5 Ways To Incorporate Solar Lighting Into Your Exterior Design


Off the grid. Environmentally friendly. Aesthetically pleasing. There are a lot of good reasons to incorporate solar lighting into your next design. Lights also help make the property safer. But there are a variety of ways you can use solar lighting in your landscape design to highlight the home and yard.  

1. Just A Part Of The Landscape

5 Ways To Incorporate Solar Lighting Into Your Exterior Design

Image Credit: Jana Perenchio via flickr.com

Solar lighting is very practical in landscape lighting since there are no cords to hide or wiring to install. It's a fantastic way for your clients to enjoy their landscaping once the sun goes down, whether you create a romantic glow around a firepit, or backlight gardens or architectural features that make the home stand out. 

2. Light in Layers

One harsh light pointed at a wall, tree, or other elements in your exterior design will create harsh, unpleasant shadows. Instead, use multiple, smaller lights pointed in several different directions and use lower intensity light.

Layer your lighting. When you adopt solar lighting into your landscape design, the lack of wiring gives you a lot of flexibility. Take advantage of it to create depth and visual interest by layering your lights. For example, you can make a design feature "pop" in your nighttime display by adding a backlight behind the feature, as well as lighting it up directly. Just make sure the landscape has varying levels of light and dark to make it stand out, rather than lighting up the whole yard like a football field.

Color counts. We're all familiar with harsh, white, LED-looking lights. They are great in security lighting, but if you are looking to create a mood in the outdoor space, you might look for warmer toned lights (think candlelight) to set the mood you want.

3. Safety Lighting

Safety lighting is fairly straightforward. Light up the places where people walk to save them and their guests from accidental bumps and bruises. Use solar lighting to visually separate steps. Deter unwanted visitors with the use of motion-sensor, security solar lighting. Lighting walkways and steps is where safety lighting intersects with landscape lighting, so this is the space to choose the lights that most complement the aesthetic. 

4. Security Lighting

5 Ways To Incorporate Solar Lighting Into Your Exterior Design

Image Credit: Alan Levine via pxhere.com

Motion sensor security lights over the garage or the backyard are a great way to secure the property. This is where that flat, bright white light may be perfect -- enough to startle intruders.

Because the lights are controlled by motion, the bright lights will only last long enough for someone to find their keys when entering - and it won't interfere with the ambient lighting you've created around the rest of the property. 

5. Accent The Beautiful

Accent lighting is where security lighting meets decorative lighting again. Think front door, porch, patio and the landscaping around it. Wall lighting, hanging lights, maybe even a post -- all of this accents your entries, and is easily lit with solar lighting. 

You've worked hard to put just the right plants in the flower beds or decorative pots. Your clients will want to show them off when the sun goes down. The right lights will tie your design together and make the exterior design stand out all day and all night.

Things To Know

5 Ways To Incorporate Solar Lighting Into Your Exterior Design

Before you commit to solar lighting, make sure the photovoltaic cell is getting enough sunlight during the daytime hours. Pay attention to how long the lights will run with the recommended amount of sunlight. The information should be included when you buy the lights, or your landscape consultant should have that information. Solar lighting is a convenient and Earth-friendly way to light up your exterior design, and make it stand out, even after the sun goes down.

Barb Ambrose is a home stager and landscape design writer. She loves entertaining and playing in her backyard, but she despises yard work.  She recently expanded her patio and added an outdoor kitchen so she has less grass to mow.

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