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Article | Solar Powered Lights Guideline

Solar lights are very popular for lighting your landscape, pathway, yards and gardens. They are virtually maintenance free, easy to install, and cost nothing to run. The only drawback for solar landscape lighting is that they must be placed in an area, which receives a lot of sunlight during the day. The solar panel should not be blocked by trees, bushes or other items that could effect how much sun the solar panel receives during the day. Depending on the amount of sunlight received during the day, solar lights can provide 6 to 12 hours of light at night. Also make sure there is no other light source near by that can affect the photocell (solar panel), because if it is not dark enough the fixture may not automatically switch on.

More and more consumers are realizing that solar lights really does have an enormous effect in creating a beautiful nightscape environment. Solar lights are available in a variety of styles and colors. You can purchase solar pathway lights that are staked in the ground or solar lights on shepard hooks to line your pathway or driveway. Solar spotlights and solar floodlights are great for highlighting focal points of your landscape or adding light to your address plaques. There is also a satisfaction in getting free energy from the sun! But whatever the choice, there is no denying that solar lighting systems are becoming a standard feature on millions of properties and landscapes.


1. Decide on the area of your yard that receives plenty of sunlight during the day. Taking note that the position of the sun changes from season to season. Areas that are shaded in the summer may not receive sun in the winter etc. Also make sure there is no other light source near by that can affect the photocell (solar panel), because if it is not dark enough the fixture may not automatically switch on.

2. If you need solar lights for a shady area, you can can purchase solar lights that have a detachable solar panel which will allow you to position your light in a shady area and install a solar panel on your roof or other spot, which receives a lot of sunlight. These type of solar lights are a bit more expensive than regular solar lights or solar spotlights and you will need to run a wire from the solar panel to the lights.

3. Decide on the style of fixture you want to use.


Solar Spotlights - Can accent intense light on a specific object.

Solar Pathway Lights (Low fixture lights) - Contains the light close to the ground, perfect for landscape borders, pathways and driveways.

Solar Post Lights (Taller fixtures)- Spreads the light over larger areas and can be used in driveways, patios, or entry ways.

Solar Motion Sensor Lights - Lights an area for a few minutes whenever it detects motion.

Solar Deck Lights - Permanently installed light on a deck or patio.

Hanging Lights - Wall mounted lights for entranceways or solar lighs on shepards hooks great for pathways.

Decorative Lights - Available in many styles from solar frogs to solar statues, and solar dogs, they can add a personal touch to your garden decor.

4. Select the finishes for fixtures. Finishes are copper, stainless steel, verdigris, and plastic. Choose the fixtures that will blend into your landscape or garden.

5. Position the lights in a line, or a circle by placing them closer together instead of further apart to create a more effective lighting system.

6. Regular solar lights are easy to install. Moisten the ground and then simply push the stake into the ground then attach the solar light to the stake.

7. Adjust the solar panel so that it is aiming towards the sun most of the day, and that's it! Instant lighting!

Overall Tips:
  • Solar lights give off a faint glow that can light up a little area or large area.
  • Solar landscape lights can be great way to light your landscape cost efficiently.
  • Solar landscape lights are a good alternative to electric lighting systems.
  • Solar Landscape lighting can add beauty and charm to your home when done properly.
  • There is virtually no maintenance required except for occasional cleaning of the panel surface to keep it free of dust and dirt and replacing the rechargeable battery approx every 2-3 years.
  • Solar landscape lights are available in a variety of styles.

Posted by Donna Clinton
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