What are Solar Garden Lights?

Solar Garden lights are considered the most common form of solar lighting in American homes. Operating garden lights by the use of solar powered technology just makes sense — the size of solar panel required to power a few garden lights is small enough to be sensible in a backyard, and the many varieties of garden lighting available with solar power matches perfectly with most Americans desire to decorate the heck out of their outdoor space. The pure massiveness of the job it takes to convert an entire home or even one room into solar power puts most people off — and the solar panels and other equipment tend to look hideous, but with solar garden lights, you can hide the solar panel and enjoy your backyard lighting in just about any style you can imagine.

Any time you are altering the look of your home or landscape, you should look around at the materials available to you and plan around these built-in resources. When you’re talking about installing garden lighting, why not make use of the light of the sun? The sun beats down on your garden all day — if you could harness that power and distribute it later to your garden lights, you’d be saving tons on electric bills.

Why waste expensive fossil fuels for garden lighting? Solar garden lights will light your outdoor gardens and pathways without any wasted energy.

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Outdoor solar garden lighting types come in many varieties — from small solar lamp lights, to more eloquent fence post lights — from bright yard based spot lights, to softer walkway lights, etc..

Nighttime lighting is an aesthetic and safety conscious tool for visibility — think of them as attractive security lights, solar garden lighting that can both provide light for guests to your home and keep the yard lit up in the interest of protecting your home. You can even find lights that are soft enough to use just to show off a feature of your yard — a fountain or a flower bush. Because solar garden lights are now cost effective and easy to install, you can pretty much light any part of your outdoor environment without concerns for expense or waste.

Before you go shopping for solar garden lights, there are some things to keep in mind.

Installation

Most of the time, and with the simpler solar garden light setups, the actual installation of hardware and lights is super easy — simply stake the light and solar element into the ground or attach the light or solar panel to a fencepost or other sturdy piece of your garden. You don’t have to have an electrician’s license to install solar lights in your garden — no long trenches to dig and run power cables through, and no dangerous wiring work. I recently installed a series of four solar charged accent lights along my front walkway — I found them online for less than $60 for a four-pack, and installed all four of them in under fifteen minutes. Now I have about ten hours of ambient light on my walkway at night and it uses no electricity at all.

Solar panels

Remember that most of your solar garden light needs will be taken care of by units that are compact — that means the light, panel, light sensor, battery, and LED are all in one piece. Though these are the easiest pieces to install, some solar garden lighting systems come in sets, where each light is connected directly to one physical solar panel, like a miniature version of what you’ve seen for large house setups. One positive aspect of the solar garden light sets with detached solar panels — you can put the light itself in an area of the garden or yard that isn’t well lit during the day, and as long as the solar panel sits in the sun, the light will run perfectly all night, up to ten hours.

Brightness

It is more difficult and more expensive to install a bright solar powered outdoor light — most of the solar garden lights you’ll find in stores today are meant to be “accent light” only. If you have a need for even brighter light than is usually available via solar lighting, you’re in luck but will pay just a bit more than for gentler lighting needs — just find a solar light that uses a fluorescent bulb or more than one LED. Sometimes it is difficult to check a light’s brightness before you use it, so look at the hardware. The more light sources you see, the brighter the light.

Placement

Though all solar garden lights are going to be easier to place than traditional lighting, due to the fact that you don’t need to run an electrical power source out to the light, you should look for a solar garden lighting setup that allows you to place lights in more places — detached solar panels, or panels that are located in specific places on the setup that make it easier to receive direct sunlight are a bonus.

Light sensors

The whole point of solar garden light systems is that they turn off and collect power at dawn and turn on and distribute power at dusk — most solar garden lights come with some sort of built-in sensor that detects the amount of light outdoors and responds accordingly. To enable more control over whether the lights are activated or not, you can shop for solar garden lights with manual override — otherwise, the lights will come on and off on their own, offering you no ability to use or reduce light when you want.

Solar garden lighting is a small way that you can save just one tiny piece of the Earth — by diverting your own use of electricity, you’re saving on fossil fuels and creating less overall waste. But hey, the part that matters to most people is keeping their pocketbook full, and solar outdoor lighting does that by reducing your power bill. Enjoy the soft, ambient, and cheap light provided by the sun’s rays in your garden.