THERE IS NOTHING QUITE LIKE sitting out on your deck with a nice glass of wine at the end of the day. Unless, that is, of course, it is walking down the steps, down the steps into your garden. The only problem is the steps are so dark at night, you can't see them well enough to risk it. So, instead of being able to walk down your garden paths, you are stuck to the deck.
Why live like this, when the only safe time to go wandering in your yard, is when the sun is shining, you are missing out on half the fun. Why not invest in solar step lights to make that trip down into your garden safe without having to go to the expense of hiring a contractor to install all the electrical wiring need for standard lights.
Let's take a look at the many benefits of solar powered step lights and then we'll take a look at what to look for when buying a set for the steps on your deck.
One of the biggest reasons why many people don't go to the trouble of adding step lighting to the steps on the deck, on the porch, or in the garden, is quite simply they don't want to go the expense of wiring them in. While some of us can handle our wiring, not every city allows you to do so. Some require your work to be inspected once complete before signing off on your permit, some simply require all electrical work to be done by a certified electrician. Be sure you check with your local codes if you plan to wire in the lights. Or you could save time, money and effort by installing solar step lights.
Installing solar powered step lights is very simple. First, you need to determine which side of your steps gets the most sunlight during the day. Then, using the screws or mounting kit provided, you install the light. It just doesn't get any easier than this. No holes to drill (except maybe pilot holes, no wires to run, just a light to install.
When used in conjunction with LED bulbs that consume very little energy, you can expect your solar step lights to burn for several hours. Be sure to check the specs for any lights you are considering buying. Each manufacturer has their own length of illumination time based on the type of batteries and solar panels used. Many can now last all night long providing there is plenty of sunlight during the day.
If there is one thing you can count on today, it's that everything you add to the electrical circuits in your home will increase your bill. Yep, even those “low voltage” step lights that run on a transformer. It might not seem like they would add that much to your power bill, if they get left on all night long, every night of the week, the costs are going to add up. With solar powered step lights, the only energy you need is some good old-fashioned sunlight. This is still free and provides more energy than you could use in a life time.
When it comes to finding the right style and color, you may just find that solar step lights offer more styles and colors than standard 110V type lights. There are single lights, each of which has their own solar cell panel, strings of lights connected to a central solar panel, even individual dot lights that can be wired to a central solar panel.
They come with metal housings, plastic housings, clear lenses, colored lenses, antique styles, art Deco, art nouveau, and so many more. The color list is long enough to satisfy just about any tastes an outdoor décor.
Like most things for your backyard, you should never just jump at the first set of solar step lights you come across in the store or online. This is the worst possible way to buy anything and the best possible way to end up with solar step lights that don’t work as well as they are advertised to or simply don't work at all.
When you go out looking for solar step lights consider these things very carefully.
This is how long the batteries are going to keep the lights burning if they are left on all night long. Each manufacturer lists this in their advertising or on the package. If you come across any that don't pass them by. With lithium ion batteries, they are typically rated in milliamp hours, for example, 600Mah, the higher the number the bigger the battery and the longer they will last.
Next up, how long it will take the batteries in the light to recharge on an average day. Charging times vary with the size and type of solar panel used as well as the batteries themselves. 4 to 6 hours is common, but try to avoid those that say they take over 8 hours to charge. Keep in mind most do have an initial charging time and then a day to day charging time.
This is the standard measureofr light output, in many ways it is similar to the way we have rated household bulbs for years in wattage. Lumens, however, is a measurement of light output, while wattage is actually a measurement of power consumption. Most solar step lights tend to have the equivalent output of a 40W light bulb. Just enough to light your way up and down the steps without blinding you. Look for lumen ratings of 10-80 Lumens.
You might think this would be obvious, but there are still a few models out there that have to be turned on and off manually. Unless you feel like getting up every evening to turn them on and in the morning to turn them off, this is a very important feature.
Outdoor lights are all supposed to be waterproof to keep out the rain and snow, aren't they? Such is not the case as many are listed as being water resistant. Which in turn means if you live in an area where you have a lot of snow or rain, those that are listed as being water resistant are just about useless as they are bound to leak. Be sure the lights you are considering are listed as being WATERPROOF if you want them to last.
This one is optional, but you might find having step lights that come on only when someone is by or on the step can come in pretty handy. Better yet, they won't keep your backyard lit up all night long. But, on the other hand, each time they come on, they should be at full illumination. If you do decide to go with motion sensor lights, look for those that allow you to adjust their range. This gives you far more flexibility with how you place them and how well they work for your needs.
Image courtesy Amazon
After looking at the many different solar step lights on the market, I found five that are worthy of your deck, porch, or garden path.
These Mpow lights feature an updated solar panel. After only a few hours of daylight, they will keep these lights working throughout the night. In steady mode, they will last between 8 and 10 hours. They feature 20 LED for super white lighting, with three distinct settings, Strong Long Light Mode, Strong Sensor Light Mode, and Dim Light Sensor Mode. The dual-layer tightly -sealed loop makes these lights exceptionally water and heat resistant.
|Watertight||Occasional quality issues|
|Long life batteries||Switches are on back of light hard to reach when mounted|
|Three modes of operation||Limited lifespan|
These lights feature 30 LEDs and ultra-high 2200Mah battery that will keep these lights running for 24 hours on the dim setting with only 13 of the LEDs turned on. When the motion sensor detects movement, the lights will come on in full bright mode for 20/40/60/ seconds. Fully waterproof, with 120-degree lighting, and a maximum 39 foot sensor range, they will cover a wide area as you go down the steps and out into the garden.
|Extra-long sensor range||No motion sensor adjustment|
|Multiple settings||Light range is shorter than advertised|
|Low to instant max with motion sensor||Battery Life short in full brightness mode|
Give your solar lights the day off with these copper lights. Not only are they auto charging, but they are auto on/off. Designed to look like a smile each light 4 x 0.2W brightness SMD beads with spotlight reflector. Maximum brightness is 100 Lumens per light. They come complete with double-sided stickers, screws, and stopples to help you mount them virtually anywhere.
|Nice copper appearance||Timer is too short|
|100 Lumens max output||Batteries have a short lifespan|
|Auto on/off||Bright LED illuminates the sensor|
These solar step lights are made from a mixture of stainless steel and ABS plastic. They take 4 to 6 hours to charge and will run for approximately 8 to 12 hours. They produce 24 Lumens at 6500 to 7000K daylight. Each of the lights 3 ultra-bright LED chips. Power is supplied via a 200 mAh, 3.2V Li-FePO4 battery. Easy to install, simply screw them to the steps. These lights are IP44 waterproof rated.
|Short charge time||Some quality control issues|
|Long battery life||Low light range|
|Upgraded monocrystalline solar panels|
Each light in this four-pack provides a full 6Lumenss of light. They are 100% weatherproof, making them perfect for outdoor use. Easy installation with a pair of screws (included). Uses the latest in monocrystalline solar panels and a 1.2V 500 mAh Ni-mh battery. Offers 300k warm white light.
|8 hours of working time||Ni-mh battery instead of life|
|Compact size and shape||Need a template to mount|
|Come as a four pack||Battery longevity questionable, but can be replaced|
Here I look at your best option if solar step lights are not going to get the job done for you. In this particular instance, I picked a very popular 110V LED step/wall light.
Rated as one of the top LED step lights on the market. Comes with both vertical and horizontal. Easy to install using a single gang box. Safe for both commercial and residential use. These lights are UL listed and approved for use in wet locations.
|UL Listed waterproof||Use electricity, running up your power bill|
|Come with both horizontal and vertical louvres||Metal top covers more than it should|
|Bright enough to light most sets of steps||Leads come out of the side making harder to install|
At the end of the day, finding the right solar step lights for your deck or garden is more about personal choice as far size, color, design, etc. But what you should be looking for is maximum Lumens, long lasting lithium-ion batteries, fast charge time and a certain level of waterproofing.
Me I have a set of the Litom Solar Lights Outdoor 30 LED keeping the steps on my deck lit at night. I hope the information I have put together here helps you find the perfect solar step lights for your deck, porch, or walkway.
If you can think of anything you would like to see added here, please contact me here.
SOLAR POWERED MOTION SENSOR LIGHTS are available in a range of sizes, shapes, lumen ratings, and more. In order to know which of them are right for your needs, there are a number of things you need to take into consideration. Such as how large the area you are trying to light, how long you need the lights to stay on once they have been activated, how long you need the batteries to last.
So, let's take a good look at what you need to know if you want to avoid the mistakes I made and get the right lights the first time around.
There are several very important benefits to switching over to using solar powered motion lights, including:
In many cases, you don't require a professional to install a solar motion security light, unlike the security lights than run off of mains power.
As with most products you plan to buy for your yard, there are several things you should look for when shopping for solar powered outdoor motion sensor lights.
There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all solar power motion sensor light, you need to be very aware of the location you plan to put each light. The location you choose is very important to how well the light you choose is going to work. If the solar panels can't get enough sunlight, the batteries will never reach full charge and your light won't function properly.
While you are looking for locations, you also need to keep your local weather conditions in mind. If you live in an area where it tends to rain or snow a lot, there are a number of different solar powered lights designed to meet these challenges.
Next up is deciding how bright you need for the lights to be. While you might need low-level lights for along the sidewalks or on the deck. While brighter lights may be needed at the front and back doors and outside of your shed to help scare away would be thieves, along with a large selection of stray animals.
Depending on location, you may need to buy lights that are adjustable as this will let you aim the lights to where the work to your best advantage. Be sure you buy lights that will let you lock them in place and stay there once you secure them.
For years, there has been a myth going around that LED lights are far too expensive in consideration with their counterpart the incandescent bulb. Of course, if you are only looking at this from a short-term investment, then they might seem more expensive.
There are two very good reasons why LED lights make more sense in the long run. First, they use far less electricity than any other type of bulb currently on the market. The saddest thing of all is that an incandescent bulb only uses 10% of the electricity it consumes to produce light, the rest is wasted as heat.
The other reason is that the typical LED bulb is expected to have a lifespan of somewhere between 20,000 and 50,000 hours. The average lifespan of an incandescent bulb is only between 4,000 and 10,0000 hours. When you look at numbers like this, the average LED bulb lasts five times longer than an incandescent bulb.
While both terms are used to rate alight bulb, they have completely different meaning. Wattage is the amount of electricity or power used to illuminate the bulb. The term Lumens is used to measure the amount of light the bulb actually produces. An easy way to look at this is the more wattage, the more electricity is used, the more Lumens, the more light the bulb produces.
The next thing on your list to consider is the range of the motion sensor. Some are variable, some have set coverage. The sensor itself is responsible for turning your light on when it senses motion. If the sensitivity is too low, the light may not turn on when needed. If you buy one with a sensor that is overly sensitive, everything that moves in your backyard is going to turn the light on at the risk of driving you and your neighbors nuts.
I know how hard it can be to buy the right solar powered motion sensor light. There are so many of them to choose from, finding the right one can be a bit overwhelming and (like me) you could end up spending a lot of money just to end up with lights that don't really get the job done. So, what I have done, is to put together a list of five of the best lights I found along with their good and bad points.
These simple to install and use solar powered lights that will last for up to 12 hours on a full charge. They are perfect for pathways, driveways, patio, your shed, even covering your vegetable garden. The sensor covers an arc of 120 degrees and a distance of up to 12 feet (3 meters). The lights are set to turn back off 30 seconds after the motion stops.
|Uses 8 LED for max light/max battery life||Some units delivered with defects|
|Weatherproof||Lens will yellow over time|
|Virtually instantaneous response to movement||No documentation included|
This solar light features 24 LED spread out to provide you with up to 270 degrees of light. The sensors have a range of between 10 and 26 feet depending on where it is located. For best results, be sure to mount the light where it will receive direct sunlight. Unlike many motion sensor lights, you can also set this one to come on in medium light or dim light sensor mode as well. Offering you more adjustability to suit your needs.
|Wide range of coverage – up to 270 degrees||Takes a long time to fully charge|
|Offers three different modes of operation||Has reliability issues|
|Has a long warranty||Mode switch hard to use|
For those wanting a lot of light, the 45 LEDs in this solar powered light might be just what you are looking for. It is one of the brightest lights in this category. It is IP65 weatherproof rating. It features a full-on mode, low light mode, and motion detector only model. Detection range is up to 30 feet. It will run in the full light mode for up to 8 to 10 hours. In motion sensor mode, it will stay on full brightness for 15 seconds and then turn off.
|IP65 double sealed, weatherproof||Expensive in comparison to others|
|Bright||No installation or operation instructions|
|Offers three different modes||Motion sensors have problems|
This solar security light features a massive 126 LEDs producing 1000 Lumens. The light can be adjusted in two directions toprovide better coverage. The sensor is fully adjustable allowing you to choose between 3 and 600 seconds of delay time before the light comes on. The solar cell comes with a 16-foot cable that lets you install the panel virtually anywhere to catch the full sun. There is also an optional 16- extension cable for those hard to reach areas.
|Adjustable on two axes||Some quality issues|
|Motion Sensor range 7 to 12 meters||Water gets into the sensor|
|Long-life lithium battery||Less than stellar customer service|
It just doesn't seem possible that a solar-powered light could be this bright when only rated at 800Lumenss. But thanks to special optics the light is far brighter, making it even more eco-friendly. The light can be swiveled through a full 360-degrees as can the solar panel to help you catch maximum sunlight. The light housing is IP65 weatherproof rated. The kit comes with ground stakes and wall mounts for maximum usability.
The only other viable option is to go with a wired light that is connected to your household wiring. So with this in mind, here is a security light you might want to consider if you have 110V power out to your shed.
This LED floodlight offers long-life, high-performance, and low-cost operation in a very simple no-frills fixture. Manufacture Hyperikon makes use of Helios, their latest LED technology to provide true light for any circumstance. While perfect for home use, this unit meets commercial and industrial quality standards.
|No batteries to die in the middle of the night||Will add to your electric bill|
|Exceptionally bright||Subject to damage from water leaks|
|Three lights in one unit for better coverage||Wall mount only|
As you can see there are many different lights to choose from. Be sure you take into consideration your needs, the amount of space you need to light, and whether or not you need to have solar lights that cost nothing to operate or electric lights that may be brighter but cost money to keep running.
I hope that the above information helps you find the right lights for your yard and garden.
If you have enjoyed learning about solar powered motion sensor lights. If so, please let me know. If there is any other information you would like to see here, please contact me here.
Thank you for reading this guide to solar powered motion sensor lights, I hope you found it useful.
Having a yard you can use at night doesn't have to cost a lot of money
LOOKING FOR A WAY TO LIGHT UP all your hard work out in the yard at night? Welcome to the club, you could, of course, go out to your local discount hardware superstore and spend a fortune on lighting if you really want to.
The good news is that you can get the exact same results by looking around for cheap landscaping lights that can get the job done. Bear in mind that just because these lights cost less, it doesn't mean they won't work just as well as their more expensive counterparts.
Below you will find my "Top Ten" picks for cheap landscaping lights. If you are like me, cost plays a pretty big role in everything I buy for my garden and landscaping projects. My goal is to get the most "bang for my buck" I can.
Not only does this keep my wife happy, but it also keeps my bank account smiling. In this list of lights, I have looked for low-cost but high-quality products to ensure you are not going to be wasting your money.
You get three solar-powered mosaic lights in blue, purple, and yellow. These lights can easily be stuck in the ground to provide a decorative glow to your pathways, driveway, gardens or flower beds.
They are completely weatherproof and can take anything from the hottest days of summer to the coldest days of winter. Made from stainless steel and pieces of colored glass. They are solar powered so you never have to worry about changing batteries or running wiring out to them.
|Stainless steel won't rust||On/off switch hard to find|
|Solar power – No batteries required||Stake glued into head cannot be removed|
|Colors look beautiful at night||Glass might break|
Add a charming glow to any area of your lawn or garden. Light up walkways, flower gardens and more with several of these easy to install stainless steel lights. They are solar powered but use the pre-installed Ni-Cad rechargeable battery to ensure you get maximum light over the long haul.
Light comes from a single LED bulb. Lights will come on at dusk and go off at dawn and feature an on/off switch for those times you don't want to light up your world. Will provide light for up to 10 hours.
|No wiring required||Not extremely bright|
|Battery back-up for maximum life||Plastic spike may break when pushing into hard ground|
Why not add a touch of color to your gardens/paths with these amazing lights from Vivian. They are made from stainless steel and plastic to withstand all that Mother Nature can throw at them. The lamp is a cool diamond shape and rotates through a myriad of colors all night long.
Add several of these cheap landscaping lights to your flower gardens and along the pathways in your front yard and garden and impress your neighbors. They can be easily pushed into the ground and require no wiring.
|Low Cost||ABS lens may discolor over time|
|Rotating colors||Lamps may break off posts|
|No wiring required||May only run for 6 hours|
If you have a fence around your yard or garden, why not put it work. These nifty solar-powered lights can be mounted on any wooden fence and provide you with plenty of warm white light.
Like most solar powered lights, they come on at dusk and will burn through most if not all night long (depending on the time of year). They feature an ABS plastic shell that is waterproof and will not fade or crack.
Add several of them along your fence line to help illuminate pathways and your gardens.
|Lightweight easy to install with screws or double-sided tape||Batteries may not have long life|
|LED light is warm white not harsh white typical of LED bulbs||Must have full sun to charge not for shady areas|
|Stay light for many hours||Not super bright|
Add a touch of the whimsical to your gardens with a few of these solar-powered purple tulip-shaped lights. They feature an automatic light sensor that turns them on and off as needed.
The built-in solar panel charges the battery all day long to provide your garden with gentle purple light that lasts all night long. They also feature a manual on/off switch and measure 12 inches tall, perfect for use in gardens and along pathways.
|Beautiful purple color||Flower heads are small|
|12-inches tall||Plastic materials may break|
|Solar power charges battery||May receive various colors if you order multiples|
Your deck is just as much a part of your landscaping project as your gardens so why not add some extra light? These aluminum deck lights come with a copper finish that will last for many years.
They are not solar powered but do come with 12-inch SPT-1 18g wire, connector box, and 7W wedge base bulb to make installation a breeze. They can be used with any 12-volt outdoor lighting system and are very easy to install.
|Copper finish looks great and lasts||Must have your own power supply|
|Provide plenty of light||Cannot be converted to LED|
|Bulbs are easy to replace||Bulb is not protected by any type of globe|
These solar powered lamps are designed to be used virtually anywhere outside and are made from high-quality crystal glass. They feature an automatic on/off switch so you never have to worry about going outside to turn them on.
There are two modes of operation, single light mode or an RGB mode that constantly cycles. They are completely water and weatherproof. As they are solar powered, these cheap landscaping lights require no wiring.
|Rotating Colors||Switch is weak|
|Crystal glass won't fade or discolor||Solar battery sits on top not secured|
|No wiring required||No protection for glass bottom|
Use several of these solar powered lights to brighten up your gardens, sidewalks, and pathways around your home. You get two lights in each set that will charge all day long and then light up your gardens and pathways at night.
On a full charge, they will remain lit for up to 8 hours. Since they have no wires, you can place them anywhere in your gardens where there is enough sunlight to charge them during the day. LED bulbs are used to ensure you get maximum duration each night.
|LED bulbs for maximum duration||Top can be hard to remove to access battery|
|Large globes for maximum light||Light level is a bit on the low side|
|Have a soft bluish-white light||Can be challenging to remove battery protector tab|
Sometimes you just need a little more light or perhaps you have a special plant like a huge rhododendron you want to show off, even at night. This solar-powered spotlight is just the ticket. At 20 lumens of light output, it will do just that, without blinding anyone.
The entire light is made from heat and weather resistant plastic and measures 12.8 inches tall. Once you push the stake into the ground, the light sits 9.5 inches tall and the head can be adjusted up or down to ensure you hit the right spot.
|Plastic housing is weather resistant||Not super bright like you would expect from a floodlight|
|LED bulb for maximum battery life||Some issues with batteries not charging|
|Bright enough to light up a plant or sign||Battery life is 3-6 hrs.|
This solar-powered light uses 6 LEDs to add directed light in your gardens. The design is completely waterproof so you don't have to worry about rain, snow, or your automatic sprinkler system.
You can mount it on a fence, a wall, or simply place it up against your border rocks or pavers. The solar panels spend all day in the sun recharging the built-in battery pack and will give you plenty of light for up to 8 hours on an 8-hour charge.
|Lightweight, compact design||Limited range of light|
|Runs for up to 8 hours||Overall size is a bit small|
|Waterproof||Is not fully sealed against water intrusion|
Nothing highlights your gardens more than adding a splash of color at night. This solar-powered spotlight has two settings one for more light and one for longer light.
The light can be adjusted through a full 90 degrees as can the solar panel to ensure maximum power. The automated switch will turn it on at dusk and off at dawn.
|Multicolor output on a rotating basis||Light has a low footprint|
|200 Lumens output||No option for color rotation|
|Runs 8 hours on high 14 hours on low setting||No on/off switch|
If there is one thing I have learned over the years, it is that as long as you shop wisely, it is possible to buy cheap landscaping lights and get the exact same results as you would buying the expensive ones.
I like to save money every chance I get. By saving money on lights, I have more to put towards big ticket items. I have several different styles of landscape lighting scattered around my home, but the ones I use most of all are the simple stick lights like those above that can be purchased by the case.
I hope these ideas for cheap landscaping lighting help you shine a light on all your hard work out in the yard.
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YOU'VE BEEN WORKING in your shed all day on an important project. Now the sun is setting and guess what? You don't have any light to keep working.
What you really need is some form of garden shed lighting to make your shed useable any time, night or day. You can’t keep working in a dim shed as you'll only end up making mistakes and may even ruin whatever it is you are working on.
The hard part is trying to decide what type of lighting is going to be best for your shed and what you plan to use it for. Some options such as wiring in electric lights can get expensive as you might need to bring in an electrician. Others such as battery or solar powered lights are easier to install, but may not provide enough light.
Now that we have taken a quick look at the available garden shed lighting options, let's take a look at the good and bad points a little more closely.
TYPE OF LIGHT FIXTURE
LEVEL OF LIGHT
Battery Powered All-in-One
Low but batteries don't last long
$ Fixtures are cheap but you will be buying batteries
Low but batteries don't last long
$ Fixtures are cheap but you will be buying batteries
Separate Light and Solar Panel Kit
Depends on Location
Low bulb may need replaced frequently
Yes, which can be expensive
$$ Fixtures can be expensive
Solar System with Battery Backup
Varies by size of system
Depends on Style
Very low unless bulb needs to be replaced
$$$ Solar fixtures can be expensive
Powered Fluorescent Fixture
Hard requires wiring
Relatively low bulbs last a long time
Yes, which can be expensive
$$ Fixtures are inexpensive
Powered Incandescent Fixture
Varies depending on bulbs
Hard requires wiring
Low bulb may need frequent replacement
Yes, which can be expensive
$$ Fixtures are inexpensive
Powered LED Fixture
Hard requires wiring
Practically zero as LED bulbs last for years
Yes, which can be expensive
$$$$ Fixtures are inexpensive but bulbs can be quite expensive
Bear in mind there are other issues you need to look at when deciding what type of lighting you need in your garden shed. For example, how much light do you really need? If all you are doing is storing your garden tools in it, a simple, inexpensive battery light might do just fine.
If you are using your shed for an art studio, you might be better off investing in a professionally installed LED lighting system.
If all you are looking for is some easy to install lighting that can be put up in a few minutes and provide you with just enough light to get by, then battery powered lights are the perfect option. In most cases, you will find these lights are very inexpensive and can be shipped to your home with minimal shipping charges.
They tend to come in two different styles, those that are stuck in place using peel-n-stick adhesive already installed on the back and those that require screws to attach.
With the peel-n-stick variety all you have to do is peel the protective film off the back and stick it wherever you need light.
If you are looking for an outdoor security light, you can buy self-sticking solar powered lights that have a built-in sensor that turns the light on at night and off in the morning.
The screw mounted variety have slots in the back made for installation with a couple of screws. All you have to do is install the screws in the wall of your shed and then slide the light in place.
Both of these types of security light are designed to be used outside but they can be used inside. They are very quick and easy to install. These lights require little if any maintenance beyond keeping them clean. If you buy battery instead of solar powered, you will need to replace the batteries.
Ready to use solar lights are simple to install and perfect for when you only need a little bit of light.
They are the perfect solution for anyone who doesn't want to go to the expense of having an electrician come out and install the wiring needed for standard light fixtures.
Solar lights such as these typically have a solar panel that must be installed somewhere on the south facing side of your garden shed's roof or on the ground. Wiring must then be run from the solar panel to the light fixture inside.
The cost for this type of garden shed lighting will vary depending on the size of the system, the amount of illumination it will provide, and what type of backup battery it has (or whether it has one at all).
Some offer you lighting level options which can extend the number of hours the system will operate after the sun goes down.
Overall lighting levels with solar tend to be quite a bit lower than with electrically powered lights. You do also run the risk of running out of light if you have to work at night or on very cloudy days for long periods of time.
Most systems feature LED bulbs that are surprisingly bright until the power level begins to drop.
Solar systems that use storage batteries have been around for decades. These systems can be pretty expensive, but at the same time can be used for more than just supplying power to your garden shed lighting.
The solar panels must be installed facing south for maximum exposure. The panels or as they are properly called solar collectors are then connected to one or more storage batteries.
Technically, you can use old car batteries, but deep cycle boat or RV batteries work better. The batteries are then connected to a power inverter that converts the 12V DC to 115V AC.
Depending on the size of your system, you can connect multiple lights giving your shed plenty of light. You may even be able to run other items on the system such as power tools, a radio, or battery chargers for your cordless tools.
These systems are great for sheds that you don't want to connect to electricity or are not close enough to do so affordably. Prices for these systems can range from a couple hundred dollars for basic models to thousands of dollars.
The cost is based on how much power they deliver and the type of system you choose. The most expensive ones come with very large solar panels and deep cycle storage batteries. The less expensive ones typically include lithium ion storage batteries with limited storage capacity.
When you need a ton of light either inside your shed for those late night projects or for when you are playing or working outside a night, nothing beats a powered floodlight.
These are available in several varieties, including simple screw in floodlight bulbs that fit a standard light socket or complete halogen units.
Both of these produce huge amounts of light, but they do require your shed to be wired for 115V in order for them to work. These bulbs also tend to cost a lot more to operate. They are available in a range of wattages to suit your needs.
Using a separate unit like in the image above makes installation to walls or ceilings easy
If you are considering installing fluorescent or 115V LED lighting in your shed, you will either need to already have wiring in place and connected to your home's fuse box or be prepared to pay an electrician to run it.
Both of these lights can provide your garden shed with plenty of light. Fluorescent lights come in a wide array of different spectrums ranging from warm yellow to pure white.
Warm yellow fluorescent lights are good for general purpose lighting, while full spectrum white is better suited for an art studio or for growing plants. In most cases, fluorescent lights produce softer shadows and unlike LEDs or incandescent light bulbs, will not blind you when you look directly at them.
LED Lights offer pure white light as well, but they can really hurt your eyes if you look into them. However, they are one of the most economical forms of lighting on the market.
You can literally leave an LED light on 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and still not add more than a few dollars to your annual power bill.
The only bad thing, if there is one, about LED bulbs is that they tend to be a bit on the expensive side to install. But that is offset by the fact that LEDs last much longer than other types of bulbs.
No matter what type of light you plan to install in your garden shed, you need to decide up front how many you will need.
There are several factors which must be brought into the decision making process. These include the size of your shed, the type of lights you plan to install, and most importantly of all, what you are planning to use your shed for.
If you plan to install electrically powered lights in your shed, you must factor in the cost of adding in the wiring. This is especially true if you need to hire an electrician. The cost will include all materials and labor. Typical materials needed will include:
You may also need to purchase a permit from your local city government to have the work done. A permit may also be necessary even if you are doing the work yourself. Be sure to check your local ordinances to avoid being fined.
Can you wire your own shed? Installing your own garden shed lighting is not a huge project in most cases. To find out how easy it is to do, visit our post on wiring up a shed to learn all about doing your wiring.
In the end, there is nothing worse than trying to get anything done in a dark, dismal shed.
In fact, when faced with a dark shed, most people tend to avoid getting anything done, leaving many projects incomplete or worse yet, not even getting started. Rather than leaving your shed as nothing but a storage unit/junk collector, installing the right garden shed lighting can quickly turn it into your favorite place to hang out.
If you know of any other good forms of garden shed lighting, feel free to let us know via our contact page.
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