Many people choose to light pathways, stairways, and doorways for security or aesthetic reasons. And it used to be necessary to install power outlets near the light's location or run extension cables to reach it.
Fortunately, modern technology made it possible to avoid these solutions. The best answer for homeowners and many businesses to light up important areas outdoors is to buy a high quality solar spotlights.
These lighting fixtures are ideal as garden lights and a perfect way to illuminate your driveways or pathways, as well as the area around your pool and barbecue area. That would make you stay longer in your outdoor area at night. Installation is simple – you can stake them into the ground. Being solar powered lights, they require no wiring and have no running costs.
Many are automatic, turning on at dusk and off at dawn, or have motion sensors that turn on only when something moves within their range of view. One more thing that you will notice with our collection here is their ability to have a high and low light mode.
If you're thinking about adding these lights to your outdoor space but searching all over the internet for the best solar lights made you confused, we compiled some helpful information for you so keep reading.
We have different needs for choosing a type of lighting and that is also the same with solar lights. Some features are ordinary to all solar spotlights, such as run times, charge times, and brightness. The RGB Option Cycles Between 7 pre-set colours are also present in some of our solar spotlights.
Before you go around buying your outdoor solar spotlights, we suggest that you make a list of the things that you will light up. It can be the statue, sign boards, trees or the shrubbery in the outdoor area. And then consider the following tips we listed to help you choose the best solar spot lights for your garden and other outdoor lighting needs.
What to Look for Before Buying Outdoor Solar Spotlights
Depending on what the lights are for, you will need to know their brightness. For us, it is important for you to focus first on the brightness when choosing the best solar light.
If this is your first time, lumens determine the brightness. Make sure to read through the technical specifications of the lighting fixture for this specific detail.
The average lumen that you can have is between 120 to 600 lumens for landscaping ambience in your home exterior. For example, to accent trees and some other decors, light your garden path or brighten the barbeque area for an enjoyable evening.
If you plan on using the spotlights for commercial purposes, like lighting up your shop's parking lot or a large area for security purposes, 1000 lumens or higher is recommended. Other factors can affect the brightness of the light fixture that you are eyeing for such as the type and number of LEDs used.
Always remember that these lights are designed to be layered, so you can adjust the brightness by moving them closer or further apart.
Charging and Running Time
Consider the efficiency of short charging periods and durable running times, particularly in regions where direct sunlight is scarce or during winter months. The duration you need your lights to run for will determine the right choice for you. Our solar spotlight models offer both high and low settings which allows users to select a setting that provides ample light with longer operating time equivalent to 8-12 hours typically. Additionally, if more brightness is required, larger lights with greater battery capacity producing higher lumens can be considered as well.
Most of these lights use lithium-ion batteries, which are low-maintenance and far less expensive than their fancier counterparts. You know well that these batteries do not last long. But today, most manufacturers design their lights with easy to replace batteries. So part of the maintenance of solar lights to keep them from being damaged right away is by changing the batteries.
Outdoor solar lights are commonly built with ambient light sensors and they are divided into 3 types based on their light output: motion-activated, dusk-to-dawn, and timer-controlled.
Since solar energy is a limited resource, you have to decide when and for how long you want the lights to run. If you don't want to run them all the time and save energy, a timer-controlled light is ideal as it allows you to decide when they turn on and for how long.
Dusk-to-dawn solar lights automatically come on when it gets dark and stay on until sunrise. In regions with fewer hours of sunlight, such as wintertime, dusk-to-dawn lights may have trouble storing enough energy to stay bright for an extended period each night.
Motion sensor lights are energy-saving because it only lights up when triggered by movement. It can also cut down some of your electric bill costs since it is not turned on all night long.
There are light colours that give off a cozy feel of a warm home and there is also one that shines the brightest white light for your entire property. If you already know what kind of lighting you are looking for, it must be piece of cake for you to choose the right lighting. But if you are among those who are unsure, look for a light with pre set colours, so you can play with the temperature and decide which look best suits to your situation or event.
There are common questions surrounding solar spotlights and we have compiled a list of them below:
How do solar spotlights work?
The main components of solar lights include solar cells, rechargeable batteries, the bulb, and photoresistors. During the day, solar cells store energy coming from the sunlight in the batteries and convert it to electricity at night. The photoresistors detect the absence of ambient light and tell the unit to turn on. Until it detects the light in the morning again, it wouldn’t turn off. Or the spotlight stays on until the batteries run out of charge.
How to install solar lights?
Outdoor lights like this solar powered spotlights are designed differently and you can install them in many ways. You will find most of their installation the easiest. Some come be mounted on the wall with screws while some of these solar lights have stake that you can simply stick on the ground. There will be instructions included in the product so it’s best to follow them.
You can have the best light output if you arrange your fixtures in a way that they get several hours of direct sunlight.
Do solar lights need direct sunlight?
Place your outdoor solar lights where they can get 6-8 hours of direct sunlight for you to get the best results. But what happens if the area of installation isn’t directed to the sunlight?
We understand completely that most of you get confused about the best place to put the panels. Well, solar panels don't need to be in the sun before they can make electricity. They only need light particles strong enough to make electricity or simply need to see the sunlight. Just make sure that your outdoor lights are not in the way when you're mowing the lawn or gardening or blocking a window.
So even if you place the panels in a shaded area, they will still be charged if there is visible sunlight. But don’t forget that insufficient sunlight may shorten its useful capacity. It's obvious that the weather won't always be favorable, especially in the winter. But you will still be illuminated for the duration of a summer night if there is enough daylight.
How many years can outdoor solar lights last?
The lifespan of your solar lights ultimately depends on various factors such as the kind of fixture, maker, and personal usage. Generally speaking, they could stay powered for about three to five years before requiring a battery replacement. Additionally, there are other types that would entail changing the entire unit; but you may lengthen their lifetime by regularly cleaning up their panels.
Do solar lights work under trees?
You can totally put your solar panels under the trees and it will still work like a charm. Those cells in solar lights are so good at absorbing lightwaves and turning them into electricity, even if there's foliage around them. So don't you worry! Your outdoor lights will get juiced up just fine, as long as there's enough sunshine or rays to last until bedtime.
But keep in mind that the shade from trees should not be excessively strong or dominant. If your lights turn on but then switch off after a short period, this could indicate that branches are obstructing too much light. Simply trim these branches to enable sufficient sunlight to filter through.
Taking Care of Solar Panels
Your solar panels can gather debris or dusk and can damage them. If you fail to maintain them will decrease their performance and will result in costly damage. Regularly checking them can prevent this and maintain their cost-saving benefits.
How to clean the solar panels? Their maintenance is as easy as wiping off the dirt with dry or damp cloth without any chemicals. Rough sponges, cold water, abrasive detergents, and high-pressure sprayers should be avoided because they can damage PV cells.
Your outdoor solar spotlights may require more frequent cleaning because the panels are constantly exposed to bird droppings, leaves, and other debris.
Solar energy is without a doubt one of the most environmentally friendly, widely available, and abundant renewable resources. Sunlight is available in many parts of the world and even in areas that are not known for having consistent sunlight, there is enough to keep solar panels working properly.
Are you ready to upgrade your old lighting system in your garden? Or is it your first time having lights installed on your home exterior? Zest Lighting is happy to help you choose the right lighting that you need.