Solar Vs. Low Voltage Landscape Lighting (Advantages and Disadvantages)

Thoughtful placement and positioning of landscape lighting systems add many benefits to a garden. A landscape lighting system is a worthwhile investment, from making the garden useable at night, highlighting focal features, lighting up passageways, or improving security.

In the past, low voltage systems were the automatic choice; however, with the increasing popularity of solar systems, the owner now has an option on the power source of landscape lighting systems.

On the balance of factors, solar landscape lighting is the winning technology. Solar landscape lighting is a low-cost, flexible, and easy to install lighting system for your garden, highlighting specific features and improving security, whatever the need is.

Whether you are a serious gardener with a beautifully landscaped masterpiece or have a lower key property, landscape lighting systems can enhance any property. Solar power and battery technology are advancing at an impressive pace. There is now an equivalent solar-powered system available for each type of low-voltage landscape lighting system.

Solar Vs. Low Voltage Landscape Lighting

Whether you install a landscape lighting system to provide extra security, increase the hours your children can play in it, or beautify the property, there is an application to suit your needs.

In the Solar vs. Low Voltage Landscape Lighting debate, each power source has pros and cons.

Solar Landscape Lighting Advantages

Solar Lighting
  • Solar lights are generally cheaper to purchase.
  • Many solar lights are just as durable as their equivalent low voltage units.
  • Installation is easy. No special electrical skills are needed to install a solar system. Some units are pegged into the ground; others may need to be attached to walls or other structures.
  • A solar light can be positioned anywhere. You can adjust the solar light position until the perfect position is achieved without worrying about the power supply. If you want to place a light far from any plug outlet, you don’t have to hire an electrician to install it.
  • Solar power is free. If there is available sun, the batteries will charge, and if set correctly the lights will switch on automatically.
  • Solar is a renewable and environmentally friendly power source.

Solar Landscape Lighting Disadvantages

Solar Lighting Disadvantages

The potential disadvantages of a solar landscape lighting system are:

  • As the name implies, solar lights charge their battery systems using the sun’s energy. If the sun is not visible during the day, the batteries will not charge, and the solar lights may not have sufficient power to light up in the evening.
  • Solar lighting systems are not effective if they are placed in shade conditions during the day.
  • Although technology is constantly improving, you will need to select your devices carefully. Lower cost and older technology systems may produce a less intensity light with a bluish hue which may not last through the whole night. These systems may be ineffective as security lights. Careful selection, however, will enable you to source lights that do not have these limitations.

Low Voltage Landscape Lighting Systems

Low Voltage Lighting

Low voltage lighting systems are an established technology that produces an excellent solution to lighting for your garden with proper placement.

Low Voltage Landscape Lighting Advantages

The advantages of a low voltage landscape lighting system are:

  • The power supply is not dependent on the weather or time and day; this makes them very reliable.
  • Light is the measure of visible lights. Security lights need a high lumen count. The difference between Low-voltage lighting systems and solar lights is constantly reducing; however, the low-voltage lights are the winner by a small margin.

Low Voltage Landscape Lighting Disadvantages

Low Voltage Lighting Disadvantages

The cons of low voltage landscape lights are:

  • They are more challenging to install. If you cannot run a lead from an existing socket, you will need to employ the services of a qualified electrician.
  • Installing low voltage lights further away from the house requires digging trenches across the property to run the lines.
  • Make doubly sure that the light is installed in the correct position, as once installed, it may be costly to move it.
  • Low Voltage lights consume electricity from the grid. Although the cost implications are minimal individually, the cumulative impact of a more extensive system using high wattage halogen light bulbs may affect your utility bill.

What Are The Uses and Benefits Of Landscape Lighting?

Landscape Lighting

Landscape lighting conjures up images of a garden filled with a fairy wonderland of lights bathing individual features with magical hues. Landscape lighting also has more practical benefits.

1. Landscape Lighting Enhances Security

Installing an effective security system is an ever-increasing need for today’s property owners. Darkness is a criminal’s best friend. A well-lit property is less attractive to would-be perpetrators.

Spotlights with a high lumen count are a good deterrent. Lights activated by movement detectors provide a “shock factor” and are another tool in the box of impediments.


  • Permanently on Security Lighting powered by electricity is the more reliable solution.
  • As the electrical draw of lights activated by movement detection is not high solar-powered systems are the better solution.

2. Beautification

Garden Lights

Landscape lighting systems are a very effective means of beautifying a well-manicured feature-rich garden. Whether it is used to light up a tree, focus the viewers’ attention on a water feature, or highlight another part of the garden, a landscape lighting system effectively creates a night-time wonderland.


  • Solar-powered spotlights are an effective, easily installed method of shining the light on your garden’s more prominent features. Over time you can adjust their position to provide the best and most effective light.
  • Solar-powered lighting systems are also perfect for creating a softer lower lumen count light source to light up your water feature or that bridge you built over the stream.

3. Safety

Garden Lights

Landscape lighting systems are an effective way to increase the safety of the occupants of your home. By lighting up paths, driveways, or outside corridors, you reduce the chances of someone tripping or hitting their head on a branch.


  • A solar-powered solution is ideal if a movement detector activates the lights. If you need the lights to be activated for the whole night, irrespective of the weather conditions, a more reliable option will be installing a low voltage lighting system.


For general usage, solar-powered landscape lighting is the preferred choice. In certain instances when the light must be reliable and not dependant on solar activity, then low-cost landscape lighting has its advantages.

It need not be exclusive. A combination of each type of landscape lighting, using the strengths of each solution, is the optimal solution.

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