Which path lights are best?
Nothing adds warmth and curb appeal to the front of your house like a good set of path lights. Whether you opt for wired ones or go for the ease and versatility of solar lights, a well-lit path makes your home look clean and well cared for.
When you’re looking for easy-to-install, attractive path lights that won’t break the bank, Solpex 8-Pack Solar Pathway Lights are the top choice.
What to know before you buy path lights
Solar vs. wired
You can either wire your path lights into your existing electrical system or place lights that get their energy from the sun.
- Electric lights tend to have a longer life and brighter light, but add the cost and time of wiring them into your home’s electrical system. Even if you only have to plug them in, you have to devise a way to get the wire from them to the outlet, making sure no one will trip on it and no unsightly wires are visible.
- Solar lights are much easier to install, but tend to give fainter light that is dependent on getting enough sun. In the winter, this may mean that your path lights will look faint or won’t light up.
Their lumen rating
A path light’s lumen rating indicates how bright it is. A 10-lumen light casts a faint glow, while a 40-lumen light offers real light for a dark area.
Whether the light they emit is warm or cool
- Warm light can add an air of romance to the walk. It’s best suited for classic-style homes such as colonials, Victorians and Queen Annes.
- Cool light adds a modern, fresh air and looks great in front of newer houses, or those with large windows or more angular architecture.
What to look for in quality path lights
A great pattern on the glass
Wavy glass or a fun art deco stain will add visual interest to your path beyond just adding illumination. So if you like something more than just light, look for path lights with patterned glass or framing to cast interesting shadows.
The right height
Tall lanterns look best near plantings and flowers while shorter path lights look great near grass. You may also opt for in-ground lights that shine upward near grass or other ground covering to add a glow without a visible path light.
Spending a little more to get a set of solid-construction lights will save on the replacement cost of less expensive but easily broken ones. If you live in a region with heavy winters and significant snowfall — and you don’t take your lights in for the winter — buy a sturdier variety.
How much you can expect to spend on path lights
An inexpensive set of solar path lights can cost around $25, with a sturdier, wired set running around $80-$100.
Path lights FAQ
How long will solar path lights last?
A. The average life of a solar path light is two to six years, with sturdier, more expensive brands lasting longer. To extend your lights’ life, bring them in during extreme weather and keep them clean and free of debris.
Do solar lights go dark on rainy days?
A. On average, no. That’s for the same reason you still have to wear sunblock on cloudy days: ultraviolet light still gets through, enough to charge the solar battery. Solar lights even get some charge on winter days, although above a certain latitude, that charge is faint and will not power the light through the whole night.
What are the best path lights to buy?
Top path lights
What you need to know: They create a fun, interesting pattern of light on your walkway that adds visual interest.
What you’ll love: Unless you have a very long walkway, this eight-light set gives you enough sturdy, attractive lights to illuminate it all. The snowflake pattern is fun and easily seen from the street. Installation is as easy as turning on the switch and using the enclosed stakes to put them in the ground.
What you should consider: They put off cool light that may not be a great match for older architecture.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top path lights for the money
Hampton Bay Solar Black LED 10 Lumens Path Lights
What you need to know: Classic and attractive, these lights offer mini gothic arches and rectangular construction.
What you’ll love: They turn on at dusk and add a warm, cozy light to the walkway until dawn.
What you should consider: At only 10 lumens each, these five lights are on the fainter side, making them better for streets that already have ample lighting.
Where to buy: Sold by Home Depot
Worth checking out
What you need to know: This 12-pack of in-ground lights adds a glow to your path or the edge of your lawn without the structure of wired lights.
What you’ll love: Easy to place and bright enough to add light to a dark walkway, these are ideal under plants that could use some light shining from below or along well-tended grass.
What you should consider: If you want to cover a wide area, their light may feel insufficient.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.
Maria E. Andreu writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
Copyright 2022 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.