Solar lawn lamps: device, how to choose + installation nuances

Vasily Borutsky
Checked by a specialist: Vasily Borutsky
Author: Elena Nikolaeva
Last update: October 2019

Illumination of the territory adjacent to the house is one of the key points in the arrangement of a suburban area. Today, as a worthy alternative to decorative lamps connected to power supply, analogues using solar cells are increasingly being used.

How lawn solar powered lamps work and what parameters to consider when choosing products, we will consider in the article.

The principle of operation of solar-powered lamps

Solar-powered lawn lamps in most cases are used as additional illumination of landscape compositions on the site and open remote corners of the garden.

Such lighting devices are a real salvation in those situations when it is not economically profitable to equip electric lighting on the street or there is simply no way to lay out cumbersome cable switching.

Light accents for highlighting areas
With the help of lawn lamps it is convenient to highlight a playground or a gazebo in a recreation area, to frame garden paths and flower beds with a lawn with a light outline

The principle of operation of solar-powered lamps is simple. The battery built into the device case under the influence of ultraviolet rays produces electric current. This electric current also recharges the battery. He, in turn, energizes the connected LED, which, spending the energy accumulated during the day, illuminates the next 1.5-2 meters in the dark.

The main elements of solar lamps are:

  1. Storage battery. An element in the form of a dark glass is located in the upper part of the lantern in order to accumulate maximum daylight.
  2. LED matrix. A source that emits light when an electric current passes through it.
  3. Electric battery.
  4. Light sensor - photosensitive element.
  5. Microprocessor. This element, depending on the voltage, corrects the glow of the LED, and when the battery is discharged to the minimum mark, it completely turns it off. In budget models, this function is performed by a transistor.
  6. Photocell. A semiconductor device made with a solar battery in one common unit. Its main function is to turn on the lighting device and convert light energy into electrical energy.

The duration of the device depends on the battery capacity. Solar lights with a full battery charge last about 8 hours.

Photosensor: principle of operation
The photosensor built into the device’s body responds to the degree of shadowing of the area, due to which the lamp lights up independently after dark, and goes out at dawn

All lawn lights of this type equip LED lights. This decision is explained by the fact that led lighting consumes very little energy and does not create a flicker of the light flux. This is especially true for low performance photo panels.

LED lamps can be of various colors. This makes it possible to select the highlight of the desired shade, creating spectacular color pictures on the lawns.

Advantages and disadvantages of devices

The main advantage of such lighting devices is that their quality of work does not depend on weather conditions. This is due to the fact that ultraviolet rays are able to penetrate even through a curtain of clouds.

Dim glow of a decorative element
The life of rechargeable devices determines only the duration of daylight hours, for this reason in winter and off-season the glow from solar lawn lamps comes out very dim

The indisputable advantages of such lawn lamps should also include:

  • Autonomy - the ability to place each lamp, regardless of other lighting fixtures, anywhere in the garden.
  • Environmental friendliness - devices do not emit harmful substances into the atmosphere and do not harm the environment.
  • Cost-effectiveness - the lights do an excellent job of their task and at the same time consume electrical energy.
  • Reliability - the device housings protect the built-in batteries well from dust and moisture, and therefore they can be safely installed on lawns near water sources.
  • Easy installation - to install the device, you do not need to use any components and additionally install the equipment.

Design options for lawn lamps are diverse, so it’s convenient to select them for the landscape design already created on the site.

The only drawback of solar-powered luminaires is their vulnerability to subzero temperatures. Therefore, in the winter, portable devices are best removed in a closed, warm room.

The main types of lawn lamps

Despite the fact that the solar-powered flashlights on sale are famous for their variety, there are only two types of lawn lamps. The reason for this is the fact that with this type of lighting the emphasis is not on the covered area of ​​the equipment, but on its decorative component.

A harmonious addition to the flower garden
The main requirements for a lawn lamp: it must be compact, but at the same time effective and besides harmoniously fit into the landscape, and not stand out against the background of the composition by a foreign body

Lawn lamps are of two types: decorative models and structures on the legs. Each has its own characteristics.

Decorative models for flower beds

Models of decorative type are devices with a wide base, which are convenient to install on any flat surface. The design designs of such devices are infinitely diverse.

Decorative lamps are produced in the form of figures of fantastic heroes, cute animals, fancy miniature houses and even precious stones.

Decorative elements of fancy shapes
Lawn lamps in the form of animal figures or fairy-tale characters are able to make a harmonious addition to a rock garden or rockery

The main feature of decorative lighting is that it creates a muffled light that covers only a small radius around the device.

Leg constructions

Such lighting devices require fixation by deepening. The luminous element, made in the form of a ball or cone, is located on a small leg.

Lamps on the leg are used to emphasize the contours of lawns and lawns, delimiting flower beds and highlight paths in the garden. The height of such models leaves about 30 centimeters. When deepening the legs, the backlight is located almost on the surface of the lawn.

Effective devices on legs
Lamps on the leg in the dark will help to focus on the beautiful landscape compositions of the site and highlight paths for moving around the garden

To create decorative accents and cover a large area with illumination, lawn lamps with a foot length of about half a meter are used. The pointed rods of such products are crowned with cases with luminous elements, made in the form of flowers with openwork foliage, or soaring birds or fluttering butterflies.

The following selection of photos will introduce a typical design of a lawn lamp powered by solar energy:

We also recommend reading our other article, where we talked about how to organize solar-powered street lighting in our own area. More details - go to the link.

Competent selection criteria

Lawn lamps are designed for outdoor use, and therefore the housings of such devices are made of materials resistant to atmospheric precipitation. Best copes with the task plastic or metal.

Metal coating
To prevent the appearance of foci of rust and further corrosion, metal products are coated with powder paint

When choosing a device, follow the rule: the larger the battery area, the more intense the return of solar energy will occur.

Two more parameters are of no small importance:

  1. Modification of the photocell.
  2. Glass type for shade.

Polycrystalline stone is the basis for the manufacture of solar cells installed in budget models of street lamps. In terms of performance, it is inferior to multi - and single-crystal silicon.

The most reliable are the photoelectronic elements of modules made on the basis of single-crystal silicon. In direct contact with the air, they are instantly covered with a protective oxide film, which does not interfere with light scattering. But due to this, they are characterized by increased resistance to climatic changes and chemical influences.

Balls with a smooth surface
To obtain an effect in which the main part of direct rays and half of the scattered ones are reflected, it is better to choose lamps with glass having a smooth surface

Regarding the ability to reflect and scatter light rays, tempered glass products have the best qualities. If you want to create scattered radiation, preference should be given to models with reflex structured glasses.

The nuances of installing lighting

It is necessary to place the luminaires with mounted solar panels so that the sun's rays hit them in a direct path.

Backlight placement options
Lanterns can be arranged in small groups, using elements of the same size and shape, or "scatter" around the site, creating the effect of randomness

Lawn models are equipped with a special leg made in the form of a peg. To fix the lighting device on the surface, you only need to deepen the peg into the ground. You can do this manually. The main thing is not to make excessive efforts so as not to break the device.

If you have to install it in dense rammed earth, then before deepening the peg, you need to prepare a place. To do this, at the point of the intended location of the lighting device, the earth is loosened with a pitchfork or a shovel, and then a recess is made. After installing the legs of the device, it remains only to gently ram the earth around it and level the surface.

Care for such lighting devices is to periodically clean the enclosures of devices from dust and dirt.And the main thing is to remove dust and adhering small debris from the upper side of the housing where the solar battery is located. Wipe better with a damp soft cloth to minimize damage to the protective film applied on top.

Beauty for several years
With proper care, as indicated by manufacturers of solar cells, lawn lighting can properly last from 5 to 10 years

To remove strong impurities from plexiglass, it is allowed to use detergents designed to wipe the glass. It is not allowed to use abrasive pastes and powders for this purpose, since they are contraindicated in plexiglass.

As noted above, in the winter, portable lighting is better to clean the house. The exception is only all-season models that can easily withstand any temperature fluctuations and negative environmental influences.

Ways to eliminate the main types of breakdowns

The most common malfunction of lighting devices of this type is a violation of the relationship between the battery and the power container. This occurs as a result of oxidation of particles at the docking sites. Some "craftsmen" solve the problem by tapping the device. But such actions give only a short-term effect and, moreover, can damage the equipment.

If the contact is interrupted due to the displacement of the battery relative to the contacts of the container, you need to remove the battery, and then carefully pull out the negative spring. You can eliminate the drawback by disassembling the lamp: you need to clean the contacts of the battery poles and the power container with a piece of sandpaper.

In the future, in order to prevent the battery from shifting, it can be fixed in the housing using double-sided tape.

There are situations when, as a result of long storage of the flashlight in the shade, the battery stops charging. In this case, you need to use a tester to check the voltage on the battery. Voltage indicators should be in the range of 1.1-1.4 V. If the measured values ​​correspond to the normative values, you need to place the lamp on the maximum illuminated area to recharge the battery.

Conclusions and useful video on the topic

Analysis of structural features and characteristics of devices on photocells will help you with choosing fixtures for improvement of the local area.

How is a flashlight with a built-in solar battery:

Overview of LED luminaires for lawns and flower beds:

Lighting a suburban area through the use of solar-powered lamps is quite profitable and economical. Having placed such illumination in your garden, you can easily achieve an effect in which even little-representative herbaceous plants that do not have special aesthetic value in the daytime will “play” in the evening hours.

And what kind of lawn lamps do you use in your suburban area? Please share your experience and photos of the fixtures. Tell us if you are satisfied with the operation of the devices. Leave your comments in the block under the article.

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Visitors Comments
  1. Alyona

    We stumbled along the paths in the country such lamps, it turned out very beautifully. Of course, they give little light, but they plan the way, no one else stumbles, even if they left the watering can in the aisle. They chose on a high leg so that less dust and dirt settled on them. It is also better to immediately think over the flowers for the border. In our first year, our bulbs were overgrown with flowers, we had to somehow protect them.

  2. Karina

    With the help of such lamps, we illuminate the yard in the country. They not only highlight the territory, but also decorate it. We have them in the form of flowers and butterflies - very beautiful. True, when it is cloudy, they charge poorly, and quickly turn off at night. And they are practically impossible to repair. Two of us stopped working. The husband is an electrician, he knows how to fix everything, even LED bulbs. And these lamps could not make light shine again. I had to throw it away. Well, nothing, they worked a lot, replaced with others. They are not so expensive. In the summer we like to sit out in the yard until midnight. With such lighting a very romantic atmosphere.