There are many practical reasons to use solar outdoor lighting, whether in your gardens, your lawn or walkway, your deck or patio. A few top reasons include the economical and environmental impacts. The fact that solar lights use sunlight for energy, which is free for gathering and storing, leads to both environmental and financial savings. Going green will save green!
Solar lights have a battery which is used for storage of solar energy. Since these batteries have such long lives, it is needful to replace them perhaps once every 2-3 years. This is one cost-saving measure.
There is also the fact that solar lights require no wiring, and therefore use electricity generated by the sun. They need no fuel except for the sun, so they will create no additional utility costs.
There is also no wasted energy, since these solar lights gather their own energy, store it in their batteries and use it efficiently.
They have built-in photo sensors that detect when darkness is falling, so that there is no need for the owner to install a switch to turn them on and off, or have to remember to flip the switch when one desires to have them on. They will automatically come on at the appropriate time. Then they will simply stay on until the battery runs out of stored energy or the sensor detects daylight again. This feature makes them both low-maintenance and extremely convenient, as well.
Solar lighting is also much brighter, at least in the first few hours after the lights come on, than standard lighting.
Solar lights can also be an integral part of home security and safety, making for a well-lit property. (Be careful to not over-light, though, as that detracts from the attractive element of outdoor lighting.) Guests will be safer, more protected from sudden falls or trips. Also, a well-lit property is a deterrent to thieves and others who might have ill intentions. Motion-detecting solar security lights are also available for home security systems. These only come on when they detect motion, and go off after a few minutes, to save energy.
There are also aesthetic and artistic reasons for using solar outdoor lighting, in addition to the practical reasons already mentioned. Solar lighting can be used to highlight and illuminate particular features of the home, or sculptures, fountains, trees or flower gardens in the yard.
There are multiple techniques to use in outdoor lighting. The main ones are commonly known as uplighting, downlighting, or backlighting. Downlighting is used mainly for security measures. In this method, the solar lights are hung from the eaves of the home, or are set up on a lamp post, fence post or other higher structure. The light shines down, making a moon-lit effect. Spotlights and flood lights are often used in these instances. Uplighting is when lights are placed on the ground, aimed upward at some central point, perhaps fountains, yard art or sculptures. This dramatically sets off the object thus illuminated. Spotlights, flood lights, and in-ground fixtures are often used in this case.
With backlighting, the light is focused behind the surface of the object to be highlighted. Trellises, walls or fences usually are highlighted in this manner. Backlighting creates an interesting play of shadows and silhouettes.
There is also path lighting and accent lighting. In path lighting, solar lights are placed strategically along the sidewalk, driveway, or path, so that the way is clear. This method of lighting is both practical and pretty. Accent lighting is a direct spot light fixed on something like a flagpole, perhaps.
One more attractive means of arranging outdoor lighting is the cross, where two lights are put at the base of whatever is to be highlighted. The crossing of the light beams over the object makes a fascinating effect.
There are also underwater or floating lights, for those who truly wish to achieve a unique and unusually beautiful look in their pool area.
For more information on Solar Garden Lights, check out our website.
Kriss Bergethon is a solar expert and writer. For more of his useful articles on solar power, please visit Solar Panels, Kits and Systems.