Outdoor lighting can be a little on the expensive side and one that comes with many challenges aside from the fact you usually need to hire a professional electrician to install the lighting system. However, that’s were solar lighting comes in. These little gems are easy to install without the help of an electrician, are super cheap and can be moved around the garden quicker and easier than regular outdoor lighting.
These days super bright LEDs allow solar lighting to emit a brighter light as well as using less electricity. LEDs are a dependable and long term lighting solution. Another great development is the technological advancement of photo-voltaic cells and battery efficiency allowing the lights to work all year round, in all seasons, whether in cold or warm climates. Four main areas to look at when installing solar lighting are:
- accents lights;
- path lights;
- solar desk lights;
- spotlights and task lights.
Solar Garden Accents
Accent lighting is key for outdoor spaces as it produces a welcoming glow to your landscapes. They also do exactly what they say on the tin, they accentuate a feature or a certain area. Solar accent lights have a low level light output which allows them to run for a longer time than path lighting or spotlights. Some outdoor accent lights use an amber LED which creates a softer output, you can even get candle light simulated solar lights that give a flicker. Another benefit of using an amber solar light is they use less electricity than a standard white light which again gives a longer input of light.
Accent lights can also be used for safety purposes. Install them around hazardous areas such as boulders or places that pose a risk of tripping. Garden features look great with accent lighting directed towards them.
Solar Path Lights
This type of solar lighting acts as a guiding light for you and visitors to your home. They highlight paths, walkways, driveways and any other outside perimeters. Solar path lights are usually installed in multiples along the walk ways to keep a frequent glow of light as you walk up the path.
Most path lights will come with an on-off switch, which will allow you to decide when you have the glow on as well as helping store the amount of charge. For instance, turn these lights on as the evenings get darker to give a subtle and safe guiding light.
Solar Deck lights
Decked areas are usually the place in the garden where you entertain, eat lots of food and generally spend lots of leisurely time in. So this place needs a laid-back, welcoming and exciting lighting scheme. Solar string lights, pedestal and post lights are all great ways to brighten up your decking space.
Solar Task Lights and Spotlights
For a direct bright light cast over plants, features and exterior doorways choose solar task lights and spotlights. These are your best bet when wanting a lot of outdoor light. However, please be aware that solar lighting will never compare fully with that of a standard outdoor floodlight. The best solar light output is usually the equivalent of 40-watt incandescent spotlight which is entirely capable of giving an efficient amount of light to your outdoor space.
Whilst all solar lights are UV and weatherproof protected, solar task lights and spotlights are known to have a higher class of durability and built with a more rugged exterior.
Solar task lights and spotlights can be mounted in many ways as well as being adjusted to suit your landscape. The panel that is needed to collect the light will usually be a separate connection with a significant amount of cable so that you are able to mount your light in one place whilst having the panel in another place that will catch a substantial amount of light.
LED powered solar lights are also great for colder climates, they produce a brighter light. They operate much greater in cooler temperatures than general outdoor lights. LEDs also have a greater lifespan compared to an average incandescent light, approx. 100,000 hours to that of 3,000 for an incandescent outdoor fitting.