solar christmas lights

Solar Christmas lights: power your holiday decorations with the sun

Reading Time: 2 minutes

The holiday season has arrived, and it’s time to unravel your extension cords and string up those Christmas lights. They may not look like much, but they do use electricity – if you keep your string lights up for several weeks, you may end up with a surprisingly large electric bill after all those presents are unwrapped. Luckily, solar isn’t just for your rooftop: it also offers a renewable alternative to conventional holiday lights. Solar Christmas lights are a great option for energy-conscious holiday decorators.

How do solar Christmas lights work?

Solar powered Christmas lights available for sale at Home Depot.

Solar Christmas lights are like normal decorative Christmas lights, except that they are powered by the sun.

Typical Christmas lights use energy from the grid to light up your home, which means you need to run an extension cord from your home to where you’ve hung your lights. With solar-powered lights, you can forget the extension cord. Instead, your lights attach to a small solar panel at their end which uses the sun’s energy to charge an attached battery during the day. When the sun sets, a light sensor will automatically turn your solar lights on using the rechargeable battery.

Solar lights usually use LEDs instead of incandescent bulbs. LEDs are slightly less bright than traditional incandescents but are far more energy efficient and can be run on just a few hours of sunlight stored in a battery. The small solar panel that powers solar Christmas lights is usually attached to a stake that you can place in a sunny spot in your yard to charge up the battery during the day.

What will solar Christmas lights cost you?

Solar Christmas lights will have a higher up-front cost than conventional plug-in options. (However, remember that you’re saving money in the form of lower electricity bills!) In general, prices for solar-powered lights are around 30 to 50 percent higher. Because Christmas lights are not a very expensive item to begin with, this price difference usually amounts to less than $10. For example, a 100-foot strand of solar powered lights on Amazon might cost around $30, with a comparable 100-foot string of normal plug-in lights coming in just above $20.

Where to buy solar Christmas lights

Investing in some strings of solar powered Christmas lights is a great way to do your part in supporting energy-saving technologies during this holiday season. While they may cost more than standard lights up front, you may see small savings on your energy bill depending on how long you choose to have the lights up.

Home Depot, Amazon, and Lowe’s all have solar-powered Christmas light options, including both colored and white bulbs. Everyone loves a white Christmas, but with a set of solar Christmas lights, this year’s holiday season just might get a little bit greener.

Explore the EnergySage Solar Marketplace for home solar solutions

Solar energy can do a whole lot more than power your Christmas lights, and the best place to compare options for home solar installations is the EnergySage Solar Marketplace. By registering your property to get solar quotes, you can compare offers side by side from qualified, pre-vetted installers near you.

This entry was posted in Buyer's Guide on by .

About Jacob Marsh

Jacob is a researcher and content writer at EnergySage, where he focuses primarily on current issues–and new technology!–in the solar industry. With a background in environmental and geological science, Jacob brings an analytical perspective and passion for conservation to help solar shoppers make the right energy choices for their wallet and the environment. Outside of EnergySage, you can find him playing Ultimate Frisbee or learning a new, obscure board game.

4 thoughts on “Solar Christmas lights: power your holiday decorations with the sun

  1. Anthony Mays

    I tried to splice two of these solar chargers together for one light strand. My thinking would be that they would last longer before the batteries died. I made sure both marked wires were connect and both plan were connected. Placing my hand over either photo eye and no lights. Took the splice off and lights were connected to only one solar charger, covered the photo eye, lights came on. Reluctantly tried switching the wires to mix marked and plain and no lights again after covering the photo eye. Took wires off to be powered by one solar panel again, and the lights came on, after covering the photo eye. Why can’t I run two power supplies to one set of lights?

  2. Thomas

    I like lights decorative lights around my property.
    I especially want solar energy Powered lights.
    What options do I have, if I want to create something just for
    Myself, my property, that can last for years. And is transferable if I choose to swoop the different lights set around the doors or windows, decoration.
    I’m concerned about the cost of these small energy solar powered portable panels.


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