Landscaping: How Solar Lighting Works, And When To Use It

Solar lighting is easy to install. It can also save you money on utility bills and help the environment by using renewable energy.

Solar lighting is a relatively easy type of lighting to install in your yard because it does not require electricity. As long as the lights get plenty of sun they will automatically switch on by nightfall.

During daylight hours solar lights gather their energy from the sun. At nighttime this power is then released in the form of light. A typical solar light contains a LED (light-emitting diode), a solar cell, a Nicad battery, controller board and a photo resistor to detect darkness. At night the photo resister turns on the LED, which lights up.

Solar lights come in a variety of styles and can easily be worked into most landscape plans, making your property literally glow after dark.

An added bonus to installing these lights in your yard is that you won't have to dig up your lawn to hide electrical wiring. In order for the lights to be most efficient just make sure to install them where they get plenty of sunlight.

When it comes to your yard, solar lights can dress up the exterior of your house. You can use these lights to accent a walkway, trim the driveway or spotlight a spacious deck.

After you decide where you want to put the lights, it usually takes very little time to install them. Some styles are designed for wall mounting and other styles, such as the accent lights, can be simply pushed into the earth. If you get tired of an arrangement, or just want to move the light somewhere else, it isn't such an ordeal because there are no electrical wires to wrangle with.

Solar lights are available in many different styles including garden lights, flood lights, security lights, sensor lights, lanterns, and pond or pool lights. There is even a solar lit house number to help visitors locate your house after dark.

Maybe you have a pool you'd like to accent or a sidewalk you'd like to call attention to. Or perhaps you're an avid gardener and want your flower (or vegetable) garden to be lit. These lights will dress up just about any location as long as they get enough sunlight.

Because the lights have a somewhat different glow than electric lights, they can also be used to create more subtle effects. If you prefer a more soothing outdoor light instead of electric floodlights, solar is a good choice.

If you like to entertain outside, the lights can be a very attractive addition to a lawn party. You may want to outline a dancing area or just light up darker areas of your lawn.

If you enjoy old-world charm, you may want to investigate hanging solar lanterns. These lamps are the perfect addition for an older type home as they compliment the home's style. They can also be used to soften up a modern home with their soft, natural light. When you glance outside after dark and see your lanterns begin to glow, you may feel like you've stepped back in time.

For a more dramatic look, there are solar-lit stepping stones. These stones are constructed out of fiberglass and resin and have a built-in light. The light, which automatically turns on at dusk, provides about eight hours of light. Each stone is about a foot square and can be used for walkways or to create a path on your property.

If you are concerned about home security, you may want to install solar lights with a motion sensor feature. These lights have a dual function. At dusk an amber LED type light switches on. If motion is detected then a brighter halogen bulb turns on. The brighter light usually stays on for a few minutes to scare off intruders.

By choosing solar lighting for your yard you will be relying on renewable energy. Using this type of energy actually helps the environment because you are using a resource that never gets depleted, sunshine. It is also a simple and effective way to save money on utility bills by letting the sun work for you.

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