What Cheap Outdoor Solar Lights Can Do for Your Nighttime Curb Appeal
We do a lot of walking around the neighborhood. With a 15-year old dog with potty problems, we're constantly walking him in hopes that it will save our carpets, and our sanity. So we're often walking him at night before bed, which gives us a different view of the neighborhood. We pass a lot of beautiful homes on our walk, many who have professional exterior landscape lighting that light up their homes in a way that really adds a lot of style and presence. Beyond the look, I think the added light also increases safety. While I'd love to add some professional lighting to our exterior, it's not in the budget right now since we're about to embark on our big pool project. BUT, I made a quick impulse buy with some cheap plastic solar lights and have been shocked at how big of an impact they have made to our nighttime curb appeal.
Solar LED Landscape Spotlights
I bought these spotlights at Home Depot on impulse and decided that for $7 I could see if they worked without being out any real time or money. I grabbed five of them to start with and they were so simple to use. All it took was turning them on and setting them out in the sun to charge up for the first day.
After a day of sunshine, I tucked them into different places around the front landscape beds eyeballing about where I thought they would need to go and waited until dark to get out and adjust their angles, heights, etc.
One major difference from these to professional lighting is how big they are. Professional lighting usually uses a wired system with smaller lights. These cheap guys need to have an active solar panel on top of the light, so they aren't the most inconspicuous things. I was always afraid they'd stick out like a sore thumb in the landscape beds, but they really don't bother me like I thought they would. If you're looking for them, you can see them, but if you're not, they just blend right in and the bigger our plants get, the more they'll blend.
Nighttime Curb Un-appeal Without Landscape Lights
Here's a look at our house in the dark with just the house lights on. We have an overhead light over the entryway and three outdoor house lights flanking the driveway (one of my first blog posts was sharing the saga we went through to replace those so click here to give that a read!). Don't mind my crappy phone photo, but you get the gist!
The house lights put off pretty good light for the drive and walkway, but that's it. The landscaping and rest of the house are pretty dang dark. Which is probably why the deer love to sit and snack on the far side of that front bed at night next to the lawn.
Nighttime Curb Appeal with Landscape Lights
When it gets dark enough, the lights begin to turn on. They run dusk to dawn and they're surprisingly bright and cast quite a bit of light. It took a little to adjust the lights in various directions to shed light on the house and landscaping out front. I ended up buying three more to help fill in the far left end and hit the tree trunk from both sides.
As the plants grow and mature, we'll have to keep adjusting them a bit, but love how they make everything shine in the night.
More professional lighting solutions would provide more even coverage and they'd be able to also figure out how to light up our top floor peak where our Primary Bedroom Window is. But for $60, I think it looks like a much more expensive upgrade!
Swipe for the full before-and-after effect!
Cool part with doing lighting this way is we can keep adding on a the landscaping changes with another $7 light or two. Eventually we may want to create a wired system that throws light in other directions, but for now, I think these are a great solution that can affordably make your home look like a million bucks!
Need an outdoor lighting fix? Here's what we used:
Hampton Bay 55 Lumens Solar Black LED Spotlight from Home Depot