How to Garden With Solar Powered Lights

Written by richard kalinowski
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How to Garden With Solar Powered Lights
Solar-powered garden lights should be placed close to plant life. (Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

Solar-powered lights are an enticing option for your outdoor garden. You don't need to deal with pesky cables throughout your garden area, and solar lights are movable if you ever change your planting patterns. Solar-powered lights are also affordable, often costing around the same as a normal garden light and requiring only occasional low-cost bulb replacements. Solar-powered lights, however, tend to be dimmer than traditional garden lights, so proper usage is vital to ensure good lighting.

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    Read the garden light's packaging to see if the light emits UV rays. Solar lights typically include this information on the label, and they are usually called "grow lights" rather than "garden lights." Unless you are trying to grow plants that require intense sunlight, you want to stay away from UV emissions. Plants can die if they receive too much sunlight -- even if it's artificial sunlight from a solar light.

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    Place your garden lights within about a foot of high-traffic areas in your garden. Solar-powered lights provide good light in the immediate vicinity, best suited for highlighting garden plants right next to the light. Solar-powered gardening lights are typically installed by driving a stake on the bottom of the light into the ground. Once firmly driven into the soil, the garden light will begin to soak up sunlight on its own. Some solar-powered gardening lights emit light automatically when sunlight dissipates; others need to be turned on with a switch on the bottom of the light. For most gardens, you want to use switch-activated lights, as these save solar energy for when you really need it.

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    Prune nearby trees to ensure good sunlight for maximum solar absorption. Solar-powered lights need several hours of daily sun to properly operate at night, so do not use solar-powered lights near garden plants that thrive in full or partial shade.

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