Solar Lights For The Garden: How Do Solar Garden Lights Work

Solar Lights Between A Stone Path And Flowers
solar lights
(Image credit: SVproduction)

If you have some sunny spots in the garden that you want to illuminate at night, consider solar powered garden lights. The initial expense of these simple lights can save you on energy costs in the long run. Additionally, you won’t have to run wiring. Learn more about how solar garden lights work and how to install them.

How Do Solar Garden Lights Work?

Solar lights for the garden are small lights that take the energy of the sun and convert it into light in the evening. Each light has one or two small photovoltaic cells on the top, which absorb energy from sunlight and convert it to a usable form.

In these small solar lights, the energy of the sun is used to charge a battery. Once the sun goes down, a photoresistor registers the lack of light and turns on an LED light. The energy stored in the battery is used to power the light.

How Long Do Solar Garden Lights Last?

On a perfectly sunny day with your lights positioned to collect the sun’s energy, the batteries should reach maximum charge. This is usually enough to keep the light on between 12 and 15 hours.

A small solar garden light typically needs eight hours of sunlight during the day to fully charge. A cloudy day or shade that moves over the light can limit lighting time at night. It may also be difficult to get a full charge during the winter.

Planning and Installing Solar Garden Lights

Installation is simple and far easier than using traditional lights. Each solar garden light is a stand-alone item that you simply stick in the ground where you need light. The light sits on top of a spike that you drive into the soil.

Installing solar garden lights is easy, but before you put them in, have a plan. Make sure you choose locations that will receive enough sun during the day. Consider the way shadows fall and the fact that lights with solar panels facing south will get the most sunlight.

Mary Ellen Ellis

Mary Ellen Ellis has been gardening for over 20 years. With degrees in Chemistry and Biology, Mary Ellen's specialties are flowers, native plants, and herbs.