Tips For Using Outdoor Solar Lighting

Outdoor solar lighting is very popular because of the energy savings and the ease of installation. Solar lighting comes in a variety of price points, though you often get what you pay for. There are a lot of options on the market from solar pathway lighting to wall-mounted lamps to security lighting. However, solar lights do have some limitations and if you’re planning to use them in your outdoor landscape lighting design, here are some things to consider from the experts at Landscape Lighting Ottawa.

Consider How Solar Lights Work

Solar lights consist of a bulb, a solar cell that converts sunlight into electricity, and a battery to store the electricity – more or less. These are normal batteries, so if they are not fully charged the light won’t be as bright or last as long as it might otherwise. If the battery is consistently under-charged, it may not last as long as the manufacturer said it would.

If you want solar lights for the cottage but the house is in the middle of the woods and is in the shade all the time, you will have to get creative with placing the solar cell for the lights to work reliably.

Placement Is Vital

Solar light cells need sunlight, so placing the lights in the shade means the light won’t perform as you expect. If foliage or other objects block the sun, the battery won’t be fully charged. Even bird droppings can hinder sunlight reaching the solar cell.

You can purchase solar lights where the solar cell is a separate unit from the light itself. This allows you to place the lights wherever you like as long as the cell is receiving the necessary sunlight.

What Do You Need The Solar Lights To Do?

Consider what you need the solar light to do when choosing a unit or deciding on placement. If the solar lighting is for aesthetic purposes, then if a cloudy day dims the light it might not matter that much. If the solar light is being used to light stairs outside or a pool deck, then you’ll want it to perform reliably and cast adequate light. This might influence the type of solar light you buy, or the quality of the light.

What Does The Manufacturer Promise?

The brightness and length of time the light will last are usually provided by manufacturers, but those estimates are based on the solar cell receiving a specific amount of sunlight each day. If that minimum is not achieved, the light will not perform as advertised.

Another consideration is whether replacement bulbs or batteries are available. Know what you’re buying and know how long the manufacturer promises the unit will last under normal use.

Plan For Seasonal Differences In Light

Winter and spring are not known to be particularly sunny times of the year. Between the reduced sunlight and the reality that drifting snow may cover the solar panel, solar lights may perform 30% to 50% less in winter than in the summer. If you want the solar lights to perform well all winter, you will have to plan accordingly.

The outdoor lighting experts at Landscape Lighting Ottawa can help you create a custom design for your home or business that you’ll love for many years to come. Visit our website to learn more.

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