Solar lighting can be a cost effective way to light up your outside area when you don’t want the hassle of wiring up your lighting, or there are no outdoor outlets available, but how do they really compare to the electric variety and are they worth the money?
In essence you generally get what you pay for when it comes to the quality of solar lighting. Yes, solar lighting does depend on the brightness of the sun and the amount of daylight they’re exposed to but at the same time, it also depends on the size of the LED bulb within, and the quality of the photovoltaic cells. Generally speaking these tend to cost more, so if you want functional solar lights that won’t go dim within an hour of it getting dark, then it’s best to stay away from the bargain bin.
Another important piece of information about solar lighting is that most emit a bright white light because of the LED bulb inside. However if you’re looking for a softer kind of light for mood lighting these usually they contain incandescent bulbs and as such are normally labelled ‘soft white’ or ‘amber’.
So what about the types of solar lighting you can get?
Solar lighting is surprisingly varied and when put to good use you can achieve some striking results. Here are some types, together with some good examples of where you can get the best out of them.
Solar path lighting
Solar path lighting are lights mounted onto stakes. These can be pushed into the ground beside pathways in order to illuminate them. Remember that they won’t be as bright as electrical path lights so if you’re looking for strong lighting, them you need to use more than you think. Aside from lighting up walkways, they can give an enchanting, mystical feel to winding garden paths.
Decorative/ambient solar lights
Solar lights have come a long way in recent years and now you can purchase some really decorative varieties. String lighting, decorative lanterns, and even globes can all be purchased in the form of solar lighting. Decorative/ambient lighting is best used as a form of mood lighting due to the fact that they’re not designed to be particularly bright. Where they work really well is in borders, planted in amongst foliage, hung on tree branches (in the form of lanterns), and placed on decking/terracing (in the form of globe lighting).
Solar powered spot lighting isn’t as powerful as an electrical spotlight would be, but a good one should be able to give off as much power as a standard 40 watt light bulb. If you want to increase the intensity of the direct light, then you’re going to need to use more. Solar powered spot lighting can be motion-sensored so these work well outside front doors and for lighting up driveways. In addition they can be used in the garden to spectacular effect to highlight a particular feature or area.
If you prefer the reliability of electrical lighting rather than solar lighting and would like to light up your area then contact Static Electrics. We carry out a wide variety of commercial and residential electrical projects along the Sunshine Coast and this includes outdoor lighting. Whether you simply want to light up your decking, or create an outdoor light show extravaganza, then call in the professionals. Contact us today on 07 5545 8305 for a free, no obligation quote.