Considering the current situation, the world is moving towards sustainable, renewable, and eco-friendly energy products under an affordable range. Solar energy is the one with all these features. So, if you think of installing solar lights, it will be a win-win. Because solar lights won’t require proper wiring, reduce energy bills, withstand different weathers, and offer equal brightness like other lights. They are eco-friendly, cost-effective, and need low maintenance. You can install them in your garden or yard to make a striking and electrifying setting. You can also use them for security and illumination. But you need to be aware of the use while buying them. They come in several forms with different material qualities, brightness, and modes. We will first discuss essential features of solar lights that you must know before buying the best solar lights and their exceptional qualities.
You need to consider a few things to find the best solar light. These features include:
· Light Lumens and Coverage
· Battery Type
· Battery Capacity
· Battery Charging and Run Time
· Bulb Types
· Dusk to Dawn vs. Motion Sensors
· IP Ratings
· Lighting Modes
We will discuss them separately to give you a holistic view of solar lights and their features. So, let’s plunge into them!
9 Things You Should Consider While Buying Soar Lights
1. Light Lumens and Coverage
The lumens are the unit in which light’s intensity is measured. Usually, the brightness of the light varies directly to lumens, i.e., higher lumens, brighter light. For example, a typical 100-watt incandescent bulb generates 1600 lumens, while an indoor night light produces 20 lumens, and the standard domestic light bulb gives around 800 lumens. Thus, you need to check the light’s lumens mentioned in the product description. Typically, the solar light intensity ranges from 10 to 2000 lumens.
However, the thickness of the beam also has some role in the total brightness. Generally, the narrower beam of light has more luster. This is because floodlights usually cast more than 50˚ to 280˚ arc outward. Thereby, you can choose a light to lighten a whole courtyard or a confined aisle.
2. Battery Type
Battery type is an essential point to consider while buying solar lights. Rechargeable batteries come along with solar lights. They are charged daily to store the energy to light up the lights at night.
Solar batteries are of different kinds, but lithium-ion, nickel-metal hydride, lead-acid, and nickel-cadmium batteries are most frequently used in the solar lights industry. It would be help if you went for high-quality batteries that have a longer life, require low maintenance, and are durable.
Lithium-ion is a good option as it doesn’t lose its charging over time, suitable for areas facing severe weather changes. But these batteries are expensive, so you need to opt for a battery in your range that meets your requirements.
3. Battery Capacity
Besides battery charging, you also need to check the battery’s capacity. Solar lights have built-in batteries, and their value depends on their capacity. Capacity means the amount of electricity it can produce and is measured in milliamp-hours (mAh). Therefore, the greater the rating, means greater the capacity. Batteries with high mAh last longer, but they also need more time to charge fully. It’s good to have a high-capacity battery, but again, it depends on your budget and needs—the usual ratings for battery capacity range from 2000 to 3,600 mAh. Thus, you should align the battery capacity to your requirements before buying.
4. Battery Charging and Run Time
The battery is an essential part of solar lights because sunlight is available only during the day, but you don’t need lights. Thus, it would be help if you had a battery to store solar energy and use it to light up your house at night.
The batteries usually keep on working from 3-10 hours. But it depends on the kind of light and your need. For example, if you want a solar light for decoration purposes, shorter batteries can work for you because you don’t have to use them all night. However, if you are looking for security lights, you need longer batteries to stay on throughout the night. Large capacity batteries are also required for duck-to-dawn solar lights. This is because they have large solar panels to pull and stock more solar energy to provide lighting for the whole night. So, before buying solar lights, make sure your battery choice supports your needs.
5. Bulb Types
Over 20 bulb types are available in the market, but the most widely used ones are Compact Fluorescent lights (CFLs), Light-emitting diodes (LEDs), and Incandescent lights. Among all, LEDs are present in almost all solar lights. They radiate powerful light rays without pulling loads of power and warming up the sunshine. Thus, LED bulbs are a perfect option to get intense security light.
6. Dusk to Dawn vs. Motion Sensors
Dusk to dawn lights switches on and off with sunlight. For example, they light up as sunlight lowers when sunsets stay on throughout the night until their battery is charged. They will turn off in the morning when sunlight increases. They are the best selection if you like to lighten your land with constant light. However, their pitfall is that you won’t fully charge their batteries if the preceding day is rainy or cloudy. In this case, solar lights dim and switch out after a few hours.
Motion detection lights switch on when they identify a motion and stay on for a particular time, usually 20 to 30 seconds, and then turn off back. They don’t have to stay on all night, so they use less battery. As a result, these lights are a perfect choice for security purposes.
Solar lights stay outside the house or in an open environment. Thus, you must ensure that they are made of high-quality material, enabling them to survive the most brutal weather conditions. It would be best to go for solar lights manufactured from aluminum, stainless steel, and ABS plastic.
8. IP Ratings
IP means ingress protection, which refers to how outdoor lights can endure moisture and debris. It’s given in two digits numbers. The first number refers to the capability of light to withstand solid items. It ranges from 1 to 6, and 6 means the rigid seal that keeps out even the fine dust. The second number suggests the capability of light to restrict water. It varies from 1 to 8, and 8 represents a fully watertight light. Usually, the ratings of solar lights are 65 to 67. You must keep in mind the weather and climate of your area while checking IP ratings.
9. Lighting Modes
Solar lights have several lighting modes, excluding automatic on and off switches at dusk and dawn, respectively. You can also opt for multicolored LED lights and interchange between high, low, and color-changing light modes.
The Best Solar Lights
Signature Garden Solar Garden Lights are the best choice. They have 12 inches in height and give 15 lumens of light that can easily brighten a walkway. Light’s shaft is composed of metal, making them more durable than other lights. In addition, it has an IP rating of 65 which means it can survive the elements.
These lights have an integrated battery that gives light for 8 hours and a sensor that turns on and off with decreasing and increasing sunlight. The foremost thing is that these lights have a lifetime guarantee, and the organization has a good record of substituting lights according to online customers’ reviews.
Ring Solar Path lights contain motion sensors which is a good choice for people who want high-tech apparatus. They sense motion, brighten up, and trigger other Ring Smart Lights and security cameras. They also give bright light with 80 lumens. But they cost $30, excluding the S50 Ring Bridge you’ll need, due to which they become more costly than non-smart solar lights.
Top 5 Solar Lights You Should Buy
1. Signature Garden Solar Garden Lights
Signature Garden Solar Garden Lights are the best option for numerous people. They will look amazing between your phlox and Hosta plants and lighten your walkway. In addition, they come with Durability and attractiveness. The organization mentions that these lights can endure snow, rain, frost, and sleet. Moreover, they have a lifelong changeover warranty if they fail. They have a 15 lumens rating; though it’s not bright like other models, it’s sufficient for you to see where you are walking.
They have a rechargeable battery which has an 8 hours life when fully charged. Further, six lights come in a kit of $40, which may not be the cheapest, but it’s not expensive either. Finally, you can get them in black or silver color.
2. URPOWER 2-in-1 Waterproof 4 LED Solar Spotlight
These lights help you shine the outdoor features you want to highlight at night. They have two brightness and four LEDs settings. The higher of them gives 200 lumens, giving a plethora of light to illuminate the Christmas garland.
Each light has a built-in battery of 2000mAh that gives power for 10 hours in high settings and 6 hours in low settings if the solar panel receives sunlight for around 4-5 hours. It turns on instinctively at dusk.
3. LITOM 12 LEDs Solar Landscape Spotlights
LITOM’s solar landscape spotlights are the best option if you want high brightness. You’ll be awestruck by its 600 lumens and 12 LED displays. These lights have solar panels constructed at their heads, making a more compressed unit. But this design can be a restriction in the optimal adjustment of solar panels and light.
You can avail them in numerous varieties, including Cold White (6500K), Warm White (3000K), and multicolored. The organization also offers a form to switch between warm and cold white. Every light has an incorporated rechargeable battery of 18,650 mAh. It gives 12 hours of lighting in low light and 6 hours in high light mode. They also automatically turn on and off at dusk and dawn.
Further, you can mount them on the ground through stakes or on the wall using screws. They have passed weather-resistant and durability tests and can be installed easily with thick stakes. The only drawback we can think about them is that maybe they’re too bright for some.
4. Book Solar Outdoor Flood Lights
These Aootek lights have inbuilt motion sensors that switch on their 128 LEDs’ array when they sense movement. These lights detect objects and people from 26 feet within a 120-degree arc. The company’s recommendation is to install them at a minimum of 5.5 feet height.
You can set any of their three modes. Firstly, on the way at which light turns on at dusk. Secondly, security in which the motion sensor triggers the light stays on for 15 seconds. Finally, with Smart Brightness, the light switches on a low setting at dusk and illuminates after detecting motion.
Further, they contain a rechargeable battery of 2200mAh and stay longer for other similar models in the market. They are durable and can survive freezing and rain temperatures without loss.
5. Ring Solar Pathlight
These lights are an excellent option for ring products like Ring Video Doorbell. You will get brightness facing downward for your walkway. In addition, you can adjust their settings, get notifications when a motion is detected, and work with Alexa.
Talking about our experience, we’ve loved their motion sensors which can be set to switch on only when they detect a person to save their battery life. Moreover, you can link them to other ring products, which allows your ring camera or video doorbell to start recording when path lights sense any motion.
Solar lights are the best option if you want sustainable products and reduce your harmful impact on the environment. You can use them for aesthetic, security, and many other purposes. However, before procuring anything, you must be highly aware of them. Thus, you must focus on the abovementioned points while procuring solar lights. These include lumens, battery type, capacity and run time, IP rating, etc. We have also listed five of the best solar lights currently available in the market. You should first get a thorough knowledge about the lights you want, check their product description, and carefully opt for one considering your budget and requirements.