A Bright Idea: Outdoor Solar Lights
Outdoor solar lights are an easy way to conserve energy and are available in all of the same options as electric outdoor lighting, from decorative string lights and lanterns to spotlights and path lights. Moreover, their benefits go beyond lowering your electric bill and helping to save the planet.
Solar lights are easy to maintain because they automatically turn on and off according to the sunlight level. They don’t have the insulation and corrosion issues that wires do. And speaking of wires, your yard is a safer place without them – no tripping or injuries from exposed wires and less threat of fires. Another safety perk is that solar lights keep working even when the power goes out.
Many people have the misconception that solar lights won’t last very long, and that may have been true in the past. But now, with improved solar technology, solar lights can last for up to 10 hours.
If you aren’t already using outdoor solar lights, here are a few things to keep in mind:
- A minimum of eight hours of sunshine per day is ideal to adequately charge solar lights.
- If areas of your yard are shaded, a photovoltaic panel can be used to power the solar lights in those areas. The panel can be placed on your roof or in a sunny spot in your yard and then connected to the solar lights.
- Solar lights aren’t as bright as regular lights, so you’ll need more to achieve the lighting you want. For example, you’ll probably want to use twice as many solar lights to adequately light a pathway.
- Solar lights vary in brightness according to their size and the quality of their photovoltaic cells. So a general rule of thumb is that the more expensive the solar light, the brighter it will shine.
- Solar lights emit a bright white light. If you prefer a warmer glow, purchase tinted solar lights categorized as “soft white” or “amber.”