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Best Outdoor Solar Products for Every Home

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Jane Marsh's picture
Editor, Environment.co

Jane Marsh is the Editor-in-Chief of Environment.co. She covers topics related to climate policy, sustainability, renewable energy and more.

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  • Jul 25, 2022
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Renewable energy is all the rage as more homeowners take the plunge and install solar photovoltaic (PV) panels on their rooftops. While significantly reduced energy bills and environmental benefits are enticing, the initial price of PV panels – between $15,000 and $25,000 before tax credits and other incentives – isn't cost-effective for everyone.

Residential electricity rates are expected to increase by 4% this year compared to last summer, but more people have little choice but to crank up their air conditioners to combat record heat waves and prevent temperature-related emergencies. Already, low-income Americans spend 8.6% of their budgets on utilities – three times more than higher earners.

Fortunately, you can still utilize inexpensive solar products to offset some of your outdoor energy use and utility costs. Here are six of the best outdoor solar products for every home.

  1. Solar Walkway Lights

Walkway lighting is an attractive landscape feature that keeps you out of harm's way during twilight hours. Depending on your walkway, some paths leading to the front door are uneven, posing a fall hazard.

For people over 65, the risk is even higher. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 3 million seniors visit emergency rooms for fall injuries yearly.

Yet, running outdoor electricity all evening can jack up utility costs. Fortunately, solar walkway lights soak up enough energy from the sun to shine brightly in the evening, edging your walkway for a safely-lit passage between the driveway or street up to your front door.

  1. Decorative Solar Garden Lights

As solar technology has advanced, outdoor solar products are more versatile than ever for enhancing your landscaping at night.

Decorative stakes with solar-lit bugs and butterflies can turn your beds into whimsical fairy gardens. Meanwhile, stringing solar mason jars or market lights on the patio can transform your backyard into a cozy, romantic gathering place to spend time with friends and family.

Some solar garden products also allow you to toggle different settings, such as fading, blinking, or color-changing light features, for garden-viewing enjoyment at all hours.

  1. Solar Uplighting

Solar uplighting is a viable option if there's a prominent tree or yard feature you'd like to highlight in the evening. Uplights are spotlights that shine upward toward a particular object, delivering warmth and elegance to your nighttime landscape.

Similar to other decorative garden lights, uplights are purchasable in various colors with different setting options.

You might also shine uplights against your house for greater visibility and visual intrigue. Since summer days are often longer than other times of the year, solar lights illuminate your home and yard for longer into the evening.

  1. Solar Irrigation

Keeping your lawn and garden looking lush and green can be tricky during the summer heat, which is why an irrigation system may be necessary. Sprinkler pumps move water to an in-ground system, providing a more consistent flow for healthier landscaping with enhanced water conservation.

Although solar irrigation pumps are relatively new, with their current application to improve agriculture, more solar companies are installing solar water pumps in residential settings.

Solar water pumps are highly dependent on the weather and most efficient in areas with plenty of sunlight and water bodies nearby – providing just the right amount of water flow and pressure to keep your yard well-irrigated.

  1. Solar Bird Bath Fountains

Solar bird bath fountains are an excellent, cordless alternative to electricity-powered garden features that require access to an outdoor outlet.

The most common solar bird bath fountain is the pedestal model – a sturdy column that holds a basin – that you can purchase with a fixed, floating, or separate pump. A bird bath with a separate solar pump for the fountain allows you to relocate the panel wherever you want as long it stays near the fountain.

Birds will love splashing in the solar bird bath fountain while you'll enjoy the calming trickle of water in your yard.

  1. Motion-Sensor Security Lights

Protect your home and property by installing solar-powered motion-sensor lights. Motion sensors flip on when they detect movement and switch off on their own when there's no more activity.

Unlike soothing and warm garden lights, motion sensors store energy from the sun to shine whiter and brighter with the help of LEDs, creating longer-lasting, safe lighting security through the night.

Considering burglaries usually increase by 10% between June and August, maintaining a reliable and energy- and cost-efficient security system is critical.

Power Your Outdoors With Solar Products

Even if rooftop PV panels aren't within your budget, there are several cost-effective solar products you can purchase for your home to increase utility savings and achieve better energy efficiency. In addition to receiving the benefits of solar power, these products can also enhance your landscape’s aesthetics.

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