Expert Review: Luci - Color Solar String LightsPublished on 08/29/2022 · 5 min readThis review is my honest opinion of the lights, which I purchased with my own money in August of 2020.
All photos courtesy of Hunter Reed
About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the lights, which I purchased with my own money in August of 2020.
The Luci Color solar string lights are a fun, cute light to use at camp or in the tent when car camping. I primarily camp in the bed of my truck, where I hang them from the ceiling. The solar charge feature works great and can even act as a charging port for other devices.
About the lights I own
- Model: Luci Color Solar String Lights
- Charging Type: Solar, USBc electricity
- When I bought this: August 2020
- Days tested: 200
- Used for: Hanging out around camp
- Where I’ve used it: All over Oregon,Colorado, and Utah
- Seasons I’ve used it in: Spring, fall, summer
- Experience: 25+ years of camping
How they perform
What I was looking for
I purchased these because I was planning on living out of my truck for a few months. I had built out the bed of my Toyota Tacoma and wanted some lighting options in the back. I wanted something that gave off a good amount of light and was rechargeable by solar, so I wouldn’t need to use electricity or purchase batteries.
Why I chose this gear
I decided to buy this particular product because they were string lights as opposed to a lantern. I thought that was nice for lighting a truck bed. I also liked the solar charging feature, and that they acted as a battery box to other devices if I was in a pickle. I did not really look around for other options because these seemed like the best fit for what I needed.
What I love about it
- Durability: I have had these in the back of my truck for about two years now, and they still work great. I haven’t noticed the battery dying faster than it did when I first got it.
- Charging Type: These are charged by a solar panel on the circular box. The box also acts as storage for the lights. They can also be charged by Usb-c and electricity; though I have never had to use that method of charging because the solar panel functions pretty well.
- Ease of Use: The top pops right up, and they are stored there when not in use to prevent tangling. There are only two buttons: one to show how the battery life is doing and one to turn the lights on and off.
- Reliability: They hold a charge well: they can stay on for probably 10 hours on high, 15 on medium, and 20 on low. Though the battery for charging other things from the battery box doesn’t have a terribly long life.
- Car camping: I only use these for car camping. I have used them for camping-style cookouts or campfires, but nothing that would require me to carry them away from my vehicle.
- Brightness: There are three different brightness settings on the string lights and then a fourth mode where the circle box lights up. It is really easy to switch between these with the one button, and they are fairly bright on the highest setting.
- Features: They can charge a phone or device if need be. I don’t use this feature too much because it drains the battery really fast and I can only get up to a 70% charge on my phone.
Issues I’ve encountered
- Weather Resistance: The lights themselves are protected with plastic coverings and could handle some water for sure. The charging port has a silicone gate in case any rain did get near it, but these lights don’t seem very weatherproof.
- Weight: These weigh 11.4 oz. Though that isn’t heavy by any means, it is more weight than I would be willing to hike or backpack with.
- Versatility: They serve their purpose of lighting the bed of my truck well, and are definitely fun to have at cookouts or any outdoor gathering, but all in all string lights are generally kind of a pain compared to a lantern or headlamp while camping.
Favorite moment with this gear
My favorite time with these lights was when I was living out of my truck during the fall months of 2020. Many things were still closed due to Covid, I was just alone with my pup, and there was not much to do in the evenings aside from hang out, read, journal, or edit photos. It was such a simple thing, but having nice lighting like these solar lights in my tiny home made it so much nicer to be there. It didn’t feel like a dark cave with just a single lantern or headlamp hanging from the ceiling. It felt like a cozy, well-lit place to hangout!
Value for the money vs. other options
I picked these up for about $50 and have used them a ton. If I was primarily backpacking, I don't think it would be the most practical lighting purchase. But given my situation, they were well worth the money. I don’t ever need to replace the batteries since they charge from solar, they still work really well even after a few years, and it’s nice that I can use them as a backup charger for a phone or other devices if I ever needed to.
The Luci Color solar string lights are a solar-charging, fun way to light my space when car camping. They are really practical for this purpose, though they would not be the best lighting choice for backpacking.