Solar Garden Lights: Landscape and Yard Lighting

Use Solar Lights in Your Garden

Looking for an inexpensive, easy and eco-friendly way to light up your yard, or your driveway/pathways? You must think about solar garden lights! No wiring or digging trenches is required - simply stick the solar lights into the ground and you'll illuminate your yard, simple as that.

Compared with the faintly glowing models of past years, today's solar lights come in a wide range of designs, illumination levels and yes - prices! You can go with the traditional driveway or pathway posts, which you place into the ground. If you prefer more unique ambiance, consider stringing LED lights along banisters or over shrubs - much like holiday lights. There are even artistic focal lights or torch-like options, powered with solar energy.

Need I say it? The sky is the limit!

Why not unplug your outdoor lights and enjoy free solar energy from the sun?

Solar Garden Light (image courtesy of jscheib on Flickr Creative Commons)
Solar Garden Light (image courtesy of jscheib on Flickr Creative Commons)

Where to Buy Solar Garden Lights

It used to be that you had to visit a specialty store for solar lights for your yard. Today, these solar gadgets are so popular that you may even find them out of stock at Home Depot, Lowe's, or your local gardening store. Fortunately, there are many options online, too.

Prices range from $20-100, or more, depending on your taste and needs. Any one of these solar lights can help you make your landscape even more beautiful, and add soft ambiance to your "outdoor rooms." From traditional-looking lanterns to solar rocks or statuettes - even ground-flush models, there is something for every consumer. There is even a variety in the color of lights!

Instead of using grid-based electricity, outdoor solar lights operate by absorbing solar energy (more precisely UV light) during the day and then sensing when it gets dark. Then, the stored energy lights up the bulbs for a nice, soft glow. Later, they shut off at dawn.

Think that there is not enough sun where you live? You may be wrong! At our last home in rainy Seattle, Washington, we installed solar driveway lights, which illuminated each and every night.

Solar garden lights are generally compact units that include a panel, light sensor, battery and LED light. But, there are some models in which the solar panel is separate from the lantern itself. This allows you to place light in darker areas, drawing from energy coming from sunnier areas of your property.

But, perhaps you are concerned about brightness? No worries! There are garden solar lights that use a fluorescent bulb, or more than one LED lamp. This can increase the illumination to your desired level. Just ask questions before you purchase, and also double-check the return policy, in case you are unsatisfied.

Solar Garden Lights

Solar garden lights can illuminate a patio umbrella too
Solar garden lights can illuminate a patio umbrella too

Light up Your Backyard with Solar Lights

I recently discovered a new (to me) solar lights vendor: Allsop Home and Garden. In Spring 2009, they started marketing and selling beautiful glowing solar garden lights. Gorgeous, artistic designs make this vendor's products unique.

You don't need a big yard in order to install solar garden lights, even a small patch of grass is enough. Or, you can line your patio, deck or poolside with solar lights. The best part is that you only need be concerned with the initial cost of the lights. They will power themselves for free, thereafter.

There are even solar powered patio umbrellas! As with other outdoor solar lights, sunlight shining on a solar panel charges LED lights during the day (you can install the relatively small PV panel on your patio or deck). The light fixture can fit standard and extra-large patio umbrellas. Some even come pre-fitted with solar lights.

Get creative in your yard this year. Don't just plant flowers and shrubs, stick a few garden solar lights into the ground too. Like candles on at a fine restaurant, you'll be surprised by the pleasing glow and ambiance. They'll light up, reliably, each and every day, and you won't have to worry about increased electric bills.

These solar lights are also relatively low maintenance. Because you don't need to wire or trench, they are perfect for an easy DIY project on the weekend.

Whether you line a pathway or driveway, or shine a spotlight on a favorite plant, solar garden lights make it easy to bring a little brightness to the outdoors.

We've wrapped a small tree with an LED light strand, and also have solar lights along our backyard walkway (it makes it easy to find the garbage can at night!) Do you have solar lights in your garden or on your deck? What do you like best - or least?

© 2009 Stephanie Hicks

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Comments 32 comments

Tracker Frost profile image

Tracker Frost 7 years ago from Wyoming

Great article for "going green" with the yard! I love solar lights. Not sure if I'll get a chance to put some in this year, but they are on the todo list! :)


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 7 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

Hi Tracker - thanks! We love the convience and low cost of our garden solar lights. I'm so impressed with the new options, light brightness, colors and designs. Have fun in your yard. Steph


robie2 profile image

robie2 7 years ago from Central New Jersey

I love solar lights-- the quality of the light is perfect for the garden and its good for the environment and the pocket book-- what more could a girl want? Great, informative article. Thanks.


BirteEdwards profile image

BirteEdwards 7 years ago

I believe in solar energy, and in recycling, in fact inbeing as "green" as possible.

I am sure you are bringing great information to many who, as I, did not know that you can have garden solar lights. Excellent, I will find out where such lights can be had in my area


solarshingles profile image

solarshingles 7 years ago from london

These (sun worshipping:) solar lights look very cool, they use their own (solar) power source, they are green and environmentally friendly...just too good!


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 7 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

Hi Robie, Birte and solarshingles! Yes, you all hit on the best highlights of solar lights. I love the fact that anyone can use them, anywhere. They are a perfect introduction to the benefits of solar power. Cheers, Steph


LdsNana-AskMormon profile image

LdsNana-AskMormon 7 years ago from Southern California

I love these. Thanks for the great information on solar lights.

tDMg


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 7 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

Hey thanks, LdsNana! They are so wonderful. I'm going to head out tomorrow and get some new solar lights to place in some new landscape beds around our trees in the backyard.


KCC Big Country profile image

KCC Big Country 7 years ago from Central Texas

Probably something many have not considered is utilizing solar lights on graves. We started this idea at our local cemetery when my son died in 2003. Prior to that, everyone was putting lit candles on the graves inside these glass cylinders made for that. I was still uncomfortable putting lit candles out. Since we started the solar lights out there one of the local florists has started carrying solar crosses and angels that people purchase and put out there.


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 7 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

Hi KCC, you are right. I would not have considered solar lights in this manner, and I must say that I am so sorry about the loss of your son. What a nice memory to use solar lights instead of candles at his graveside. You have obviously started a great movement. Best, Steph


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

Thank you for writing this hub about solar lights. I had no idea that they had come so far. Will have to check them out the next time I am at Lowes or Home Depot.


LondonGirl profile image

LondonGirl 7 years ago from London

We have been thinking along similar lines of late (-:


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 7 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

Indeed! Don't think I haven't noticed (not to promote myself, but did you know I have 2 solar blogs?) You can find them from my profile page here. Cheers to you, as always! Steph


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 7 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

Peggy, that's the best thing about solar garden lights - you can find them at Home Depot, or just about any major home improvement retailer. Good luck - Steph


LondonGirl profile image

LondonGirl 7 years ago from London

I did indeed notice - and sent you a tweet earlier today about that.


marisuewrites profile image

marisuewrites 7 years ago from USA

I love solar lights - I'm getting addicted to them!! =)) Good information here!


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 7 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

Hey Marisue, great to see you again! Thanks for the "plug" (so to speak) for solar lights. Take care, Steph


Chris Crow profile image

Chris Crow 7 years ago

I just noticed this hub on my front page and it's funny because just today I wrote a hub about patio lights and have been working on one about solar patio lights.


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 7 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

Hey Chris, solar is a popular topic! Can't wait to see yours on solar patio lights.


Staci-Barbo7 profile image

Staci-Barbo7 7 years ago from North Carolina

Steph, I've always been drawn to solar landscape lighting.  They are so beautiful now, and as you note, offer the average homeowner a degree of freedom and self-sufficiency not possible with the lighting that must be wired.

Another thought is that solar lights are highly portable, so as the seasons change (and your yard / gardenscape changes) you can move the lights to accent different plantings, blooms, etc., or you can change the area accented just for a little novelty, just as you would change your bathroom decor.      


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 7 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

Hi Staci, that is an excellent point! You don't have to be wedded to where you place your garden solar lights. Move them around as the seasons and mood fits you. Like little (safe) candles for your yard. Steph


milly123 6 years ago

i will recommend the Solar Yard LED Light,for more informaiton please check

http://www.pandawill.com/sgl019-outdoor-solar-yard...


susanlang profile image

susanlang 6 years ago

Steph, we used solar lighting in our yard at the ranch house. When we sold the house, the buyer said that was one of the biggest reasons she liked the house.

Also, I have visted your website, peachygreen and value your efforts to bring about a cleen and green world by promoting awareness through a wealth of information. Thank you.

On another note, Happy 4th of July, being a former resident of Bend OR. I've seen the beautiful fireworks the town sets off on top of the Pilot Butte which over looks the wonderful layout of the town. I remember being on top of the Butte many times and for me, seeing the snow caps a top the cascade mountains (The Three Sisters) was always a sight which took my breath away. My hubby and I are still considering moving back to Bend OR. I'll post a picture of the Butte we took while we were living there. Also, I remember the big housing rush to build houses in Bend about 5 years ago. Have they sold or are many sitting on the market?


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 6 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

Hi Susan - thanks! I really appreciate your great comments and I've definitely read about how installing solar raises the value of your home (for many reasons)! Yes, Bend is truly an amazing place to live and the 4th of July show from Pilot Butte is quite fun.

As for the housing market, it is tough there right now (if you want to move back to Bend, now's the time with great deals on many homes). You'll pay about 1/2 of what you might have just 3-4 years ago. Good luck and let me know!


alisa2010 5 years ago

Thank you for writing this hub about solar lights. I had no idea that they had come so far. Will have to check them out the next time I am at Lowes or Home Depot.


ponyhe 5 years ago

I recommend the LED Light,to know more informaiton please check here

http://www.pludeal.com/led-spot-light_c58


iron doors 5 years ago

solar light is a good selection, it can save energe, and enviroment, good suggestion.

Add beauty to your house.

KOHL IRON DOORS


solarpathlights 5 years ago

Wow,i like solar lights.


JON EWALL profile image

JON EWALL 5 years ago from usa

stephhicks68

Check out this Series of articles tracking the stimulus money for solar and wind

. By Russ Choma

Blown Away: Tracking stimulus grants for renewable energy

http://investigativereportingworkshop.org/investig

Have a good day,I enjoyed your hub.My hub is linked to your hub.

Ps Check the TV schedule for Sept. 7, 2011 and Sept. 8, 2011 President Obama addresses the Congress

MAYBE 2 DAYS OF ENLIGHTMENT?


prism3x profile image

prism3x 5 years ago

Thanks for the information! I love my solar lights and the way the go on and off with out any effort. They can be placed any where light can reflect.


coowendy 4 years ago

They can be placed anywhere light can reflect.


zhongguo 4 years ago

We have been thinking along similar lines of late (-:

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