As the use of LED lights and solar cells continues to grow, so also does the opportunity for solar decorations in the yard. From solar-powered water fountains to solar-powered gnomes, there are creations for every age, taste, and time of day.
The solar garden lantern, though a staple of outdoor lighting, remains a top pick among solar products. The consumer now has a wide array of choices for styles and materials, not to mention pricing. Another common option is the use of a single solar panel for multiple lights, which allows for placement in areas once considered too shady for a lantern.
Solar string lights add nighttime festivity and can be placed almost anywhere as long as the solar cell catches the afternoon sun. Styles range from traditional Christmas lights to decorative Chinese lanterns to rope lights.
Adjustable solar landscape lights provide an elegant touch by highlighting trees, statues and walls. Any section of a garden or property that receives afternoon sun is eligible for lighting after dusk, without the need for wiring.
There is something magical about the running water of a fountain being powered by nothing more or less than the sun high above. These soothing garden sounds can be enjoyed minus the guilt of pulling excess electricity from the grid. Placing multiple fountains by doors and windows brings the sound of running water inside the house.
Many are re-discovering garden decorations brought to life by the use of solar power. For example, kissing fairies once hidden after sunset now have their snowy faces illumined by the light of a glowing orb. Likewise, a trio of gnomes hold lit lanterns high to see the trail ahead. The whole yard can indeed be a wonder at night.
In the “why not” category is a solar umbrella for the patio. While people enjoy the shade by day, solar panels collect energy for storage. Once the sun goes down, LED lights provide a soft light for dinners, parties or quiet conversation. If the lights are turned off, the solar panels continue to collect energy during the afternoon for future use.
Adding motion, sound and lighting to the yard without the guilt of wasting energy provides a special satisfaction. In addition to bringing enjoyment, it can also be surprisingly easy and economical.