If you are considering outdoor lighting for your home, you may have heard of solar landscape lighting. These lighting fixtures are not just environmentally-friendly but also offer cost-effective means for illuminating any outdoor space. You can set up these easy-to-install and maintenance-free lighting fixtures to your landscape without any professional training. The solar yard lights usually incorporate LED bulbs that contribute to durability, longevity, and low-energy consumption.
The solar lights are similar to mini-satellites, harvesting and storing the self-generated power during the day and releasing it for electricity consumption at night. The only thing that you need to consider when installing solar garden lamps is that these must be placed in areas that receive maximum sunlight.
Alternately, you can make use of a solar panel for collecting or charging the lights by placing in an area that receives maximum sunlight all day long, irrespective of any season. This is because these lights require sunlight for 12 to 14 hours daily to remain effective.
Producing Light Using Solar Cells
After installing solar LED lights outdoor, these lighting fixtures make use of standard solar cells for its application. These solar cells are directly wired to a battery via a light-emitting diode. This light-emitting diode prevents backflow of current from the solar cells at night.
The battery juices up in the daytime and has the maximum charge just before dusk. Further, the photovoltaic cells can change the sun’s energy into electricity consumption at night. Although solar lights depend on environmental factors, these solar-powered lamps can work almost throughout the year.
Most solar lights are self-sustaining – be it solar pillar lights, solar flagpole lights, or any other lighting fixture. They simply work by converting sunlight into electricity during daytime and can store electricity in the battery, which further gives power to the light fixtures after dusk. The self-contained solar lamps have certain panels that are built within the lighting fixtures. The solar lights with separate panels, however, need to be placed in sunlight even when the solar lights are installed in shade.
Application of solar lighting
Some common household applications of solar lights are in the garden, patio, pathways, driveways, etc. The self-contained residential solar lights are fixed to posts or stakes, which are directly plunged into the ground. On the other hand, the commercial applications of solar lights are in sidewalks, parking lot, campground fixtures, and other areas that need lighting.
Given below are some of the common types of outdoor solar lights that are often used in residential and commercial applications:
Solar Accent Lights: These solar lights are installed underground and intended to focus upwards. These are used for highlighting shrubs, trees, statuary, and other landscape features. The accent lights also contain in-ground lights that are fixed for marking driveways and pathways on the property. The accent lighting also lets you enhance colors of the landscape and garden area with ease.
Solar Pathway Lights: These lights include solar flagpole light or steps and brick lighting fixtures, which focus downward for avoiding glare. These lights are used for lighting up the steps and any obstacles to the outdoor areas.
Solar Patio and Deck Lights: These lights are required for illuminating areas around patios and decks. They are used for enhancing the ambiance of parties, get-togethers, and other outdoor events.
Solar Hanging Lights: Also known as pendant lights, these lights are seen hanging from ceiling or walls for providing illumination to decks, patios, and other outdoor areas.
Solar Lamp Posts: These lights are installed along fences, walkways, balconies, or railings for providing ambient lighting throughout the night.
Solar Security Lights: These lights include floodlights for illuminating large areas and also used as warning lights. These lights are generally connected with motion sensors for detecting movement and warning lights have been designed for operating continuously and blinking light for about 15 to 20 nights at a stretch.
Solar Decorative Lights: These decorative lights are usually hanging or standing upright for aesthetic purpose and to enhance your mood. These lights come in a variety of colors and ornamental options to deck up your living space or outdoor garden areas.
Tips for using solar lighting
When installing any solar lighting fixture, you must see that these are not installed in the path of vehicles or lawn mowers. You also need to dampen the soil for making it malleable before installing any in-ground solar lights.
Furthermore, invest in a wide range of lights for the same amount of lighting compared to incandescent light bulbs that run on grid power or electricity. Even more solar lights maintain low-cost appeal because of their longevity and low maintenance.