Solar Power Landscape Lights vs Wired Landscape Lights

You Deserve To Know Which Lights Are Best For Your Maryland, DC, Or Northern Virginia Home

It’s Natural vs Man-Made Energy

We all want the same thing: for you to have the best landscape lights for your home.

You, like many, may find this difficult though.

It’s because there are so many choices in types of landscape lighting it can be hard to go through it all.

So let’s break it down and start at the beginning: the power source.  This limits us to 2 types of landscape lights: solar-powered and wired.

Let’s take a look at the differences.

You can find out which bulb is better for your landscape lights: LED or incandescent >>

Landscape lighting in a small natural area

The Differences Between How Solar And Wired Landscape Lights Work

The main difference lies in where they get their energy from. Solar power lights collect and use renewable energy from the sun. Wired landscape lights get their energy from your home’s electricity.

They also differ in 4 other areas:

1. Money

You can be paying more money upfront for solar power landscape lights. But in the long run, you can save money by not adding to your electric bill.

Wired landscape lighting usually costs less, but you will see an increase in your energy bill.

Arm holding scale with money on one side and a light bulb on the other
Premier Outdoor professional landscape lighting doing the hard work

2. Ease Of Installation

You should probably leave wiring landscape lights to a professional. Going the DIY route can end up costing you more time and money if it doesn’t work out.

You can easily place solar lights around your landscape without help.

3. Maintenance

You can easily maintain solar lights by ensuring they are clean and still in the ground.

Wired landscape lighting may need more in-depth maintenance due to the wiring.

Andrew installing an uplight for a cool tree with twisted branches
Solar path light with a bluish tinge
Photo by Sam Craig. Made smaller – license

4. Aesthetic

The fixture styles can differ, especially since solar-powered lights come with a solar panel.

You can also see a difference in the actual light. Solar lights tend to have a bluish tinge while wired lights don’t.

Now let’s take a closer look at each type of landscape lighting.

If You Choose Solar Power Landscape Lighting

You will have an endless energy supply for lights that work themselves!

Which sounds like it comes straight from a Marvel© movie.

But it’s because solar-powered lights get their energy from the sun:

  1. Sunlight reaches the light fixture
  2. The solar panels absorb the energy
  3. Energy is transferred and stored into a battery
  4. The sun lowers as does the amount of energy the solar panel can collect
  5. The battery kicks in when the energy levels fall to a certain degree
  6. Your lights turn on

In other words, when the sun goes down the lights turn on. And since they are made with LED’s they can brighten your home for years.

Which can mean having years of landscape lighting without increasing your energy bill.

The best part is, you can easily install them yourself. You only need to buy the fixtures and place them in your yard.

You can design your lighting by using these 9 professional landscape lighting techniques

Solar power light sticking out of the grass

The Problems With Solar Outdoor Lights

You need to place them in extremely sunny areas or they won’t shine as brightly come nightfall.

We’re talking little to no shade throughout the entire day.

Even if you do place them in the sunniest of areas you’ll need to make sure the solar panels are clean. Dirt and dust can block their ability to absorb energy.

The coloring can be a bit off too.

Solar power outdoor lights tend to give off a bluish color instead of bright white. Most homeowners don’t consider it to be a bad thing though. The ones who do usually choose the next option for their landscape lights.

You may want to use this wattage for your outdoor lights >>

If You Choose Low Voltage Wired Landscape Lighting

You can have all the power at your fingertips.

This is because you power your wired landscape lights with your home’s electricity.

You can operate them with timers, switches, and photocells.

But first, you’ll have to wire (hence wired lighting) them to a transformer. Well, wire them all to the main wire that you will then connect to the transformer.

Landscape lighting expert working on a transformer

The Pros & Cons Of Wired Landscape Lights

After installation, homeowners begin to see the benefits of wired outdoor lighting:

  • Turn them on and off whenever you want
    • Self-operating photocells are an option too
  • Can work during cloudy days or bad weather
  • Lights will always be the same brightness until they start giving out

But these lights aren’t perfect either.

The wires can be disturbed, cut, bitten, and otherwise damaged. In this case, you’ll have to rewire or pay for rewiring.

You can learn which is better for your home: low voltage lights or high >>

Transform Your Home

Whether you go for solar or wired landscape lighting (or even both), you can transform the look of your home at night. But first, you may want to find out what the best brands are.

You can discover the 3 best landscape lighting brands >>

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