Best Solar Spotlights for your lake house and boat dock.

By D. Calvert | 

The most dynamic kind of landscape illumination for your lake home is the spotlights.  Solar spotlights can bring outdoor lighting to the next level. They do that by eliminating the extra hassle of cords and switches associated with most yard spotlights. The proper lighting will not only make your lake home visually stimulating at night, but they are also necessary for prosper safety of your family and guest.

In this article we are going to cover Boat Dock Lighting and General Landscape Lighting for your lake house.

BOAT DOCK LIGHTING

You definitely need dock lights if you have a boat or a waterfront property. Boat dock lighting will provide added security because lights are still thieves’ deterrents. They can provide a level of protection to secure your boat and safety for night time activities on and around the dock.

There will be times when you will have you boat out in the evening and need to dock at night. Solar boat dock lights will enable you to see well and the lights can guide your path.

When looking at the options available to you for boat dock lighting start comparing the features you’re looking for as well as some preferences in color, design and overall appearance and ease of installation. The first step is to decide approximately how many lights you need, I believe, more is always better. For dock lighting you can place lights directly on the walkway and dock itself, and some like to install lights on the side of the dock as well. For most situations lights directly on the walkway and dock are sufficient.

With these type of surface dock lights you basically have two choices.

1) Boat Dock Lights that are attached with Screw or Glue

2) Recessed Solar Boat Dock Lights.

The videos below will show you the two options for walkway dock light and we will also share a video we found that will show you how you can install lights on the side of your dock as well.

Hopefully at this point you have a good understanding of the types of boat dock lighting and what your options are based upon your particular situation. Hopefully you have got your order placed and you will have a functional, safe, and beautiful boat dock in no time. Next we want to share with you the best landscape solar lights available for your lake house. This is an area where you can get very creative. In my mind very few things can compare to a home on the lake at night with solar lights highlighting different areas of your yard.

7 BEST SOLAR SPOTLIGHTS FOR LAKE HOMES

With built in settings to automatically activate your lake house lights at night and a solar panel to charge them during the day you will be all set.
Without any additional work or thought, solar spotlights are the easiest, greenest way to highlight & enjoy the best parts of your lake house at night.

Today’s solar landscaping lights are as reliable and durable as the best electric landscape lights in the market. They have the same classic features like motion sensing and colors and will pay for themselves in energy cost. Solar landscape lighting is the conscious best way to provide outdoor lighting for your lake house. We are going to share with you the 7 most popular and reliable landscaping solar spotlight sets available. You cannot go wrong with any of these sets as they relate to quality and durability. Just pick the style you like and stake them in the ground in the areas around your home that you want highlighted. The good part is, if you decide you don’t like it where it is, unlike electrical outlets, you simply pull it up and easily place it in the ground somewhere else.

7 Best Solar Spotlights for Lake Homes
innogear upgraded solar spotlight

Best Overall: InnoGear Upgraded Solar Spotlight

  • IP 65
  • The High Points: good run time, good value (4-pack)
  • The Not-So: like all solar lights, materials are not as heavy duty as old fashion electric landscape lighting

Innogear’s Upgraded Solar Spotlight takes the top spot on our list because of its all-around great performance combined with excellent reliability. Innogear is know for quality , and they lived up to their name in the design and execution of this light by creating an innovate solar spotlight. It does well in all categories.

We also love that this solar spotlight comes in a four pack. That means that buyers get twice or quadruple the value of other similar kits.

The design of the light makes each light independent and easy to install. That way, they can be spotted around the yard or lined up together for extra effectiveness. Personally I like the lined up together look. We actually have 16 of these lights around the back of our property.

What Other Reviewers Say

In general, reviewers love this solar spotlight. They comment on the run time and charge time, saying that even when they weren’t able to place them in a location where they could get get full charges, the lights still ran for most of the night.

Other reviewers also noted that the lights look good, even during the day. That is because of the sleek , modern, professional-looking design.

The most important negative that reviewers consistently noted is that the Innogear Ungraded Solar Spotlight is made out of plastic. They say that were something to fall on it, even a small item like a tennis ball or a branch, it might easily break. Honestly, I thought the same thing, that is why we purchased an additional package, just to use as replacements as needed. That was three years ago, we have not had the need to replace a light so far.

Features & Considerations

Each Innogear Upgraded Solar Spotlight consists of 4 powerful LED bulbs. They produce 50 lumens each, making each individual solar spotlight shine at TWO HUNDRED lumens.

They come in either white or warm white. For these lights, some prefer the white, since it is a bit cheaper. The white lights have a color temperature of 6500K.

One of the strongest points of the Innogear Upgraded Solar Spotlight is its run time to charge time ratio. Since it has two different settings, high and low, users can choose the setting that gets them the most run time versus brightness depending on weather conditions. Obviously we never want cloudy days on the lake, but sometime they do happen.

Run time on the high setting is 4-6 hours and on the low setting it is 8-12 hours, both of which are based on a complete charge, which takes 8 hours in direct sunlight.

Alongside all its other positives, this solar spotlight is water-resistant. It ranks IP65 in terms of water and dust resistance, which means that it is fully resistant to particles entering it and is resistant to jets of water. That’s generally enough for most normal weather conditions.

The Innogear Upgraded Solar Spolight is something of a jack-of-all-trades of solar spotlights, so its most important shortcoming to keep in mind is that it doesn’t quite excel in any one particular thing. Instead, it’s just an all-around well-designed, reliable light that has a good value.

mini 50x twin solar powered spotlight

A Close Second: MINI 50X Twin Solar-Powered Spotlight

  • IP 55
  • The High Points: good run time, useful modes, made from durable materials
  • The Not-So: not as water resistant as the InnoGear, acceptable brightness

The strongest point of the MINI 50X Twin Solar-Powered Spotlight is its strength. Made out of cast aluminum with a low profile, these lights are perfect for a yard that is susceptible to lots of movement, from kids, pets or large groups. The stakes are particularly durable and will keep the lights in place over a long period of time. With have 4 of these around on patio, We want lights there that could stand up to being stepped on. (An they have been, sometime I will tell you the story about the night drunk uncle Wally came to visit)

Another important feature of the MINI 50X Twin Solar-Powered Spotlight is its modes. Most solar spotlights have two options, the 50X has three different settings: full power, normal power and power saver. Each mode uses a different brightness so it make this light very flexible.

What Reviewers Say

Reviewers highlight the durability of these lights they are multi-season lights. They say that this is because the most important pieces are made of either metal or glass, unlike normal solar lights that are often made entirely of plastic.

Most reviews also mention the wide angle of illumination that the MINI 50X Twin Solar-Power Spotlight gives off. This is particularly exceptional, according to reviewers, because the physical light is actually quite small. compared to many solar spotlights.

Features & Considerations

Since this light has three different modes, as mentioned above, full power, normal power and power saver, it also has a run time that greatly varies based on mode.

In the power saving mode, it can last up to 15 hours, while in the , depending on the mode. We rarely have the ones on the Patio in full power mode unless we are having a party or get together of some kind. When we have those events, we expect the lights to shine for about 5 hours on full power. For any mode, the light must have a complete charge to reach its maximum run time, which takes about 8 hours. in the sun.

One of the things to keep in mind about this light is its brightness. Because the lights are quite small and last a long time, their brightness is somewhat less than other comparable lights. Depending on the mode, they range between 60 and 100 lumens.

These lights’ resistance to damage from physically being hit are what they are known for, but they do lack other kinds of resistance, namely, water and dust resistance. They are rated IP 55 for water and dust resistance, which is the lowest rating on our list. That said, normal weather events shouldn’t be a problem for these lights, but in the face of extreme weather, its better to take them inside. Overall quality, very durable lights that we have been very happy with.



Another Favorite: CLY 3-in-1 Solar Spotlights

cly 3-in-1 solar spotlights
  • IP 66
  • The High Points: good run time, very waterproof, flexible placement
  • The Not-So: no modes, long charge time

The CLY 3-in-1 Solar Spotlights’ name kinda speaks for itself – the three lights connected to one small solar panel combine to make one of the most efficient, high-value setups of solar spotlights that we could find. You see these lights often at high end hotel chains. They don’t sacrifice much in brightness or in run time to be a triple threat, which makes them one of our favorite solar spotlights. We have four sets of these strategically placed around our yard.

They are not only powerful, they also are resistant to weather events, even though the three lights are connected to the solar panel via a cord. What could have been a point of vulnerability for these lights ends up being a strength because it provides a wide range of areas where the lights can be placed, even in the shade, as long as the solar panel piece is in the sun. This is a very important point. We use these under bushes on our property where a normal solar light wouldn’t work, because it would not get enough light during the day. However with these lights we can place them in unique places without that worry as long as the panel is in the sun.

What Reviewers Say

Reviewers focus on the sturdy build and high-quality material of these lights, as well as the convenience of having three lights for just one solar panel. They also say that they are exceptionally easy to install, which brings all the positives together. For what its worth, I think all solar spotlights are easy to install, fundamentally it is sticking them in the ground where you want them.

One point where reviewers wished for improvement was in brightness. Although they are brighter than some other options, reviewers pointed out that the lights don’t throw their illumination as far as a brighter light might, something that many considered very important for a solar spotlight. In general I think many people try to compare solar lights with electric lights and light bulbs.

Features & Considerations

Each of the three lights gives off 150 lumens. They come in a kit that includes all the tools you need to install the lights by either staking them into the ground or by mounting them onto a wall and are attached to base which can be rotated to suit a variety of angles.

As previously mentioned, these lights are water- and dust-resistant. They are IP 66 rated, which although not submersible water-proof, means that they handle just about any external source throwing water at them, which is usually good enough for a solar spotlight.

Unfortunately, the run time to charge time ratio for these lights isn’t that good. Although it has an excellent run time, 12 hours, it takes 8-10 hours to reach maximum charge, which is more light than most peoples’ yards get in one day. The consolation is that even with a partial charge, these lights will stay on a long time.



dbf outdoor solar lights
Best Value: DBF Outdoor Solar Lights
  • IP 65
  • The High Points: very bright, good value
  • The Not-So: long charge time

For our best value choice, the light that combines solid features at a low price point, we considered a number of options, and settled on the DBF Outdoor Solar Lights in large part because of their brightness.

They perform well in run time and in water resistance, which are two features that we consider very important for lake house solar lights, but where the DBF Outdoor Solar Lights really shine is in lumens. They will brighten up whatever area you need to be brightened up. The DBF Outdoor Solar lights clock in at 600 lumens each (they come in a package of two), which makes them among the brightest that we found. We have a set of these on our front porch and at the entrance of our boat dock.

What Reviewers Say

It is no surprise, what reviewers say stands out most about these lights is the brightness. Many said that they were skeptical about solar lights before using these or had had experiences with solar lights where the brightness did not live up to their expectations, but these lights proved those experiences wrong. Solar lights are not electrical lights, they are different, but I believe perfect for yard landscapring.

A few reviewers also cautioned users to be gentle when installing the stakes. Although the process is relatively simple, it can be easy to break the stakes upon installation because these solar lights are not made of as durable materials as others, since they are largely plastic. The solution with these like is to make you hole first and bury it so to speak.

Features & Considerations

The DBF Outdoor Solar Lights have two modes: high and low. Those modes have an important effect on their run time.

On the high mode, you can expect that the lights will stay illuminated for 4-6 hours, while on the low mode, they should stay illuminated for almost double that, 8-10 hours.

Both of the possible run times are based on a complete charge, which for this solar light, is somewhat variable. You can expect it to charge in anywhere from 6 to 9 hours. At its best this solar light has a reasonable charging time, but if not at its most efficient solar spotlight in the market.

These lights come in two different colors, either warm white, which gives off a more yellow glow, or cool white, which has more of a blue tone. To many, cool white seems brighter, so it tends to be a more common choice among solar spotlights, but both options have a very similar price in this particular product.

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litom upgraded solar spotlights

For Those on a Budget: LITOM Upgraded Solar Spotlights

  • IP 67
  • The High Points: very water-resistant, very bright, quick charge time
  • The Not-So: limited side-to-side swivel, looks like a camera

The LITCOM Upgraded modern Solar Spotlights look like they’ve come from the future, and they perform like it too. LITCOM’s upgrade utilizes modern LED and solar technology to create lights that are bright and charge quickly, all at a very accessible price.

The design is unique, and they actually work, instead of the solar spotlight being in two or more pieces with the solar panel separate from the light piece, LITCOM combined the two aspects make a much for functional light. In doing so, they also created a light that is very resistant to water and physical damage.

Although the LITCOM Upgraded Solar Spotlight is our budget choice, no solar spotlight user should rule it. It combines high-quality features with a low price.
We have six of these on on property and are very happy with them.

What Reviewers Say

Most reviewers love this light so much that they bought multiple sets. They highlight how well the design allows them to angle the lights up and down because of the way that the solar panel/light piece is molded to the stake, but also explain that it is important to note that it does not swivel side to side.

One thing that reviewers noted as both a positive and negative aspect of these lights is that their design is aesthetically reminiscent of a camera. Some liked that the lights were well-disguised and might provide some safety, while others thought that the camera-style didn’t go well with their outdoor spaces. So keep that in mind before you order too many of these.

In either case, reviewers did appreciate the placement of the solar panels directly onto the light, which is what creates the camera look.

Features & Considerations

Out of all the lights on our list, the LITCOM Upgraded Solar Spotlight has the highest IP rating, 67. It’s the only one that reaches the status of truly waterproof. Its compact design also helps to make it more resistant to not just rain, but other types of weather, like snow, sleet, wind, or even hail pellets.

In addition to its durability, this solar spotlight is also very bright. It shines at 600 lumens in its brightest mode, and in its low mode, it is 350 lumens.

Having two modes that vary so much in brightness also means that the run times of the two different modes are vastly different. In high mode, it may last 6 hours, while in the low mode, it can last up to 12 hours. I look at the run time with all solar lights as a function of safety and security. If we are having a family birthday part at our home, I would the lights to be as bright as possible while guest or their, just so they can see if they decide to walk to the dock. In general, on a day to day basis, I just want the lights to come on when it gets dark, and burn till morning.

To achieve either of those run times, it must be charged in direct sunlight 4-5 hours, which is also the shortest charge time on our list. Most homes receive at least that much direct sunlight even in the winter, so these lights are sure to run during all seasons.

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itscool colored solar spotlights

Most Colorful: Itscool Colored Solar Spotlights

  • IP 65
  • The High Points: good run time, colorful, different modes
  • The Not-So:

As much as solar spotlights can light up a yard and provide a visual stimulating experience, that might not be enough for some people. If I am talking about you, i respect that, my friend Veronica is feels like this. I have good news, the Itscool Colored Solar Spotlight can bring extra exuberance to your outdoor landscaping, whether it’s through a consistent single shining color or a flashing rainbow these spotlights have you covered.

These solar spotlights come with a remote that lets users select one of eight colors to set the lights on, click through multiple colors manually or allow the light to automatically scroll through all color options. Out of many solar spotlights, the Itscool Color Solar Spotlights are the only ones that combine fun colors with the excellent functionality of a normal solar spotlight. We only have a couple of these, but our kids love them.

What Reviewers Say

The all-around favorite aspect of these lights from many reviewers is the remote. The remote control is a big hit. They say that having the remote to control the color settings and the timer settings is much easier than having to toggle through options with just one or two buttons, as is the norm for many solar lights.

Reviewers also generally love the actual colors, noting that compared to other colored yard lights that they’d had in the past that these have a number of color options, each of which is unique and brilliant. Some report using green spotlight colors for St. Patrick Day, Orange for Halloween, etc. They also said that the setting to leave it on one color is extra useful, especially when decorating a yard with a specific theme in mind.

Features & Considerations

Like other solar spotlights, the Itscool Color Solar Spotlights have many of the same basic features. They feature an excellent run time of 16 hours. That is based on 7 hours of charging to fill the battery. So I would say that is above average as it relates to solar yard lights.

These solar spotlights are also reasonably weather-resistant, with an IP rating of 65. They’re made almost entirely of a durable plastic, including both the head and the stake.

The brightness might appear to vary by color because of each color’s tone. However, each of the two lights included in this pack are 200 lumens on their brightest setting. They have three brightness settings: high, medium and low.

The color options are: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, purple, pink and plain cool white. On the setting that scrolls through the light colors automatically, you can set them to change either every 30 seconds or every 30 minutes. Iscool is the bomb. You won’t find a better value on color solar spotlights for your yard.



For a 2-Head Light: Double Head Outdoor Solar Spotlights

  • IP 65
  • The High Points: very bright, motion sensing, quick charge time
  • The Not-So:

To more widely distribute the light from a solar spotlight, there are the Double Head Outdoor Solar Spotlights. This solar spotlight features two light heads that can face in opposite directions.

Each of the lights is attached to the panel and stake piece on a swiveling base. That allows them to be pointed in any way necessary.

The Double Head Outdoor Solar Spotlights also come with a motion sensor. That makes them an excellent candidate for a security light as well as an aesthetic light. With a wide range of light and the ability to sense motion, they are a next generation solar spotlight. These are very popular for using around driveways.

What Reviewers Say

Reviewers rave about almost all of the aspects of these lights. They explain that these lights are bright, always charge fast, run for a long time and even are a pleasant color.

Most reviewers also love the motion sensing features, which they say are the perfect level of sensitivity; not too sensitive that small motions will set them off, but larger objects and people will. Again one of the reason these are popular around driveways and property entrance areas.

The one thing that reviewers note is that they two-pronged head of these lights creates a structural weak point in the middle. A few reviewers found that in strong winds, this weak point becomes important and can cause the light to crack or even break under the pressure from the winds. So if you live in a part of the world where high winds are experienced frequently this is something to consider.

Features & Considerations

These solar spotlights come with four different settings, two of which are associated with motion sensing and two of which are associated with brightness. The settings include: micro-light mode (dim-to-on motion sensing); auto switch mode (off-to-on motion sensing); always 50% brightness; and always 100% brightness.

Their different settings feature different brightness settings. In the 100% brightness mode, these lights illuminate at 1,000 lumens, and in the 50% brightness mode, they shine at 500 lumens. The other two modes use the same brightness levels where applicable.

Users can expect that these lights will stay on for approximately 9-10 hours, depending on setting and charge. In order to achieve maximum charge and thus optimal run time, these lights should charge for about 5 hours in direct sunlight. If you have a need for a double headed outdoor spotlight on your property, this is the best one we have found.

FINAL THOUGHTS

It has been said to “Plan your work and Work Your Plan”. When we moved into our lake home a few years ago, my first thought was to have traditional landscaping lights. However when I saw how much it was going to cost to run the electric lines and installation cost, it became obvious why most of my neighbors were using solar lights for their landscaping. The first thing I did was order lights for our dock before we even closed on the house. For safety reason this was my number one priority. We had those lights installed on our dock the day after closing.

Then I spent countless numbers of hours researching everything I could about solar landscaping lights. I hope this article will save our readers a tremendous amount of time, because I have already done the homework, it just depends on what areas of your property do you want to make sure are safe and the areas you want want accented with lights. Then determine how many lights you need and order them. We actually have over 30 spotlights on our property, and Invested about $1,500 when it was all said and done, but if I had went electric the quote I received would have been four times that.

What I like most about solar spotlights is the flexibility. I ordered several different types of lights and then had the opportunity to strategically place them on our property where they looked the best. I didn’t have to decide and make permanent decisions on day one. I just ordered 4 more Innogear & Litom this morning. I have identified the perfect spots, so you know what I will be doing this weekend.

I hope you found value in this article, and when you get your landscaping lights done, send us pictures! admin@4thelake.com I would love to see which lights you decided on.