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How to use solar lights in your garden

How to use solar lights in your garden

Solar lights make it so easy to light up your garden. There’s no need for an electrician, just place them where you want them, let them charge in the sun, and they’re ready to go. Get creative with your own lighting designs, highlight special features and create the atmosphere you want in your garden. 

How solar lights work

During the day, solar lights use photovoltaic cells to convert sunlight into energy. This energy is used to charge batteries, which then power the lights at night. The light itself comes from LEDs (light-emitting diodes), which require very little power to produce light and are exceptionally long-lasting. Improvements in photovoltaic technology mean that modern solar lights can charge well on cloudy days or even in partial shade.

Types of solar lights

When you’re choosing your solar lights, you’ll need to think about accent lights, path lights and spotlights.

Accent lights can provide low-level lighting to a wide area, creating a general glow rather than picking out individual features. They give out a relatively low level of light, but this means they can stay on for longer than spotlights or path lights. 

Path lights focus light downwards onto the ground, so they’re ideal for lining the edge of a path. Some models have on /off switches, which means the battery charge can be saved for when it’s needed. 

Spotlights tend to be more expensive than other solar lights and use the most power. They produce a narrow beam of bright light that’s ideal for highlighting a specific feature or plant, and they’re usually adjustable so that the lighting angle can be changed to get the best effect. Spotlights often have a separate solar panel that can be placed where it will get the maximum amount of sunlight, while the light itself can be placed where it is needed. 

Using solar lighting to create different effects

With solar lighting, it’s easy to try out different effects, using the lights to highlight features or create a mood. Here are a few ideas to get your imagination going:

  • Wind strings of fairy lights around the branches of a tree to highlight its shape.

  • Place a row of accent lights along the base of a hedge or wall to softly define a boundary.

  • Create an exciting shadow on a wall by placing an angled spotlight at the foot of a tree or statue.

  • Direct a spotlight across the water to highlight a feature on the other side. This way, its reflection appears in the water.

  • To turn a garden feature into a focal point, place spotlights on either side of the object to cross-light it.

  • Uplight a tree or statue from below for a dramatic effect.

Lighting adds an extra dimension to your garden, and it’s easy to install. Why not visit our centre to see our exciting range of lights and other garden accessories?