Solar-powered summer: Lighting solutions to keep any garden unplugged and lit after dark

From backyard to beach, you can use the sun’s rays to make the most of the warm nights.

From backyard to beach, you can use the sun’s rays to make the most of the warm nights.

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Lighting can be the last thing we think of when pulling together our backyards, but our gardens, planters and tables are begging for a little light to make sure their beauty is admired after dark. Investing in solar powered lights can keep your carbon footprint low while the party continues all night long.  

The environmental benefits of solar energy are undeniable, and to know that there are beautiful ways to integrate it is even better. Outdoor solar lights are water and corrosion resistant, but most importantly, they are safe for kids and pets. This summer consider switching to or adding these illuminating lighting alternatives.

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In the backyard or on your deck opt for sleek accent lights to create a gentle glow throughout the garden at night. For a professional landscaped look, place the lights symmetrically and be sure to choose wireless pieces with solar panels built directly into each individual light. Bronze coloured lanterns camouflage themselves the best in an outdoor setting and hide the dust and dirt that inevitably accumulates over the summer.

Fence Light, 4 pack, $21.97, The Home Depot

Bronze Pathway Light, 4 pack, $48.00, Walmart

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For a cottage, cabin or RV garden, nestle solar powered 'rock' lights right into the garden for an organic look.

Rock Spotlight, set of 3, $19.99, Bed Bath and Beyond

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String lights are a great way to create ambiance and atmosphere, especially during a party. Unlike garden lights, string light are best with one single, large solar panel on one end that powers the entire string of lights. Expose the panel to sunlight during the day and choose lights that have a backup battery for overcast days.

String Lights, $33.74, Staples

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For larger backyards and balconies, consider larger accent lights. This orb changes colour and can float if you have a pool or water feature. Keep an eye out for how many lumens your solar light has. Like wattage in a traditional light bulb, the higher the lumen count, the brighter your solar powered light will be.

Waterproof Globe, $46.32, Amazon.ca

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Invest in unique touches if you entertain often outside. Lanterns and accent lighting provide great mood lighting and will really complement landscaping. Don't be confined by 'rules', think of your backyard or deck as an extension of the house. Solar powered table and floor lamps can create a warm living room atmosphere on a beautiful summer night while a hanging pendant light that doubles as a table lantern is great for a buffet or bar.

Punched Metal Lantern, $129.99, Wayfair.ca

Table Lamp, $69.99, Canadian Tire

Floor Lamp, $99.99, Canadian Tire

Hanging Lantern, $8.99, HomeSense

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At the cottage or even for a great glamping adventure, it's always a good idea to have solar powered lanterns with you in case the party continues outside past dusk. Solar power is the perfect choice here because access to electricity is not always available. An inexpensive solar powered pendant light is perfect for a gazebo, porch, or even the top of a tent. Similarly, a solar powered lantern is perfect for moving through dark country nights.

Gazebo Pendant, $49.99, Lowes

Lantern, $19.99, Ikea


Lindsay Agnew cut her teeth working in the background of design shows both big and small, she has now set her sights on bringing her know-how and impeccable taste to everyone. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.