Installing outdoor lighting can present many challenges. In addition to the cost of lighting, you usually need to hire a licensed electrician to do the installation. In addition, you need to create the right arrangement.
Accent lights add a pleasant glow to your garden. Their relatively low level of illumination is meant to detail a specific spot, not to illuminate an object or light a path. Because of their low light output, accent garden lights tend to have a longer run time than other types of solar lights. A quality accent light runs for many nights on a single charge.
Accent lights typically use efficient multicrystalline solar cells, which allow them to charge even on cloudy days or in partially shaded areas. Many accent lights use amber LEDs to create an even softer atmosphere than standard white LEDs. Some also “flicker” to simulate candlelight. Amber LEDs use less electricity than their white counterparts, allowing them to last even longer.
Accent lights can be used to mark “landscape hazards,” such as a large rock that can be tripped over at night, or as garden features. Compared to other lamp categories, accent lights have the lowest light output and are the most affordable.
As the name suggests, pathway lighting is meant to illuminate paths, walkways, driveway perimeters, or other small areas around the home and throughout the landscape. They are often used to guide the way up stairs or in dark areas. These lights typically come with pegs or hanging hooks to give the user a wide variety of placement options. Most are designed to focus their light downward.
These lights may also have on-off switches, a feature that allows the homeowner to store an electrical charge for an appropriate event and ensure the longest possible run time. Some models may offer options such as energy efficient, colored lenses or timers. Solar pathway lighting is a mid-range choice in terms of price and light output.
Task lights and spotlights are the brightest class of garden lights and usually carry the highest price tag. They are designed to cast a bright beam of light on plants, ornaments or entrances. A high quality light with good LEDs can produce an impressive amount of light.
Most task lights and spotlights are designed to be mounted in multiple ways and adjustable to shine in any direction. Often in different models, the solar panel can be mounted separately from the light, allowing you to place it where the sun will fall and the light where you need it.
Solar task lights and spotlights are generally the most durable class of solar lamps. While almost all solar lamps are weather and UV resistant, solar task lamps and spotlights are often more durable.
Solar lamps that use LEDs have another little-known advantage that makes them particularly well suited for use in the garden. As temperatures drop, LEDs generate even brighter light due to their solid-state design. In this respect, solar lamps outperform low-voltage outdoor lamps and compact fluorescent lamps, which operate less efficiently in very cold conditions. LEDs also have a lifespan of more than 100,000 hours compared to 2,000 to 3,000 hours for the average incandescent bulb.