Solar Powered Outdoor Lights: What to Consider

by Sally Hechter 03/24/2021

Image by Engin Akyurt from Pixabay

Solar powered outdoor lighting has been on the market for a long time, but only keeps getting better and more affordable. As demand for eco-friendly upgrades and lifestyle changes continues to grow, so do the options available. It is easy to find solar lights in a variety of shapes, sizes and styles to fit the specific need and aesthetic of your home exterior.

If you’re trying to decide if solar outdoor lighting is right for you, here are some important things to consider:

Energy and Budget Advantages

Energy efficiency is the key advantage to solar powered lights. By harnessing the power of the sun—a virtually inexhaustible resource—these outdoor lights are environmentally friendly and budget-conscious. Standard lighting systems can increase your energy costs and consumption and come with the added potential cost of professional repair in the future. With solar lights, there is little to no maintenance, allowing you to save on your energy bills and improve your home’s carbon footprint without an electrician.

Easy Installation

Solar lighting systems are less complex when it comes to operation and installation. Even DIY electrical lighting kits have multiple steps and pieces to configure and can also be difficult to scale. Adding more fixtures in the future will inevitably require adding or replacing power sources, which can be time-consuming and expensive. More advanced systems require professional expertise to install, maintain and repair. With most outdoor solar lighting, you simply need to place where desired. If you ever want to adjust or move your solar lights, it’s as simple as picking them up and putting them somewhere else.

Location and Lumens

It’s important to consider location when looking into solar lights. Solar lights produce fewer lumens (units of brightness) than halogen or LED bulbs, so no matter the size or amount they won’t be as bright as going electric. Another consideration for going solar for your outdoor lighting is that it’s not guaranteed to work in every space. If your yard, deck or porch is mostly shaded, you won’t get the same results as you would when placing solar lights in areas with full sunlight. If you live in a cloudy climate, your solar lights cannot absorb as much light as they would under clear skies. To address this, many solar lighting kits include panels separate from the actual light. This gives you the freedom to place the panels in locations more ideal for energy absorption. However, the need for perfect placement combined with the lower light output might mean a traditional low-voltage lighting system is better for your situation.

While it has several advantages, solar-powered outdoor lighting may not be perfect for your home. With lighting or eco-friendly alternatives of any kind, the choice is yours—and with technology always advancing, the more choices you will have.

About the Author

Sally Hechter

Sally Hechter is a realtor with Cummings & Co. Realtors, specializing in Harford, Baltimore, and Cecil Counties, as well as Baltimore City. Attributinginvaluable traits like patience, integrity, and a diligent work ethic to her accomplished real estate career, Sally prides herself on the personalized service she provides her clients from start to finish. Known as a connector, Sally believes that real estate is all about the relationship, not the transaction. In 1995, Sally developed an interest for real estate while managing properties in which she personally invested. In 2006, she turned her personal hobby into a career by becoming a licensed real estate agent in Maryland. Since then, she has been an independent realtor and also worked for RE/MAX American Dream. Sally joined Cummings & Co. Realtors in 2017. With a background in education, Sally believes in the value of learning current market trends, evolving with the business and consistently polishing her real estate expertise. Her designations and certifications include: •ABR, Accredited Buyer Representative •SRS, Seller Representative Specialist •Executive Club, RE/MAX American Dream, 2014, 2015 •100% Club, RE/MAX American Dream, 2016 •Peak Producer, Buffini & Company, 2013 •CDPE, Certified Distressed Property Education, 2009 – present •Harford County Association of Realtors, 2006 – present •National Association of Realtors, 2006 – present As a passionate community leader, Sally is on the alumnae executive board atMercy High School. She is also a founding member of the core development team of the Spark Family Ministry, that creates opportunities for families to be involved in the Church of St. Mark in Fallston, MD. Sally is a graduate of Towson University with a Bachelor of Science in mass communications. Born and raised in Maryland, she has lived in Baltimore City, Baltimore County, and currently resides in Harford County with her family. Sally enjoys doing anything outside, including kayaking, sailing, walking, and gardening.