Countryside Restoration

Outdoor Solar Lighting

This article is dedicated a good weekend project. Now that the sun is shining, installing outdoor solar lighting is a great way to add nice aesthetics and way-finding to your home.

Here is how to get started…


Be careful to avoid the pathways of lawn mowers or edgers. Also, try not to place the units too close to driveways or other vehicle paths. Even though the lighting is mostly visible during the evening hours, the structures should be visible during the day so as not to trip or fall.

[2] Location

After assessing your locations and obstacles, decide what and where you would like more illumination. Maybe you’d like to light the path to the garden or the front walkway? Wherever you’d like more lighting, the light posts or elements should be installed generally close together. This shows more of the path and brings more light to your particular area. The great thing about outdoor solar lighting is that it’s flexible. The lighting can be moved around or adjusted to accommodate your needs and taste.


Outdoor solar lighting needs direct access to sunlight. Try to place them will they will absorb the most of the daylight available. This may require the removal of branches, leaves or other items that bring shade.

[4]The panels

Some solar lighting will require their own panels in order to catch those rays. Placement here is very important. Usually a cable will be included with the units and/or panel, which connects to the fixture. The location and position of the panel will need to receive allot of sunlight.

[5] Installing the panel

Bury the cable at least 6 inches down in the soil to avoid excess moisture and also to provide protection. If needed, you can thread the cable through a plastic tube for extra protection.


In most cases you will have to fully charge your lighting before it’s installed. Regardless of the brand, it’s good to do this. It’s because the panel actually charges batteries that keep the lights on at night. The fixture should receive 12 to 16 hours of full sunlight before installation. Don’t worry about over charging, you can leave the fixture in the sunlight for 1 to 2 days. It’s also good to clean the panel first in order to receive maximum input.

[6] The soil

Depending on the quality of your soil, it may be necessary to prepare the dirt first to make it easier during install. For example, if you have very dry, rocky soil, add some water where you plan to dig the cable. Using a garden fork or shovel to break up the soil can help also. The idea here is that you want to avoid breaking the unit’s post as this is vital to retain the consistency of the look and feel of your newly illuminated path.


[A] Check the on/off
This sounds simple but can be easily overlooked. Make sure to check if your units have on/off switches and then turn them all on.

[B] Light and Dark
Solar lighting relies on a photocells to gather sunlight. They also determine when to turn on based on the level of darkness. If it’s not dark enough the lights won’t turn on. It’s possible that other sources of light can be obstructing the judgement of the photocells. To troubleshoot this, cover the photocell with something like a removable tape or other similar material. Next wait until nighttime to see if the light comes on. If the light comes on, then the unit may need to be moved away from other outdoor lighting.

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