The technology behind solar garden lights varies quite a bit depending upon the manufacturer and how well the lights are made. Less expensive lights tend to be less reliable, and some people find that they stop working after a few weeks or months. This is a very common complaint, and some people believe that solar outdoor lighting in general just doesn’t work well. By purchasing your solar garden lights from a reputable vendor, however, you will find that the quality is much better.
The light is not as expected
One of the main drawbacks some people find with solar garden lights is that they put out less light than their electric counterparts in a garden lighting scheme. This is not a major issue if you simply want to mark the edges of a path, for instance, but it can be problematic if you need an object or area to be highly visible at night.
Most solar lighting fixtures depend on LED bulbs. These long-lasting bulbs, on average, provide a life span of 50,000 to 100,000 hours each. They are also impervious to freezing conditions, water and even impact or strong blows.
This means that although LED bulbs are the ideal solution for an outdoor fixture, they don’t shine as brightly as some people would prefer. LED bulbs must be clustered together to obtain a brightness similar to a standard fluorescent bulb. However, there are currently many companies who manufacture spotlights and floodlights using LED bulbs, so this means that the biggest “con” to solar garden lights will be eliminated within the next few years.
Power of the lights
Another related problem is inconsistency in the power of the lights. Solar garden lights require rechargeable batteries to operate, and these batteries are charged via a small solar panel affixed to the light. If the area does not get enough sun, the batteries may not charge adequately, as the output can change from day to day depending on the available sunlight. Further, if the lights don’t receive as much sun as the solar cells require, they will not operate effectively and will only be able to emit light for a limited period of time during the night. It is imperative that the solar cells receive the specified amount of sunlight in order for them to work properly in the evening and night hours.
Batteries in solar garden lights are affected by the weather. If you live in an area that tends to get less sunlight during certain seasons, such as those dreary winter days, the batteries may not charge adequately. Cold weather also has a tendency to draw down the battery power much the same as a car battery. Your solar lights might even get buried in the snow which makes it impossible for them to collect sunlight. Additionally, the sun sets earlier in the winter months, as there are not as many hours during the day to re-charge the batteries.
Lightweight in construction
Another downside of solar garden lights is the fact that they tend to be fairly lightweight in construction. It usually does not take much to dislodge them, whether it’s a stiff wind or a curious child or pet.
Even after taking all of the potential pitfalls into consideration, solar garden lights still tend to be a good investment for the average homeowner. They provide enough light to make sure your home is a safe place to walk, and they provide illumination that will keep intruders away. Moreover, they won’t run up your electric bill, they are environmentally friendly, they don’t require wiring and labor-intensive installation, and they are relatively low-maintenance. Lastly, solar garden lights also increase the usefulness of your exterior living spaces – just make sure to place them in areas that receive plenty of sunlight.