Advantages of solar lights
No electrical connection required
Because solar-powered landscape lighting is powered by the sun, there is no need for additional wiring or electrical connections. Not only is this convenient when it comes to installation, but it also makes it possible to have landscape lighting in far-flung corners of the garden where electrical wiring isn't readily available. It also means you don't have to worry about accidentally cutting the power to your landscape lighting when you dig into the ground.
Easy to install
There's no need to call an electrician to install solar landscape lighting. In fact, the installation process should be as simple as assembling the light and then placing it in place, such as staking it into the ground or hanging it. Because it takes a while for the solar charge to build up, you won't be able to test the light straight away. But, depending on the unit and the amount of sunshine that day, wait a few hours and you should be able to appreciate the new lighting effects.
Long term savings potential
Unlike wired landscape lighting, solar-powered landscape lighting won't affect your monthly electricity bill. These savings may seem minimal, but they add up over time: For example, it can cost about $60 a year to power a 100-watt street light. If you use a solar version, that's an extra $60 you can keep each year.
And when you consider that solar landscape lighting can last three to four years before you need to replace the batteries, and even longer before you need to replace the LED bulbs, there is plenty of time to recoup the initial investment in solar landscape lighting. Even better, the cost of solar landscape lighting is becoming increasingly affordable as the technology advances.
Disadvantages of solar lights
They need sunlight to work
The biggest drawback to solar lighting is that the lights need sunlight to work. As the solar panels are usually built into the lights themselves, this means that you can only rely on consistent lighting if the lights are placed in areas where they receive good sunlight - which means that dark corners, covered patios and more may not be good candidates for solar lighting.
As most of us know, sunlight isn't consistent from day to day. This means you may not get a good charge on a stormy day or on a day with shorter daylight hours; once the light goes out, you'll have to wait for it to recharge the next day.
The light from solar-powered lights isn't generally as bright as wired lights. If you are relying on landscape lighting or for security or safety purposes, you may want a more consistently reliable option, such as an electric LED light.
To keep your solar-powered landscape lights working, the solar panel needs to be kept clear of debris such as leaves, snow and dirt. Although the lights themselves are fairly durable, this means that you will need to check them regularly to keep them in working order.