Do you live in a “Golden State”? If so, you would not be short of sunlight within the nearest months. Your yard is well-lit in summer. Meanwhile, severe thunderstorms march along the east coast. Do solar lights work in shade? Let’s figure it out and find best solar path lights for shade!
If you don’t have enough direct sunlight, you need even more security and illumination. It might happen if you live in the forest. Your city and state might have a bad reputation due to rainy weather. Let’s get back to the solar lights’ efficiency message. Together, we should find some solutions that change the matter.
Climate & Seasonal Considerations
Inhabitants of desert areas, should not worry about lack of sunlight. Nevada Arizona and California’s weather is hot and dry in summer. These states have great solar energy potential. During a summer heatwave, the temperature exceeds 100 degrees. Now, we would care rather about plant watering.
Residents of other states are in great need of high-quality coverage of their pedestrian or driveways, as well as various places in the backyard.
For example, Seattle, WA, gets on average 58 sunny days per year. Florida, Texas, and Louisiana suffer from severe thunderstorms in May and June. Your garden path area may remain in the shade continually due to:
- nearby trees;
- your house;
- tall fences.
In San Jose, you can build a fence that is up to 6 feet high without any permit. It would be tall enough to shade your path lights. If you place some of them too close to your trees, garden or fence, their efficiency decreases. Will they provide enough output to illuminate your garden all night through? I’ll try to answer the question.
What is the Highest Lumens for Solar Lights?
Clouds don’t block out the sun completely. They let some sunlight through. Here, in California, we are looking forward to the partly cloudy days. They give us peasant coolness. When the temperature is below 70 degrees F, you feel more comfortable. Solar panels do accumulate energy in the shade.
Sun’s angle changes during the day. Every solar disc light gets some hours of direct sunlight. Even very low ground installation doesn’t prevent their operation. What is the brightest solar path light? Let’s compare it to the other outdoor lighting solutions.
Source of Light vs Brightness, Lm/sq. ft.
- Direct Sunlight – 32,000-130,000
- Sun (full daylight) – 10,000- 25,000
- Moon – 1,200
- 6W LED bulb – 450
- Disc Light – 1-30
- Candle – 1
How many lumens should a solar light be? Each of your disc lighting fixtures produce up to 15-30 lumens. It depends on their performance, location, and battery charge. To illuminate your garden path or a walkway, you need about 100 lumens. That is, a set of 8 LED lights is enough. Decorative, accent garden lighting might be even less bright. 50 lumens make the paths visible, but they don’t ensure your trip-over safety completely.
What are the Best Solar Walkway Lights?
If you live in the forest, additional illumination is necessary. Tall trees around your house release oxygen. You get amazing fresh air to breathe and comfortable coolness. After a thunderstorm, you enjoy a fresh smell too. It produces ozone that lets you feel calm and sleep better.
Shade under the tree is perfect. It grants us essential coolness in summer. What about our yard and garden? They do need illumination at night. Best solar landscape lights are useful, as they are:
- easy to install and maintain;
These lighting fixtures don’t affect your electricity bills. They consume only the energy accumulated during the day. Disc lights don’t require any wiring. So, your yard remains uncluttered. It looks beautiful, as the rights add romance and style to your small family garden.
In California, the smallest options are preferable. They do the job, accentuating the paths and large objects at night. Only consider the color of light (warm/cold or vivid). These smart installations are virtually invisible. In daytime, you can forget about them. Stepping on them or watering plants nearby is not dangerous.
What is the Most Powerful Solar Light?
When length of the day is 12-14 hours, like in California in summer, battery charge is not an issue. Every top-quality solar light generates enough energy from the sun. At night, it gives not less than 8-10 hours of light. In northern states or shaded areas, you would need more powerful devices.
Its output depends on:
- Solar panel size.
- It’s capacity.
- Technology (type).
Both monocrystalline and polycrystalline cells contain silicone. The difference is only in the number of crystals. Monocrystalline solar panels are more efficient than polycrystalline ones. They stand out by black color and wafer-like structure. Polycrystalline panels are dark blue.
Thin-film panels are the most affordable and compact. They contain photovoltaic materials on a plastic, metal or glass substrate. Best low voltage path lights come with small solar panels on the top. They might differ by type and voltage. Quite naturally, all of them are safer and more compact than line-voltage fixtures.
If you live in a cloudy region, choose your outdoor solar lights, especially carefully. Battery type and capacity matters. Your compact fixture might come with Li-ion or Ni-MH rechargeable battery. Ni-MH batteries are lower-voltage. They give 1.2V. These energy storage devices have high energy density. They accumulate a great amount of current or power. But Ni-MH batteries charge longer than Li-ion devices. They tolerate extreme summer heat worse.
Are There Any Solar Lights that Actually Work?
Solar light fixtures with Li-ion batteries suit outdoor applications perfectly well. They withstand various weather conditions. These energy storages produce 3.7 v, having “memory effect”. So, they recharge faster, but the batteries should not be fully empty.
Thus, living in a comparatively rainy region, select energy–efficient solar lights. They are brighter than their counterparts. Prefer the fixtures with high IP water-resistance rating. In shade, they still won’t work on their full capacity.
How can you deal with it?
- Trim tree branches and plants that shade the lights.
- Clean the solar panels.
- Move the light fixtures to better-lit spots.
- At daytime, place the solar panels under direct sun.
- Try to find an elevated area for the light, like a swell of the ground.
Taller outdoor lights that come with long stakes get more direct sunlight. They are brighter than low-profile fixtures, covering up to 48 inches of garden area. However, compact, disc solar lights have clear benefits. They are stylish, durable, and impossible to trip over.
Do you select solar path lights for shady areas? Prefer powerful, efficient fixtures. Pay attention to their battery and solar panel types and capacities. These factors determine solar lights’ working time per night. They would illuminate your yard during 6-10 hours. Try to find a good, sunny location for every fixture. If the weather is nasty all week or month-long, solar lights would require maintenance. Clean them every day, recharge the batteries. So, they grant you a pleasant, romantic glow all night through.
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