Solar versus Wired Lighting – Pros and Cons
Landscape lighting can add to the ambiance of your home, but what type of lights should you choose? Recent advances in solar lighting have made the decision of choosing garden lighting quite difficult. Exploring the pros and cons of solar lighting versus wired lighting may make for an easier verdict.
Solar lighting absorbs sunlight and recharges its batteries every day. The batteries power the lights as night falls making for low-maintenance lighting.
Types of Solar Lights
⇒Accent (lights to accent steps on the deck, a walkway or address sign)
Pros and Cons of Solar Lighting
- Cost – The biggest advantage of using solar lighting is that it’s free. You won’t incur a large electric bill or need to complain about energy usage.
- Low-maintenance – Another huge advantage to solar lighting is that it’s virtually maintenance-free. Solar lights are equipped with LED bulbs that will rarely require changing.
- Convenience – Solar lights will work as soon as it’s dusk and stay on until dawn. It can’t get much easier than that!
- Upfront cost – Solar lights may cost more upfront than a regular wired light. However, since it’s virtually free after that it may be more beneficial to pay that initial cost.
- Not bright enough – The biggest drawback of solar lighting is brightness. Solar lighting will never be as bright as wired lighting. You’ll also need to contend with the weather. If it’s a dreary day or a dreary week you may find the light to be very dull.
Wire lighting has been used for years in lighting up landscapes. While it’s nice and bright – is it the right choice?
Types of Wired Lighting
⇒Lamp posts (used at the edge of driveways or as a garden accent)
⇒Floodlights (Bright lights used to illuminate a large area)
⇒Sconces or wall lighting (used to illuminate exterior doors)
⇒Accent or decorative lighting (used to light paths, gardens or driveways)
Pros and Cons of Wired Lighting
- Very bright – There’s no doubt that wired lighting will produce the most brilliant light around. Perfect for floodlights or dark spots that need to be illuminated.
- Timers – With wired lighting there’s more control. You can set timers for the duration of lighting. You can have dusk to dawn sensors, motion sensors, or set up illumination for however long you’d like.
- Cost – Without a doubt, wired lights will cost more to use than solar lights.
- Installation – Certain wired lights may need to be installed by a professional. This additional cost may be a big turn-off for some people.
So which one is better – solar or wired lighting? Well, the answer is it depends. It may be a good idea to do a mix of both. Floodlights and lamp posts are brighter and may work better if they’re wired. Accent and decorative lighting will be more cost-effective with solar lights.
Mixing up solar and wired lights will give you the best of both worlds without breaking the bank. You can get the brightness of wired lights with all the decorative choices of solar lighting. Whatever you decide, make sure to do your research and be prepared for any costs along the way.