Solar Yard Lights

Finding the Best Outdoor Solar Lights for Your Home

There is a desired balance between beauty and function when it comes to solar yard lights. When outdoor solar lighting first hit the market, they were all about collecting the energy of the sun throughout the day and lighting walkways and gardens at night.



picture of solar lantern to illustrate solar yard lights

Then as the technology became more popular, the units were changed to accentuate the beauty of the yard and landscape. Now you can find so many different styles of beautiful outdoor solar lights, but you still need to do your research to make sure you are using a reliable solar technology that will last.

The Realities of Solar Outdoor Lighting

At this point in time, because solar lights are getting so popular, many companies that have no experience with solar energy are getting on the bandwagon and offering solar outdoor lighting.

picture of three pretty solar yard lights that resemble lit candles, which could be placed on a picnic table

I think it's great that so many people are beginning to embrace solar technologies. The only problem with this is that some types of solar lights just don't work well! Some are unreliable, or only last a few months. :( Not very good!!

I've found that it is important to do some research before jumping in to get solar yard lights. That way you can get the best lights that will work well and last for the long term.

The two things I've learned are:

  1. If possible, buy from companies that specialize in solar power, who know what works

  2. If possible, read other customer reviews

  3. Make sure your lights have a money back guarantee

  4. Find out how long your lights are warrantied for!

The Standard Outdoor Solar Light Unit

The most common solar power garden lights stick into the ground on a plastic or metal stake, and are also called solar lamp post lights.

The solar cell is attached to the top of the light and this cell collects energy. At night, when the sun sets, this energy is used to light the bulb or bulbs within the unit. The lights are often programmed to turn on at dusk and off when the sun rises.

Changes in Solar Light Design

The standard units are, by far, the most effective solar yard lights. But, they are not the only variety being sold today. Hanging lights can also be purchased for use in the yard or as part of the landscaping.

These units are constructed in much the same manner as the standard lights, but instead of being firmly attached to a stake, the light is hung on a hook to increase the beauty of the light.

When the wind blows, the light could move away from direct sunlight which may impair the absorption of energy.

Net Lighting and Single Cell Units

Each standard unit will have one solar cell attached to the top which provides energy for that light. Net lighting and single cell units work with a different set-up.

These lights often use one larger solar cell that is staked into the ground. This solar cell is the source of energy for all of the lights on a given electrical path.

If the bulbs are small, as is the case with net lighting, the unit can power the small lights for six to eight hours depending on the amount of energy collected.

If larger bulbs are attached, the solar cell may not be able to produce any more than three to four hours of light.

Alternative Uses for Solar Yard Lights

People who have no yard can easily use these units as a form of clean light on porches and balconies. As there is no permanent installation required, renters can also feel comfortable using solar based lights in their home.

Campers Have Access to Evening Lights

Camping is a popular pastime. When moving from campsite to campsite, it is important to ensure the outdoor area around the camper is lit even when there is no electricity.

Outdoor solar lighting is the perfect option as there is no hardware to install and the lights can pull up from the ground and travel with the camper.


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