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Looking to illuminate your landscaping, walkways or garden pathways? Solar-powered house lights offer an excellent option for lighting an abundance of outdoor spaces while conserving energy. Learn about the different types of solar lights for the house from Batteries Plus.

What is Solar Lighting?

An incredibly economical form of energy, solar lighting encompasses a large variety of portable light fixtures   comprised of LED lamps, rechargeable batteries and photovoltaic solar panels. Over the past several years, solar lighting options have significantly increased due to their more environmentally friendly and cost-effective benefits. The energy captured by solar lighting technology can be used for a wide array of home lighting purposes such as security lighting, pathway lighting, walkway lighting and lamp post lighting.

How Outdoor Solar Lights Work

Whether you're searching for solar bulbs for the home or exterior solar lighting solutions, all types of solar energy essentially work the same way. Solar panels of varying sizes collect energy and convert it into solar lighting. Using photovoltaic cells that soak up energy from the sun during the day, solar lighting systems create and store their own sources of power. Their batteries then store the power captured by the sun, and solar LED lights for homes turn on whenever their internal sensors detect that darkness has fallen.

Types of Home Solar Lights

With so many solar lighting options to choose from, narrowing down your search for the right solar lights for your home might seem overwhelming. Understanding the basic differences between the most common types of home solar lights may be helpful:

Garden Lights

Traditionally used to add an attractive glow to garden areas and other landscaping focal points, garden lights create an appealing glow that accentuates the outdoor space. Unlike bright spotlights and task lights, solar garden lights usually have a lower level of illumination for a soft yet welcoming ambiance.

Solar Path Lights

Typically used to illuminate driveways, walkways and pathways, solar path lights brighten outdoor spaces while providing an extra sense of safety. Much of the light produced by solar path lights is focused downwards to effectively illuminate smaller sections of walkways.

Solar Spotlights

Usually the brightest types of home solar lights, solar spotlights are often used to add extra security to a home. They can be configured in different ways to accommodate the size and layout of any outdoor space. Solar spotlights can also be configured to focus the lighting exactly where you need it most.

Security Lights

These solar-powered house lights are often used in conjunction with solar spotlights to increase a home's safety and security. Motion-sensing security lights illuminate dark areas and detect intruders. They're typically installed on entryways and driveways.

Benefits of Solar Lighting

These outdoor lighting solutions are easy to install and maintain. One of the most convenient perks of solar lighting is that it doesn't require hardwiring. Solar-powered house lights can be a lifesaver when access to electrical outlets isn't available, too.

Solar lights for the house are:

  •   Self-powered
  •   Self-regulated
  •   Easy to install
  •   Virtually maintenance-free
  •   Energy efficient
  •   Cost-effective

Light key areas of your home with greater convenience and less hassle with outdoor solar-powered house lights. If you're ready to introduce some solar lighting without going completely solar, check out the alternative lighting options at Batteries Plus. We carry a large selection of energy-efficient LED light bulbs and outdoor bulbs in cool and soft colors for the look and lighting you want.

Solar Light FAQs

Start by deciding how much light you need. If you're looking for something subtle, accent lights are your best best. Accent lights come in a number of different styles. Solar path lights are a brighter option, perfect for lighting a path or driveway. Some can be staked in the ground, while other solar path lights utilize brackets or hooks so that you can hang them. A solar spotlight can be used to highlight something specific like a tree or garden sculpture.

A major advantage of using solar lighting outdoors is that they cost nothing to operate. Solar lights don't require electricity for power, so this can save you money in the long term. The initial cost for a quality solar landscape fixture can be high, but this cost is typically recouped over time as you pay nothing in energy costs to run the lights.

Although solar lights get their energy from the sun, they still require batteries in order to store that energy for later use. Solar lights typically use either AA size NiCad(Nickel Cadmium) 1.2 V / 500 to 900mA batteries or AA size NiMH (Nickel Metal Hydride) 1.2 V /1000 to 2000mA batteries.

One thing to note: nickel-metal hydride batteries (NiMH) will have up to three times more capacity than the same size Nickel-cadmium (NiCd) battery, meaning they are capable of lasting longer and are more reliable.

After 1-2 years (or a matter of months in some cases) it is quite normal to see their performance decline.

Solar lights require about 8 hours of sun per day. If your yard is too shady, you can invest in a remote photovoltaic panel, which can be installed on your roof or placed in another sunny location and then wired to the lights throughout your yard. Another option is to look for solar lights with advanced circuitry designed to help collect a solar charge even when the sky is overcast.

  • Pay attention to what the lights are made of. High-grade glass panels are a good choice, because they won't crack or turn cloudy.
  • The more LEDs in each solar light, the brighter it will be. Some will have as little as 4 LEDs, while others may have as many as 16.
  • Solar lights featuring an "all-weather" housing or that have their batteries sealed in silicone are made to resist moisture and will last longer.
  • Look for solar lights that feature reflectors which reflect additional sunlight toward the panel to help boost their performance.
  • If you want to make your batteries last longer, look for solar lights with on and off switches, so you can use your solar lights only when you need them.