Solar Twinkle Lights

September 20, 2013

solar twinkle lights

Image and Text by Gabrielle.

Something fun that’s on my mind at the moment: We’ve been experimenting with solar twinkle lights! We ordered two strings and put them in the trees above our decks. One string glows cool and blue and one glows warm and yellow. They charge during the day, then automatically come on at night. I hung them in the trees and haven’t had to touch them since! No plugs. No remembering to turn them on and off. So cool! I can’t believe what a smile they bring.

If you’re considering these for your own house or for an event, be aware, they don’t offer intense light. Meaning, a string of them set above your outdoor dining table would not be bright enough to eat by. Not even close. They’re more for ambience and setting a mood. Also, the strings aren’t super long — they cool blue string has 30 lights, and the warm yellow has 20. I’m guessing we’ll need maybe 4-5 strings for the tree over our main deck, but maybe only one string for the front porch.

Have you ever tried solar lights? I’m curious to know how many months they last!

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September 20, 2013 at 2:21 pm

{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Ginger J. September 20, 2013 at 7:25 am

I’m curious to know how well they work in a shady environment. I would expect less sun = less bright? Since you’re hanging them in your tree, do they get any direct sun at all? Or is the indirect sunlight sufficient for charging?


2 Design Mom September 23, 2013 at 3:50 pm

Good question, Ginger. Our yard is often shady because of the giant trees, and the lights still seem to charge. But, if it’s really shady, the lights only light up for an hour or two. If they see more sun, they’ll last longer through the night.


3 Giulia September 20, 2013 at 7:56 am

I have the IKEA version of this and we like them a lot. We don’t have an outlet in our backyard so they are perfect to spruce up our eating area.


4 Maike September 20, 2013 at 10:28 am

We have them too and every night when the sun sets and the lights go on, i still get excited about it. we have the colorful ones – so pretty!


5 Gia September 20, 2013 at 8:20 am

We tried the solar path lights but they also didn’t give off very much light. For ambiance in the back yard these would look beautiful, and I love that you don’t have to find a plug. I wonder which light do you like better? The blue or yellow?


6 Design Mom September 23, 2013 at 3:51 pm

I think I like the yellow better. But I don’t dislike the blue. I’m thinking yellow on 2 or 3 of the balconies, but maybe blue at the entry. We’ll see.


7 aimee @ smilingmama September 20, 2013 at 8:22 am

Love these! They are officially on my backyard wish list!


8 Carie Clayton September 20, 2013 at 8:32 am

Hi All, I have had many strings of solar twinkle lights in my trees and bushes around my house for over a year now. I live near Ottawa, Ontario, Canada and the lights have been going on and off every single day. They work perfectly from super hot 30C to super cold -30C (not sure of the F degrees conversion sorry) . My mom has some that have been going for 5 years. It was a big investment at first – I put 4 strings in my maple tree out front and 2 strings in my honeysuckle hedage out back. They look fantastic in every season: glowing in the green leaves or sparkling in the snow. There is only one drawback – they absolutley need sunlight. When its a very cloudy/rainy day they hardly glow at all. On a bright sunny day – they charge up enough to shine from dusk for about 6 hours – definitely not all night long – but long enough. All in all I recommend them 100% for visual warmth, glowiness and ambience.


9 Design Mom September 23, 2013 at 3:52 pm

Six hours! That’s impressive. I don’t think mine last that long, but they also don’t see full sun, so I’m not surprised.


10 Nicki September 20, 2013 at 8:52 am

I put two strings of solar lights on the underside of an outdoor shade umbrella two summers ago. The umbrella will need to be replaced next summer, but the lights are doing great. They provide ambient lighting only. Occasionally the charger pack gets flipped over and I have to flip it back. Makes me smile every time I go out the back door.


11 Jessica Doll September 20, 2013 at 9:14 am

I love the look and thought of these. I have round bulbed string lights in our courtyard that have a timer set on them to detect dusk/dawn. They stay on for however long we set and then turn off. They are bright enough to hang outside or host some friends over later in the evening. I also have some domed solar lights from Ikea that provide a little light when they get enough sun to charge. Those have been outside for a year now and are still going strong, and everyone comments on them when they come over. I want to get a string (or two) of solar lights for the side/back of the house but it’s not a priority right now.


12 amy September 20, 2013 at 9:18 am

that sounds like such a great idea for our dock. are they large bulbs or small?


13 Design Mom September 23, 2013 at 3:52 pm

The bulbs are small. About 1 inch across.


14 kimberly September 20, 2013 at 2:25 pm

Ours have been outside and going strong for almost a year. We put them up last year in November as a holiday decoration- we were living through a house remodel with limited electricity, and we’ve kept them up because they were fun.


15 Jennifer September 20, 2013 at 5:44 pm

We put 4 strands on the pergola a couple months ago and I love them! So pretty and romantic. I need to learn to make cocktails so my husband and I can have dates under the twinkle lights. I am worried about them in the rain though…should we bring them in for the Winter? (CA, Bay Area)


16 Design Mom September 23, 2013 at 3:54 pm

I imagine the rain shouldn’t be a problem because these lights are rated for outdoor use.


17 Heidi September 20, 2013 at 5:45 pm

Our solar strands are from Target and they’re strung on our arbor. A funny story: my parents were visiting and my dad hung them up for me. My husband came home late from a business trip (like 1amish) and I woke up hearing him going in and out our patio door several times. Finally I went downstairs, and he looked at me in total tired, jet lagged frustration and said “I give up-how do you turn off those damn lights?”


18 Design Mom September 23, 2013 at 3:54 pm

Hah! Too funny.


19 Tricia September 21, 2013 at 9:07 am

This is exactly what I have been looking for for the deck. Thank you!


20 jill (mrs chaos) September 23, 2013 at 2:05 pm

I’ve been thinking lots about these. We have regular “twinkle” lights set to a timer outside, but I really would like to have more. Thanks for the info!!


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