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Installing solar lights on your fence is a cost effective way to illuminate your surroundings. Because it is renewable energy, these lights are eco-friendly and won’t add to your monthly power bill. Best of all solar fence lights are easy to install and even a first timer can do it.
This installation guide assumes you already have a solar light kit. If not, we recommend the Sunface Solar Deck Lights as it is easy to set up ,even for a beginner.
Required Tools and Materials
You will need the following. The screws and adhesive should be included in the solar light package, while the tools are widely available.
- Pen or marker
- Solar lights
- Fence post
- Screws or adhesives
Step 1: Find a Spot on the Fence
The first step is find the right location. You can install solar lights anywhere on your fence. But for the best results it should be in an area that receives at least 4 hours of sunlight, preferably more. Just like any solar panel, solar lights need the sun’s energy to work. The more sunlight it receives, the more brightly it will light.
This is the going to be the longest part of the installation process. Find a location on the fence you like, but make sure it gets as much sun exposure as possible. Do not drill the solar light into position yet. Leave the light there and monitor how much light it gets. Do this for at least two days. Move the light to another location if sunlight is insufficient. If it is satisfactory, you can proceed to the next step.
If you are going to install several solar lights, consider the overall effect it will have. These fence lights are usually going to point down, but it is up to you. Once you know how many fence lights to install, you will get an idea of how bright the ground will be. Only you can decide how much illumination is needed.
Step 2: Mark the Chosen Spot
Once you find the ideal location, position the solar light above the fence post. Mark the spot where you will drill with the marker on pencil. Mark the spot as accurately as possible. Repeat this for each solar light you will install. Put the light aside for now.
Besides sunlight exposure, the other thing to consider is the height. Specifically, how high do you want to install the solar lights? A lot of this depends on your fence, but other factors come into play.
- Very bright solar lights should be installed below eye level to avoid discomfort. You may also install above eye level as long as it points down.
- Soft colored lights can be placed at eye level, but remember the reason you’re installing it, to illuminate the ground.
- Test the chosen spot at night. Place the light there and turn it on. Stand close it, approach it, sit near it. Do the things you would do if the solar light was installed. How is the light? Does it hurt your eyes? Is it bothering you? Make adjustments until you find the right spot. Only then should you drill a hole.
Step 3: Drill a Hole in the Location
Get your drill. Use a drill bit that is smaller than the openings on the light. Do not drill too deep because that makes it harder to fasten the screws. Do not apply a lot of force either because the fence might give way. Check the solar light manual for more details on how tight the fasteners need to be.
Some solar fence lights may come with adhesives instead of fasteners. This is similar to how some RV mounting racks work. If so, apply the adhesive to your desired spot and it should be ready. No need for drills or screwdrivers here.
Step 4: Screw the Solar Light in Place
Place the solar light above the hole you just drilled. Put screws in the holes and tighten them. Charge the light and turn it on. You should see it illuminate the area. If the light is wobbly, put some adhesive tape to stabilize it.
Some solar lights have an on and off siwtch, while others activate automatically. Others have multiple light options, one the normal light and another is dimmer to create mood. Refer to your solar light user manual for specific details on its operation.
Solar Fence Light Installation Tips
Installing multiple solar lights on keyhole slots will be easier if you create a template. Do this before you drill.
Hold the solar light so the holes face you. Put paper on the fence light. Put a dot on the paper, as far from the hole as possible. Repeat this for each hole. At the bottom of the fence light, draw a line as it will serve as your measuring guide. Fold the paper along this line and set it against your post. Mark the right and left edges.
This will make it easier to center each solar light. Position the template against the post and line up the mark and the bottom. Use a screwdriver to push each dot carefully. Dots will show on the fence and you can use these as guides to install more solar lights.
Here a few other tips to consider.
There is no standard depth to screw in solar light fasteners. Don’t fasten too hard, just enough to keep it from wobbling. Tug the light gently to check if it is table. tighten the screws if there is movement.
The amount of sunlight that reaches your fences will vary. There might a lot of sun during the summer but once the leaves and flowers start to blossom, the view might be blocked. If you are going to use the fence lights all year round -or most of the year-, think carefully of the placement. Or you may want to do some garden and landscape trimming first.
Do not cluster solar lights too closely together. If you have solar lights for plants, position the fence lights some distance away so it doesn’t become too overbearing.
Read the manual before installing. Few of us like to go through manuals, but it’s there for a reason. You will find step by step installation instructions, troubleshooting tips, an operations guide and more. The few minutes you spend reading the product guide could save hours of frustration during installation.
Purchase in bulk. Buying solar fence lights in bulk is cheaper than buying one a time. You will likely get a discount and shipping will be cheaper. Buying from a single manufacturer provides assurance the lights install the same way and have uniform lighting.
Charge the battery. It is hard to stress this point enough. Charge the battery before using any solar fence light. Charge it to 100% and then install it. If the battery is not fully charged, you will not get maximum power.
The Benefits of Installing Solar Lights on Your Fence
More and more homes are setting up solar lights on their fences, and if we look at its advantages, it is easy to see why.
No Wiring Needed
Who wants to have electrical lines going around their fence? Not a lot of people obviously. That is difficult to set up and may require the services of an electrician. it is also risky in case it rains, and if you have pets or children, that will be even bigger problems.
With solar lights, you don’t have to worry about any of that. These fixtures have batteries so they don’t need any wires. And these batteries can last for years so it is a real money saver.
Affordable, Efficient Lighting
Solar lights are worth paying the extra money for because it is cheaper in the long run. Each one has a battery that powers the device, so when it is fully charged you can just let it run. As long as the light receives sunlight, it will keep running. And if there is no sun, it’s not a problem as long as the battery is fully charged.
And as any RV owner will tell you, solar power means reducing your power bill. Why pay a huge sum monthly for fence lights when you can have the sun as your power source?
Solar Fence Lights are Low Maintenance
Solar panels need only a little bit of cleaning to be effective, and the same is true for solar lights. Cleaning solar lights is easy, but do check it up every once in a while to make sure there are no cracks.
One of the issues with solar panels is the need for clear, unobstructed light. The slightest shade will affect performance, sometimes drastically. Because solar fence lights are installed at high locations, there is less chance of something blocking the view. The clearer the path to the sun, the brighter and longer the lights will be.
Free, Renewable Energy
Solar fence lights, like all solar systems, rely on the sun. This is a limitless source of energy. Unlike electricity, your fence lights will still run even if there a power failure. And you don’t have to pay for it.
Solar fence lights may cost more to buy, but over time you will save dollars. You will also be doing your part for the environment. Not only do these lights brighten your fences, but they are beautiful too.
I am an advocate of solar power. Through portablesolarexpert.com I want to share with all of you what I have learned and cotinue to learn about renewable energy.