How to choose solar lights for your home

Solar lights are an easy way to make your garden sparkle at night or light the path to your door. Powered by the sun, they are the most energy efficient lights available. Darren from Mercator lights has shared his tips for solar success.

How solar lights work

Solar lights can provide an easy and flexible light to complement the best features in your garden. It’s also handy for lighting pathways and setting a special mood for outdoor entertaining.

So that they can absorb as much solar energy as possible, these lights are designed to be out in the sun all day. Each light usually has its own solar panel that charges an internal battery to power the light. 

They generally switch on and off automatically, and Darren says the quality of the solar panel and the internal battery determines how long they stay on. “A cheaper solar light will give you less time with light. If you're buying more expensive solar lights, with a better quality battery, you will get more hours of light.”

The best part is, they won’t add to your electricity bill. Solar lighting is the ultimate in energy efficiency, with all of their power coming from the sun.

Easy to install them yourself

Solar lights are constructed either from stainless steel or plastic and are usually silver or black in colour. Available in a variety of styles, you can choose from modern, industrial, classic and a few novelty designs.

As a self-contained unit they require no wiring. Solar path lights and spotlights sit on a spike that you can simply push into firm soil. Deck and wall lights can be easily mounted onto walls and pillars.

Solar light location is everything

Solar lights provide a cool white light which is a more effective light at lower power. The amount of light you create is relative to the number of solar lights you install. 

Darren suggests placing them a couple of steps apart from each other. “I've just done mine and I placed them at one-point-five and two metres apart. It provides great light across my garden.”

For the best performance, solar lights need as much sunlight as they can get, so try to avoid placing them in shady areas. Because the path lights don’t require any fixings or connections you can easily relocate them if you put them in the wrong spot. 

Solar highlights for your garden

The best way to approach solar lighting in your garden is to focus on your best outdoor features. Place solar path lights along walkways to guide the way and highlight plants nearby. 

By placing the solar garden lights in creative locations, Darren says you can show off your backyard in its best light. “I put some coloured solar lights in my garden as well. I've got a fountain and they added a really nice effect to the fountain with the light shining behind it.”

Get your solar lights

Discover the wide range of solar lighting available at your local Bunnings Warehouse.

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Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.
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