Checking Up on Solar Patio Lights
You have a nice patio and you should enjoy it. Perhaps you have some nice patio furniture and like to sit out and relax after a long day’s work. Maybe you want to cook dinner on the barbeque grill and have a nice dinner on the outdoor table. Well, that works fine, during the day, but once it gets dark, you can no longer use that space – unless you have lights.
There are a number of different options for lighting your patio. You could have an electrician come out and install some expensive lamp posts which will do a good job of lighting the area. Perhaps you can try to hook up some low voltage lighting that you can buy at your local home improvement store. Another less expensive option is to install Solar patio lights .
Solar patio lights are designed to store the sun’s rays in a photovoltaic cell and then emit light once it gets dark. Obviously, you need to put them in an area where they will be exposed to sun as much as possible. If there are big trees around your patio, blocking the sun, the lights won’t work very well. If you happen to live in an area that gets a lot of sun, then, solar patio lights may be a good solution for your patio lighting needs.
You can purchase solar patio lights individually or as part of a set. Each light is self-contained and requires no electricity. There are many different designs and performance varies by brand and price. The more expensive the unit, the more likely it is going to work well. Unfortunately, there are many inferior models of solar patio lights that only stay on for a few minutes and while they are on, give off a very weak beam of light.
So, how do you decide if solar lights are right for you. Right off the bat, don’t expect solar lights to perform anything like a regular light powered by electricity. Solar technology has come a long way in recent years, but it is no match for the good old light bulb. Instead of trying to really light up your patio, you would be better off using solar lights as accent lights. They make for a good lighting choice if you want to hilight some plants around your patio or maybe spotlight a concrete statue.
Solar lights come in various forms. There are small solar lights which come on stakes that you can put every few feet around your patio or between some plants and trees. These usually come in sets of 4 or 8 and can work well under favorable conditions. You may need quite a few of these lights to light up your patio and the area around it. Most of these type of solar patio lights have a swivel head which you can adjust to aim the light in the most appropriate direction.
Another type of solar light comes in the form of a lantern. This light is designed to be hung from a stand or maybe suspended from a tree or other object. Small stands are usually provided as part of the original lighting kit, but, you can also buy taller, more elaborate stands. Hanging a solar patio light at eye level or slightly above is best for maximum illumination. Too close to the ground and the light does not have a chance to spread out across the area. These lights are a little more expensive than the stake lights, but they also perform better over time.
At the top of the solar patio lights are individual lamp post type units that give off the most light. These usually feature a series of LED lights with a highly polished reflector. They are made to store enough power and be able to disperse that power over a number of hours.
Whatever solar patio lights you choose, make sure they get plenty of sunlight, don’t use in critical applications and place them strategically around your patio.