(Pocket-lint) - As summer rolls around and especially given the time we've all got to spend at home right now, it can be a great comfort to spend long evenings in the garden, as the sun sets.
Of course, the issue with that is the lack of light once the sun really does disappear, potentially leaving you in the dark. A great way around this problem is with solar or smart lighting for your garden, but anyone who's done much research will know that there's a lot of sub-par products in this area.
It's all too easy to pick up lights that won't last more than a year or so, whether because they're not truly weather-proof or just aren't built to a high enough standard. That's why we've taken the time to find you the very best options on the market so that you can pick between a range of quality options.
Our pick of the best outdoor lights to buy today
Philips Hue Calla
Philips has probably the widest range of smart lighting going, especially on the indoor front, but it's also got a pretty long list of options for your garden, too. These lights have all the mod-cons of a Hue bulb, meaning that you can automate them, and control them from your phone or even using a smart assistant.
We particularly like the Calla light for its low profile and unobtrusive looks, and it's perfect for lighting a pathway or seating area. Plus, as you'd hope for from a Hue product, it's got every colour in the rainbow, letting you set the look and feel of your garden perfectly.
Ring Solar Pathlight
Ring might be best known for its security cameras and doorbells, but it says that lighting is just as valuable to security, hence its range of outdoor lights. These are a whole lot cheaper than Philips' lights, and also have the option of solar power, as in the case of this Pathlight.
We like it for its simplicity and clean looks, while its automatic features make it really useful. You can just stake it into the ground and not worry about charging or powering it. That said, you do need a Ring Bridge to hook them into your home network.
Philips Hue Impress
Philips might be charging a lot more for its lights, but you do get a huge range of choices and designs to pick between, and another superb pick is the Impress wall light. Rather than staking into the ground, this is a wall fixture that's consequently perfect for outdoor seating areas or porches.
It's got the same colour-range as the other Hue light on this list, and the same high quality of build, meaning that it should last you for years even despite being an outdoor fixture.
Lifx has a range of bulbs that seem expressly designed to compete with Philips for smart home customers, but some of its lights are also perfect for outdoor use, although a far smaller number.
The A60+, for example, has additional water resistance to make it useable outdoors, in whatever format you want. While it won't be right for a location that's completely exposed to the elements, it could be perfect for a porch light or somewhere covered.
John Lewis Strom
Our final pick isn't a smart light, but is a really handsome fitting for your garden - the Strom light from John Lewis. It's a hardy light tube that will light both upward and down when you turn it on.
It's also really properly built and comes with a 5-year guarantee to ensure that you'll be able to rely on it in the long-term. If you're looking for something a bit more striking, this could be the perfect choice for you.