Are Garden Solar Lights Any Good?

Last updated on October 23rd, 2023 at 08:54 pm

Solar garden lamps are more and more appreciated by gardeners and decorators. They are indeed objects which are very decorative and which thanks to their solar panel do not require any more connection as in the past. The first models, sold 5 or 6 years ago, were not very aesthetic. Things have changed a lot. What to think of these solar lamps and especially how to choose them?

Solar garden lamps,
With outdoor lights, and in particular solar garden lights, you can light up your whole garden or create more intimate atmospheres.

What is the purpose of a solar garden lamp?

Are Garden Solar Lights Any Good?

A solar garden lamp allows you to illuminate your garden or the outside of your house in an ecological, economical and aesthetic way. A solar garden lamp is equipped with a small solar panel and a small battery to give back light at night by leds.


There is a wide variety of outdoor solar lighting for gardens: solar beacons, solar bollards, solar garden lights, outdoor solar lights, solar pool lights, recessed solar spotlights and pucks.

Solar lights: really practical!

It’s clear, solar lamps have many advantages. If you want to light a path or a terrace, they could well become your best ally because they are extremely simple to install: you do not have any wire from your network since they are completely autonomous. The solar garden lights turn on automatically without your intervention.

The solar garden lamps work in all regions … only if you have exposed them to light during the day.


Tip: Going camping? Instead of burning gas lamps, disposable battery lamps or making a fire, which is not always possible to enjoy the evening, use solar garden lamps. Easy and light to carry, they bring you an intimate light without pollution or noise.

How to use a solar garden lamp?

How a solar lamp works
During the day, the sunlight is captured by the photovoltaic sensors integrated in the solar lamp. This energy is stored during the day and released at night to light up the LEDs of the solar lamp. You just have to choose places that are well visible and exposed to the sun, and therefore make sure that the solar collector is not in a shady area.

A pleasant garden is achieved through well-dosed lighting effects. Solar beacons, bollards, wall lights and solar spotlights will allow you to decorate your garden at night with solar energy with a wide variety of effects.

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This type of model of solar garden lamp, called, beacon is perfect for lighting pathways or beds. It is often sold in sets of six lamps.

Decorate and structure your garden with solar lamps

If you plant several solar lamps in visible rows, you create lines of light in your garden that dress it up after dark. You can take advantage of their automatic switching on and let these light markers appear when the daylight fades.

Waterproof, the solar beacon works even in cloudy weather thanks to its amorphous silicon technology.
The surface protecting the solar panel has an “anti-UV” treatment that prolongs the beacon’s useful life.
You should know that there are also solar lights in the form of animals, perfect for decorating bushes, flowerbeds, or any other outdoor place.

How a solar lamp saves energy:

By installing solar lights, your garden lighting does not consume any electricity from the grid; you save that much on your energy bill.

The installation of solar lamp in a garden: an ecological gesture if …
By consuming less energy, you also reduce greenhouse gas emissions, for the respect of our environment.

Solar lamps: really ecological?

It is quite advantageous to replace your traditional lamps by solar lamps. But be careful!

Numerous testimonies show us that it is necessary to choose a quality lamp. Most of the entry-level solar garden lamps sold cheaply become inefficient after 2 or 3 years of use. With such a long life, the ecological balance becomes negative.

Another nuisance to take into account is the light pollution that solar lamps can cause if they are constantly on, despite the fact that each one only lights a limited area. This is why you should choose models equipped with sensors that make them turn off or on automatically depending on the presence of a person.


How to choose the solar lamps

For your solar lamp to be effective, you will have to pay attention to :

  • that it illuminates enough with enough power (12 W or more),
  • that it has a sufficient autonomy: for example, from 11h to 20h in the summer and 2h30 in the winter after a day of load
  • that it has Leds
  • that it is water resistant (stainless steel), especially if it is outside and not under a greenhouse for example
  • that it has a solar panel with anti-UV treatment which prolongs its life
  • that it has a presence detector and turns off when there is no one there (anti light pollution)
  • that it has batteries that can be changed.

What to do with a garden lamp at the end of its life ?

The question arises especially for the first generation of garden lamps that reaches the end of its life and that must be recycled. These lamps are part of the objects which are considered as WEEE, electronic waste, which should not be thrown away with the normal garbage.

Garden lamps, be careful with the batteries
Be careful with the batteries of solar garden lamps because they may contain polluting metals. Bad point, on some models of lamps, it is impossible to change them. The duration of operation and the life of your lamp are then inevitably limited, most often to 500/1000 cycles charge – discharge. To avoid if possible.

How to choose and use a solar garden lamp?

To light up your outside, while saving a maximum of energy and participating in the protection of the environment, nothing is better than solar garden lamps. As their name indicates, they are powered by solar energy. Apart from their economic and ecological aspects, solar garden lamps have several important advantages. However, you must choose them well and use them wisely in order to take advantage of them.

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Selection Criteria of Outdoor Solar Lamp

There are several models of solar outdoor LED lights available in online stores. Each of them has its own properties. Some of them are more efficient than others, so it is worthwhile to adopt a special strategy to choose your outdoor solar lights. What should you do to avoid inconveniences?

Step 1: Find out the power and battery life of the solar garden lamp

A good quality solar garden lamp is one that does its job properly, i.e. outdoor lighting. Therefore, it is necessary to check the power and battery life of the solar garden lamp. For example, a solar LED floodlight can normally stay on for 11-20 hours in summer after 24 hours of charging. In winter, its battery life decreases, but it can work for at least 2.5 hours. How to get a good rendering? You should choose an outdoor LED light with a minimum power of 12 Watts.

Step 2: Check the resistance of the solar garden lighting to climatic aggressions and shocks

Weather aggression is the first enemy of external devices and garden lighting. Thus, you should prioritize the stainless steel solar garden light. It can withstand moisture, wind and hail. Despite the effects of these phenomena, it will not rust. For use inside the greenhouse, it is not necessary to have a lamp with a very high resistance to weather. The solar garden lamp is then already protected by walls.

Step 3: Prefer solar garden light models with presence detector

A good solar garden light is equipped with a motion detector. The solar lamp with sensor is activated only in the presence of human activity. Thus, it avoids light pollution and unnecessary energy expenditure.

Step 4: Opt for panels with UV protection

There are a multitude of solar garden lights on the market. The most effective models are those with UV protection. This type of solar garden light is more resistant than the others. For example, you can opt for a solar outdoor wall light or a solar garden bollard.

Step 5: Worry about the aesthetics of the garden and the solar garden light

A solar garden light provides another function, in addition to outdoor lighting. It is an excellent outdoor decoration. Thus, it is best to find a model that can match with all the objects that make up the garden, such as a beautiful solar LED garland. It is necessary to take into account the furniture and plants with which the solar lamp must be homogeneous. Attention, despite the importance to give to the aestheticism, it is necessary to be demanding as regards its robustness. Solar garden lights are both very solid and design.

Step 6: Find out about the quality of the solar garden light’s battery

Some manufacturers market solar garden lights with a non-rechargeable battery. To avoid unpleasant surprises, you should check this point before buying. It is also important to find out about its components. On the market, there are generators with polluting components, including metals. In general, they are easily discharged.

Where to install solar lights in the garden?

You have successfully chosen the right solar LED lights for your garden? Now it is time to install, use and maintain them. If their condition deteriorates over time, they need to be repaired.

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Tip 1: Choosing the location of my solar LED garden light

Considering the aesthetic functions of solar LED lights, their installation should not be done randomly. To create a harmonious set of light, it is best to place each LED light in a line. Once the sun goes down, the light beams will appear and decorate the plants. Technically, you should place the solar panels in well-lit areas, but away from an artificial light source (at nightfall, the lights may not be triggered by the light).

Tip 2: Installing my solar garden lighting

Installing a solar lamp in the garden is fairly simple. To start, you need to plant your solar spotlights to be pricked in the ground. Does the garden have a pool? You must embed the pavers at its edge. To perfect the installation of the solar outdoor light, it is best to opt for the series assembly.

Tip 3: Starting up the solar garden light

Once the outdoor solar light is properly installed, the next step is to turn it on. It has a power button that you need to press. It does not turn on? Repeat the operation several times until you get the expected results. If necessary, the installation must be rechecked.

Tip 4: Maintenance of solar LED garden lamp

Even if it is resistant, a solar garden lamp needs maintenance to last in time. The weather it is exposed to on a daily basis may accelerate its degeneration. Thus, it is necessary to regularly check its waterproofness. Solar garden lights must have a suitable protection rating. IP65 protects it from external solid elements and water splashes.

Systematic cleaning is also necessary to maintain its performance. Finally, it is important to check the battery power as often as possible. It is the most fragile part of the solar outdoor light, and it degrades faster than other parts. To ensure the longevity of the lamp, it is best to remove it in winter after a full charge. If it discharges completely, it may not work.

Tip 5: How to repair solar outdoor garden lighting

The solar LED lamp is not working properly anymore? No need to panic, it is easy to repair. It starts with cleaning the photovoltaic sensors. When dust accumulates on their surface, they can no longer power the generator normally. To do this, you need to use a sponge sprinkled with a little clear water. Then, recharge the battery with a charger that works with universal batteries that can be adapted to different formats. If the problem persists, remove the dirt that clogs the terminals, or change the batteries.


  • James Jones

    Meet James Jones, a passionate gardening writer whose words bloom with the wisdom of an experienced horticulturist. With a deep-rooted love for all things green, James has dedicated his life to sharing the art and science of gardening with the world. James's words have found their way into countless publications, and his gardening insights have inspired a new generation of green thumbs. His commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship shines through in every article he crafts.

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