By Barb Ambrose
October 19, 2021 (San Diego) -- Sunny San Diego is the perfect spot to harness the sun’s power and light up your home’s exterior. Why go solar? Because solar lights are energy-efficient, economical, and free you from electrical outlets. They also add beauty while saving you money on your electric bill. Here are some ideas for using solar lighting to help your home’s exterior shine.
1. Wall Mounts
Photo, right: Source
Wall-mounted solar lights have come a long way in recent years, both in functionality and design. Decorative sconces, lanterns, or track lights can light up your porch, fence, or wall. They also increase your home’s security by shining a light on anyone walking onto your property. Some of these models have a separate solar panel that you place in direct sunlight, and these are a good option for lights under a porch overhang.
A big benefit of these eco-friendly wall features: they don’t attract as many bugs. Solar lights emit a narrower spectrum of light and less heat, so insects aren’t as attracted to them.
2. Walkways and Pathways
Photo, left: Source
Brighten your driveways, paths, and walkways with solar stake lights. These lights are pleasing to the eye and easy on the wallet, plus they’re easy to install. Stake lights are on spikes and have a small solar cell on top. Place them in the ground along a path or anywhere you want a point of light. They’re easy to move if you change your mind or need a better spot for direct sunlight. Many models feature auto on/off at dusk and daylight.
Photo, right: source
There are so many ways to use solar lights in your deck or patio design. Accent lights on railings or posts are a classic, always-in-style choice. Post cap lights are trending in the deck design world, and they add elegance and eliminate the need for wall or post mounts. Up the festive factor with color-changing LED strip lights along the edge of your deck or deck railings. Make getting to your deck safer with stair lights. Mount these on the stair risers or along the sides to accent stairs and make them more accessible.
4. Spotlights for Exterior Features/Plants
Photo, left: Source
Make your garden glow long after dark with solar spotlights. Highlight trees, plants, or unique exterior features by placing these at the base. Play with the angle for the perfect illumination. Larger objects may need more than one spotlight. Silhouette an object by placing a light behind it, pointing it at an adjacent wall. This trick works well with large planters or sculpted shrubs. Color-changing lights can add drama and shift the mood for different occasions. Want to make your outdoor space even more eco-friendly? Incorporate native plants into your landscape, and show them off at night with solar lights.
5. String Lights
String some solar magic in your outdoor areas for instant ambiance and cheer. Solar-powered string lights are more versatile because they don’t need a power outlet. Hang twinkle lights in a pergola or between trees to add sparkle to the space. Globe lights above your patio or deck set an alfresco vibe. Any option along a fence, railing, or exterior wall can add warmth and coziness.
As more communities look for clean energy sources, you can join the trend by using solar lights. Do your part in going green by letting Mother Nature turn on the lights.
Barb Ambrose is a home stager and landscape design writer.She loves entertaining and playing in her backyard, but she despises yard work. She recently expanded her patio and added an outdoor kitchen so she has less grass to mow