Bruce owns a small farm and loves to grill since his early childhood. He’s a professional cook, but hiking and enjoying the great outdoors is his no less favorite part of life.
Last updated: January 14, 2021
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Choosing the best solar umbrella may seem easy, but in all honesty, it can be quite tricky. If you don’t get the process right or you skip a few steps, you could buy a solar umbrella that you don’t like at all. You could also get a solar umbrella that’s not up to scratch in fulfilling your needs. That said, if you approach the purchase systematically and judge umbrellas on what they offer, you can’t go wrong.
Determining what each umbrella offers seems easy enough. However, that’s only if you have information about the diameter, number of LED lights, height, materials, battery wattage, and runtime. Except for the battery wattage and runtime, the others are physical properties of the umbrellas through which you can judge compatibility with your needs. Will the LED lights, the height of the umbrella, and material construction be worth the purchase? These are critical questions to answer. Depending on how you want your LED lights to perform, you can look at the battery stats as well. Lastly, the best solar umbrellas fit your home décor and thus should be the right color for that purpose. All the umbrellas below have the right information provided with regard to the features above. Consequently, you won’t struggle to choose one from among them.
The Best Choice Products 10 Ft Solar Powered Lighted Patio Umbrella comes first on our solar patio umbrellas list. One key solar umbrella feature to look at is the diameter of the product, which in this case, stands at 10ft. This provides stats on how much shade you expect from the product.
Depending on the umbrella’s intended use, you might find 10ft to be just the right size. Besides the diameter, you also need to know about clearance from the ground, which stands at 96cm or eight feet. This is high enough to cater for the tallest individuals even while standing.
Also incorporated are 24 LEDs that are powered by solar energy. As such, the umbrella can absorb the sun all day then provide you necessary lighting for a few hours at night. The battery runtime might be 6-7 hours, but since you won’t be spending whole nights outdoors, this should be plenty.
The polyester fabric used in the umbrella also deserves a bit of praise. As it stands, this fabric is water and UV resistant. People under the umbrella are protected from harsh sun rays and rainwater. That said, some customer complaints indicate it might not take long for the color of the fabric to fade.
Notably, there is a push-button on the frame that allows you to tilt the umbrella for better positioning. Further, a built-in crank is the component you turn to while opening or closing up the umbrella.
When setting up the solar patio umbrella and when taking it back to storage, the detachable pole helps a lot. Finally, this umbrella pick is available in 12 colors in addition to the beige option displayed above.
What we liked: We liked the 13 available colors for different patio décor schemes. Having the option to tilt the umbrella helps you position the umbrella better, depending on the time of the day. The diameter and height of the umbrella should work for most people. Finally, the LED lights and runtime also work well in most use cases.
What could be better: It seems that the fabric fades easily. Also, in strong winds, the frame may not be able to hold up very well.
A pricey but worth it green solar patio umbrella option is the Sundale Outdoor 11 Ft Patio Market Umbrella. The diameter is the largest of all umbrellas listed, although admittedly, there is only a one-foot difference between this pick and the editor’s choice.
As part of the umbrella’s setup, there are two batteries and a 1.6W solar panel. The latter takes in energy and transfers it to the battery for use at night. Once a full charge of both batteries has been achieved, you have 9-12 hours of lighting from the LEDs.
Another positive is the height, which stands at 0.2 feet above that of the Best Choice Products 10 Ft Solar Powered Lighted Patio Umbrella. Since the product cranks open, both kids and the elderly can still open the umbrella up without much hassle.
Further, of the materials that make up the umbrella’s design, polyester and aluminum are included as well as iron. So far, durability complaints from the umbrella’s buyers have been non-existent. This could also be partly thanks to the large pole diameter.
What we liked: The nine color options give most people ample choices. Another umbrella feature we appreciated is the 40 LED lights and the batteries that can offer up to a 12-hour runtime. Further, the height and diameter of the umbrella are impressive.
What could be better: This umbrella doesn’t tilt to cater to different positions of the sun during the day. Also, this umbrella is a bit pricier than most others. This is despite the stand being sold separately.
The Blissun 9 Ft Solar Umbrella could be the exact fit for your needs as well. The 32 LEDs in this umbrella setup run on solar energy. Once the battery in the umbrella is all charged up, an eight-hour runtime is the best you can hope for. Also, for the battery to fill up, the solar component needs to be exposed to the sun for 6-7 hours.
Like all other patio umbrellas listed, this product uses polyester to make the shade. This is combined with steel ribs to hold the fabric in place as well as a powder-coated aluminum pole.
Setting the umbrella up should not be a complicated affair. There is the crank lifting system for that. However, remember that the umbrella’s base is excluded from the purchase.
The patio umbrella’s diameter is 9ft and thus falls on the smaller side compared to other picks. This, however, could still work for you, depending on how you intend to use it.
Finally, having an easy-tilt function may help provide shade where and when it is needed.
What we liked: The umbrella is tilt-able hence can protect you from the sun at any time of the day. Additionally, the 8-hour battery runtime is relatively impressive. Another thing we liked is the crank lifting system that simplifies things for users.
What could be better: The fabric’s color seems to fade easily when exposed to the sun. The base is excluded from the purchase, and you will need more money to get one.
As for the ABCCANOPY 9 Ft Patio Umbrella, you have 12 available colors. With so many umbrella color options available, you are bound to find one you like. As the name of the umbrella suggests, it comes with a 9ft diameter canopy.
The material construction of the umbrella as well is nothing new when compared to the rest of the list. Polyester, aluminum, and steel have all been used to make some of the other umbrellas listed.
Other common elements you might note are the easy-tilt function and the crank lifting system. For storage purposes, the detachable pole that’s part of the umbrella should come in handy.
Also, the product is rated to have a 9-12-hour runtime. However, with the on/off switch, you needn’t leave the LEDs on the whole night.
What we liked: You are much more likely to find a color option you like out of the 12 provided. We also love the crank lifting system and the easy tilt function. Finally, the detachable pole will come in handy when storing the umbrella.
What could be better: Like so many other green solar patio umbrellas, the color fades relatively fast. Also, strong winds may affect the positioning of the umbrella. The lack of a strap to keep the umbrella closed may also be a problem.
With the Sundale Outdoor 10 ft Solar Powered Patio Umbrella, you draw the short straw with regards to color options. However, plenty of positives still make the umbrella worth some consideration.
The 1.2w solar panel is an example of a positive in this umbrella that might do you some good. If it manages to fill up the connected battery, the resulting runtime should be a notch above other peers in the umbrella’s class.
Adjusting the umbrella depending on where you want your shade should be easy as well. You just use the hand tilt mechanism, and you can position the product however you want.
This umbrella also comes with 40 LEDs, which is quite a large number. Lighting these LEDs makes the umbrella usable at night.
What we liked: We liked the battery runtime, which seems a bit more than other umbrella batteries have to offer. It is easy to tilt the umbrella for optimum positioning.
What could be better: More color options would undoubtedly be welcome. This is another pick where the stand is sold separately.
Another solar patio umbrella without a stand is the Sunnyglade 9 Ft Solar 24 LED Lighted option. The fact that the umbrella has 24 LEDs inbuilt is revealed in the name.
Notably, there is polyester fabric in the umbrella’s construction that provides the shade. This component is held together by eight steel ribs. There is also aluminum that makes up the pole. Like the Sundale Outdoor 11 Ft Patio Market Umbrella, you’ll have to buy the base as a separate purchase.
When fully charged, six hours is the maximum runtime you’ll get in your LED lights. If you don’t spend much time under the umbrella, this should be sufficient.
Another benefit is the air vented top that provides an exit for hot air building up under the umbrella. Like other patio umbrellas that came before it, this option features a crank open system. Also beneficial is the tilt adjustment.
What we liked: We loved that you can tilt the umbrella in line with the sun’s positioning. The air vented top allows the air under the umbrella to stay cool. Also, this umbrella uses a crank open system making it usable for kids and the elderly.
What could be better: Users have to buy the base separately. There are reports of the pole breaking when strong winds are involved
Things to Сonsider
After providing you with a few good options, we further want to eliminate any chance of you making a bad purchase. A buying guide is a surefire way to do that, and hence the one below can be useful when umbrella shopping.
Benefits of solar patio umbrellas
Having gotten this far into the write-up, you are definitely considering getting a patio umbrella. However, some of you may still be uncertain about the benefits you could be getting from the product. Well, we’re here to help clarify that for you.
The most obvious benefits include protection from elements mainly, the sun. If you leave furniture under the umbrella, it could also help protect it from the rain.
At night a solar patio umbrella also has lights that you can use to extend your stay outdoors. These umbrellas can also be used when entertaining guests instead of having everybody in the house.
Features to consider when choosing the best solar patio umbrella
For solar patio umbrellas to be considered the crème of the crop, they have to show how they are better than the competition. They can only do this through their features. Consequently, you should pay attention to all patio umbrella features mentioned and that you come across.
Also, remember these features don’t have the same degree of importance. The information below may help you prioritize them accordingly.
Do not forget that you buy the umbrella as a cover that protects you from the sun and other weather elements. How much cover is provided is determined by the canopy diameter.
Also, in some cases, large canopies may not work due to the patio size. As such, ensure your umbrella of choice fits your space and offers enough cover for you before purchase.
Your patio umbrella’s height should also be at the forefront of your mind when sifting through options. The height should be enough to allow the tallest individual in your home to be comfortable under the umbrella. Nonetheless, the umbrella should still be short enough to provide adequate cover. A height of between 7.5 feet and 8.5 feet is likely enough.
The solar panel is a crucial part of any solar patio umbrella setup. As for the wattage, it is the only way to figure out how much electricity the panel produces. This can affect the charge time and, ultimately, the runtime of the lighting setup in the solar umbrella.
More wattage would mean more electricity. Nevertheless, some of you may not need high wattage levels.
Charging time can also be a huge factor in helping you decide. Short charge times means your battery can charge up faster. As such, it is unlikely that the lights will fail to turn on when you need them.
Canopy, pole, and ribs material
Another checkpoint is what each component in the umbrella is made from. Most patio umbrellas are seemingly made of the same materials. Polyester is a common choice for making the canopy and is relatively durable.
Aluminum, steel, and iron are a few materials used for the other components. Pay particular attention to all these materials as they will directly influence how long your umbrella lasts.
Furthermore, if you want a more stable umbrella, you should look at the pole diameter. Wider poles are more durable and resistant to the wind.
Remember that a patio umbrella doesn’t have to look out of place with the décor outside your house. You could match up the colors if you can find the right fit, especially if you already have furniture where you intend to install the patio umbrella.
Lots of patio umbrellas will be coupled with furniture such as a dining table or seats. The umbrella should extend at least two feet more than the table on each side for dining tables. For lounge settings, you should also look for an umbrella that is bigger than your lounge chair to ensure optimum shade levels.
Aluminum is seemingly more durable when used in making patio umbrellas. That said, aluminum patio umbrellas are more expensive than steel counterparts. If you want a more affordable patio umbrella, you will have to go for steel options.
Yes. Most of the patio umbrellas don’t come with a base. Consequently, you may need extra funds to acquire one. The manufacturers also often advise users on which stand/base is ideal for the patio table umbrella they buy.
As for the Blissun 9 Ft Solar Umbrella, it might be smaller, but that may be what you’re looking for. It is also almost guaranteed that any time you turn the lights on, there will be power. The only requirement is a few hours of the umbrella in the sun.
We would be content with picking any of these three above if we were in your shoes. Nonetheless, your needs may dictate a different umbrella pick, which we are not opposed to at all. If so, you’re free to pick any of our other featured selections as well.