Solar lighting is one of the few home décor items that pays for itself. Here in Texas we have good access to the sun. At Buzz, we’ve had lots of success powering our driveway gate openers with solar. So we might as well do the green thing and light our yards the solar way, too.
Planning your solar lighting
First things first. What’s the purpose of your backyard lighting? You’ll need different lights if you’re thinking security rather than ambience. Then there’s safety: Maybe you want to light a path so nobody stumbles into your water feature.
Making a sketch of your yard will help you plan. Include features like major trees, shrubs, benches, garden sheds and existing lighting. Consider the height of structures and foliage.
Then estimate your effort level and budget. Are you envisioning a do it yourself project, or something that requires professional help? Is your dream lighting simple or opulent? Your budget will factor in here.
Different types of lights
Solar lights have come a long way. Instead of the old photovoltaic cells, opt for the newer, long-lasting solar LEDs, which do well even in harsh weather.
Here are a few ways you can incorporate solar lights into your landscape:
Light a path
Solar path lights keep you and your guests out of the aforementioned water features, and protect your prize-winning flowerbeds. Choose from motion sensors or timers, lights on little stakes or right on the ground.
Accent with solar
These decorative lights set a romantic mood in the backyard. While they provide some light, they’re more about aesthetics and ambiance than illumination.
Want to show off your pond, an architectural detail, or favorite tree? Aim a floodlight at it. Or aim it at your walkway as part of your security plan.
Your deck is a great place to entertain at night. However, it’s easy for you and your guests to fall off the edge, especially if anyone’s been imbibing. Minimize party mishaps by illuminating deck railings, edges and stairs.
Fence post cap lights
At Buzz, solar fence post caps are close to our hearts. Top your beautiful fence with practical, efficient and attractive solar lights.
A few tips
Solar lights are a good DIY project since they don’t require wiring. Here are a few last things to consider:
- Since solar lights are so portable, it’s easy to experiment. When illuminating garden features, you can try a few lighting positions until you get it just right.
- Avoid obstructions. Keep lighting out of the main paths of edgers, cars, lawnmowers, recycling carts, etc. Your lights should be visible enough in daylight to avoid being a tripping hazard.
- Find a sunny spot. Remember, these lights are solar-powered. So they need to absorb lots of sun. Don’t install them under an overhang, and keep branches trimmed so they don’t interfere with your hardworking light’s ability to shine.
- Prepare for installation. If your lights are on stakes, pre-soften the soil. Soak with water, or break up hard soil with a shovel so you don’t snap a stake.
While you’re busily working on your solar yard lighting, take a look at your fence. Does it need repair, a makeover, a redo, or more pizazz? At Buzz, we love to talk fences. Learn how we can help.