Making the Most of Outdoor Solar Lighting

Improving both the visibility and decorative appearance of your garden, solar lighting can be used all around your open-air spaces in a variety of ways. It's easy to install with no wiring required and you don’t have to pay the running costs! Outdoor solar lights charge their internal battery during the day using the sun’s rays to power them throughout the evening and night-time. Here’s how to use solar lighting in different areas of your home's exterior for maximum effect.

Entranceways

Helping to highlight trip hazards such as steps and porch accessories while adding charm to your property, brighter solar lights are a must for your front and back doors. Wall-mounted or hanging lights take up less room and generally offer a brighter glow than standing or stake lights. One of these each side of your front door will provide visibility, create a welcoming vibe, and help guide you safely back home. If you’re concerned about them keeping you awake while you snooze, choose one with a motion sensor so they only turn on when movement is sensed - this will also double as a security feature!

For a more novelty and homely touch, place an ornamental solar light next to your door. These are often shaped light adorable woodland creatures, farmyard animals, dogs, or nocturnal wildlife and some are designed with welcoming messages.

Pathways

Helping you and your visitors to safely navigate through the dark from your gate or drive your front door, pathway solar lights can be stylish as well as highly functional. Traditionally, stake lights are a great choice for lining either side of your pathway, easily positioned in the turf or gravel that borders it. For a more decorative touch, go for artificial rocks with bright bulbs. For a sleek space-saving alternative, opt for sunken lights.

Fences and Trellises

Adding a new height to your outdoor solar lighting, fences and trellises offer opportunity to hang enchanting fairy lights. Transforming boring wooden panels into a magical garden feature, string lights can be twisted around lattices or strung above head height on patio and decking areas to create a breath-taking and romantic escape. Their solar panels can be staked into the ground nearby, with the cables secured down to prevent trip hazards, or strung up on the fence alongside for maximum sun exposure during the day.

Flowerbeds and Feature Pieces

Mix up your lighting angles with some uplighters in a crossing formation, illuminating grand features such as shaped hedges and ornaments or beautiful shrubbery and making them the dramatic centrepiece of that area. Flowerbeds are a great opportunity to incorporate a more novelty and decorative touch to your lighting, creating a perfect setting for animal-shaped lights such as rabbits, foxes, and hedgehogs. With their beautiful nature-inspired designs, decorative solar stake lights effortlessly brighten up any area during the day and night and are easily positioned by pressing them directly into the soil. Functional and decorative designs like these will add both fun character and light to your space.

Exterior Walls

Wall lights require slightly more effort to properly secure them in place but are definitely worth it, providing a bright light source without taking up floor space that could be used for pots and planters. Uplighters or downlights are perfect for patio areas and entranceways, ensuring you get that cosy glow without a harsh glare, while lights that provide wider light distribution are ideal for illuminating pathways down the side of buildings or along garden boarders. When deciding where to fix them, take into consideration any porch shelters or extending structural elements, ensuring that they won’t be in shadow during the day.

Decking

The perfect place to relax during a warm summer evening, your decking will be even more appealing when illuminated with a gorgeous light display. Sunken lights offer a sleek aesthetic without obstructing your space, leaving more room for your garden furniture. Alternatively, tall light posts can be used to mark the edge of the wooden boards and help to divide up the different areas of your garden.

Maintenance

Solar lights generally provide 6 - 8 hours of light when they've been able to fully charge during the day. To keep your solar lights working at peak performance, you’ll need to do some light maintenance work now and again. Ensure the solar panels are clean by giving them a quick wipe with a damp cloth as any dirt and grime build-up will prevent them from absorbing the maximum amount of sunlight. It’s also important that place them in an area where they are getting direct sun rays so trim back any branches or shrubbery that casts them into shadow.

Check for general wear and tear of the product, ensuring there's no signs of cracking or exposed wiring. Outdoor lighting should have an IP rating of at least 4, meaning it’s protected against water splashes from all directions.

 

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