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With sunnier days on the horizon, here’s how to harness sunlight for good in your outdoor space

Which solar-powered products are best?

As the winter season comes to an end, many are looking to redecorate their outdoor space. Solar-powered lights and decor provide an easy way to spruce up your lawn, patio and garden. These items are often stylish, easy to set up and save you money over time, so they’re worth considering if you're looking for an easy way to enhance your curb appeal.

In this article: Signature Garden Solar Garden Lights, Pandawill Solar-Powered Glass Ball and Sunnydaze Solar-Powered Outdoor Water Fountain

Solar-powered product types

Solar panels

Solar panels are one of the most popular solar-powered items. These can be set up around your home or on your patio to power a few devices simultaneously. They often cost a few hundred dollars. Many are designed with portability in mind, meaning you can take them with you when you camp. Additionally, many models can be affixed to your patio to power an outdoor TV or give you a green way to charge your laptop or phone.

Solar garden lights

By staking solar lights into the ground, you can provide a sustainable way to illuminate your garden or walkway. They are available in various styles and designs. You typically get 10 or more in a set.

Solar fountains

Solar fountains are a great way to add beautiful, eco-friendly decor to your outdoor space. They allow you to hear trickling water throughout the day, creating a relaxing atmosphere that you and your guests will surely enjoy.

These fountains use solar energy to power a small water pump. Most of their components are self-contained, so you won’t need plumbing knowledge to set them up.

Solar-powered product benefits

  • Easy to install: Most solar-powered lights and fountains can be set up quickly.
  • Eco-friendly: Using solar energy is an excellent way to reduce your carbon footprint since they don’t require fossil fuels.
  • Low-maintenance: Most solar-powered devices are built to last and only need to be cleaned occasionally. If you place them in a location that receives direct sunlight, they’ll turn on automatically or run continuously, depending on the type of device.
  • Affordable: You won’t have to worry about your outdoor lighting or decor increasing your electric bill.

Do solar-powered items work on cloudy days?

Solar-powered items work best in direct sunlight, but you can still use them on cloudy days. Clouds block some sun rays, but your devices will still receive power. Still, you’ll likely notice that your solar-powered devices aren’t completely charged when the cloud coverage is dense. 

If possible, it’s best to place your solar-powered devices in the section of your yard that receives the most sunlight on cloudy days. 

Can you charge solar-powered items with artificial light?

You’ll technically be able to charge your solar-powered devices with artificial light, but it won’t work nearly as well as sunlight. Many incandescent bulbs produce light wavelengths similar to the sun but are much less intense. Small solar-powered items like garden lights will receive some charge inside, but likely not enough to keep them powered through the night.

Best solar-powered products

Signature Garden Solar Garden Lights

These solar lights are easy to set up and are built to withstand the elements. They turn on automatically when it gets dark outside. You get eight in a set.

Sold by Amazon

Goal Zero Boulder 200 Briefcase Solar Panel

These provide enough energy to power a few essential appliances at a time. They’re built to last and are relatively easy to set up. You won’t have to deal with a noisy generator.

Sold by Amazon and Home Depot

Pandawill Solar-Powered Glass Ball

This fun decorative item changes colors and features a stylish glass design. It’s surprisingly durable and stays lit through the night. It’s an ideal lighting solution for gardens, patios and balconies.

Sold by Amazon

Sunnydaze Solar-Powered Outdoor Water Fountain

This two-tier water fountain has a classy design and a backup battery pack. The setup process is surprisingly straightforward and requires no plumbing knowledge.

Sold by Amazon

LuminAid Solar Camping Lantern And Phone Charger

This is compact and collapsible, making it an excellent choice for camping or at-home use. The light lasts up to 100 hours before needing more solar energy. It takes a while to charge your phone, but many said this feature was a lifesaver while camping.

Sold by Amazon

Brightown Solar String Lights

These are waterproof and stay lit for around 10 hours at a time. They feature a stylish design and have eight lighting modes. They come in seven colors, including white, blue and purple.

Sold by Amazon

Ellassay Solar-Powered Pest Deterrent Spikes

These last around four days after being charged for four hours. They use low-frequency sound pulses to deter moles, gophers and snakes.

Sold by Amazon

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Cody Stewart writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money. 

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