When you hear the phrase “outdoor solar landscape lighting,” what comes to your mind? Some people think of solar lights as being some type of pole light, floodlight, streetlight, or garage door light. While it is true that solar lights do include these types of fixtures, there are in fact, many more than that. Recent advances in solar technology have greatly expanded the kinds of outdoor lighting products that are currently available on the market.
Solar Lighting is Energy Efficient and Cost Effective
This makes it a perfect alternative to a 120-volt system that must be installed by an electrician or lighting technician. Solar lights do not require the use of external cables and transformers because they are powered by the energy of the sun.
The sun’s rays are collected by small solar cell panels attached to the lights, which is converted into electricity and stored in batteries to power the fixtures at night. It is a self-generating power supply, which enable the lights to be used in many areas where it would have otherwise been too expensive or impractical.
Installing solar powered lights is a terrific Do-It-Yourself (DIY) project for the homeowner who wants to reduce energy costs and save some money. Installing is easy and simple. A small project of a few lights could be put in place and be ready to use in an hour or two. If this kind of project sounds interesting to you, here are some great solar lighting ideas you can easily do yourself that will bring your outdoor areas to brilliant life at night.
Solar Post Lights
Post lights are a very good choice for larger areas that need good illumination, but need a bit less than the brilliance that comes from floodlights. Post lights work well for driveways, patios, porches, decks, and front and back yards. They come in a wide range of decorative styles and colors, which makes it a breeze to find one that will go with the design of your home. Whatever the style you are looking for, be it modern, vintage, or somewhere in between, solar post lights are sure to add a stylish flair to your home
Solar Post Cap Lights
Solar post cap lights are decorative and functional light fixtures that are used to top posts on decorative fencing, walls, and entry gates. A post cap light becomes an attractive extension of the wall and gate that enhances the existing design rather than detracting from it.
Solar Deck Lights
Decks are great venues for parties, barbeques, and other outdoor activities, but when it gets dark, you will need to turn on the lights to continue the fun, and improve the safety for you and your guests. Most decks are elevated a few feet off the ground, so lighting the deck for night use is a no brainer from a safety perspective. Putting deck lights along the deck’s stair treads is also a great way to add ambient lighting to the area.
Solar Porch Lights
A porch light provides illumination for those times when guests come to visit, as well as adding a distinctive decorative touch to your home. For example, putting a custom porch light by your front door is an inexpensive yet effective way to differentiate and customize the entryway.
A porch light also brings about some safety benefits. When someone rings your doorbell at night when it is dark, you can flip on the porch light and look through the peephole to see who is there. In addition to improving visibility at night, the porch light may also act as a deterrent to a prankster or thief who is up to no good and hopes that no one will respond.
Solar Fairy Lights
For temporary lighting purposes, festive occasions, parties, apartment tenants and renters, solar fairy lights are a great option. They are a temporary lighting arrangement that adds a lot of charm and warmth to any patio, deck, porch, or balcony. Solar fairy lights come in many different colors, including red, pink, blue, green, clear, and assorted colors.
Floating Solar Lights
Floating solar lights are used for more than just swimming pool accents. They can be placed in practically any water feature deep enough to accommodate the size and weight of the lights, such as ponds, fountains, and birdbaths. Use them as a centerpiece for your outdoor party table or buffet. Fill an attractive bowl or vase with water, and add the floating lights. Match your event’s color scheme by putting a couple of drops of food coloring in the water. This is an inexpensive yet effective way to add a touch of ambient lighting to your festive event.
Solar Step Lights
For nighttime safety and decorative appeal, add solar step lights to your deck or outside stairway. This low-level lighting is less intrusive than would be floodlights or pole lights, yet provides enough lighting for people to find their footing on the steps in even the darkest evening. It is similar in function to the aisle lights in movie theaters, which provides the light for moviegoers to find their way to their seats in the darkened room.
Solar Accent Lights
Well-placed outdoor solar accent lights can create an impact that is both subtle and dramatic. Accent lighting can highlight distinctive features, direct attention to unique ornamental plants, and provide functional lighting for garden paths, sidewalks, and driveways. Garden statuary, specimen trees, shrubs, and decorative masonry or are just a few of the many features that accent lights can enhance and bring to life.
Solar floodlights are a sure way to show off any home with great architectural features or landscaping. These fixtures make it easy to create a focal point of light for any landscape feature in your yard or garden. Because they are bright, and enhance visibility for up to a hundred feet or more, floodlights also improve the security of the home. Before installing floodlights, check with your homeowner’s association rules to see if there are any restrictions or guidelines on the types of lights and wattage that is allowed.
Solar Pathway Lights
There are numerous different styles and heights of solar path lights. If there are many low growing shrubs and flowers that border your garden pathway, fixtures that are one to two feet tall are probably sufficient. When the plants are taller than 2 feet however, you may want to use a longer length light fixture that illuminates the path and the plants. Should your landscape already have pole lights or other light fixtures nearby, consider installing ground level lights, which includes fixture types such as well lights, string lights, stepping stone lights, and solar tile lights.
Solar Rock Lights
Solar rock lights provide a good alternative to many of the more traditional styles of fixtures. They are similar in features to most of the other types of solar accent lights, but are distinctive in their unique design. Because they look like rocks, they can easily blend in to landscapes with a natural design. Use rock lights in places where you might use a traditional accent light, without drawing attention to the lighting fixture itself.
Copper garden lights are a good way to complement a lighting layout that includes unique or artistic features such as statuary, fountains, wishing wells, and so forth. To keep the copper finish shiny and like new, you can protect it from the elements with a coat of clear lacquer. If however you want the copper to achieve a weathered, natural appearance, just leave it as is and let the forces of nature take its course. After some time exposed to the elements, the finish will eventually change into a blue-green “verdigris” sheen that has an elegant and vintage appeal.
Mosaic solar garden lights
Mosaic lights provide another artistic lighting option. Mosaic designs are not new; they have been around since the time of the ancient Greeks and Romans. Mosaics are usually made of broken glass or pottery, which is set into plaster or cement, creating a very durable and colorful material. It is then fashioned into a glass ball that fits over the light bulb and attached to a stake.
You can create a virtually unlimited number of designs and colors with mosaic lights. If you can’t find a mosaic light that fits your design scheme, you can have a local artisan create a custom design for your solar fixture.