Find the Right Solar Light

Now that you have made a decision to use solar lights for your landscaping beautification and display needs you are already avoiding many other more difficult potential roadblocks and expenses. By installing traditional lighting you need to worry about proper use of electricity and how to arrange your display according to the electrical considerations. Selecting solar adds a lot more flexibility to your display options and without having to hire an electrician for a small ransom to make sure that you meet code and to insure the safety of your home Solar lights are becoming very popular in our eco-conscious society and many solar light fixtures are very reasonably priced, typically paying for themselves with ease when considering there will never be a power bill associated with your solar landscape lights. Solar lights are easily installed and offer plenty of flexibility as they can be relocated with ease. You determine where they are to be set, not your proximity to an outlet.

When solar lights first hit the market many years ago they were generally very dim and frankly, not overly reliable. They have advanced remarkably with the development of ultra-bright LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes) which have replaced the original filaments bulbs that were traditional to solar fixtures. These LEDs are able to generate substantial amounts of light without emitting heat like their original predecessors. This allows for more efficient operation resulting in a reliable and long-lasting light bulb.

Additional advances in solar lighting include the efficient and cost conscious Photo Voltaic cell (PV Cells). This improved solar technology, with more efficient batteries, can generate light on a year-round basis despite colder weather and shorter days, without sacrificing performance. When you are ready to purchase solar lights remember that they have varying functions and intensities to match multiple purposes. There are three primary outside solar lighting categories to consider: accent lights, pathway lights, and spotlights.

Accent Lights

Accent lights are a great landscape accessory as they provide a simple glow to your landscape features. They are designed to provide a low level illumination not as a safety feature. With this lower output, accent lights often last longer than other styles of solar landscape lighting. Also these lights can often operate for multiple nights on a single day’s charge. Another bonus for these accent lights is their ability to charge even on cloudy days or in areas partially covered by shade. Another element to consider is the color or shade of the accent light’s LED.

White LEDs are brighter than amber colored lights which provide even softer lighting. As a result amber uses less electricity resulting in longer illumination times. Accent lights are very useful for many landscape features such as highlighting attractive features around your yard or property or to highlight possible hazards that could be stumbled upon at night. Overall accent lights provide the lowest output of all the solar lights and are the most affordable.

Pathway Lights

It’s obvious that the primary purpose of this solar light category is to illuminate pathways, driveways, sidewalks, and other elongated areas that are part of your landscape. These lights are often displayed in uniformity with multiple fixtures lining the edges of the specific path. Often these lights are installed or mounted on stakes that are inserted directly into the ground. Many will hang off the stakes or have a direct attachment for display.

Often there are multiple display options or positioning options but the purpose most often is to illuminate downwards. Some of the path style lights include on-off switches allowing for the conservation of energy and a lengthy run time. More sophisticated models may include color lenses, timers, or allow for varying levels power use. These lights fall in the medium range among solar lights for both light output and cost.

Spotlights

Spotlights are the brightest category of solar lights and are most often the most expensive. They are made to supply a bright beam of light on your home or landscape features. Although they are brighter and more intense than the other solar lights, they certainly are not as strong as an electric flood light. Top-quality solar lights with strong LEDs can produce a beam comparable to a 40-watt incandescent spotlight.

Not bad for a completely eco-friendly light that is free to operate. Many of these solar spotlights are flexible with multiple display or mounting options and should include the necessary hardware for all available options. Also the solar panel can be adjusted or mounted separately so the light may shine in any direction. With this application the solar panel can be mounted where sunlight is constant while the light fixture can be mounted where the light is needed after the sun sets. The spotlights are usually very durable with the most heavily constructed fixtures.

An added benefit of using solar lights featuring LEDs is their ability to emit brighter light as the temperature drops. This is due to the solid design of the LEDs. In this matter solar lights are a great choice compared to low voltage landscape lights or fluorescent lights which operate poorly as the temperature drops. LEDs also have an average life span of 100,000 hours compared to 3,000 hours for the typical incandescent light. Solar lighting is an outstanding option for the home gardener and the do-it-yourselfer. There are many brands and types that should meet all of your outdoor lighting needs.

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