If you’ve been in a hardware or home improvement store lately, you’ve probably seen outdoor solar lights on the shelves. These are great for adding a friendly glow to your home’s nighttime curb appeal and an excellent alternative to more costly, wired outdoor lighting.
You might be surprised to find out that the science behind solar power dates all the way back to 1839. And with advances in modern solar technology, outdoor solar lights can be found on the market for a relatively low cost.
How Do They Work?
The technology behind outdoor solar lighting is fairly straightforward:
- A small solar panel absorbs sunlight during the day and converts the light into power.
- A rechargeable battery stores the generated power.
- At night, a small electronic “eye” turns the light on, and the bulb inside (often a small LED bulb) draws its power from the battery.
- The light usually stays on until sunrise, and then the eye shuts the bulb off so the process can start over.
Often, you’ll find outdoor solar lights in the form of footpath lanterns and security lights. But if you look around, you’ll find outdoor solar lighting options for even the trendiest outdoor design. Some stylish solar lights we’ve found on the Web include solar lights that look like garden rocks or flowers, solar step lights that can mount on the side of your stairs or circular stepping-stone lights to plant flat into your lawn. You can also get floating solar lights for your pool in the summer and string LED lighting options for the winter season. Don’t forget that outdoor solar lights come without the expense and hassle of hard-wiring so it makes them not only cost-effective but easy to install.
Have you “solar-scaped” your home? Post a photo and let us know just how great it looks!