When you're making a landscape lighting plan, it's always a good idea to try and get it right the first time. Trial and error can be a useful way to figure out what works, but it also takes up time, money and energy that could be spent on other things. One of the most important questions you'll want to ask is whether to invest in wired LED lighting or solar LED lighting. Though they may appear fairly similar on the surface, the differences are essential to understand before you make your decision. Read on to discover the differences between wired LED vs. solar LED outdoor lighting.
Solar LED Pros and Cons
Solar LED lights are often the first choice for homeowners trying to DIY their landscape lighting. They are very easy to install, and simply require being staked in the ground wherever they are going to be placed. Additionally, solar LED lights are inexpensive and are great for those on a budget.
Unfortunately, solar lights also tend to need replacing more often than their wired counterparts. Made of plastic, some solar lights can get broken easily. Anything limiting the sun's access to the top of the solar light will significantly impede the lights' ability to work properly. Homeowners must take care when placing their solar lights to ensure there aren't any obstacles such as growing flowers, vines, leaves or even dirt accumulation. A period of cloudy, rainy days can also impair the solar lights' function ability. As they near the end of their lifespan, solar LEDs may also experience decreased brightness overall, but you may be able to change the LED bulb to extend lifespan. Solar lights usually have a sensor and come on when night falls.
Wired LED Pros and Cons
Wired LED lights are often chosen by outdoor lighting professionals, though the ingenuitive homeowner would likely be able to figure out how to install them without help. Wired lights have a lot of flexibility because they are not constrained by availability of the sun. This means they can be placed in dark corners or under plants that wouldn't ordinarily be able to get light. There is also a bit more flexibility when it comes to the type of lighting available. Wired lights can shine up, down and side to side without any trouble because they are not reliant on a solar panel that must be facing up.
Wired LED lights are typically built to last a lot longer than their solar counterparts. Be sure to check whether the lights you're investing in are made of cheap plastic or metal. If you don't have to change the lights as often, you may actually be saving money in the long run. You can also set wired LED lights up on a timer to keep a consistent schedule. Professional grade lighting installations can also increase your property value.
There are a few drawbacks to using wired LED lights. First, it is certainly more difficult to install them on your own. The wires need to be buried underground to ensure they won't accidentally get broken or become a tripping hazard. Wired lights also have a limit on spacing and how far they can be placed from the house, especially if you opt for a prepacked set instead of a custom design. Wired LED lights can also be prohibitively expensive for some people because of the initial investment required.
Now that you understand the benefits and drawbacks of each type of lighting, you can go ahead and make the best decision for your landscape.