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Want to bring some sunlight into the night time? Having the best outdoor solar lights is a great energy-saving way to bring light onto your home.
Solar-powered lights are now highly sophisticated and efficient, with discreet solar panels that are no longer an eyesore. Let’s find out more about why you should go solar, and how to choose the best solar lights for your home.
In this article, we will take you through:
- Best Solar Yard Lights
- Best Solar Driveway Lights
- Best Solar String Lights
- Best Solar Security Lights
Our Key Tips to Choose the Best Outdoor Solar Lights
What are the Best Outdoor Solar Lights for Home?
There are plenty of good solar outdoor lighting brands to choose from, many of which specialize in a particular style or application of lighting.
I have listed some great brands to choose from depending on what type of solar light you are looking for:
1. Best Solar Yard Lights:
This brand InnoGear has got some clever landscape light solutions for those on a budget. They offer a 2 in 1 light that is versatile and adaptable because it can be mounted on the wall or stuck into the ground with a stake. Available in packs of 2, InnoGear lights also come with an auto timer for sunrise and sunset.
2. Best Solar Driveway Lights:
Moonrays offer some really elegant solar solutions for lighting up your driveway or pathway. The Payton Path Lights are activated only at dusk so that they don’t discharge energy during the day. They come in a more traditional candle or torch shape, which also adds an element of sophistication over some of the more industrial looking lights on the market.
Its faceted lens creates a welcoming bright light, backed up by an energy-efficient 2.4 Lumen long-life LED. in economic packs of 8, these lights are weatherproof and can be easily installed into your lawn or garden bed.
3. Best Solar String and Fairy lights:
Brightech have a beautiful range of simple solar string lights for your home. Their wide range of patterns and finishes make it easy to find a set of gorgeous solar lights to wrap around your Christmas tree or along your front fence.
Kolpop are another great solar light brand specializing in longer light sets with many smaller string lights. These are great if you are trying to create a fairy light effect with your solar lights.
4. Best Solar Security and Flood lights:
The Litom range of solar sensor and security lights offer an attractive and subtle light solution, which is fairly unusual in this market. Many solar security lights feature an ugly external solar panel, but Litom has managed to integrate their panel into an elegant package, with a powerful 26 ft range of visibility.
Are Outdoor Solar Lights Any Good?
Why would you choose solar outdoor lights over regular outdoor lights?
Solar lighting has many advantages over regular outdoor lighting. Being solar powered means you can charge them up for free, and solar technology is now sophisticated enough to hold a charge for long periods with light to regular use.
Most modern solar lights have very efficient photovoltaic cells and improved circuits. As a result, your lights store and use their energy only when they need it.
This is an important factor for outdoor lights which are used all year round. Because when there is less time for your lights to charge up, like in winter, having a good battery life is a lifesaver.
Another great advantage of solar outdoor lighting is not needing to worry about running ugly cables around your yard or home to keep your lights running.
What are the Best Outdoor Solar Lights for Me?
There are many different types of solar-powered outdoor lighting available. What will you be using yours for?
Driveway lighting, landscape lighting, Christmas lights, fairy lights. All of these can be powered by our favorite star, the Sun.
This will determine how and where you will position them around your home. For example, solar driveway lights may be better installed low to the ground and in multiple locations along your driveway. You will create an airplane runway effect, to make it easier to see the edges of your driveway.
Now you know why solar outdoor lights are a great option, how do you choose the best version for you? Here are some great tips for choosing the best solar outdoor lights:
Key Tips for How to Choose the Best Outdoor Solar Lights
Tip 1. Function and Light Quality
Are you trying to host a dinner party or catch a burglar? This may seem like a silly question but it’s an important one. To choose the best outdoor lights you need to know exactly what their function will be.
If you have a few different needs and have to make tight use of your space or budget, consider lights with multiple settings. Solar lights with dimmer light settings, for instance, will let you adjust the brightness as you need without wasting power.
For example public monuments such as flagpoles and sculptures are often be fitted with solar lighting with timers like this one to save power.
Light quality should be the second most important feature of your solar outdoor setup. The best solar lights can be comparable in brightness to LED lights. So this is great if you are looking to set up a security light or floodlight.
You may have noticed streetlights with solar panels are become more and more common. This is because solar lights are now strong and reliable enough for drivers to rely on.
But in a different setting softer or more colorful light may be more appropriate. For example in a romantic garden, soft outdoor solar lights like these may be best to create a reflective or respectful mood.
These lights may also feature an automatic timer for when the sun goes down, which is also a handy feature also to have for Christmas lights.
Will you need the lights on all the time? A super bright solar security light may be useful with a motion sensor to wake up you when necessary. On the other hand, you may want to leave your pathway lights on all night for safety.
Tip 2: Location
On the ground, off the wall, or in a tree, you will be able to find a solar light to fit any of these spots. Once again knowing how you will use your solar outdoor lights will make your decision for you.
The key to good landscape lighting is picking a few elements you wish to draw attention to. Should you have a beautiful water fountain or flower beds, for example, you can plan your lighting around them.
Solar Lights for Different Locations
Solar string lights are a very versatile option and they can bring a magical ambiance to any garden. You can hang them from trees or plant them in the ground in a random pattern.
There are so many solutions available for mounting your lights. Whether you want to stake them in the ground or hang them on your fence you will be able to find a solar light to achieve this.
Some lights like the ones from InnoGear have multi-function mounts. So you can move your lights from the lawn up onto the wall without hassle.
This same principle applies to solar security lighting. The only difference is you want to draw attention to vandals creeping across your front yard instead of your birdbath.
For this reason, security lights are always more effective in high locations, such as roofs, the sides of buildings, and on trees. This provides greater visibility and makes it harder for trespassers to reach up and tamper with them.
Where to position the Solar Panel
You will also need to consider the location of the solar panel. Most solar landscape and pathway lights have the solar panel integrated into each individual light, but hanging lights such as solar string lights and solar fairy lights usually have a small external panel.
Be wary of mounting your panel below trees or under the eaves of your roof. You need to pick a spot where your panel will get as much direct sunlight as possible.
Tip 3: Climate
Your local weather will play a huge part in how successful your solar lights work. Many solar outdoor lights need at least several hours of sunlight to reach a full charge.
If you live in a more tropical climate this may not be an issue. But in areas prone to cloudy overcast days you may find that your battery may not charge efficiently.
Other environmental factors such as rain, wind, snow, and even excessive sunlight over a long period of time can also affect the longevity of your solar lights.
As it is an electrical appliance, your solar lights should always be waterproof, or at the very least water-resistant.
The way to get around this is to pick the toughest, most efficient light for your part of the world and locate them around your home where they will be most protected.
Tip 4: Efficiency and cost savings
Let’s be realistic for a minute. Yes, outdoor solar lighting may be better for the planet, but you are making the switch to save on your electricity bill.
Smaller lights with lower wattage can run for around 6-8 hours straight on a full charge. Solar spotlights and security lights may require longer, as they may also need to power a motion sensor.
To get the most savings out of your lights you need to invest in a decent energy-efficient circuit.
At this point, I would suggest bringing in professionals. Your local solar installer or electrician will be able to make the best recommendation for your solar setup to suit your space, budget, and climate. The fewer obstacles and breaks in your circuit, the smoother the flow of electricity.
It may be more cost-effective to invest in a family of products from the one brand which has been designed to work together to run the most efficient circuit. You can save time and money by not trying to throw a whole lot of cheaper solar lights together and hoping for the best.
Tip 5: Style
This is the real fun begins! Just like regular outdoor lighting, solar lights come in many shapes and sizes, styles, and fashions. On Amazon alone you can find beautiful solar string lanterns for hanging on your balcony, or a 19th century street light to sit at the entrance to your home.
My Last Tip
Here’s my number one tip – just remember that you are limited only by your imagination. Outdoor solar technology is now so advanced and affordable, you have no excuse but to include some of these great lighting options the next time you need to perk up your home.
If you are looking for more green home improvement tips, take a look at my recommendations for the top 5 natural pesticides for indoor plants.