Solar Lights for Gardens

Commonly Asked Questions About Solar Lights

Solar lighting provides an efficient and environmentally-friendly way of lighting our homes, streets, gardens, etc., using solar energy. Solar lighting is also considerably safer for garden accent lighting as no cables are needed. The process of installing solar garden lights is straightforward, which again saves you time and energy. 

One of the main advantages of investing in solar garden lights is you won’t have to worry about huge electricity bills. You can be assured of endless lighting with zero utility bills for as long as the sun rises every morning. 

Benefits Of Solar Garden Lighting

– No electricity bills 

– LEDs last for exceptionally long thus, long service life 

– No additional cables or cabling required 

– They are super convenient – switch on and off automatically 

– At least 8 hours of light when fully charged 

– No need to hire an electrician 

– It can be used for practical and decorative purposes (path light, decorating light chain, etc.) 

– Easy to move around 

– Perfect solution for areas with no electricity 

– They are available with motion detectors 

– It can be used in different parts of the property 

– They are available in different sizes and designs.  

These are just but a few of the many advantages of solar garden lighting and reasons to make the switch. 

Are Solar Lights Bright Enough? 

Solar lighting has been around for quite some time now and has evolved significantly since its inception. One of the most notable advancements is that they can achieve different brightness levels, depending on the target application. In other words, there are solar lights designed to be brighter with more lumens and others designed for lower lumens or brightness. For this reason, you want to choose the right solar lights for the specific application or use.  

Brightness levels vary from one model to the other. While the highest brightness level might not be ideal for accent lighting and decorations, you still want to ensure they are bright enough. You can, however, find brighter solar lights commonly preferred for path and wall lighting. It’s also worth noting solar lights can achieve brightness levels of up to 400 lumens. The battery must thus be fully charged to provide such brightness levels efficiently. Each product has its details (lumen value, power, etc.)  indicated on the packaging. 

Types Of Solar Lights on The Market Today

Solar lights come in many different designs and capabilities. The most common types are: 

1. Decorative solar lights

– Decorative lamps and fixtures 

– Solar light rods and torches 

– Solar fairy lights and lanterns 

– Solar cubes and globe lights 

– Smart home solar lights 

– Decorative lights 

2. Practical Solar lights

– Wall lights 

– Pillar and path lights 

– Recessed floor lights 

– Spotlights 

– Solar desk and floor lamps 

– House number lights 

How Long Will Solar Lights Stay On? 

Most solar lights can last between 5 and 20 hours on a full charge. A number of factors, such as the quality of the bulb, integrated battery, and sunlight exposure, have to be considered to determine the exact duration. Many solar lights on the market today can last a guaranteed 8 hours on a full charge. It’s worth noting that the lights have to be fully charged for optimal performance. 

How Does Solar Lighting Work?

Solar lights have a solar panel that converts the sun’s energy into electricity, which is then stored in a battery bank. In other words, solar lights wouldn’t work without the sun. They thus essentially need a photovoltaic effect, a solar module, a battery, and the sun to work. 

You don’t need a power cable or to be connected to the grid to use solar lights. As long as the sun is up, the solar module will convert solar energy into electricity and keep it in a battery for future use. The LED lamps turn on as soon as the sun sets, using the stored energy to work overnight. Most of these lights have an integrated twilight sensor for controlling their lighting and charge modes. 

How Long Does It Take to Fully Charge Solar Lights?

There is no definite answer on how long it would take to charge a solar light fully. A number of factors, such as the size of the solar module, battery capacity, the weather, and how much sun there is, have to be considered to determine an average charging time. A solar light can take anything between 6 and 8 hours to charge fully on a perfectly sunny day with maximum exposure. It could take even longer in cloudy and rainy weather. 

A little patience is needed when charging the solar lights for the first time. In most cases, it would take two sunny days to fully charge the system and up to 10 days in overcast or poor weather. However, it is advisable to wait until the battery is charged to capacity before using your solar lights. 

Pro-tip for the winter: Solar lights may not get enough sunshine to charge up during winter. The extremely cold winter temperature can affect the light, battery, and other electronics’ lifespan, which is why we recommend keeping them indoors in winter. 

What To Look Out for When Using Solar Lights?

– The solar module should be set up to receive direct sunlight for optimal performance. 

– Ensure the module is installed facing south

– The module shouldn’t be placed in the shade, under trees or roofs

– The module should be kept clean and free from dirt, dust, and leaves

– Some solar lights can be charged using a normal USB charger. More advanced models, such as the Hybrid System Sun Connec switches to the mains power automatically if the battery is too low. 

– Check the build material too. Aluminum, stainless steel, and high-quality plastics have a longer lifespan than most other materials. 

– Positioning of the light based on the intended use

– Look for a high-quality product if looking to use light through the winter

– Consider lights with a power connection if using them for security. 

When Do the Solar Lights Turn On? 

Most solar lights have an integrated twilight sensor that automatically turns the lights on when the sun goes down. Some modules may have a manual switch or be remote-controlled. 

It’s worth noting that artificial light sources may interfere with the sensor, causing it to fail to turn the lights on due to surrounding light levels. You thus may want to go for solar lights with a manual override or a remote to turn them on when this happens. It is much easier to flip a manual switch than hoping the twilight sensor will work with time. 

Do Solar Lights Have Motion Detectors? 

Most garden solar lights have motion sensors built-in. This means you can use the solar lights as wall or path lights, whereby they’ll only illuminate if they detect movement. A motion sensor also means the lights will only shine if someone is standing close to the vicinity, making it an excellent security feature. Some models will have both the twilight sensor and the motion detector built-in too. This means the twilight sensor will turn the lights on when it’s dark, with the motion sensor causing the lights to shine brightly on detecting motion. This is not just a security feature but also helps preserve energy, allowing the lights to run for much longer. 

While it would be good to have both sensors on, a twilight sensor might be enough for most garden solar lights. It would also be advisable to ensure plants, bushes, or flowers don’t block these sensors, as this might interfere with their functionality. Consider allowing a safe distance between the lights and plants for the best performance.