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What are Solar Outdoor Lights?

B. Miller
B. Miller

Solar outdoor lights are a type of decorative and functional home lighting that is placed outside, and which generates its own power. Instead, they typically feature small solar panels; these solar panels charge while they are in the sun during the day, and then will illuminate at night. Some solar outdoor lights come on automatically at the end of the day, while others will feature an on/off switch like other types of lighting. Some of the most common types of solar lights for the outside of a home include patio lights that can line a sidewalk, decorative strands of lights to be hung on the porch or in trees, or even larger lamp post or wall lights.

Some of the most common solar outdoor lights are for the sidewalk or patio area. These are low lights that are available in many different styles; in most cases, they are sold in a pack of two to six lights per box, and will each feature an individual solar panel. They may simply be placed in the ground without the need to run any wires, and in general, these lights come on automatically at dusk and will stay on all night. As with most solar lights, they often do not throw as much light as more traditional electric lights, but they are typically functional enough to serve their intended purpose.

Woman with a flower
Woman with a flower

Decorative solar outdoor lights are also available in a number of different shapes, and will typically come in a long strand of lights similar to lights for a Christmas tree. These typically feature one solar panel, mounted on a stake that can be placed in the ground, to power the entire strand. For this reason it is not often possible to connect these lights together. They can be a great way to add decor to the outside of a home without using extra electricity or needing to install an outdoor plug; some table umbrellas for outdoor patio sets will also feature solar lights on the inside of the umbrella to help light the table.

More functional solar outdoor lights exist as well, such as in a lamp post to place at the end of the driveway, or a wall-mounted light to place next to the front door. These tend to be more expensive, and again, may not throw as much light as a more traditional light fixture. They are much more energy efficient, however, and offer another option for home improvement.

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