Tag Archives: landscape lighting

How to Maintain Solar Lights

Maintaining solar yard lights is a reasonably easy and worry-free proposition. Once you have your grand set-up of solar lights and lamps installed and ready for use, just bask in the eye-candy for a couple of nights.  Then, however, start thinking about how you need to go about taking care of them.

First, after a good rain, it’s a good idea to give the exposed lights a quick checking-over. While almost all are made of water-proof material and are supposed to be water-tight, there are exceptions. Also, during drier periods, make it a point to periodically clean excess dust/soot off of the light enclosure, and especially the solar panel covering.

If you notice that one of them is not working at night, do not be quick to throw it away.  It could be something as simple as a defective battery, or possibly one that did not absorb enough sunlight. As a matter of fact, never throw them away—even if they are dead beyond repair. This is especially true of the battery—by throwing it away, you are causing more damage to the environment than you are saving it.

Thorough cleaning

A few times a year, a more thorough cleaning is recommended. Refer to the instruction manual (if you have not lost it, that is). In the event you did misplace it, here are some universal steps that apply to nearly every solar light/lamp:

  • Disassemble the light—this is typically done via taking out screws or just twisting certain parts.
  • Take the batteries out (if they come out). If they don’t, you will need to clean around the edges with a slightly damp cloth—and never, ever put the fixture in water before removing the batteries and all circuitry.
  • If the battery comes out, make sure the battery, its contact leads, and the leads attached to the light fixture are free from oxidation (which typically is a grayish, flaky substance). If you find any, very gently scrub it off using a small, soft brush.
  • Clean the non-electrical parts with warm, soapy water to cleanse it of bugs and dirt, dry with a soft cloth, and let the open parts sit-out to dry even more before returning them to their place in the garden or lawn.

Energy Saving Tips in Setting-up Landscape Lighting

Thinking about setting up landscape lights but worried about how much energy it would consume?  Fret no more.  This article will help you turn your yard into a night time oasis without worrying about spending too much on electricity bills, and there is a good chance that you will also increase the value of your home.

Read on to learn how to illuminate your yard without worrying about power consumption.

•Add outdoor landscape lighting only when necessary – you don’t need to light up your entire garden now do you?  Add lights ONLY to places you want to illuminate, whether it is a flower bed or a focal point in your garden.  Besides, over-lighting your yard will turn it into an absolute eyesore.

•Opt for energy saving options – to light garden paths or garden spaces, you can choose solar lights.  Solar lights are a perfect alternative to high voltage light fixtures as they do not need to be wired to your home line voltage.  Choose the type with daylight sensors so they automatically turn on when the sun goes down.  You can also opt for low voltage systems.  These inexpensive light systems come in easy to use kits and they consume less power as they use only LED bulbs which consume 80 percent lesser than incandescent bulbs.

•For spotlighting, uplighting or other lighting techniques which highlight the focal points of your garden, you can opt for fluorescent or HID lights.  Contrary to what most believes, they emit large amounts of light with lesser amount of light compared to incandescent bulbs.  Plus, they’re more durable than their incandescent counterparts.

If you’re opting to illuminate your yard for security reasons, go for motion sensing lights.  These lights only go on when it senses movement.  You can place them where potential trespassers are most likely to pass and this can be an energy saving alternative to floodlights.

Using Solar Lights Effectively

The huge improvements that have been made in solar garden lights in recent years are nothing short of amazing for people who are trying to light their landscapes.  Just a few short years ago solar lights only worked under the best of circumstances.  In the winter months or on overcast days, many of the light fixtures would dim or even completely turn off before the night was over.  But now, with newer, more effective solar cells and batteries, solar lights can work in many areas where they couldn’t before.  If you want to make the most of your solar garden lights, make use of some of these easy tips.

One thing that outdoor solar lighting allows you to do is avoid having to use a professional landscape designer.  In traditional landscape lighting design, you have to place a transformer somewhere in your yard and determine where to run cables from there.  Because of this, wherever you placed lights tended to be pretty permanent.  If you wanted to move the lights you would have to move the cables or possibly even buy a new transformer or call an electrician to move it.

Now, instead of hiring someone else, the ease of installation of solar powered lights allows you to place them where you want and if you don’t like the way they look or they don’t work as well as they might somewhere else, you simply move them.  This removes a lot of the hassle from laying out your design scheme.

If you are trying to effectively use solar lights, also make sure not to skimp and buy cheap lights.  Cheap lights have longevity issues and use cheaper, less advanced solar cells and batteries that can result in the lights being dimmer and not lasting the whole night.  If you really want to make the most of your lighting system, buy some more expensive lights now as an investment and enjoy them for years to come instead of saving a few dollars now and being upset with your purchase later.

Today’s solar garden lights are a very efficient and cost-effective way to light your lawn.  Advanced solar cells and batteries can charge the lights up so that they stay lit all night long, removing many of the problems older models had.  Use quality lights and your imagination to place the lights for the most effectively lighting in your garden.