Solar lighting can bring new possibilities to your home’s outdoor landscape. Solar lighting systems bring illumination and added security to areas where power from traditional electric lines is too costly or difficult to install. These systems can range from low wattage, single LED units to high wattage systems that can illuminate parking lots and roads. Small wattage installations are great for landscape lighting, walking paths, and driveways.
And because LED lights are more energy-efficient and last longer than halogen bulbs, they don’t need much sunlight to keep them going. If power is unavailable or cost-prohibitive, solar lighting is the way to go. There are several benefits to installing solar lighting innovations on your property over traditionally powered lighting.
Outdoor Solar Features–Things to Consider
There are a few points that should be considered when installing outdoor lighting fixtures.
Weatherproof. Make sure the outdoor light fixtures are impervious to the elements. Most units designed to be placed outdoors will feature tight seals that make them safe around rain and snow.
Control. If you already have a smart home system in place, you’ll probably want to sync your outdoor lighting effects with your present system. If you don’t, you may want to consider a lighting system that’s activated on a timer or a motion detector.
Installation. The beauty of solar lights is that they’re designed to be DIY. You don’t need to have an electrician come and hardwire a system. Instead, you can just place your units anywhere the solar cell can receive sunlight.
Cost. Many solar lights are comparable in price to their hardwired siblings. But, you’ll save significantly if you can avoid the need for an electrician to install your lighting units.
Is it needed? Outdoor lighting systems are generally installed for aesthetics, to ensure safe mobility in the evening, and/or security. It’s important to know what your specific needs are before you select an illumination system on your property.
Solar Power–Light Options for Summer Nights and Beyond
Solar Powered Deck Lights
Having to deal with all the wiring for outdoor lighting can be an enormous challenge. But there are good outdoor solar lighting solutions that are not only wireless, they can be designed to fit any budget. Outdoor lighting is important to any homeowner to ensure safety and illumination after the sun goes down. Most wireless outdoor lighting systems rely on solar or batteries for power. These options will save you money on your energy bills and create lighting effects for your deck. They can be easily installed, require no visit from an electrician, and there are no cumbersome wires to conceal.
Solar Powered Ground Accent Lights
These types of lighting effects are the perfect choice for illuminating any backyard setting or flower bed. They can range from small in diameter to ornate pedestal lights, so they’re great for lighting pathways and creating attractive accents to your yard.
Although you can buy them individually, you’ll probably want to opt for a set of at least 12, so you can get a professionally designed look. They have a stake-like design that you can easily stick into the ground along a pathway. Some have a bright cool or a warm glow option depending on what effect you’re trying to create on your property. There are even solar lights that have a multicolor feature that can alternate between several different colors to fit your every mood.
These solar lights can withstand the elements so you can leave them in the ground year-round. If they can gather at least six to eight hours of energy from sunlight, they can remain illuminated for up to 10 hours.
Solar Powered Fountain Displays
Solar water fountains are the perfect accent for your pond, bird bath, or garden. Most are lightweight so they’ll float in any body of water. They’re easy to install and an inexpensive option. There’s no need to look for outdoor outlets, run extension cords, or deal with a bunch of wires when it comes to these kinds of fixtures. The solar panel, electrical parts, and pump are all inside the unit. You can pretty much remove it from the box and put it in the water and you’re good to go! This is a good option when you want to keep water moving so it doesn’t become a breeding ground for pests like mosquitos.
Solar Powered Lanterns
Each of these types of lanterns has a built-in solar panel, an on/off switch, and normally comes with its own battery. If exposed to direct sunlight for a full day, the lantern will remain lit for up to six hours. These decorative lanterns can be placed in sets of three to create gorgeous lighting displays without any need for wiring. This allows you to place them in unique spots that wouldn’t be possible if they had to be hardwired.
Solar Powered Wall/Fence Lights
Solar walls and fences are a great choice for outdoor lighting in the backyard and surrounding property. They provide environmentally responsible lighting for any evening lighting needs. Because of their versatility, solar fence post lights can be installed anywhere. They can be placed near trees or in gardens so you can keep an eye on your vegetable patch at night and provide your crops with a little extra light. Solar wall and fence lights are less expensive to run than traditional lighting. You’ll never have to worry about your property being dark during a power outage because your system has gathered clean energy from the sun.
Solar-Powered String Lights for Trees and Bushes
These are great for backyard parties in summer as well as lovely lighting for the holiday season in wintertime. The best part about utilizing solar string lights is you can enjoy them all year round. Not only do LED lights last so much longer than traditional halogen bulbs, but because they’re solar powered there is far less CO2 impact on the environment. Not to mention, the savings on your electric bills!
How much sunlight do solar-powered lights need?
Solar lighting systems require sunlight to gather the energy to operate at their maximum efficiency. Normally, eight hours of direct sunlight will provide enough energy for a solar garden system to illuminate the property for around fifteen hours. If the sunlight exposure is reduced due to cloudy days or shade, it could shorten the operating time depending on the irradiance and battery storage capabilities of the system.
Do solar panels need to be cleaned regularly?
Technically, solar panels don’t have to be cleaned on a regular basis, but some of their efficiency could be sacrificed if the panels get dirty. Rain will normally do the job for you but won’t be as effective if they are manually washed. Any dirt or dust that builds up on solar panels can diminish their ability to gather sunlight by 5%. That’s a pretty small number but depending on the size of the solar system, it could add up over time.
How long does a solar charge last?
Solar battery units normally last anywhere from 10 to 20 years. But many manufacturers guarantee that the batteries they provide will last up to 30 years from the date of installation. There have been many innovations in the past few years regarding solar panels and battery efficiency.
It’s not easy to know how many hours a solar battery charge will last. It’s all based on the amount of energy provided, type, model, capacity, and size of the battery. A standard solar battery charge should hold a full charge for one to five days. However, there are batteries available that can hold more.
Feel the Power of Solar for Your Entire Home
If you’ve experienced the convenience and cost-savings of solar lights, we’ve got great news for you. Large-scale solar panels for your roof or lawn provide even bigger energy benefits. Give the experts at Steel City Solar a call today at 719-569-5166. Our award-winning team of solar professionals will be happy to answer any questions you may have about solar panel options. If you’re looking for a transparent company you can trust, with hassle-free installation and a reputation for being responsive and dedicated to our community, Steel City Solar is the right match for you. Reach out to us today, or visit our website for more info or a free consultation about everything solar.