Battery and Solar Garden Lighting – What actually works?

I miss coming home from work and spending evening pottering around in the garden with hours of sunlight remaining but the fact is that it’s getting darker and the days are going to be very short for quite a while. I bet that’s cheered you up no end! I mention this because one issue I’m currently having is with outside lighting and the options available.

I’ve got quite long garden and even though I’ve installed a PIR motion sesnsor light off of the mains from my house, it doesn’t reach the bottom of the garden and thats’ a bit of a pain as that where we park our cars and where my new shed is. I’ve put in a fair amount of research.. okay, maybe research is a strong word for browsing on eBay and Amazon but it’s amazing the number of items out there and how many are pure crap!

Solar Lighting

We have solar powered fairy lights on our decking which are great in the summertime when we have 15 hours of pure daylight but when it comes to the winter months it’s hard to get anything but a dull glow from them and this applies to most of the low cost solar lighting options out there.

It may be fine if you spend hundreds on solar panels, inverters, storage batteries, etc but if you’re looking for a cheaper option then I’d say keep away from solar for purely lighting your garden paths etc. They are the cheaper but will just be wasted money as they are not up for the job when there’s not much sunshine about.

Battery Lighting

I don’t have mains power in the garden as it would need to be done by a professional electrician and will cost hundreds, and as discussed above solar isn’t an option, so the next alternative is to buy battery powered lights and these needed to be :

  • Weatherproof
  • PIR Motion Activated
  • Long Battery Life
  • Good Value

Garden Battery PIR Security Light DuaThere aren’t a huge amount of lights that fit all these criteria but the model I finally settled on this. Being battery powered means it can be placed anywhere and I’ve currently got it fixed onto a fence post. It’s got 2 LED lamps which you can adjust to point in different directions although there’s not a huge amount of movement and probably only swivel about 20 degrees each direction so don’t think you can cover too wide an area.

The lighting unit takes 3 AA batteries and as it’s only powering energy efficient LED’s they’re still going strong even after a couple of months I’ve been using them.

As you can tell, I’m sold on them and you can read more about them on the product page.

Here’s a vine video I took to give you an idea what to expect:

Long term plans?

In the long term I will look to get mains powered lighting outside and this will also supply power to my shed but as I mentioned earlier this will cost more money and will be even more as I know I will need a larger consumer unit in the house as well so it could be expensive, so I’m sticking with the battery powered lights for the moment.

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