If you are looking to illuminate your yard, you are probably wondering, are solar landscape lights any good?
Solar panels have a reputation for being costly, but sun-powered lighting solutions are increasingly becoming more affordable these days.
Granted, there are still expensive brands and models, but they are now more flexible in terms of price.
In short, they are now viable options when it comes to brightening up your outdoor space. The question is if they are worth it.
Before we discuss the answer, let us first look at how solar landscape lights work.
How Do Solar Landscape Lights Work?
Solar landscape lights store energy during the day by harnessing the sun’s power. They release it at night in the form of light.
It is an apt description of how solar lights work, but it might be a bit of an oversimplification.
A lot of thought actually goes into making solar landscape lights, and the process is a bit more complex.
Let us start with the main components of the system.
Solar landscape lights consist of a solar array, a rechargeable battery, an LED light, and a mini photovoltaic cell.
The panel captures the sunlight, converts it into electricity, and stores it in the battery.
When the sun starts to set, the photocell senses the absence of light and turns on the LED.
The LED light, in turn, runs using the power stored inside the rechargeable battery.
A diode, which connects the solar array to the battery, ensures that the power does not flow back to the array.
The whole process is self-sustaining, and the system does not require much maintenance.
In theory, you should have a consistent source of light in your backyard that won’t run up your energy bill.
Are Solar Landscape Lights Any Good?
In principle, the idea of going solar offers several benefits.
That said, you have probably heard cautionary tales that do not put solar solutions in a good light.
For instance, some people experienced problems with the ground stakes, which broke apart.
Others felt that the light emitted by solar lamps was a bit dim or weakened over time.
In any case, these horror stories can make you wonder, are solar landscape lights any good?
On a positive note, you can probably chalk them up to quality issues due to questionable brands.
That said, even when dealing with reputable manufacturers or suppliers, you still need to consider a few things.
You must carefully weigh the advantages and disadvantages of going solar to make the right decision.
Why You Should Use Solar Landscape Lights
Let’s start with what you stand to gain from going solar in your yard.
- No Need to Worry About Electrical Connections
Any lighting system will need a reliable power source, and you can choose from two options: wired and solar.
Using wired lighting solutions in your outdoor space can be tricky and take a lot of work.
You have to consider where and how to lay down the cables. You must hide them so as not to cause trips or falls.
That is why most people choose to bury the wires underground, which takes a lot of time and energy.
Of course, you could hire professionals to do it for you, but it would mean more money out of your pocket.
What is more, you might forget about these wires one day and accidentally dig into them, cutting off your light’s power source.
Again, it involves additional expenses on your part.
Using solar landscape lights eliminates all these time-consuming and painstaking steps.
There are no wires to worry about since they draw their power from the sun.
It means you can install lights in far corners of your yard that your electrical wiring can’t reach yet.
- Easy Installation
With solar landscape lights, you do not have to hire an electrician to set up your system.
You can manage it yourself even if you have limited DIY experience.
That’s because the most challenging thing about its installation process is assembling the products or choosing the spots to install them.
Once you have taken care of both steps, you can just drive the solar light stakes into the ground.
With other brands, you can hang the lamp wherever you see fit.
Either way, you will have a bright, welcoming yard without all the trouble or fuss.
However, you must ensure that your solar lamps have a direct line to the sun.
Do not install them in places covered by trees or structures.
If you are dead set on a certain spot, remove tree branches and other things that would block the sunlight.
- Leads to Long-term Savings
If you are a budget-conscious homeowner, you have every reason to invest in solar landscape lights.
First, as mentioned above, they are now more affordable than you might think.
Thanks to technological advancements, the cost of going solar has declined significantly over the past 10 years.
Even if you invest in a more expensive solar lighting system, you can recoup the cost over time.
You can make significant savings with your monthly utility bill, which adds up eventually.
Note that the batteries last for three to four years for most solar landscape lights.
LED bulbs have a longer shelf life. It means you will have more than enough time to recover from the upfront cost.
Even better, it is not that much, to begin with.
- Good for the Environment
When it comes to the benefits of using solar lights, we have saved the best for last.
Going solar helps reduce the carbon footprint that is inherent in the process of producing energy.
Aside from limiting greenhouse gas emissions, it also does not put a strain on valuable natural resources.
That is because it draws on the sun’s power, a renewable energy source.
There is no question that doing good for the environment is important.
With solar energy, it has never been easier. Moreover, if its technology keeps following the path to progress, it will only get cheaper.
So whether you look at it from an economical, practical, or environmental standpoint, going solar makes a lot more sense.
The Disadvantages of Using Solar Landscape Lights
Before you hit that Buy Now or Add to Cart button, there are a couple of things that you need to know.
- Dependent on Sunlight
Solar lights are powered by the sun, which is an inexhaustible well of power. That said, other forces could limit your ability to access it.
For instance, if you live in an area with long winters, you can’t expect the optimal level of performance. The same is true if it is always raining.
Your solar lamps won’t be able to store enough energy to provide light until the sun comes up the next day.
- Lighting Can Be Inconsistent
Wired lights can provide consistent illumination, whatever the weather or season is.
It will keep running as long as there is electricity from the utility company.
Solar lights, on the other hand, can be inconsistent. You’re in trouble if branches keep the sun from hitting your solar array.
Which Lighting Option Is Best for You?
Solar lights are far from perfect. However, the benefits that they offer are too good to pass up.
They are practical, come in attractive models, and are good for the environment.
Just make sure that you buy only from reputable brands and suppliers.