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Ring Solar Step Light review

The Ring Solar step light is great for homes already using Ring technology

Ring Solar Step Light on staircase
(Image: © Ring)

Our Verdict

These solar step lights are great for homes already using Ring technology

For

  • Easy to install and move
  • Gives off plenty of light
  • Motion detection

Against

  • Setup takes some time
  • Needs a bridge
  • Didn't work reliably on overcast days

Tom's Guide Verdict

These solar step lights are great for homes already using Ring technology

Pros

  • +

    Easy to install and move

  • +

    Gives off plenty of light

  • +

    Motion detection

Cons

  • -

    Setup takes some time

  • -

    Needs a bridge

  • -

    Didn't work reliably on overcast days

Ring Solar Step Light: Specs

Color: Black or white
Lights included: 1
Rated brightness: 50 lumens
Estimated battery life: Depends on use
Weather resistance rating: IP66
Size: 3.43 in x 2.19 in x 4.00 inches

If you're in the market for solar step lights and are already using other Ring products, then the Ring Solar Step Light is worth checking out. These step lights are among the few on the market to have a motion detection setting. Plus, with its nice, sleek modern design, it will fit into various home styles, although it might not blend in so well outside older homes.

Smart home technology enthusiasts will find a lot to love about the Ring Solar Step Light. Consumers that already have a Ring Bridge can control the lights from the Ring app, link it to other Ring devices and receive mobile notifications. Available in black or white, this light is ideal for consumers with a few steps — as the lights are sold individually, it can get pricey to add them to multiple steps. Still, installation is easy and this step light is more than bright enough, as you will come to find in our Ring Solar Step Light review.

Ring Solar Step Light review: Price and availability

The Ring Solar Step Light is currently available to buy from Bestbuy for $29.99. It is available in black and white. 

Ring Solar Step Light review: Design

Simply put, the Ring Solar Step light is very pretty. Available in black or white, this solar step light is easy on the eye with its modern appeal, although it’s slightly bulkier than some of the other non-smart step light options on the market, measuring 3.43 in x 2.19 in x 4.00 inches. Still, it's discreet enough that you don't really notice it when it's not in use, but if, like me, you live in a historic home, you might find that its design feels a bit out of place.

Ring Solar Step Light

(Image credit: Ring)

The solar panel placement on top is functional for charging, without seeming to add much heft to the product. The light itself is lovely — it's a cool white tone that feels in keeping with the overall style of the Ring Solar Step Light. It can reach up to 120 degrees.

Ring Solar Step Light review: Setup

I'm just going to come out and say it — setting up the Ring Solar Step Light is a pain. You'll need patience and time for this one. While the light is packaged nicely and the actual installation is simple enough; you will need a screwdriver or drill to place the screws, but that's all to be expected; connecting it was challenging. 

The steps you need to follow for setup are relatively simple, especially if you already have a Bridge. First, plug your Bridge into a power outlet (if you don't already have one), next, unbox the light, then download and open the Ring App, select Set up a Device, and follow the instructions for both the Bridge and step light separately. But, this is where the problems started — the range of the Bridge wasn't great, it needed moving around the house until the optimal spot for connection was found. It seemed like the Bridge and step light could easily lose connection too, and thus require a complete re-install. 

Ring Solar Step Light and Bridge

(Image credit: Ring)

However, once set up, the Ring App itself is very functional and allows for the motion sensor to be turned on and off, the lights to switch on and off at a particular time and more options for functional smart living.

Ring Solar Step Light review: Lighting performance

One of the best things about the Ring Solar Step light is the motion sensor. Not many solar step lights on the market offer a motion sensor, but the one that comes with the Ring Solar Step is very functional. It wasn’t overly sensitive when we left it switched on all the time, but it reliably turned on whenever we approached the step. If you have multiple Ring Solar Step Lights, there’s also the option to group them, so that if one detects motion, it triggers all of them, which is very useful for consumers with lots of steps.

Ring Solar Step Light app

(Image credit: Ring)

While the functionality of the motion sensor is brilliant, the Ring Solar Step light does need a lot of direct sunlight to charge. I found on multiple cloudy days or in cooler temperatures, that the light was sluggish to turn on — once, it even required a reset to the Ring Bridge. On these occasions, it either didn’t switch on at all or didn’t stay on for as long as expected, lasting about four hours. This would be an issue if you’re frequently using the steps at night, although, thanks to the smart controls, you could simply set the Ring Solar Step Light to switch on only when you need it.

Ring Solar Step Light close up

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

When adequately charged, the Ring Solar Step Light also gives off plenty of light and will sufficiently light up your steps or walkway. Keep in mind that if you’re particular about the color of the light, the Ring Solar Step Light light provides more of a cool white tone, rather than a warm glow.

Ring Solar Step Light review: Durability 

When shopping for any solar light, it’s essential to keep your climate in mind. The Ring Solar Step Light is water-resistant, but it’s not waterproof. That said, this light still worked fine in the rain and after spending time in the shower, but it was fully charged prior to these tests. When tested after a few cloudy days, the light didn’t seem to switch on as reliably, and it also didn’t perform as expected after sitting in freezing temperatures for a few hours. It was sluggish to turn on, and I had to reset the connection on the Ring Bridge before it was operational. 

Ring Solar Step Light is waterproof

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

So, while there was no damage to the light itself after any of our tests, if you’re planning on placing your step lights directly in the element, or live in a cold and/or cloudy climate, this might not be the best option for you. The Ring Solar Step Light does, however, come with a one-year warranty, which you can extend by subscribing to Ring Protect Plus.

Ring Solar Step Light review: Verdict

For smart home tech lovers, especially those with other Ring devices, the Ring Solar Step Light is an excellent way to illuminate steps in the backyard. This device can get pricey to install — each costs $29.99 and you do need a Ring Bridge to be able to access the smart controls. But, few other step lights on the market offer such accessibility, or such an effective motion sensor.

We did find that the performance struggled compared to other non-smart step lights on cloudy and overcast days, such as the JACKYLED Solar Step Lights. But, with the timer setting, you can control exactly when you need these lights to work — meaning they won’t always need a full charge.