The String Lights That Recharge Themselves With Solar Panels
I love string lights and the cozy atomosphere they create both inside and outside an RV or tent.
I’ve used different kinds of battery powered string lights before but for the most part, they haven’t been durable enough to withstand more than a month of regular use, and they’ve been difficult to hang up and move from indoors to outdoors.
They also use a ton of batteries which isn’t as sustainable or efficient as I would like, especially for camping.
So I started searching for the best solar string lights for campers and RVers. I had a few requirements for the perfect string lights.
One they had to be super durable, no flimsy wires like the kinds that are used for battery powered fairy lights.
Second, they needed to be easy to hang up and to put away. Also, I wanted them to be rechargeable whether it was by solar or USB.
What I found was the Luci Solar String Lights by MPowerd (click to view on Amazon).
I’ve had these solar string light for a few months now and I have to say they’ve more than lived up to what I expected them to be.
Here is my full review as well as all the specs and info on the Luci Solar String Lights which are what I now consider to be the best string lights for campers and RVers.
The Luci Solar String Lights are 20 warm white LED lights with 3 different light settings spread across 10 plastic bulbs on an 18 foot aqua blue cotton cable.
The cable protects the delicate electrical wire making this solar string light very durable and perfect for hanging up and putting away over and over again.
There are even two small black clips (one in the middle and one on the end) you can use to make loops to more easily hand the lights anywhere.
Here’s everything you need to know about this unique solar string light for camping and everyday use.
The string lights are connected to a round base that expands to reveal a storage compartment you wrap the lights into.
You open the base by twisting the bottom, once released it will pop open and you will see the neatly wrapped up string of lights which you can then unwind.
The base has a small solar panel on it as well as a battery power display, an LED light, and a USB outlet you can use to charge your phone. There is also a string lanyard you can use to hang the base to keep it out of the way.
The base is about 2 inches tall when closed and 5 inches in diameter. It’s very lightweight and the string lights plus the base weighs less than a pound, 11.3 oz to be exact.
The base houses a 2000mAh lithium-ion battery. According to our calculations, it has a storage capacity of around 7.4 watt hours.
The panel is around 2 watts and if charging by solar it will take around 16 hours to fully charge because solar panels normally put out less power than they are rated for. The solar panel on the Luci probably charges the battery at about .5 watts an hour.
There is also a USB charger on the end of the string of lights you can use to charge the battery. This takes around 6 hours to charge fully.
There is a button on the side next to the power button you can press to light up the battery charge indicator which is 4 small led lights. It will only light up for a few seconds and doesn’t stay on all the time. If the battery is fully charged all 4 lights will illuminate.
The lights will blink when the USB charger is being used. They will not illuminate when the Luci is being charged via the solar panel.
There are 4 light settings on the Luci Solar String Lights. The first time you press the power button the small LED light on the base with illuminate.
This light is good for lighting up a small areas or using as a flashlight.
The second press will turn on the string lights and turn off the small LED light on the base. There are 3 light settings for the string lights.
The brightest will illuminate up to 100 lumens which is bright enough to light up our entire RV or outdoor space when we use them outside.
There is also a quick shut off you can use by holding down the power button for 2 seconds. Using the quick shut off will bypass the other settings so you don’t have to click through them to turn the lights off.
In the picture below I’ve taken 3 photos to show the 3 light settings. Each photo was taken in the exact same place with the exact same settings.
As you can see the picture on the right is much brighter than the one on the left. The different light options are perfect for choosing the kind of lighting you want.
The lowest setting is fantastic for some nice soft lighting when you are just hanging out around the campfire and the highest setting is so bright you will be able to see when cleaning up or working on something at night.
I can even read at night by the light of the highest setting.
On the lowest setting, the lights will last up to 20 hours on a full charge.
The Luci Solar String Lights by MPowerd are totally waterproof with an IP67 waterproof rating. That means the entire unit can survive total submersion up to 1m.
That’s plenty of protection to withstand any amount of rain which means you can hang them up and leave them at your campsite. You won’t have to take them down every night if you don’t want to.
The USB phone charging port on the side is a nice touch and after testing it we found it will put out 3 watts of power.
For comparison, the typical USB wall charger puts out 5 watts of power. The battery is small and will only charge a smartphone about 50% depending on the size but it’s still a great feature to have in case you need a way to charge your phone and you don’t have access to any other power.
My Review Of The Luci Solar String Lights by MPowerd
I’m going to start my review by stating that I purchased the Luci Solar String Lights by MPowerd on my own because I love string lights and I wanted something that could be used inside and outside the RV.
I needed string lights that were durable because wanted to be able to hang them up easily in new places. After months of use, I can honestly say that the Luci Solar Strings Lights (click to view on Amazon) are some of the best string lights I’ve ever owned.
I’ve had these lights strung up on the RV awning for nightly campfires and then quickly taken them down and hung them up inside the RV for backlighting when watching movies or using my laptop.
I’ve even used them on the highest setting as the only light source inside the RV to read a book or play card games.
You can see in the picture above that I have the base hanging by the string lanyard from the awning. I thought it might be hard to find a place for it but so far it’s been easy to hang with the lights and not a problem at all.
The Luci Solar String Lights are so versatile and easy to use. I normally leave them on for about 5 hours every night and only need to charge them every 4th or 5th day.
I used the solar panel to make sure the function works but it does charge very slowly and I do prefer to use the USB charger instead.
I haven’t needed to use the phone charging function but I did test it with a USB power output tester to make sure it was putting out enough power to charge a smartphone so I know it works. It’s nice to know it’s there in case of an emergency.
One of my main complaints about other string lights is the wire is never strong enough to withstand being moved around daily. I’ve used battery powered fairy lights in the RV before but they have all broken just from the trailer being towed around.
With the Luci Solar String Lights, I can quickly wrap them up in the base and put them away before moving then put them back out when we get to our next campsite.
Because they are stored inside the base they are protected and never get tangled up. Which is a huge plus people who use lights for holiday decorations can relate with.
The base is super easy to twist open and wrap the lights up in. I’ve read that some people have problems getting the string wrapped up just right to close the base but so far I haven’t had issues with it.
Just make sure you are wrapping the lights snug but not tight and you shouldn’t have any problems. The base also has a small opening so you can close it when the lights are outside of it.
In conclusion, I think the Luci Solar String Lights by MPowerd are the best string lights for campers and RVers.
The string is durable, the lights are bright but not too bright, everything is waterproof. They can be charged by solar or USB.
The battery is of high quality and lightweight. And they can be used indoors or outdoors easily. I recommend these lights to any camper or lover of string lights.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where Is The Wall USB Charging Plug Located?
The USB plug that goes into a USB outlet is located at the end of the string lights. You can access it by opening the base. The USB plug will be sitting in there with the string lights.
To charge it just pull out as much of the cable you need and plug it into a USB outlet like the kind a smartphone uses.
How Do I Know If The Solar String Lights Are Charging?
When charging the 4 small LED indicator lights on the top of the base near the solar panel will start blinking in sequence. When all 4 stay continuously lit the battery in the Luci Solar String Lights is now fully charged.
Do The Luci Solar String Lights Get Hot?
No, these string lights are LED lights and they do not get hot.
Is There An Extension Cable Available For The Luci Solar String Lights?
Not technically but you can get a USB extension cable like this one (click to view on Amazon) which will extend the Solar String Lights from the USB end to a USB outlet.
Do These Solar String Lights Have An Auto Shut Off?
No, the Luci solar string lights have to be turned on and off manually. It makes them perfect for camping or patio lighting but not great if you want permanent solar lights that will turn on automatically when it gets dark and turn off when it gets light.
Can The Luci Solar String Lights Be Used In The Rain?
Yes, the Luci Solar String Lights are water resistant and can be used in the rain.
Do The Charging Indicator Lights Come On When Charging Via Solar Panel?
No, the LED indicator lights only illuminate when the Luci is charging via USB.
Can The Lights Be On And Charging At The Same Time?
Yes, when charging the Luci via USB the lights can be on at the same time which means these solar string lights can technically be plugged into a main power source instead of being battery powered.
When using the solar panel the lights can be on but the solar panel doesn’t bring in a lot of power and the lights may be using up what power is being generated.
If you want the battery to charge via the solar panel I don’t recommend having the lights on at the same time.
Is The Lithium-Ion Battery Replaceable?
No, the battery inside of the Luci base is not replaceable but it is Lithoium-Ion which means it should last a very long time if it is fully recharged regularly and not allowed to be drained below 20%.
Is The String Of Lights Detachable From The Base?
No, the string lights are permanently attached to the base.
What Are The Distances Between The Lights, The Lights And Base, And Lights And USB End?
The distance between the base and the first light is 33 inches. The distance between light bulbs is around 17 inches, and the distance between the first light and the USB end is 35 inches.
My Luci Isn’t Charging When I Plug It In Via The USB Plug.
The USB end of the Luci Solar String Lights has a side with metal tabs on it and one side that is just plastic. Make sure the metal tab side is the one that is facing up when you insert it into a USB outlet.
If the plastic side is facing up the Luci will not be charging because there is technically no power connection between the USB end and USB outlet.
Have any more questions about the Luci Solar String Light by MPowered? Leave a comment below.