Solar lights are an excellent way to make your outdoor spaces usable year-round, providing enhanced security and illuminating focal points in your garden.
Still, choosing outdoor lighting can be complex, with various power ratings, mounting systems and applications.
It’s also important to think about where you intend to install your solar lights, for example:
- Is the area exposed to sufficient sunlight?
- Are you close to roadways or busy car parking areas?
- Do you need a soft glow or a bold security floodlight?
- How will you attach your lights to the building?
This solar lighting buying guide from the professionals at Solight explains how to choose great lighting systems for your home.
Understanding Different Solar Lighting Categories
We divide our solar outdoor lights into four sections to make it easier to select the product you are looking for and compare different models:
- Garden Solar Lights: decorative lighting systems to make pathways and ponds safer, with gentle lighting perfect for entertaining outdoors.
- Solar Security Lights: high-performance lighting, with sensor activations to protect parking bays, homes and perimeters.
- Landscape Solar Lighting: precise lighting systems used to illuminate focal points and make a statement of your garden spaces.
- Solar Lights for Estates and Roadways: safety lighting used within residential estates and roadways for the protection of pedestrians and road users.
The right solar lighting for you will primarily depend on the reason you wish to install an advanced lighting system.
However, many of our attractive garden and landscape lights have in-built motion sensor technology, so they can double-up as a security system.
Wall Mounted vs Pole Mounted Solar Lights
Once you’ve narrowed down the category of solar lights you would like, the next consideration is around how you intend to install your lights. That decision may be obvious – if you are erecting estate lighting, you might require a pole-mounted light to cover a broad area while being out of reach from potential tampering.
You can look at images of each of our roadway lights in action to choose your preferred model or check the mounting height to ensure the lighting system meets your requirements. For example, the Camps Bay Solar Street Light can be mounted on a pole up to six metres high.
Other solar lights can be wall or fence mounted, depending on the unit’s weight.
The Mars 5 Solar Wall Light is a stunning contemporary cube-shaped light, suitable for walls or fences, or the Uranus Solar Barn Light is perfect for installing along a boundary wall.
A unique feature of solar outdoor lights is that they operate entirely on solar power, so you can place your lighting system almost anywhere that you like – provided there is at least some natural light to recharge the commercial-grade battery.
When you have chosen the right spot, the installation is straightforward, and your lights will be charged and ready to go quickly.
Solar Lighting System Controls
There are several options when it comes to deciding how you’d like to control your solar lights:
- Manual switches are great for garden lighting, so you can turn your solar lights on and off as and when you need them.
- Automatic timers allow you to specify the times you’d like your lights to turn on or off, as a superior security feature.
- Lighting sensors mean that some solar light models will turn on independently when they recognise low-light levels as dusk falls.
- PIRs are security sensors, triggering a floodlight immediately when any movement is detected.
- Remote solar lighting controls mean you can activate or turn off your lights from inside your property without needing to venture out in poor weather.
Most Solight models come with a range of control options, so you don’t have to choose between them.
Both our 30W and 40W Barn Light models come with a fully-functioned remote control. The ALS technology in each unit means the light will step down the brightness as the charge depletes, helping the battery run for up to ten days, even in cloudy conditions.
Different Styles of Solar Lighting
Your choice of solar lights will likely be influenced by the style and appearance you aspire to, and contemporary garden lights come in a huge array of sizes and designs.
Among our best-selling decorative garden lights, the Pearl models have a smooth, round diecast aluminium body, which looks elegant and discreet in landscaped outdoor areas.
Ideal for bracketing pathways, drawing attention to water features and bringing a little magic to your garden, the Pearl 1 is a more petite light, often mounted on top of walls, and the Pearl 2 is a taller, slimmer design.
If you live in a modern, minimalistic property and would like to replicate that theme outdoors, we recommend the Mirage 1 Solar Garden Lights. A pack of two slim-line, freestanding cubic lights come equipped with stakes for installation at ground height. The slick aluminium alloy body is fully IP65 waterproof rated, so suitable anywhere within your grounds.
Choosing a Powerful Solar Security Lighting System
Solar lights operate seamlessly as a security system, without any risk of cut wires or power outages, rendering your lights redundant.
The daily charge during the daylight ensures that professional quality batteries work flawlessly, with automatic sensors to flood your parking bay, garage, garden or pool area with light to deter intruders.
If you’re looking for the most powerful security lighting possible, there are several factors to consider:
- TCS battery technology is optimal for security lights, protecting the Lithium battery from high temperatures to increase durability.
- A mixture of always-on and motion activations give you flexibility about controlling your lights – you may wish to switch them off when entertaining.
- Adjustable angles are preferable if you want to direct your lighting to specific areas of your perimeter or illuminate gates, doors or windows.
- PIR sensors work at different depths, so a sensor that performs at five to ten metres, for example, will act instantly if there is any movement within that diameter.
The amount of choice can make it difficult to narrow down your decisions, but we hope that you’ll have a much better idea about the solar lights that meet your needs by working through this buying guide.