When adding lighting to your outdoor area — be it a pool, patio or garden — consider solar outdoor lighting. Solar lighting is almost always cheaper than fluorescent or incandescent bulbs, and it is also easier to maintain.
Critics complain that outdoor solar lights don't shine as brightly as regular bulbs, but this problem largely results from poor placement. Solar lights need as many hours of full sun as possible to perform at their peak. So, while a solar element may look nice under a tree or behind another object, it's probably not receiving the maximum amount of sunlight there and, therefore, won't be able to shine as brightly.
Furthermore, solar technology has made big strides in the past few years, so bulbs are now more efficient and effective than ever before. To get even more light, choose a solar unit that uses LED bulbs.
One of the biggest advantages of solar lighting is the ease of installation, and solar garden lighting is no exception. Simply decide where you want the lights and put them in the ground! No need to dig up electrical lines or seek the help of a costly professional; because the lights' power sources are completely self-contained, you just place them and go.
Line a garden path or driveway with solar-powered lighting and, when dusk rolls around, the lights will automatically brighten to light your way. You never have to worry about remembering to turn them on or off. Solar bulbs, on average, burn about 8 hours, so in the morning, they will turn off and begin collecting sunlight for the next evening. What could be easier?
"Lamp" is a fairly generic term, but in general, it denotes a small, detached light fixture. Solar lamps come in all different heights, shapes and styles. The nice thing about solar lamps is that they are even more portable than in-ground solar lights; if you need more light in a certain area, simply bring the lamp along.
Try a classical streetlight-style solar lamp for a more elegant look, or a tabletop tiki lamp for casual fun. You can also get creative with a "lamp tree" — several small lamps hanging off a tall frame. You can also find numerous hangers and fixtures for attaching your solar lamps to patio furniture or hanging them in outdoor tents. Just be sure to leave the lamps where they will get the most direct sunlight during the day.