How to Install Solar Landscape Lighting
Add the enchantment of lights to your yard with softly glowing solar landscape lighting. Easy to install, solar-powered lights need no external source of energy and come in a wide range of types, from floodlights to post toppers, and in designs to suit any garden style, from formal to whimsically casual. Here's what you need to know about installing a set of path lights in your backyard.
Choose your style
Before selecting your solar path lights kit, consider the style of your garden. For example, carriage lights complement classically formal yards while sleek stainless steel blend with contemporary landscapes. A carefully chosen set of lights will enhance your yard both night and day.
Solar lighting consists of a solar panel that collects energy from the sun and stores it in batteries that power light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs. Some kits operate with conventional solar batteries and others use rechargeable ones. Another difference to look for is the brightness of the light, which is determined by the number of LED bulbs in each unit. Fixtures with one LED bulb emit a paler glow, suitable for most decorative landscape purposes, than those with two, three or more, which are preferable when safety is a concern, such as when lighting steps and stairways.
Assemble the parts
Many kits come ready to install, while others require basic assembly. Follow product instructions carefully before placing these in the landscape.
Find the right spot
Because solar lights depend on sunlight to generate power, it's important to position them where they receive plenty of daylight, and about 2 to 2.5 metres away from shady trees and overhangs. Generally, eight hours of sunshine will provide six to eight hours of light.
To install, simply push the pronged unit into the ground, spacing each fixture about two to three metres apart. In heavy clay soils, you may need to dig a hole to accommodate the spike.
Solar lighting requires very little ongoing maintenance. Keep the solar panel clean and clear of debris and change traditional batteries annually or when light starts to fade. Rechargeable batteries should be replaced every two to three years.
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