Differences Between Wired and Solar Lighting

Adding landscape lighting to your home or business can elevate the beauty of your space, improve overall safety, and provide a significant return on your investment. As you start to consider your landscape lighting design, you’ll find that there are some important decisions to make.

For example, you’ll need to decide whether to use solar lighting, wired lighting, or a combination of the two. There are pros and cons to each option and the location and desired effect also come into play. Before you make your decision, consider these points.


One potential drawback of solar landscape lighting is that it must receive enough sunlight to properly charge the batteries. If the lights don’t charge enough, they’ll emit a dull light or no light at all. Improper charging can also decrease the battery life. This can be caused by a variety of issues ranging from cloudy days to dirt or grass obstructing the charging cells.

Wired systems run off electricity, so they work consistently all the time. As long as you properly maintain the wiring and replace the bulbs when needed, you can expect reliable and even lighting every time you turn them on.


Wired lighting provides a brighter light than solar fixtures, making it a better choice in spaces where visibility is a primary concern, such as when lighting a path. Even on a full charge, solar landscape lights aren’t as bright and don’t emit a white-colored light.

On the other hand, if you’re lighting an area such as a flower bed or garden, you may prefer the soft glow created by solar lights.


Since they automatically come on at night and turn off in the daylight, solar lights offer the convenience of having a “set-it-and-forget-it” landscape lighting system. However, some homeowners prefer the extra control wired lights offer. When you choose wired lighting, you can decide when to turn your lights on or off and may also be able to remotely adjust the brightness and the colors.

Cost and Efficiency

When it comes to cost, solar lighting is the clear winner. Since they run entirely off energy from the sun, there’s no addition to your electric bill. They’re also typically less expensive to purchase and install. In addition, newer solar lights often come with features like rechargeable batteries and LED bulbs, which can lower your maintenance and replacement costs down the line.

Wired lighting requires a bit more of an upfront investment and it’s typically best to have it professionally installed. However, wired lights will increase your property value, offering you a better return on investment. While these lights will increase your electric bill a bit, if you use LED bulbs, you can expect them to be energy-efficient and long-lasting.

Consult with a Pro

Before you decide between solar and wired lighting, consider consulting with an expert. Our landscape lighting and design professionals will help you explore your options and create a system that works perfectly for your space. Contact us today to schedule a consultation!

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