colored tea lights from Amazon.

Colored solar tealights, lined up on a wall, present a pretty picture at dusk.

Solar lighting ideas: Glass block lights
Glass blocks make great solar lights.

Solar light glass bricks – like glass building blocks but with lights inside. From Amazon.com.

Solar lighting ideas: cut out lanterns
Cut out lanterns cast great shadows.

Solar lanterns, made from metal with cutaways, cast great shadows at night. From Amazon (UK).

Solar lighting ideas: hanging cornets
Solar light cones hang from the tree.

Hanging solar garden lights, cornet shaped, from Amazon.com

Solar lighting ideas: twig lights
Solar lighting with twig lights.

Solar twig lights are elegant starburst decorations. From Plow & Hearth. Who have some of the best solar ideas ever.

Solar lighting ideas solar stars
Beautiful stars suspended in the air.

More incredibly delicate and elegant solar light ideas for the backyard and beyond from Plow & Hearth.

Solar lighting ideas - Gnomes
Gnomes. Enough said.

And because we would be remiss if we didn’t add at least one gnome picture, here you go (it was a toss up between these guys and a flamingo). Happy Solar Lighting Season!

Do you have cool lights in your yard? Upload photos and description below – just click on “Add Post”. We’d love to see your ideas!

About Beverley Wood 45 Articles
Beverley Wood is a freelance writer and communications consultant living in Mexico City - WhiteDogCreative.com