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Solar Lighting Offers Versatility for Outdoor Lighting

Solar lighting is becoming the choice for most landscapers who install outdoor lighting these days because it’s versatile, easy to install and inexpensive.  The savings over the cost of traditional electrical lighting can be passed on to customers.  The easy installation of solar lighting means home owners can easily add much needed outdoor lighting anywhere they need it without having to worry about electrical wiring or a power source.

There are several types of solar lighting available for landscape lighting, all of which work on the same premise.  A small solar chip in the top of each light fixture absorbs and stores energy from the sun in a tiny battery chip.  This energy is then used to fuel either incandescent or LED lights for several hours after the sun goes down.  In most cases, solar lighting comes on automatically when it is dark outside. These lights have a built-in light meter that indicates when the lighting is needed.  There are some cases, however, when motion sensor lighting is also used, when the light doesn’t come on unless triggered by motion in order to conserve energy.

Decorative Solar Lighting

Decorative solar lighting comes in a variety of shapes, sizes and styles to coordinate with your decor. Some of the most popular include metal finishes such as copper, brushed nickel and bronze.  These are generally LED lights mounted on short posts that can be stuck into the ground around flower beds, water features and the edge of your home to give soft, low lighting.  Most of them will stay on until well past midnight, but may fade toward morning if the day has been overcast.

Because these run on a solar energy, you can put decorative solar lighting almost any place where the sun will hit the lights at least a few hours a day.  Simply stick the post into the ground and forget about it.  These are wonderful to light the edge of your property or to softly illuminate a garden.

Pathway Solar Lighting

solar-lighting-imagePathway lights are similar to decorative lighting, although not all pathway lights are mounted on stakes.  Some may be installed in the lower part of the deck railings, where deck lights are being installed, and other parts of the garden.  The key is that pathway lighting is meant to illuminate the path at your feet so that it’s easier to walk around in the dark.  Most pathway solar lighting is installed no higher than a foot off the ground so that it clearly lights your way.  Try lining your sidewalk, walkways and any frequently visited areas of your garden with outdoor lighting to give your guests an invitation to wander freely.

Spotlight Solar Lighting

Solar spotlights differ from decorative or pathway lighting because the solar panel is usually separate from the light itself.  Because brighter light is needed for a spotlight, a larger solar cell is needed to provide the energy required.  The solar light is often connected by a short, insulated wire to a separate stake that has a flat solar chip on top.  You simply install each spotlight in an area where you can position both stakes close together.  This allows you to position the light in any position at any angle in order to best highlight whatever area you’re spotlighting, while the solar chip stays flat in order to collect the optimum amount of sunlight.

Solar spotlights are a great way to light up your house at night or highlight a garden sculpture or water feature.  Spotlights are much brighter than pathway lights, so install them sparingly in order to draw attention to particular features.

Security Solar Lighting

outdoor-solar-lighting-imageYou can install solar security lighting around your home just as easily as you can any other type of solar lighting.  These outdoor lights are meant to come on only when needed rather than automatically when the light fades, so they will last quite a while on a single solar charge. 

These are generally motion detector lights.  They will automatically come on whenever the built-in motion sensitive chip is activated.  By positioning a few of these on the edges of your home and at the beginning of your path to the door, you can prevent intruders from approaching your house at night without being caught in a flood of light.  Installing one or two security solar lighting fixtures on your porch also provides lots of light when you come home and may be fumbling for your keys.  No more need to leave the porch light on while you’re away!

You can easily install any kind of outdoor lighting you like and at a very reasonable cost if you choose solar lighting for your landscape lighting needs.

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Copyright Profile-Lighting 2008, Solar and Outdoor  Lighting


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