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Should I Use Solar-Powered Outdoor Lighting (Part II)?

So, you want to use solar-powered landscape lighting in your yard, but you’re still not sure about the technology or what’s available – well, look no further!

Yesterday, we talked a little about how solar cells work and how much sun you need, and today we’re going to go over specific things to look for in your solar-powered landscape lights.

Does the quality of the solar light matter?

Yes, it does. A solar-powered light’s build and components play a big role in performance. A few things you want to consider:

LED Bulbs: Light-emitting diodes give off more light while using less power than bulbs of other types, which translates to longer, brighter run times for solar-powered lighting.

Rechargeable Batteries: Better batteries will hold a solar charge longer than cheaper batteries. Most solar landscape lights use rechargeable batteries (so-called “disposable” landscape lights operate on fixed battery packs that will lose their charge over time), and some batteries perform better than others.

High-quality solar lights will include good rechargeable batteries, and also allow you to swap out battery packs if you want to select an even better brand. Look for this feature when selecting your lighting.

Construction: Build quality can also impact performance. Photovoltaic cells are not indestructible, and weak casings can expose cells to dirt or water damage.

Are there different functions/features?

Feature-wise, solar-powered lighting is pretty straightforward – just make sure they’re exposed to as much sun as possible and let them do their thing.

There are some, though, that do have on/off switches to preserve stored battery power, which can come in handy to get the most use out of your rechargeable batteries. 

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