Hot colors and twinkling lights in downtown Chicago are a passion of those who love the nightlife. Brighten up the outside of your home with energy-efficient, solar-powered lighting. In the Windy City, the sun’s natural ability to light up the dark adds a bit of sparkle to your home, especially in winter. These five ways to incorporate solar lighting into your home’s exterior give your house that something extra your neighbors will envy.
1. Trees and Flowers
Weeding, watering, and maintaining the garden comes with homeownership. After all that hard work, show off your masterpiece in lights! Solar light poles and lanterns glow steadily after sunset, providing a mesmerizing peace among the landscape. If your home has wildflowers and synthetic turf, solar lights showcase the yard’s lush and even tone. Blooms in red, purple, orange, and yellow intensify when lit up at night.
Solar lighting is eco-friendly, and it won’t run up your electric bill. Take that eco-friendliness a step further by planting native wildflowers like wild bergamot, Culver’s root, and garden phlox. Then showcase those blooms with solar stick lights planted around the garden. Portable solar sticks are easy to move around as the sun’s direction changes from spring to fall. And unlike electric lights, solar cells won’t attract hordes of insects.
Stumbling through the dark is dangerous, especially if your kids leave bicycles, skateboards, scooters, and who-knows-what laying around. Solar-powered lights are ready for your arrival after dark — you don’t have to worry about remembering to leave a light on, especially in winter.
Outdoor solar lighting reduces the possibility of a fall and keeps evening visitors from walking on the grass when they can’t see the pathway.
Illuminating walkways is one good reason for solar lights, and security is another. The motion-sensing floodlights that allow your children to play outside after the sun goes down will also protect them while they sleep. Criminals tend to avoid homes with well-lit yards. Solar floodlights with motion sensors keep tabs on movement around the perimeter of the house.
4. Light Posts and Wall Mounts
Protect and brighten the outside of your home with solar lights on vertical walls. Place outdoor fixtures like sconces, pole lanterns, and track lighting on the house and high fences. In the front of the house, solar mounts illuminate garage doors and entryways. Stained glass post caps emit a rainbow of colors in direct sunlight and bright patterns of light after dark.
5. Backyard Cheer
Light strings are not just for Christmas anymore. Dress up the backyard all year long. Available in so many shapes and sizes — typically from 10 to 100 feet long and lengths in between — you can hang solar strings through fences, pergolas, gazebos, bushes, and trees (and you don’t have to plug them in!). Tiny “fairy lights” are sweet for small shrubs.
Choose light strings with white or colored globes, hanging teardrops, diamonds, or mini lanterns. Celebrate your Cubs fandom with blue and red outdoor lights from Major League Baseball. Besides charging on their own, outdoor solar string lights are water-resistant. Good to know if your White Sox-loving neighbor throws a hose on your victory party.
Outdoor solar lighting is easy to install, practically maintenance-free, and well-charged lights can last for hours after nightfall. With all the smart gadgets on the market these days, solar lights are the smartest — set and forget. Sun lights don’t need an app, and they don’t need a timer. Mother Nature has it covered.
Mia Nguyen designed and built her own patio, complete with an outdoor kitchen and firepit. Her favorite pastime is entertaining, and she considers herself lucky to have a huge backyard where she and her extended family often gather.