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How to Install Solar Landscape Lighting

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BLACK+DECKER B+D Contributor 193 Projects

Solar walkway lighting adds a welcoming glow to your home, and once it's installed, it costs nothing to maintain. Another great feature is versatility. If a fixture isn’t doing the job you wanted it to do, it's easy to move because there's no wiring. Solar lights are attractive and dependable and they add safety and security to your outdoor walkway.

Before Buying the Lights

Different types of solar lighting cast different patterns of light and vary in terms of recommended spacing. For example, ambient solar lights don't cast much light at all.

Consult the manufacturer's instructions on the packaging for suggested applications and spacing, and plan your fixture layout accordingly. If you've already purchased your lights, plant one in your yard on a sunny day, and allow it to charge. When it gets dark, measure the projected light pattern.

During the day, take note of plants or structures that might shade the fixtures. Trim back shading plants, if possible, or plan to move the fixtures to avoid shading, which can significantly limit how long your solar lights will run at night.

How to Install Solar Powered Landscape Lighting

  1. LHT360C_F1

    Begin the job with a fully manicured lawn, garden, pathway or walkway.

    Start by using the BLACK+DECKER 60V MAX* POWERCUT™ 24 in. Cordless Hedge Trimmer to trim or cut overhanging greenery or vegetation that might cast unwanted shadows on your lights. 

  2. LST560C_F3

    Use the BLACK+DECKER 60V MAX* POWERSWAP™ 20 in. Cordless Mower to mow the area around the walkway.

    Get out the BLACK+DECKER 60V MAX* EASYFEED™ Cordless String Trimmer to trim and edge your walkways and garden beds.

    Neat, clean edges around walkways not only look nice, but also make it easier to lay out your lighting. Convenient and powerful, battery-powered tools also come in handy for routine trimming after the lights are installed.

  3. Installing Solar Powered Walkway Lighting_06

    You're ready for the layout once you've trimmed, mowed and determined the spacing for the lights.

    Start by using a tape measure to lay out a garden hose, rope or string along the walkway to represent the line of the lights.

    The layout line should be no more than 7" from the edge of the walkway for the best results. Use landscaping paint or chalk to make marks along the line to represent the lights.

  4. Installing Solar Powered Walkway Lighting_07

    Most solar lights have an integrated stake and install with a simple push into the ground.

    Some are two-piece; you plant the stake first, then fit the light onto the stake. Consult the manufacturer's instructions for installation details.

    If the ground is hard or dry, run some water along the pattern and allow it to soften the soil. Put on some work gloves and push the lights or stakes into the ground by hand. If desired, set a small bubble level onto the light’s post to make sure the fixture goes in plumb (perfectly vertical).

    Be careful with the solar panel on the light: don't tap on it or push too hard directly on it. Push the lights into the ground until the anchor shield is flush with the ground.

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