Solar lights are an eco-friendly way of lighting up your garden or securing your home’s perimeter. They don’t require re-wiring or complicated set-ups to power on. All that is usually required is a minimum exposure of eight hours to direct sunlight, and your lights will be good to go. And, unlike fixed electrical lights, you can easily and quickly move them around to suit your needs.
Here are a few things to consider when choosing your solar lights. Primary of these is what you intend to use them for. There are those that illuminate paths or driveways, spotlights to emphasize a special garden feature, security lights for the dark areas of your home, or decorative lights that provide a pleasant ambiance to your patio, pool area, or backyard.
The brightness or lumens of each type will vary according to each light’s purpose. Lower brightness is fine for walkways or ambiance lighting. Higher lumens are needed for security lighting and for safety, like around pools or entryways.
Some solar lights allow you to change their rechargeable batteries to help prolong their usable lifespan. Other types have non-replaceable batteries — these may be more affordable, but will require you to buy new lights when they can’t hold a charge anymore.
The solar light’s range is also a consideration. Depending on their purpose, some lights can illuminate as little as two feet around itself, or have a range as wide as forty feet, which is perfect for security or deck lighting.
What are the best places to buy Solar Lights?
Buying solar lights is now easier than ever. Nearly every major retailer carries a selection to choose from, either in-store or through their online portals. We have listed a few of the top-rated solar lights available from select manufacturers and retailers.
Westinghouse Solar Pathway Technology
The company’s long history of reliable engineering and product innovation has led to a variety of solar lights suitable for nearly every lighting need.
Among the favourites is the Solar Pathlight which comes in a pack of four and has a stainless steel housing and a plastic ground stake. It is lit by a 360 degree natural white LED light bulb and powered by a 150 mAh AA Ni-Cd battery.
They also carry the Solar LED Security Light which is motion-sensing and wall mountable to your garage, shed, or backyard area. A pack has a single security light unit that has a 1500 lumens white LED bulb, motion sensor with a 30-foot detection distance, and 180 degree detection range. It automatically turns on at dusk and shuts off at dawn.
Hampton Bay’s selection of solar lights range from the practical solar spotlight to the decoratively quirky solar rock light.
The Paradise Garden Solar Spotlight will brighten up your garden with a 60 lumen bulb and LIFEPO4 battery. It’s made from cast aluminium with a plastic spike. Its bulb is mounted on a 180 degree flexible neck for easy adjusting. Its attached solar panel can also be adjusted to the angle that will maximize sunshine capture. It is also photosensitive – activating at dusk and turning off and charging at dawn.
The Smart Living Solar Rock seamlessly blends into your garden by day and gently illuminates at night. It has an integrated solar panel that charges replaceable Ni-MH batteries and lights up an energy-saving white LED bulb. With its automatic ON/OFF feature, it will provide hours of maintenance-free enjoyment.
Walmart stocks an assortment of solar lights for a lot of home and garden uses. One of these is the Moonrays 91754 Richmond-style Premium Output Pathlight which comes in a pack of two. Its metal body has a rubbed bronze finish and a ribbed glass lens for a 360 display and 120 beam angle of LED lighting. Each piece has an integrated solar panel and an LED bulb that will never need replacing, giving up to 60 lumens after a full charge.
Also available is the 6-Pack Solar Power White Outdoor Garden Deck Patio 4×4 PVC Fence LED Post Light. These are post caps that can be mounted only on 4”x4” vinyl, PVC, or plastic posts on your deck, fence, patio or walkway. Each light has a 1.2V 600 mAh AA Ni-Cd rechargeable battery that is powered by its built-in solar panel after a full 6-8 hour exposure to sunlight. Its weather resistant surface makes it a sturdy addition to your home and garden.
Lowes carries great choices for homeowners interested in incorporating solar light technology into their homes. One of these is the Portfolio 4-Light Black LED Path Light kit. Each light has a 10 lumen bulb, 250 mAh lithium phosphate rechargeable battery, and a photocell control that automatically turns on at dusk and off at dawn.Replaceable batteries are also available.
You can also check out the Sunforce 5.31-in Black Solar Outdoor Pendant Light for your porch, deck, or shed. The kit includes a separate solar panel that can be positioned anywhere to maximize sunlight availability. Its LED remains cool to the touch even while lit, offering a dual setting for either bright or energy-saving modes. Also included is a remote control that allows you to operate the light even from a distance.
Online retail giant Amazon also has an amazing array of solar lights for every possible decorating and security need. Here are two brands that have gotten good feedback from people who have bought them.
The Moonrays 93381 Solar LED Spotlight allows homeowners to highlight special landscape features like a fountain or tree. It has a 20 lumen output from a warm white LED bulb. It can run for 7 hours on a full charge from its AA 500 mAh lithium rechargeable battery.
Create a festive ambiance in your garden with the Innoo Tech Fabric Lantern String Lights. The set includes twenty lanterns made of waterproof tarpaulin with warm white bulbs. Just set them up on your fence or garden and let it charge for at least 8 hours. Once you turn it on, it will light up and charge itself automatically.
This As Seen On TV product is a solar powered porch light that is motion activated to get brighter as it detects movement. It automatically dims to 50% brightness when it no longer detects movement. You don’t need any tools or wires because it comes with an adhesive that peels off to attach the light to any surface you want it to stick to. As with all solar powered lights, its battery will require at least 8 to 9 hours of sunlight to fully charge.
Warehouse retail giant Costco is also ready to cater to the needs of the growing market of shoppers looking for energy-efficient and cost-saving lighting fixtures.
A top-rated item is the GamaSonic Solar Powered Lamp with 3 mounting options. The set includes two light fixtures made of weather-resistant cast aluminium and real glass panes. You won’t ever need to replace the 50 lumen warm white LEDs that will stay lit for up to 8 hours on a full charge of around 6 hours of direct sunlight. Among its selling points are the three mounting options you can choose from by selecting from the hardware included in the set.
Also popular is the SmartYard LED Solar Pathway Lights 6 pack. Each light provides a warm white light of 8 lumens that can run up to 8 hours nightly on a full solar charge. Its made of durable stainless steel with an oil-rubbed bronze finish for all-weather use. Each light has a rechargeable 1.2V 700mAh Ni-MH battery that can be easily replaced when needed. Replacements are readily available at most hardware stores. The ground stakes allow flexibility in placing the lights wherever you need illumination.
Harbor Freight Tools
Harbor Freight Tools calls their solar outdoor lighting “night time sunshine”. They have an in-store selection that will suit your needs for landscape lighting, decorative highlights, path lights, and security lights. The Solar LED Pathway markers come in a set of 4 cordless and maintenance-free bright white LED lights. Their frames are made from rustproof cast aluminum built to last for years of exposure to the elements. Each light has a 3-way switch that toggles on/off and a flasher setting. It works for a full 8 hours on a 7-9 hour sunlight charging time and automatically turns on at dusk.
A unique and practical accent to your home would be the Solar House Address Number Plaque. It’s a copper-finished solar address sign that charges during the day and automatically lights up at dusk. It comes with a set of numbers and spaces for up to a 5-digit address as well as a wall bracket mount for easy installation.
Solar technology is one of the best forms of alternative energy available. With the rising cost of power generation, it’s only natural to turn our attention to what only Nature can freely provide. These new solar lighting devices are relatively low-cost, environment-friendly, and very attractive additions to any home that will provide years of reliable service to you and your family. You can check out each retailer’s growing line-up of products at their online stores or at a location near you.