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Landscaping With Solar Lighting

Though outdoor lighting provides visibility and security, traditional landscape lighting can use up a lot of energy.

Using outdoor solar lights can provide decorative illumination without using electricity.

Designing with solar lighting can be much simpler than wired lights, as they can be easily integrated where needed. They can be placed along walkways, sidewalks, patios and entryways to provide efficient, year-round lighting.

In addition to the energy conserving benefits of using outdoor solar lighting, maintenance is also low, and usually requires only periodic light cleaning and a back-up battery recharge, if necessary. Also, just like their energy consuming counterparts, solar lighting is available with automatic on and off and manual switches, as well as motion sensor detection for convenience.

Though landscaping with solar lights is a great alternative to conventional outdoor lighting, there are a few things to keep in mind to get the most out of them. Some solar fixtures may not appear as bright as traditional lighting. Panels will need to be placed so that they will receive direct sunlight for the majority of the day in order for them to store enough energy to stay lit most of the night. Placing solar lights away from streetlights or other sources of night lighting that will reduce brightness can help also.

Solar lighting can also be weather dependent, and on overcast days they may not be as well lit in the evening. However some types that also have rechargeable back up batteries can seem brighter.

Repurposing everyday items or unconventional materials as solar light fixtures is an inexpensive and distinctive way to decorate an outdoor area.

Using things like mason jars, glass containers and hanging lanterns with solar lighting fixtures or strands placed inside are good ways to integrate supplementary portable lighting displays. Also, try revamping old light fixtures by replacing the lights with suitably sized solar lights.

Solar bottle trees, made from recycled glass bottles inverted on tree branches or posts with solar lights or strands inside, add an interesting and artistic light display. Solar kits or caps can be purchased that fit on a variety of containers like bottles and jars. Another economical outdoor lighting idea is do it yourself solar lanterns, which are as easy to make as turning a bucket or basket upside down, affixing a solar light and hanging it up.

For some inspiration on upcyled and repurposed solar lighting, Dishfunctional Designs has craft images and ideas.

For a whimsically elegant touch outside, you can also make an outdoor solar lamp. Use a solar light or panel strip placed where the light bulb would normally go, and place a lamp shade that is suitable for outdoor use on top for an out of the ordinary outdoor fixture that doesn’t have a cord to trip on and never needs to be plugged in.

This tutorial shows how to add an element of design using yard sale stickers. The round stickers were placed on the base of a lamppost and painted over for a polka dot effect. This can be done to nearly any outside feature with waterproof or outdoor paint and any favorite sticker shape.

The environmental and economic advantages to using outdoor solar lighting combined with easily inexpensive ways to decorate them make them a perfect option for landscape lighting.

Image Source: Google Images

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