Solar garden lights


The practice of outdoor landscaping is greatly benefited by the use of solar powered lights. It provides increased flexibility in garden design. Hanging solar lanterns or lamp posts will provide excellent illumination during the night. These work by using the power from solar panels along with one or multiple rechargeable batteries. Electricity is generated from sunlight and the batteries get charged during the day. During night, the LED light is powered by the energy already stored in the batteries.

Here are some things to keep in mind when adding solar lights to your garden:

Tilt angle

Solar garden lights carry solar panels on top of them. Even though the weather and the geographic location affect the output of the solar panels, a few steps can better the lights’ performance. The panels can be charged to 100 percent by placing it such a place where it can take advantage of eight hours of uninterrupted sunlight. Special attention must be paid to roofs, walls or trees which can shade solar panels and thus lower output. A few garden solar lights can be tilted at an angle to make the most use of sun. The panels should face south.

Prior charging

Do not make the mistake of installing the solar panel lights directly after buying them. Charge the lights by placing them fully exposed to sunlight for approximately five cycles to 10 hours. The objective is to charge the battery to its full capacity. It is only after this period that the lights can last for about eight hours minimum.

Steer clear of artificial light sources

A light sensor automatically turns on and turns off the lights in a solar garden. The sensor works by detecting the ambient light levels. The switch is turned on at night after light levels dip below the sensor threshold. It will automatically be turned off at dawn. However, you must choose the site of the sensor with due care to make it work in a proper manner. When choosing the site, take care not to place it near artificial light sources like street or porch lighting.

Keep them clean

Debris must not be allowed to accumulate on the solar panel. Dirt encrusted solar panels will not fully charge the battery. The life of the battery will thus be shortened. Lights may also malfunction. The panel must be cleaned on a regular basis for the maintenance of high performance. Warm soapy water should be sprinkled and then rubbed off with a clean cloth. Snow also must be cleaned off the panel in winter. The battery must be replaced at every two years’ intervals to maintain maximum capacity. If your area has extreme weather conditions, it would be prudent to replace the battery once a year. The equipment can be exposed to the elements all around the year.

How solar yard lights workHOW LONG DO SOLAR GARDEN LIGHTS LAST?

Solar lights can last for many years if they are well maintained. To get the most for your money, it is better to go for a premium quality brand like SunPower and not whatever is available at a cheap price. You get what you pay for when it comes to solar technology.


Solar garden lights need exposure to a certain amount of sunlight every day in order to charge. Even on shady days, the solar panels will be able to charge, just not as well as they would on a very sunny day. It’s also important to think of placement when it comes to daily charging. Note that it’s better to add them to an area that gets some hours of direct sunlight followed by complete shade than to put them somewhere they will be in partial shade for the entire day.


Solar garden lights require rechargeable batteries to store the energy generated by the sun. Regular batteries won’t work for this type of technology. You’ll know it’s time to replace the batteries in your lights when they start looking dim even after charging all day.


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We are a San Diego-based, family-owned solar company. We have been an energy innovator since 2001 and can handle projects from small, rooftop solar panel additions to large-scale commercial microgrid systems. 

Our website is a great resource for your solar research. We’d also love to speak with you to answer any specific questions you have about your project. Click here to be contacted by an HES Solar representative, or simply dial us at 619-692-2015. We don’t use call centers so you’ll speak with a full-time HES Solar employee in California.

Robert Laverty

Senior Energy Consultant, Residential

Robert Laverty joined the HES team in the summer of 2018, bringing his ten years of solar design experience and his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Puget Sound with him. Robert is dedicated to finding solutions to help families produce and store electricity in order to reduce their reliance on grid power as well as help reduce their household’s carbon footprint. Robert’s experience as a newspaper editor as well as his involvement with the sustainability-focused Rocky Mountain Institute drives him to constantly seek out innovative ways to meet energy needs through renewable resources as well as helps him share those ideas with Southern California homeowners. When not at work or volunteering time with his church or community, Robert spends time with his wife and two sons or pursues his passion of fly fishing.

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