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solar lighting range

Solar Lighting Buyer's Guide

With the recent launch of our new range of solar lights that we’ve added to our growing outdoor lighting collection, we thought it would be useful to put together a guide to help you choose the right solar lights for your backyard.

Solar lights are a great alternative to both 240v and low voltage outdoor lighting options. By using the power of the sun you can reduce your carbon footprint, and your electricity bill!

As always you can contact our friendly lighting specialists if you have any questions or need help choosing the perfect light for your home or business.

In this guide, we will explore the advantages of solar lighting, what to consider before making a purchase, where to use solar lights, how to install them, and take a closer look at the different types available today.

Better than Before: More Reliable & Higher-Quality

solar wall light

When they were first launched in Australia solar lights were more of a novelty product, and early models struggled with build-quality and reliability issues, however we are pleased to see that has now changed. There are now a number of high-quality Australian solar lighting brands producing some innovative lights for both domestic and commercial uses (of course there’s still some low-quality cheap products we recommend you steer clear of).

Advantages of Solar Lights:

  • Energy Efficient:
    Solar lights work by converting sunlight into electricity, making them energy-efficient and cost-effective.

  • Environmentally Friendly:
    Because solar lights use the sun rather than 240v electricity which can often come from non-renewable sources, they are an environmentally friendly option. You’ll feel good when sitting in your backyard illuminated by solar lights doing your bit to create a greener planet.

  • Cost Savings:
    Solar lights require minimal maintenance and no electricity bills which means you save money! It is true that they can cost a little more to purchase, however over their lifetime they offer significant cost savings.

  • Easy Installation:
    No wires required! Most solar lights are standalone lights, and don’t require an electrician to install. DIY lights can save you a significant amount of money, and can be installed in places where it would be expensive and/or difficult to run 12v or 240v cables.

solar lighting options

What to Look for Before Purchasing

  • Quality and Durability:
    Look for solar lights made from high-quality materials that can withstand outdoor elements. Weatherproofing (read our guide to IP waterproof ratings) and corrosion resistance are essential features, ensuring longevity and optimal performance. Here at Discount Lighting we only sell quality Australian brands, with local warranty and ongoing aftersales support.

  • Brightness and Illumination:
    Consider the desired brightness level and the area you intend to illuminate. Check the number of lumens the light emits to understand how bight the light will be, and consider the colour temperature as this will affect how ‘white’ the light is.

  • Battery Capacity and Backup:
    Solar lights rely on batteries to store energy for use during the night. It’s worth choosing models with larger battery capacities to ensure they last through the evening and in to the night. Some lights also offer backup power options for prolonged cloudy periods.

  • Portability:
    Many solar lights are portable and can be moved around your backyard or outdoor entertaining areas. If portability is important to you make sure to choose a standalone model.

  • Motion Sensors and Other Settings:
    Some lights come with integrated motion sensors or timers to allow you to use them while you are away (for example as a security light) or to light up your path or driveway when someone comes near your home.

Where to Use Solar Lights

  • Pathways and Driveways:
    Solar bollard lights are an excellent choice to create bright (and safe) pathways, driveways, and garden borders.

  • Security and Safety:
    Solar security lights provide enhanced security around your property. They often feature motion sensors to detect movement from intruders (or visiting possums!).

  • Gardens and Landscapes:
    Solar garden lights add charm and create a warm ambiance in your outdoor spaces. They come in various designs and colours, allowing you to create enchanting lighting displays while showcasing your garden's beauty. Solar spike lights and solar lanterns are two of our most popular types of solar lights.

  • Festive Decorations:
    Solar fairy lights add a touch of ‘magic’ to outdoor gatherings and festive occasions. They can be draped on trees, wrapped around pergolas, or used to adorn patio spaces, providing a magical atmosphere.

How to Install Solar Lights:

  • Decide where to install: 
    Choose the right spot for your solar lights, ensuring the solar panel is in the sun during the day to charge the battery before nightfall. Avoid shaded areas or locations obstructed by trees or buildings.

  • Mounting Options:
    Solar lights come with different mounting options, such as stakes, wall mounts, or brackets. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for the correct installation and secure mounting.

  • Charge the Batteries:
    Before installing your solar lights, ensure that the batteries are fully charged. Most solar lights have an on/off switch or a tab to activate the battery. Allow the lights to charge in direct sunlight for at least 24 hours before using them.

  • Maintenance and Care:
    Regularly clean the solar panels to remove dirt, as they can affect the efficiency of the lights. Check the batteries periodically and replace them if necessary.

Different Types of Solar Lighting:

  • Solar Bollard Lights:
    These lights are designed to illuminate pathways, driveways, and garden borders. They are available in various heights and styles, providing both practicality and aesthetics.

  • Solar Security Lights:
    Equipped with motion sensors, these lights offer added security by illuminating areas when movement is detected. They are ideal for entryways, garages, and dark corners around your property.

  • Solar Garden Lights:
    These lights enhance the beauty of your garden by casting a soft glow on plants, flowers, and features. They come in various designs, including stake lights, string lights, and lanterns.

  • Solar Fairy Lights:
    Perfect for festive occasions, solar fairy lights create a magical ambiance in outdoor spaces. They are available in different lengths and colours, adding a touch of enchantment to your celebrations.

We hope you found our solar lighting buyers guide helpful. We recommend browsing our large (& growing) collection of solar lights to get further inspiration and ideas to illuminate your garden and outdoor areas with the power of the sun!

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