4 Best Solar Umbrella Lights of 2022
Light up your outdoor space with solar power.
Patricia Marroquin / Moment / Getty Images
Solar umbrella lights use a solar panel to subtly capture photons during the day and power lights at night. They’re a great way to incorporate solar energy into your outdoor spaces, seamlessly combining shade, shelter, power and lighting into one practical package.
If you’re looking to upgrade your outdoor lighting and furniture, we’ll give you our recommendations for four of the best solar patio umbrellas on the market below.
Best Solar Umbrella Lights: Our Recommendations
- Best Overall: EliteShade Sunumbrella
- Best Extra-Wide Umbrella: Phi Villa Large Patio Umbrella With Solar Lights
- Best Deluxe Model: Purple Leaf Double-Top Solar Patio Umbrella
- Best Under $100: Blissun Solar Umbrella
Each product featured here has been independently selected by the writer. Learn more about our review methodology here. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn a commission.
Why Switch to a Patio Umbrella With Solar Lights?
There are so many reasons to replace your old umbrella with a solar umbrella light, not the least of which are that they offer unrivaled convenience and energy-efficient lighting. Additionally:
- Solar umbrellas don’t require a power source or extension cords, so you can put them practically anywhere.
- Solar umbrellas make use of empty umbrella space with energy-generating solar panels, saving you space and unsightly panels taking up valuable patio real estate.
- Solar lights are integrated into the umbrella, so there’s no need to hang a solar lantern or place a light on your patio table.
- Solar umbrella lights create a warm and inviting atmosphere and offer many lighting options to fit any occasion.
- LEDs are highly efficient and won’t shatter like glass bulbs, so they’re safer for outdoor spaces where kids and pets run around frequently.
- Umbrellas provide shade during the day, so it’s a multi-purpose investment.
Full Reviews of Our Top Picks
Best Overall: EliteShade Sunumbrella
The EliteShade Sunumbrella packs all the features of your favorite umbrella into a solar-gathering workhorse. EliteShade doubles the lighting power of most solar umbrellas with a bright hub light and 80 rib lights to cast all the brightness you need for your next gathering or relaxing night on the patio.
- 9-foot acrylic umbrella
- Fade-resistant for up to five years
- Stands up to water and oil
- Rust-proof aluminum frame
- Robust crank handle system for opening and closing
- Push-button tilt feature
- Vented canopy
- LED lights have up to a 5-hour runtime on full charge
- Only comes in one color
- Umbrella base is not included
Customer Rating: 4.4 out of 5 stars with over 1,300 Amazon ratings
Standout Review: “Prior to this purchase, we were unable to make good use of our backyard kitchen area. It now gets a lot of use! And we have received many comments from guests about how the lighting is perfect – not too bright but bright enough to eat, drink and have conversation. We would definitely purchase all over again.” — Lisa via Amazon
Why Buy: With double the lighting of other units and robust features you’d expect in an umbrella, the EliteShade Sunumbrella is well-deserving of its place at the top of our list of the best solar umbrella lights.
Best Extra-Wide Umbrella: Phi Villa Large Patio Umbrella With Solar Lights
This spacious 15-foot solar umbrella is large enough to shade an entire table or several patio chairs for fun under the sun or under the stars. When the sun goes down, 36 bright LED lights keep the party going. What’s more, the Phi Villa large solar umbrella light comes with a metal-framed base (you’ll need to fill included bags with sand).
- 15-foot umbrella
- Double-sided vented canopy
- Sturdy, rust-resistant steel frame
- Available in beige, dark red and navy blue
- Includes umbrella base
Customer Rating: 4.4 out of 5 stars with over 200 Amazon ratings
Standout Review: “It’s huge, provides a lot of shade and makes our deck look beautiful. We love the solar-powered lights and the switch on the pole that turns them on. They work beautifully! I thought we might have to install the lights, but all you have to do is attach the three solar panels at the top, which is a breeze.” — SMcQuilkin via Amazon
Why Buy: Living large under the sun and stars is easy with this extra-large solar umbrella light. It’s the perfect patio umbrella with solar lights, ideal for large tables, patio chairs and more. Ample lighting options, an included base stand and multiple color options make the Phi Villa deserving of a spot on your patio.
Best Deluxe Model: Purple Leaf Double-Top Solar Patio Umbrella
There’s nothing quite like this umbrella in terms of features, design, and quality. The Purple Leaf Double-Top stands out because it’s square, hanging, and tantalizingly elegant. The double canopy hangs from a unique cantilever arm and offers multiple height and angle configurations and 360-degree rotation for effortless shade adjustment. LED tube lights run down the length of each rib for even lighting. The price is steep, but you get way more than you pay for, in our opinion.
- 9-foot umbrella (also available in 10-foot and 11-foot sizes)
- 6 height and angle configurations
- 360-degree rotation
- Solar battery can also be charged rapidly via USB cord
- Available in beige, black, brick red, grey, navy blue and terra
- Umbrella base is not included
Customer Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars with over 200 Amazon ratings
Standout Review: “If you’re hesitant to purchase because of the price, but yet you’re torn because you need a good, quality umbrella… just get it. I went round and round before purchasing, but I’m so happy we made the investment.” — Crystal Taylor via Amazon
Why Buy: An ultra-adaptable design and elegant geometric features make this a distinguished piece that is as much a statement as it is practical. Six height and angle adjustments and 360-degree rotation are possible thanks to the hanging cantilever, and quality design and materials mean peace of mind throughout years of use.
Best Under 0: Blissun Solar Umbrella
The price isn’t reflective of the features and quality of the Blissun Solar Umbrella. You’ll forget you paid under 0 for this patio umbrella light, which offers 32 LED solar lights that provide a warm white ambiance. It holds up after seasons of outdoor use and has a tilt feature so you can angle your shade however you like.
- 9-foot umbrella
- Adjustable angles
- Water- and sun-resistant canopy
- Robust steel umbrella pole
- Requires 6-7 hours of full sun to charge
- Lights run 8 hours on a full charge
- Comes in multiple colors and pattern designs
- Umbrella base is not included
Customer Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars with about 10,000 Amazon ratings
Standout Review: “We purchased a heavy base knowing how windy it can get on a daily basis, and with that, we have had no problems. We just roll it down when the wind gusts are over 20 mph. We are pleased with our purchase and definitely feel that it was worth the money.” — Huntington via Amazon
Why Buy: The Blissun Solar Umbrella comes with everything you’d expect in an outdoor patio umbrella with solar-powered LED bulbs, but its price is way below most competitors. For the cost, features and glowing reviews of happy customers, you can’t go wrong with this unit, especially if you’re just starting out with solar umbrella lights or have to respect a budget.
Buying Guide: How to Choose the Best Solar Umbrella
All solar umbrellas combine conventional umbrella design with the added benefit of solar LED lighting. But not all are created equal. It’s a good idea to consider the following criteria when choosing the best solar umbrella:
- Design: Make sure canopy shape, metal finish, and fabric design/color match your aesthetic.
- Features: Besides casting shade and lighting up the night, consider other options for your solar umbrella. Common features you should expect are mold and fade resistance, ventilation flaps, high-quality materials and crank opening/closing. Other features you may want are tilt, multiple brightness modes, a dual-layered canopy and a remote control. More features usually mean a higher price, but it’s typically worth it.
- Size: Choose an umbrella that provides shade and lighting to adequately meet your space requirements. Common LED patio umbrella diameters are 9, 10, 11 and 15 feet.
- Lighting duration: How long do you need your lights to stay on? If you regularly party late into the night or enjoy the added ambiance/security of all-night lighting under your umbrella, choose a model with an eight- to nine-hour run time. More LEDs usually means lights out earlier.
- Charge time: Most people will likely have plenty of sunlight to fully charge their solar umbrella lights, but if you only have a few hours of daylight to spare, the umbrella will provide marginal lighting benefits at night. If daylight is scarce where you live or the top of the umbrella will be shaded, buy a model with a rapid charging time or plug-in charging capability.
- Durability: Umbrellas are all designed to withstand at least some long-term exposure to the elements. If your umbrella will be seeing long days and nights of use, purchase one with a fade- and mildew-resistant canopy, air vent flaps and aluminum ribs and poles. As a general practice, it’s recommended to close your umbrella when not in use.
Frequently Asked Questions: Solar Umbrella Lights
Can you add solar lights to a patio umbrella?
You can’t add additional LEDs to a solar umbrella’s wiring harness, but there’s nothing keeping you from adding additional lighting to a standard patio umbrella with solar string lights or solar lanterns.
How do solar lights work on an umbrella?
A solar umbrella features integrated LEDs along the ribs to cast light beneath the canopy. A solar panel atop the umbrella receives sunlight during the day, converting photons into electrons that are stored in a battery to power the lights when the sun goes down.
What does a solar umbrella do?
A solar umbrella provides everything a standard patio umbrella does, plus clean, renewable lighting thanks to an integrated solar panel and LEDs.
Can a solar umbrella get wet?
Solar lighted patio umbrellas are water-resistant but shouldn’t be exposed to regular deluges. What’s more, the LEDs shouldn’t be submerged or drenched for a significant amount of time. When not in use, be sure to close your solar umbrella to protect it from rain and wind.
Do solar umbrellas need batteries?
Yes. Solar panels store their electricity in batteries for use later in the evening. All of the solar umbrellas we’ve recommended come with batteries, and some of them are removable, allowing for plug-in charging and replacement.
Christian Yonkers is a writer, photographer, filmmaker, and outdoor junkie obsessed with the intersectionality between people and planet. He partners with brands and organizations with social and environmental impact at their core, assisting them in telling stories that change the world.