If you like entertaining in your garden at night, or don’t want to step on your flowers in the dark, and you crave sustainable energy in solving this problem, you need to consider solar LED garden lights.
Solar lights for gardens come in a variety of styles:
- stake lights
- hanging lights
- rope lights
- pond lights
Solar LED garden lights are like any light that you’d use around your yard. The exception being that instead of being plugged into the power grid, they are hooked up to solar collectors, usually mounted around the light itself, that charge small batteries which power the lights. They also use light sensors to determine when it’s dark enough for the lights to come on.
Stake lights are mounted on a stake which can be driven into the earth. Stake lights can be placed around pathways, or near boundaries. Many retailers carry solar stake lights. Amazon.com carries a set of 12 for $39, by Brinkmann, that offer a clean design and are typical of the style. For the more whimsical among us, they also sell stake lights that are accented with butterflies, angels, or roses.
Solar spotlights are directional lights that you can point to a particularly scenic part of your garden, like a sculpture or a nice rock, or at some sort of obstacle, like the edge of a small pond. Spotlights will usually have the highest wattage bulbs and larger solar collectors, because they are a directional light. Smart Solar makes a collector with ten LED lights with replaceable batteries. You can find it at Outdora.com.
Rope lights are a strand of LEDs woven together and encased in plastic. You can use them to create curves, a nice accent in any garden. Pond lights are floating lights that can be used to light up a pond or swimming pool.
Advantages of Solar-Powered Garden Lights:
- No wiring. You don’t have to be an electrician to install them. Many have no power cords and those that do will simply plug into a separate solar collector.
- A sustainable, environmentally-friendly lighting solution.
- Lights can shine dimly if not enough of the sun’s light is captured. Many varieties of solar garden light have small solar collectors and low-watt bulbs. There are exceptions. Consider your needs and the performance of the product your looking at. Not all lights are equal.
There are online retailers that specialize in selling solar garden lights. Major retailers such as Amazon.com, Sears and Newegg.com carry them as well.
Other solar LED garden light options include step lights (that sit on the edge of your steps) and stepping-stone lights (that are strong enough that you can actually walk on them). There are also hanging lights that suspend from stakes like lanterns, or that can be mounted on a wall.
Tips for Solar Lights for Gardens
- All solar lights require sunlight to charge. If you place your lights in shade, or experience cloudy weather, this will have an impact on the performance of your light, as solar garden lights have simple batteries and collectors. Choose lights with detached solar panels you can place in an area of full sun, if you plan to place those lights in a partial-sun or shaded area.
- Dust and particulate matter can also build up on your solar collectors, making them less effective, so remember to clean them occasionally.
- Also, all batteries degrade over time. Choose lights with removable rechargeable batteries give you the option to replace batteries.
- Some lights can’t be left outside during winter, as their batteries aren’t meant to handle cold temperatures. Be sure to read any materials concerning maintenance when you buy your solar garden lights.