Solar vs Low Voltage Landscape Lighting: Which is best choice?

Having dark spots all around your home may not be the best for your security at night and it can get dangerous. However when it comes to choosing a lighting system to help you out, it can be quite challenging to settle for one. Solar vs low voltage landscape lighting, which is the better choice for you? This article will enlighten you and help you make an informed choice.

What is Solar Lighting?

Solar lighting is a an eco-friendly and cost-effective option to light up your pathways, walkways and gardens at night. With a clean energy, they deliver the light just as you want it. They’re quite easy to maintain with low running cost. Hence, by acquiring them, you know you won’t need to be spending extra to keep them working. While they have several benefits, they also have some shortcomings.

Therefore, before going ahead to illuminate your landscape with solar lighting, you should consider their best features and their deficiencies to help you decide if they’re the ideal choice for you.

In the following paragraphs, we will discuss the factors that set solar lights apart from other types of lights.

1. Cost

For every buyer, cost is always a major factor in deciding which product to buy. With solar lighting, you spend nothing to keep them operating. Therefore, you’ll be able to save on electricity bill and have money to spend on other important things. While solar lights are quite expensive to install, you can always do away with the future bills that come from other sources of lighting.

2. Brightness

A major deficiency of solar lighting is that they’re not quite bright like their electric counterpart. Solar lights can cast a bluish hue, making them less useful for security purposes. Their brightness also tend to suffer before it’s dawn if they’re not able to save enough energy before the night.

3. Convenience

Convenience is what everyone craves in a product they’re buying. You definitely don’t want to buy a product that inconveniences you than you were before. With solar lights, you get enormous convenience. This is because they get free energy directly from the sun and they don’t need you checking after them several times or fueling a generator to keep them on. They also have a smart feature that automatically turns them off after dusk.

However, there’s a major inconvenience that may provide a source of concern. Weather conditions determine the effectiveness of solar lights. Like we’ve noted severally, they derive their energy from sunlight. Without sunlight, there’s no other source of light for them. Hence, rainy or cloudy days can have adverse effects on their source of energy, making them to run for shorter time. As an owner, there’s little you can do to affect this condition.

4. Installation

Installation of solar lighting is quite easy because you won’t need to deal with annoying wires. You will need to stake the spike into the ground and they are quite easy to mount. Solar panel is normally installed on the top of the light while a battery is placed in the body. Hence, you’ll need to put them where they can get adequate sunlight to charge their batteries.

5. Maintenance

Like we stated earlier, solar lighting requires little maintenance. You’ll need to always keep the surface of the fixtures clean. You’ll also need to keep dirt or debris away from the solar panel to ensure it always gets adequate sunlight. In addition, it’s important to always check the battery and know when to get rid of corrosion or change it.

What is Low Voltage Landscape Lighting?

Low Voltage Landscape Lighting

Low voltage landscape lighting requires only 12 volts of electricity to run. Low voltage lights are specifically made for landscape use. A transformer, which converts the 120 volts from the home outlet to 12 volts, powers them. For convenience and effectiveness, they’re normally equipped with a timer which allows you to set the time you want your lights to go off and come on automatically.

The lights are strung together by a cable buried underground. Several and transformers and sized cable combine to provide power to the lighting system. Hence, you’ll need to get a transformer of higher capacity for more lights.

Also, in the next paragraphs, we will discuss the impressive factors that stand them out without leaving out their deficiencies.

1. Safe

Low voltage landscape lighting is mostly favored for residential properties because of the safety they guarantee. With 120 volts power, you won’t have to worry much about shocks. This will ensure evasive kids don’t get into trouble with electricity in the house. Meanwhile, the line voltage of 120 volts power won’t be that lenient. Hence, this lighting is very safe to use at home without any troubles.

2. Installation

Installation of a low voltage landscape lighting can take time but it doesn’t spring up much challenges. You will need to bury a trench into the ground to run the cable. Each of the lighting fixtures will then be attached to this cable to provide them power. There are not much safety concerns. The setup requires just the transformer, cable, and light fixtures. After installation, there’s no much maintenance to do than ensuring the bulbs are always wiped cleaned for unhindered brightness.

3. Cost

A low voltage landscape lighting is a bit expensive. You’ll need to buy a transformer for installation while the lighting fixtures will cost you money. You’ll also need to buy LED light fixtures for this lighting which are quite expensive but durable. They also consume less power when compared to other fixtures. Hence, you’ll be able to save on electricity bill.

4. Aesthetics

When it comes to buying colorful lights for your home, low voltage lights can give you that. There are various light fixtures for this system. With them, you get to decorate your home in the best way you desire. Hence, you add more color and beauty to your home.

5. Extra benefits

This type of lighting option is designed for use in all weather conditions. Unlike, solar lights, low voltage lights are not constrained by environmental conditions. Hence, these lights are consistent witoutaby worry of dimming bulbs due to low power source.

6. Potential troubles

This lighting option requires you to have a connected electrical source. Most low voltage lights are placed along the ground to illuminate landscape or light up driveways and walkways. You cannot mount them on vertical surfaces, along fences or rooflines. Sometimes, you may be faced with a case of cable cutting as a result of yard maintenance or landscaping, requiring you to rewire the cable.  


Lighting is very important, especially at night when you want to see everything going on in your surrounding. There are different lighting systems available and the solar and low voltage landscape lighting are among them. While solar lighting requires only direct sunlight as its power source, the low voltage landscape lighting requires only electricity.

In this article, we’ve been able to point out their many good sides and their few bad sides. However, when it comes to solar vs low voltage landscape lighting, there’s no absolute better choice between them. Hence, it is important to choose an option based on your preference and what you think suits your peculiarities.

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