Solar landscape lighting and the use of solar outdoor lights can dramatically increase the aesthetic value of any landscape project. They are environment friendly and enhance the beauty of the gardens. Solar landscape lights are designed for accenting driveways, pathways and steps. Made of quality components and durable materials the array of solar lights are more productive than the conventional ones. These are perfect for security and safety, reliable and are easy to install. They are operational at considerably low energy cost, are versatile and can be installed practically anywhere.
Considering the various benefits and advantages of solar lighting system, many would be inclined to purchase such units. But prior to buying and installing solar landscape lights, certain aspects need to be taken into account.
It is important to consider location and the geography of the surrounding area when selecting the appropriate lighting system. The key factor for a light application is that the Photovoltaic Solar Panel used to charge the battery is to be placed in an area which receives abundant sunlight. Shading of the solar panel by landscape features or other obstructions (such as trees, buildings etc.) negatively influences the battery charging and consequently hampers functioning. If the yard is full of trees or does not receive sufficient sun light due to surrounding buildings, the solar landscape light will not function for the specified duration.
Solar lights generally function for 8 to 10 hours. But during winter season, its operational timing varies. The Photovoltaic solar panels are sensitive and produce electric current when exposed to sun light. Even on overcast days, when there is very little direct sunlight, the charger often picks up enough power to produce light. The intensity of the battery charger can be maximized by optimizing the tilt angle of the panel in relation to sun. In the northern hemisphere the solar panels should face south while in the southern hemisphere, the solar panels should face true north. For proper set-up of such a system it is advisable to consult experts and take their suggestions and guidelines for a trouble-free installation. If possible, a drawing of the area and the objects for lighting should be sent to the technicians in advance for proper recommendations on installation.
Flexible solar panels are recommended as they are light weight. They are inexpensive, are highly portable and can be installed at locations where space is an issue. Many manufacturers integrate the PV cell to the light fixtures. This will not work if the fixture is placed under the shade of a large tree or under a bush. Models having separate PV modules allow them to function better by getting maximum sunlight.
Buying low priced solar landscape light system should be avoided as they offer poor light. Bulbs in these fixtures burn out quickly and do not produce sufficient light. The lead acid batteries are difficult to recharge and have short life expectancy. It is advisable to go for Led light bulbs and nickel – cadmium or nickel – metal – hydride batteries. The led bulbs produce brighter light, use less energy and lasts longer than the old incandescent bulbs. The new batteries take and hold charge much better than old lead acid units.
Another important aspect to contemplate is the availability of replacement bulbs and batteries from the store or the manufacturer from where the purchase was made. It is useless to install solar lighting system that can not be successfully maintained for sustained operation. Selection of fixtures which blend with garden or landscape needs to seriously planned and decided.
The purchase price should not be the deciding factor of such lighting system. The quality products come with good accessories, are long lasting, are backed up by warranty against malfunctioning and most importantly, they are supported by competent technical specialists. The low priced solar landscape lighting systems may lack the benefits and advantages of highly priced quality units.