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Choosing Between Solar and Wired LED Lighting for Your Home

If you're considering the installation of outdoor lighting for your home, there are several factors to consider in order to make the right choice. Whether your goal is to enhance curb appeal, improve security, or create inviting outdoor spaces for relaxation and entertainment, the decision between solar and wired LED outdoor lighting is crucial. At Exterior Lighting and Design, we specialize in wired LED lighting projects. However, it's important to note that solar lighting also has its own benefits and applications. In order to help you make an informed decision, let's explore the differences between solar LED and professionally installed wired LED lights.

Appearance and Installation Process

Solar lighting is often preferred by homeowners who enjoy do-it-yourself (DIY) projects due to its simplicity of installation. Typically, solar lights require minimal wiring or complicated steps. You can easily choose your fixtures, drill a starter hole, stake them into the ground, and you're good to go. The advantage of DIY landscape lighting is the convenience it offers, but it lacks the input and assistance of a professional lighting expert.

However, when it comes to exterior lighting, a poorly executed installation can have negative consequences. It may result in uneven or unattractive shadows on your home's architecture, interior glare from incorrectly placed or angled lights, and reduced security due to the creation of shadowy areas that security cameras can't effectively monitor. On the other hand, professional outdoor lighting installers are trained to avoid these issues. They not only handle the entire installation process but also provide expert advice on the selection and placement of lights to enhance your home's existing beauty and create functional outdoor living spaces.

Security and Longevity

When considering outdoor lighting, longevity should be a key factor, although it's often overlooked. Consider how you choose light bulbs for fixtures inside your home. Most people prefer long-lasting bulbs, opting for those rated for 50,000 hours of use rather than ones rated for only 10,000 hours. This preference makes sense for interior bulbs that are easily replaceable and inconspicuous when they need changing.

In contrast, when exterior lights fail, it's noticeable to anyone passing by your home. A burned-out bulb not only creates a gap in your overall exterior lighting but also raises security concerns. It can indicate to potential intruders that your home is unattended and provide shadowy spaces for unauthorized access without drawing attention.

Solar LED lights have the advantage of being easily replaceable by homeowners. However, they generally have shorter lifetimes overall, requiring more frequent replacement. Additionally, solar lights may lose brightness or fail altogether when they don't receive sufficient sun exposure or as they approach the end of their usable lifespan.

Ongoing Maintenance

All types of exterior lighting require occasional maintenance. Solar lighting systems tend to have simpler maintenance requirements but more frequent attention. Homeowners need to regularly check the panels for dust, dirt, or cracks, reposition lights that aren't receiving enough sunlight or illuminating the desired areas, and replace lights that have become broken or worn out.

While the monetary maintenance cost for repairing and replacing solar LED lights is minimal (depending on the frequency of replacements), it does require a regular investment of time to inspect and replace fixtures.

In contrast, wired LED lights are typically designed to last much longer than solar lights. This is especially true for top-quality products used by professionals like Frisella Outdoor Lighting, which utilize brass fixtures with a minimum ten-year warranty. These lights are wired to a transformer that comes with a lifetime warranty.

Maintenance for wired LED systems is usually offered by the installation company. Frisella, for example, provides various maintenance options for clients. During service or maintenance visits, they can replace bulbs to maintain the overall aesthetics and security of your home, review fixture placement to ensure they haven't shifted from their original locations, and clean fixtures while trimming any overgrowth that may hinder the lighting's impact.

Professional ongoing maintenance for wired LED systems may be more expensive compared to the DIY option of solar lights. However, clients often find that professional maintenance frees up their time, offers peace of mind, and helps address service issues before they escalate.

Lighting as Unique as You Are

As a leading landscape lighting firm in St. Louis, Frisella Outdoor Lighting believes that architectural lighting should make homes more beautiful, livable, and reflective of the homeowners' individuality.

Your lighting needs may vary depending on your interests and lifestyle. If you're passionate about art, you may want garden lighting that highlights the sculptures you've collected over the years. If entertaining is your forte, creating the perfect ambiance for pool and patio parties becomes crucial. Alternatively, you might simply want to enhance the existing architectural beauty of your beloved home.

Wrap It Up

When deciding between solar and wired LED outdoor lighting, it's essential to consider factors such as appearance, installation process, security, longevity, ongoing maintenance, and the uniqueness of your lighting needs. While solar lighting may offer convenience and simplicity for DIY enthusiasts, professionally installed wired LED lighting provides a superior level of expertise, customization, longevity, and ongoing maintenance support. The choice ultimately depends on your priorities, desired outcomes, and budget, and a consultation with a reputable outdoor lighting expert can help guide you towards the best solution for your home.


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