10 Sun-Powered Lights for Summer Nights

color changing

Must be those years as a kid in Palm Springs that instilled my passion for succulent gardens that glow at dusk.

Whether opting for sun powered pathway lanterns or natural candles, you are cutting down on electricity while letting your prized garden bask in the limelight.

Combine them all for a low energy, highly-illuminated spot, where you and the mosquitoes can bite on juicy snacks and drink up the evening breeze.

Here are 10 that make a mark:

The color-changing Chalice solar path lights are said to last up to 30,000 hours (about 15 years) and automatically turn off and on to provide up to 8 hours of light at a time. $38.95 for a set at Target.

(shown at top)

Ideal for my friend Suzanne’s pad at the Four Seasons in Kona, these Solar pineapple lights up a garden path or patio with a warm welcome. They even make a fruity statement indoors! High-performance LED bulbs start to glow at dusk. They are a handpainted stone-resin composite. $27.95  each at Potpourri.


MIO solar path lights, also new to Target. They are green, retro and cheap at $40 per set.

MIO solar

Portfolio solar path lights from Lowes are a brass act with fluted glass lenses and a pretty copper finish. They come in a 12-pack and turn off and on automatically. $98.

solar lowes

I love the retro shell of these fun candle lanterns from Crate and Barrel. In yellow and orange, they burn 60 hours each for $6.95 (sale price). I love placing these on steps leading to a special sitting area in the yard.


Get groovy with these blown glass balls of light from Earth Tech.The gorgeous Firefly Solar Garden Art globes use solar energy to flow all night long, casting an art nouveau effect on these calla lilies. Enjoy the mystical ambience of  shadows and light over your prized garden blooms. $38.


Set the tone the minute the hybrids pull up to the party with these retro-colored driveway markers, powered by the sun and quite Mid-Century sensational. Se of 4 markers are $60 at Solar Goods.

drive way

I’m a sucker for anything shaped like a pagoda, including this lantern, also from Solar Goods. You can hang a few strategically in the garden or place on a few tables. They have a gorgeous weather-resistant finish and mix well with other exotic touches. $50 at Solar Goods (save on a pair).

wood pagoda

Simple solar-charged spotlights, $50 for a pair at Green and More, are ideal for illuminating trees and bushes and creating that dramatic nighttime glow. Uses renewable solar panels with rechargeable friendly batteries included to stay lit for up to 10 hours at night.

spot lights

Rock the garden – or the Casbah – with the Terra Spotlight, $113 at Eco Lights. Powered by two AA-size rechargeable NiCad batteries, the stones will provide 10 hours of light when fully charged. Available in two finishes, I think these are the most natural decor element I’ve seen for lighting the garden.

rock light

Luanne Bradley

Luanne Sanders Bradley is the West coast Editor at EcoSalon and currently resides in San Francisco, California.