Solar Garden Lights

Use Solar Garden Lights - for foolproof garden lighting.

Solar lights are great for lighting your landscape and garden with very little maintenance and installation.

Illuminating your landscape and garden with solar lights is a great way to enjoy your backyard after the sun goes down.

There is something so appealing about sitting around a softly lit patio or deck, entertaining with good friends and good wine. Read more about Outdoor entertaining here...

Pictures below is a solar lantern - there is a panel on the top that soaks up the sun all day , and then lights up the garden at night.

Solar lights are very popular for lighting yards and gardens. And for good reason - They're virtually maintenance free, easy to install,cost nothing to run, and are also "green" in that they do not use anything but solar power.

One of the drawbacks for solar garden lighting is that they need to  be placed in an area that receives a lot of sunlight during the day. The lights draw energy from the sun during the day - to light up your back yard garden at night.

Depending on the amount of sunlight the solar lights get  during the day, they can provide 6 to 12 hours of light in the evening.

These lights are available in a variety of styles. You can buy hanging solar lights, spotlights, solar patio lights, and even decorative lights such as solar frogs, solar gnomes, and other such creatures.

Benefits of using solar

  • No maintenance is required except for occasional cleaning of the light panel to keep it free of dust and dirt, and to allow the sun to re-energize the light.
  •  They are very easy to install. Just place the light in the yard or garden in the sunlight and that’s it!… wiring needed.
  • Solar gives off a faint glow that can light up a small area that is perfect decor for parties outside. ( Plant in your container garden for a soft glow)
  • Solar landscape lights can be great way to light your yard cost efficiently and easily.
  • Solar is a good alternative to electric lighting systems.
  • Solar garden lighting can add beauty and charm to your home when done properly.
  • Solar lights are available in so many styles so it's easy to find some that will match your look and feel in the garden.

Create a lighting plan

Create your garden and landscaping light plan

This can be a very simple plan that you sketch on paper.Take some time to think about how you use your backyard or front yard space,what kind of mood you want to create, and how much light you need in each area. Decide what spaces - if any -will be lit with electricity .

-Walk around your yard and garden and look for spots that need illumination , like garden paths , entry way and door ways, steps, Then look  areas to highlight like a Japanese maple or for objects that you want to feature like a garden sculpture. Japansese Garden design is a great place for soft lighting.

-Patios and decks are usually enhanced with solar garden lights.

-Think about the shadows and light effects on the parts of the landscape that are lit.You can get some pretty cool effects with lighting.

-Solar lights are not as bright as low voltage lighting – so take this into consideration if you need to provide good lighting for  steps , sidewalks and stairways.

Things that work

Place your garden lights in a random pattern.The number of lights and the distance between the lights can change the overall effect. A good design rule is to place the lights closer together rather than far apart. This of course will depend on the area that you want to light. Place the lights randomly for a more casual effect.

Move the lighting around to meet the needs of the occasion.A benefit of the solar garden lights is that you can place the lights in the garden - observe it at night and change the design and pattern of the lights if you need to.

You can also easily change the lighting placement temporarily for special occasions like an outdoor wedding that lasts until after sundown. Here is an opportunity to switch the solar lights around to focus on the wedding party tent or other temporary seating areas. 

Light up the walkways - obvious 

Use multiple types of lights.Create a dramatic atmosphere adding other types of outdoor lighting with your solar ones. Candles, tiki torches,a string of light bulbs in the trees, or moonlight !

Common mistakes

One of the mistakes that some gardeners and homeowners make when they first install solar lights , is to line the lights up in long neat row- like marching soldiers. I personally think this is too rigid and in most cases looks like an airport landing strip.(there are some exceptions)


Another mistake is to over estimate the mount of light from solar. Test a few areas out before moving forward with the full plan.

When to call in the professional

If you have a large backyard or front yard landscaping/lighting project , I would recommend that you seek out lighting professionals.That will save you time and will get you the best ideas with out the trial and error mistakes that can also cost you money.

If your lighting needs are on a smaller scale , then go for it.

Use these lighting tips and ideas to create your own outdoor nighttime oasis. 

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