Using the sun for energy, solar path lights are an attractive way to light up a walkway or garden. Check out these three options, which have impressive energy at a reasonable price point.
Many homeowners like to enjoy the warmer months by entertaining in the backyard, dining on the patio, and playing lawn games. Solar path lights add the extra brightness to your outdoor space that allows these sorts of festivities to continue long after the sun sets. One of the main advantages of choosing solar path lights is that they won’t drive up your utility bill. Drawing photovoltaic energy directly from the sun, the lights run solely off of solar power, either via rechargeable battery or remote solar panel. Additionally, the best solar path lights combine function with the form: They enhance a property’s curb appeal, whether lining the driveway or illuminating a winding garden path.
As you might assume, solar path lights are most effective in areas with lots of direct sunlight, where they can soak up the sun’s rays for at least eight hours per day. If the lights are in a relatively shady spot, you can try gathering adequate energy by connecting to a photovoltaic panel on the roof, which draws a charge from direct sunlight and transmits it to the solar lights on the ground. While solar lights may not shine quite as brightly for these homeowners with substantial tree coverage on their properties (or for those who live in rainy climates) as they do in sun-drenched areas, they’ll still offer pleasant subtle brightness at nighttime at no cost to you.
FEATURES AND FUNCTIONS
When shopping at a local hardware store, homeowners should consider a number of factors when selecting the best solar path lights for their property.
• Charge: A majority of options on the market have LED (light emitting diode) lights, which tend to hold a longer and brighter charge than incandescent and fluorescent bulbs. Consumers can typically find the fully-charged run time on the manufacturer’s box.
• Color: Most solar path systems emit a soft white or amber-colored light; in fact, amber lights tend to use less energy and last longer than their white-light counterparts. Colored lights in hues like red, green, and blue are another playful option to consider.
• Brightness: In terms of brightness, the average solar path light delivers an effect similar to a 40-watt light bulb, although stronger options are also available for a slightly higher price. The consumer can this information on the manufacturer’s box listed in “lumens “—a measure of visible brightness. Most solar panel lights have a lumens level of 1 to 30; the higher the number, the brighter the light bulb.
• Design: As for appearance, solar path lights are available in a wide variety of styles. Whether you prefer classic craftsman designs, Victorian vibes, ethereal-looking orbs, or a quirky custom look, there’s a light on the market to suit your taste. For a more high-tech lighting solution, consider buying motion-activated lights, or ones that glow in a flickering pattern like candles.