Solar lights are a cost-effective option to illuminate your garden, driveway, paths, or door entrances. Installing solar lighting can improve your garden landscape aesthetics and increase security around your property. However, for solar lights to be effective, you need to choose the best type of lighting solution.
Because solar panels depend on bright sunlight and rechargeable batteries, it’s crucial to pick ones that charge effectively. It’s also important to remember that solar lighting has various functions. Some attractive solar-powered lights create an ambient light for decoration. Other types of solar lighting are bright spotlights to ensure safety and security in your yard. In general, you need solar lights in your yard to turn on when it’s dusk and then shine for eight to ten hours.
How do Solar Powered Garden Lights Work
Outdoor solar lights work by absorbing the sun’s energy. The solar cells convert this energy into electrical current to charge rechargeable batteries. When the outdoor lighting fades, the photo resistor automatically turns on the LED solar-powered lights. When dawn arrives, the lights switch off, and the charging process resumes.
Solar lighting consists of the following parts:
- A solar panel containing photovoltaic cells
- Rechargeable batteries
- LED lights
- Fixing mechanisms
For solar power lights to work effectively, the solar panel needs to be placed out of the shade. Ideally, you should pick the sunniest part of your garden to install the charging solar panels. Sometimes, solar pathway lighting can have issues because they are usually close to the ground.
Although solar lights need bright sunlight to work, they can still charge effectively on overcast days. Highly-efficient solar panels can even convert energy into electricity when conditions are not ideal. Of course, many days of dull weather can affect the charging capacity of the cells. If you buy high-quality solar lights for outdoor use, you should rarely have a problem.
What are the main factors to consider when choosing solar lighting? This article will help you know what to look for to illuminate your front or backyard, features in your garden, or your property.
How to Choose Outdoor Solar Lights
The main factors to consider when looking for solar-powered lights are location and purpose. Let’s look briefly at how to pick solar lights for your outdoor lighting needs:
- First, decide what kind of lighting you want. Do you need to illuminate a path or driveway? So, you want to give a decorative accent to trees? Are you looking to run a string of solar lamps along a fence? Or, are the solar lights for security—where motion sensors and bright lighting are required?
- Second, think about location. Some solar lights need bright sunlight to charge fully. However, other highly efficient panels do a great job of charging in some shade. For example, if a side of your house is in constant shadows, you will need to find outdoor solar lighting with high-capacity charging.
When you know the type of lighting you need and where you’ll place the lamps, you need to decide on the kind of solar light to buy. There are a ton of options to choose from. These include:
- Motion-sensor solar lights
- Hanging lanterns
- Strip LED lighting
- Solar lights attached to poles
- Ground-level solar lighting
- Wall-mounted security lights
Different Sorts of Garden Solar Lights That Are Available
Let’s look at the various types of solar lights you can choose to illuminate your yard.
Pathway lights are an excellent option for free solar lighting along a path or driveway. Usually, the lights are individual units with an enclosed solar panel and no wiring. The pole-mounted LED lights are inserted into the ground along your pathway to provide all-night illumination.
Solar-powered spotlights are a low-cost energy solution to highlight features in your garden. Solar spotlights can shine on trees, shrubs, ornaments, or other things. Depending on how you want to use LED spotlights, they can be wall or fence mounted or on a spike that gets installed in the ground.
Motion Security Solar lights
Security solar lights that have motion sensors are the best option to increase security around your property. Usually, the security light activates when a person or animal comes within range. The lights will stay on for a set length of time. Some of the best motion security solar lights have a dim lighting mode for all-night use and a bright lighting mode that switches on when someone passes.
Decorative Solar lights
There are several options if you want to decorate your yard with fancy lighting. Some decorative solar lights are hanging lanterns with flame-like effects. Other types of solar lighting to decorate your garden can be strip lighting or hanging globular lights that you can hang on fences or trees.
Driveway lights/ Fence post lights
Similar to pathway lights, lights for driveways can illuminate your yard at ground level. Depending on your yard, the lights can be installed along fence posts or on spikes that are installed in the ground. You can also have driveway lights with motion sensors that only switch on when you pull up at your property.
As their name suggests, gutter lights are installed on the house’s walls, just under the roof. Solar-powered gutter lights are generally bright LED lighting for security purposes. With these lights, it’s vital to pick ones with adjustable solar panels to maximize the amount of the sun’s energy the lights capture.
Garden Solar Lights
Solar lights for gardens are the best way to get free lighting all year long. The wide range of options for external solar lighting means that you will find a type of solar light to suit your needs.