Outdoor Solar Lights – Tips For Getting the Most Out of Them

Place your outdoor solar lights in a sunny enough location. This may seem obvious, but outdoor solar lights require enough hours of sun per day so that they are able to recharge their batteries sufficiently. The number of hours of sun that an outdoor solar light requires per day depends on the quality and design of the outdoor solar light, the size and type of the solar panel that is a part of the outdoor solar light, the number and strength of the light bulbs that the outdoor solar light has and the number and type of batteries that it has. An Outdoor solar light with a larger solar panel relative to the light that it produces may shine for a longer time and require fewer hours of direct sunlight.

Carefully consider the potential location of your outdoor solar lights. Look to see if anything might be shading them from direct sunlight. This could include trees, bushes, plants, pillars, posts, buildings, house eaves or overhangs, steps, walls, vehicles, or anything else that blocks direct sunlight from shining on the outdoor solar lights. Look at your potential location for the outdoor solar lights during several times of day and see how much shade there is at different times. If there is too much shade in that spot for too long during the day, then it may be better for you to to select a different location for your outdoor solar lights.

If possible and if it is adjustable, then make sure that the outdoor solar light panel is facing south. Solar spotlights, for example, have an attached solar panel that can be turned toward the sun. If you can adjust the angle of the mini panel, then the panel should be angled at an ideal angle for your geographical location. The idea is to have the panel facing as flat as possible relative to the angle of the sun for as many of the direct sun hours as possible.

Depending on your geographical location, the angle of the sun and the number of hours of direct sunlight will change during the summer and winter. The sun may be less strong, at a lower angle and shine for fewer hours during the winter. On the other hand, there may be fewer leaves on surrounding trees during the winter, which may mean less that is blocking sunshine onto the outdoor solar lights during the winter.

Take the weather into account. Cloud, rain, falling snow and fog all decrease the strength of the sun that reaches your outdoor solar lights’ panels, which affects the ability of your outdoor solar lights to recharge. On a day that has been very cloudy all day, outdoor solar lights will not be able to charge as effectively as they would on a sunny day.

Keep the solar panel on the outdoor solar lights clean. Rain, dust, dirt, ice or snow can accumulate on them. If you check and wipe their solar panel areas off occasionally, then your outdoor solar lights will be able to receive sunshine better and charge more effectively.

If you keep these tips in mind, then you will have a better experience with your outdoor solar lights and you will get more out of them.

Find the Right Solar Light

Now that you have made a decision to use solar lights for your landscaping beautification and display needs you are already avoiding many other more difficult potential roadblocks and expenses. By installing traditional lighting you need to worry about proper use of electricity and how to arrange your display according to the electrical considerations. Selecting solar adds a lot more flexibility to your display options and without having to hire an electrician for a small ransom to make sure that you meet code and to insure the safety of your home Solar lights are becoming very popular in our eco-conscious society and many solar light fixtures are very reasonably priced, typically paying for themselves with ease when considering there will never be a power bill associated with your solar landscape lights. Solar lights are easily installed and offer plenty of flexibility as they can be relocated with ease. You determine where they are to be set, not your proximity to an outlet.

When solar lights first hit the market many years ago they were generally very dim and frankly, not overly reliable. They have advanced remarkably with the development of ultra-bright LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes) which have replaced the original filaments bulbs that were traditional to solar fixtures. These LEDs are able to generate substantial amounts of light without emitting heat like their original predecessors. This allows for more efficient operation resulting in a reliable and long-lasting light bulb.

Additional advances in solar lighting include the efficient and cost conscious Photo Voltaic cell (PV Cells). This improved solar technology, with more efficient batteries, can generate light on a year-round basis despite colder weather and shorter days, without sacrificing performance. When you are ready to purchase solar lights remember that they have varying functions and intensities to match multiple purposes. There are three primary outside solar lighting categories to consider: accent lights, pathway lights, and spotlights.

Accent Lights

Accent lights are a great landscape accessory as they provide a simple glow to your landscape features. They are designed to provide a low level illumination not as a safety feature. With this lower output, accent lights often last longer than other styles of solar landscape lighting. Also these lights can often operate for multiple nights on a single day’s charge. Another bonus for these accent lights is their ability to charge even on cloudy days or in areas partially covered by shade. Another element to consider is the color or shade of the accent light’s LED.

White LEDs are brighter than amber colored lights which provide even softer lighting. As a result amber uses less electricity resulting in longer illumination times. Accent lights are very useful for many landscape features such as highlighting attractive features around your yard or property or to highlight possible hazards that could be stumbled upon at night. Overall accent lights provide the lowest output of all the solar lights and are the most affordable.

Pathway Lights

It’s obvious that the primary purpose of this solar light category is to illuminate pathways, driveways, sidewalks, and other elongated areas that are part of your landscape. These lights are often displayed in uniformity with multiple fixtures lining the edges of the specific path. Often these lights are installed or mounted on stakes that are inserted directly into the ground. Many will hang off the stakes or have a direct attachment for display.

Often there are multiple display options or positioning options but the purpose most often is to illuminate downwards. Some of the path style lights include on-off switches allowing for the conservation of energy and a lengthy run time. More sophisticated models may include color lenses, timers, or allow for varying levels power use. These lights fall in the medium range among solar lights for both light output and cost.

Spotlights

Spotlights are the brightest category of solar lights and are most often the most expensive. They are made to supply a bright beam of light on your home or landscape features. Although they are brighter and more intense than the other solar lights, they certainly are not as strong as an electric flood light. Top-quality solar lights with strong LEDs can produce a beam comparable to a 40-watt incandescent spotlight.

Not bad for a completely eco-friendly light that is free to operate. Many of these solar spotlights are flexible with multiple display or mounting options and should include the necessary hardware for all available options. Also the solar panel can be adjusted or mounted separately so the light may shine in any direction. With this application the solar panel can be mounted where sunlight is constant while the light fixture can be mounted where the light is needed after the sun sets. The spotlights are usually very durable with the most heavily constructed fixtures.

An added benefit of using solar lights featuring LEDs is their ability to emit brighter light as the temperature drops. This is due to the solid design of the LEDs. In this matter solar lights are a great choice compared to low voltage landscape lights or fluorescent lights which operate poorly as the temperature drops. LEDs also have an average life span of 100,000 hours compared to 3,000 hours for the typical incandescent light. Solar lighting is an outstanding option for the home gardener and the do-it-yourselfer. There are many brands and types that should meet all of your outdoor lighting needs.

Outdoor Solar Lights – Environmentally Sound and Timelessly Chic

There was a time that solar lights were as rare as, say a mobile telephone. But just as most people have a cell phone these days, people should look to inexpensive and highly functional solar lights to light up their yards.

Outdoor solar lights are greatly improved over the bulky, low-light products sold a few years ago. Today, they come in a host of styles and they are fairly inexpensive – especially when you consider you are eliminating the electric current to light them up. They can be used anywhere that electric has not been installed and they have access to at least a few hours of sunlight. This makes them especially useful for outdoor areas.

There are many uses for solar lights, a few of which are outlined here:

Function

Put a solar light where you want light to shine after dark – such as a solar flood light in dark corners of your property, at the base of the driveway so no one misses the turn, or along a pathway that might be treacherous in the dark. A set of sleek, stainless solar-powered lights can be placed along walkways or the driveway.

You don’t need to run cords or have an electrician come out and do the hard wiring. A solar panel on the top of each light stores the sun’s energy during the day and converts it into bright LED white light for 12 hours at night.

Thankfully, today’s solar lights provide plenty of light to show off the darkest outdoor areas, even the numbers on your house. Mount a mini solar spotlight above your house number or near your front door so you can see where to insert the key. These compact lights are mounted with screws or double-sided tape. The result is you don’t have to fumble with your keys and visitors will be able to see your house number.

Fun

Today’s solar lights do not have to be all about function. They can be fun, while lighting up your property. Try a set of two solar-powered lights that change colors. You’ll have a rainbow of colors, rather than the plain white LED light cast by most solar lights. The lights charge during the day. At night, they turn from blue to green to red to yellow. Best of all, they have on and off sensors that automatically turn the lights on at dusk and off at first light.

Whimsical

In additional to casting light, solar outdoor lights can also offer some humor to your yard. For example, lots of people have yard art – ceramic frogs and gnomes. But with solar lights, you can have a crystal-like solar lit snail to accent your yard. During the day, it’s crystal clear, but at night, it changes color from green to golden yellow to white. You can place the snail on the ground or on a metal stake that’s included. Its built-in solar panel will charge a rechargeable battery during the day that lets it glow for up to 10 hours at night, when fully charged. And if you want something faster than a snail, you can also get a rabbit, squirrel or turtle in the same crystal style.

Holiday

Solar technology has changed the way holiday lights are strung. Imagine lighting up your house at Christmas time, knowing there won’t be an extra large electric bill coming in January. Today, most varieties of Christmas lights are available with solar technology.

A string of 60 lights are powered during the day and glow at night for about eight hours. And best of all, you can place them where you want them. You’re no longer limited to where an electrical outlet is located.

So place them out near the road, on your mail box or run them up the lamppost. You can also get solar
net lights that make decorating bushes and shrubs so easy. With 50 solar lights per net, you can create a great holiday display without wires or extension cords.

Just drape the net over your shrubs and let the sun do its work. And since you don’t need an outlet, why not use a strand of solar string lights to light up the wreath on your front door! Imagine – no need to hide a battery pack to light it up. Let the sun power up the 24 lights. You can even purchase solar-powered icicle lights now. Each string has 20 solar acrylic icicles, each 4 inches long.

Aesthetic Appeal

If you are someone who simply enjoys the look of lights to brighten up the dark, then you’ll be pleased with what’s being offered in solar lights. Install a set of two Set of two solar lanterns by your front door. The colonial look will enhance your front entrance and they will economically light up your walkway for more than eight hours when full charged. With some models, you can even choose between a soft amber light and a bright white light. Built-in sensors will turn them on and off automatically.