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Solar lights are popular nowadays, from gardening, landscape to pathways, you can find them everywhere. Not surprising as they are attractive and cost effective too.. A common question being asked though, can solar lights affects plants? Do they cause any harm?
Soft solar lights will not harm plants or flowers. But excessive and harsh lighting effects should be avoided because it might affect their growth and rhythm.
How Solar Lights Work
To better learn how solar lights and artificial lighting in general affects plants, you have to understand how plants and solar lights use sunlight. Trees and plants use photosynthesis to absorb sunlight, and the type plants use is in the visible spectrum of light. Solar lights use the same spectrum, so it is similar to the sun except it is not as intense.
Solar lights such as the Vont 2 Pack Wireless work just like solar panels in that they use the energy from the sun. In this case it is to generate power for light. Unlike other artificial lighting, PV lights are natural and use the same light as plants. That is why they are unlikely to cause harm. Solar lights also have a controller that turns on the built-in LED when there’s no sunlight. Plus, solar batteries are designed to run for a long time.
Are Solar Lights Bad for Plants?
Given what we know about how plants use sunlight, the answer is, no. It’s very unlikely solar lights have a bad effect on plants or trees.
Solar lights are bright, but they actually generate very little light. Well, very little compared to what plants receive from the sun. These artificial lights are no different from moonlight. If moonlight doesn’t affect plants, there’s no reason to assume solar lights will.
The only exception is if you use infrared and / or UV lights. UV and infrared lights can affect a plant’s natural rhythm, so avoid those. The good news is solar lights do not contain UV or infrared so your plants are safe.
Some have voiced concern that placing solar lights too close to plants might cause harm. This will only be an issue if the lights are placed an inch or so near the plants. if it is far away there will not be any negative effect.
Because solar lights use the same spectrum that plants use, it can actually be beneficial to them. This is solar after all, so it derives energy from the sun. It is not as powerful or the sun, perhaps not as beneficial. But it won’t cause a problem unless you concentrate the light too much on a particular part of the plant., The key therefore, is to position solar lights properly so it doesn’t cause any harm, no matter how slight the possibility is.
How to Use Solar Lights on Plants
There are many types of solar lights, but we are sticking with garden, landscaping and path lights, since they’re the ones that are likely to affect plants and trees. The following tips apply to all of them unless it specifically points out to just one type.
Everything starts with planning the layout. Decide how you want to arrange the lights. This is a matter of personal preference, but some suggestions can get you started..
If it is garden solar lights, they will be scattered around your plants and shrubs. Make sure the lights are not too close to the plants. The lights should also be positioned where it can get a lot of sunlight.
Landscape solar lights are not as bright as gardening lights, but it is great for setting the mood. You can place them in driveways, walkways or around shrubs to cast a soft glow. You my position these around plants as long as they’re not too close.
Solar path lights are suitable for garden pathways, walkways and any path around your property. Just like gardening and landscape lights, make certain they receive enough sunlight. Shade isn’t a good for solar lighting, another reason to keep them some distance from plants.
Regardless where you position the lights, you don’t have to mess around with wiring. Wiring garden lights can be a pain as you have to move the cable around plants. With solar you don’t have to do that. Just place the lights where you want them and the sun does the rest.
But what happens during the evening? That is where batteries come. Just like solar panels, solar lights can use batteries. While the light rely on solar power during the day, you can switch to battery mode during the night so they’re active. Our pick is the HIGHPOWER Minetom Rechargeable Batteries as they are perfectly suited for solar lights.
Important Factors to Consider When Using Solar Lights Near Plants
While we have stressed that solar lights are unlikely to harm plants, that doesn’t mean there is no effect. Solar light is still light, and plants will absorb it. Plants and trees depend on sunlight to determine the changing of the seasons, for nourishment, blossom or drop their leaves etc. Too much sunlight -even artificial- could affect their rhythm and activities.
Suppose you place several solar lights near a plant and turn them on for several nights. The plant might think that it is still summer when in fact winter is approaching. It will not make the proper preparation and could get frost damage or die. This can occur not just to small plants but even large trees. As long as the lights are soft however, this will not happen.
The biggest factors that affect plant growth are the light spectrum, intensity and duration. Here are some pointers to keep in mind.
- Use only as few solar lights as possible. Keep them scattered and not concentrated on a particular group of plants. The light can be any color as long as it is in the visible spectrum. Keep the intensity as low as possible.
- Move solar lights if you notice that it is becoming too intense. Fortunately that is easy to do since solar lighting is wireless. You can simply relocate the fixture away from the plant.
- Too much light is not good plants. Yes, plants require sunlight, but too much of it – even solar lighting – will affects its rhythm. During the night, plants need some rest from the sun. Moonlight or soft solar lighting will not hurt.
Why Use Solar Lights on Plants?
Solar power as it is gaining popularity, and solar lighting is one of the most in demand. What exactly is it about these devices that have captured the interest of people? Well there are a number of good reasons why these lights have taken off.
One obvious reason is solar lights are easier to arrange compared to regular garden lights. These are wireless, so no need to worry about kids tripping over the wires or pets chewing them. You also don’t have to be concerned of the wires getting wet during a downpour.
Solar lights can be placed under a cover for extra protection during heavy rains. With regular rain and wind there’s no need to be concerned as they are housed in solid containers. Their durability is similar in a way to solar panels, though not in the same degree. Nevertheless, these lighting fixtures can withstand rain and intense sun without deteriorating.
Limitless Power Supply
Solar power is considered the future for many reasons, one of which is an infinite power supply. Well, the sun will die out eventually, but that’s a few billion years away. For now you can draw on solar power to run these lights as long as you want.
Standard garden lights depend on electricity. If the connection shorts out the light could explode and fry your plants. That’s not going to happen with solar. The worst thing that could happen is there’s a cloudy sky and it can’t draw power. Even then you can use the battery to power it up. The one thing you don’t have to fret about is the light damaging your plants.
Lots of Style Options
Solar lights come in different types. path lights, garden, landscape, street, fence, shed etc. You can arrange the lights around your plants and garden in different ways and in various colors. These lights also come in various shapes and sizes, so there’s going to be a set that jibes well with your gardening style.
Cheaper in the Long Term
Solar lights cost more upfront to buy than regular outdoor lighting fixtures. But it’s actually cheaper in the long run because you won’t be paying bills anymore. Think of how much outdoor lights will cost if you have several of them around. With solar lights, you won’t be paying for them. buy once and that’s it, no more bills.
Solar panels are known for being low maintenance and easy to clean. The same applies to solar lights. Regular garden lights need constant checking to make sure the wires are still connected, cleaned, etc. Solar lights don’t. You can install the lights and let the sun take care of the rest.
As long as you don’t use harsh solar lighting, there will be no harmful effects on your plants. Plants need lights, and if anything, solar lights an solar powered grow lights will help them grow. Even if you don’t have a lot of experience with outdoor garden lighting, solar makes it easy to work with.