Solar garden lights use to be quite expensive and would not last long or shine too brightly. But as more and more people are turning to alternative energy sources, the solar power industry has advanced to the point now where solar garden lights are able to capture the suns energy more efficiently, shine brighter, and last longer. They also come in a range of different sizes and styles to fit many different landscaping design needs.
Landscape Lighting Design
Landscape lighting, or outdoor lighting, is important for a number of reasons: it makes the garden more homely at night, is more attractive to potential buyers, and is beneficial for security reasons. If it is done wrong, it can wash out the colors and features of plants and can also cast imposing shadows across the garden. Many people believe that outdoor landscape lighting is complicated and expensive, but it is not, especially if you use outdoor solar garden lights.
The first thing to consider when thinking of a garden lighting plan is to ensure that there is enough outdoor lighting for safety and security. This includes lighting for steps, driveways and door entrances. Once this is covered, the next step is to look at ambient lighting, or lighting that enhances the feel, look and style of your landscape. When buying light fixtures for the outdoors, it is key to spend wisely. Cheap, low quality solar equipment won’t last long, shine bright enough and will just add stress and costs to your landscape lighting design.
Solar Garden Lights
Many people and landscape lighting designers are turning to outdoor solar garden lights as they are:
– easy to install
– can be placed anywhere
– there is no need for timers or need to switch them on or off
– cost effective (they are cheap to buy, and don’t cost anything to run)
– come in range of styles and colors that can fit into any garden design
Solar garden lights are made up of low voltage LED lights, which can last a number of years and are commonly powered by a rechargeable NiCad battery. Each light has a solar panel on the top and a light sensor to know when to switch on and off. Most LED solar garden lights these days can provide up to 10 hours of light.
Types of Solar Garden Lights
The first thing to think about even before looking at decorative solar garden lights, is how you want the garden to feel. A garden can feel more lively and festive by using colorful and decorative lights, or a garden can feel more romantic and relaxed by using rustic orange and white lights.
Ground Stake Solar Lights: These are the more common solar powered garden lights. They are versatile, and easy to install. They come in short and tall sizes. All you need to do is push them firmly into soil and they will stand upright. Uses for garden stake solar lights include ambient lighting and lighting a drive or walkway. To avoid making your path lighting look like a runway, you need to alternate the side of the path you place the lights.
Solar Powered Recessed Lights: For step or deck lighting, you can install recessed stainless steel solar garden lights, lights that are fitted within the steps or the deck. They are mainly used for safety reasons but also make a landscape more aesthetically pleasing.
Hanging Solar Lights: Can be used for pathway and driveway lighting, doorway lighting and outdoor celebration events. You can get them in a range of different styles such as Japanese lanterns or Victorian lamps.
Solar Spot Lights: These are used for accent lighting as they provide a focused point of light. They can be used as decorative outdoor lighting to highlight the trunk of a tree, a fountain, a statue, a bush of flowers, a pond or other landscape features you want to showcase.
Solar String Lights: Mainly known as Christmas lights, the more modern versions come in a range of different sizes and styles. They work great on decks and patios as it makes the area look like a European café, and can also be used to outline driveways and walking paths.
Solar Outdoor Rope Lights: Rope lights are made up of LED lights that form of a rope. They can be used to wrap around a tree, hung on fences, or outline flowerbeds. They are very versatile and come in a range of colors.
Sun Jar: The Sun Jar is a designer, decorative solar garden light. They are vintage style jars that light up at night, easily placed anywhere around the garden or on a table.
Motion Detector Solar Lights: These lights are becoming more popular and are being used as security/intruder spotlights. They are usually installed around the garage, or the front and back door.
Floating Solar Lights: These are ideal for placing in a pond and will highlight the area at night.
The placement of your solar powered garden lights is essential. They need to be in areas where they can get a few hours of sunlight a day. You need to make sure that they are not covered up by plants or tall grass, not only because it will block the sunlight, but when the light comes on at night it will then cast unwanted shadows across the garden. You also don’t people to be able to see the light fixtures, so look to hide them behind rocks or big plants.
One other thing to keep in mind is to keep the color of the light consistent. This is a small but important detail, as different light fixtures can give off different shades of light (white, warm orange, cold blue).
The many advantages of outdoor solar garden lights makes landscape lighting easy and non-expensive. Anyone now can design their landscape lighting just how they want their garden to look and feel.