Decorative Outdoor Lighting

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Using Decorative Solar Lights for Yard Design and Architectural Effect

Solar lighting is not just practical and sustainable – it can also be visually compelling and serve as décor for a yard, garden, courtyard or other outside space. In fact, decorative outdoor solar lights can be assets for yard design or add to architectural appeal.

When selecting beautiful solar lights to decorate or enliven an outdoor space, there are a variety of options, depending on the specific light fixtures and solar-lighting goals for that space.

Discover some of the best ways to brighten a dark space with decorative outdoor solar lights.

Showing Off Landscape Features

A key way to utilize unique solar lights for decorative purposes is through positioning them to show off landscape features. Solar lighting can serve as highlighting for a yard or outdoor space, drawing attention to some of the area’s best features.

Solar lights can be used to shine light on a water feature, particularly attractive or unique foliage or trees, an interesting sculpture or even a lush garden bed.


For users that want to increase safety while brightly illuminating paths, walkways or seating, downlighting with decorative outdoor solar lights can be an excellent go-to option.

With downlighting, solar lights are placed above a feature, patio or walkway to brighten up those features and allow for better visibility of passers-by. Those who want downlighting, but desire a softer glow, can choose to go with moonlighting, a subtle form of downlighting that uses a soft form of light to mimic light from the moon at night.

Solar Lighting as Showstopper Décor

To beautify and brighten a space, well-designed and unique solar lights can actually serve as show-stopping décor pieces, all on their own. Les Jardins crafts many contemporary and eye-catching solar décor lights that resemble pieces of sculpture or outdoor art.

One great showstopper example is Muse, a refined and elegant hanging shade light, designed to be displayed off trees or pergolas and built from natural teak, with a weathered teak finish.

Palma is another unique Les Jardins piece, an airy and free-standing outdoor floor lamp which echoes a midcentury-island style. With a teak tripod and an accordion-styled shade, the Palma stands tall while delivering a stunning, solar-powered glow.

Another example of a piece that demands its own attention is the Mandalay, a floor lamp that elevates its surroundings with a welcoming ambience and one-of-a-kind solar-lamp look. The smooth curvature of the Mandalay is inspired by the shape of hand-crafted Burmese baskets.

While these are a few notable examples, all Les Jardins lighting is modern, stylish and compelling enough to command attention as attractive outdoor décor.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do solar garden lights work?

Most solar garden lights automatically turn on and off by light sensors, which detect surrounding light levels. When it becomes night, the light is activated. Then, when dawn hits and it is bright outside again, the solar light sensor detects this and turns off.

Do you have to plug in solar lights?

Solar lights do not need to be plugged in. With both solar generation and lighting in one compact device, a solar light is self-contained, does not require a power cord or wiring and can be moved easily and efficiently.

How long do decorative solar lights last?

Simply having a more decorative look does not change the effectiveness or durability of a solar light. Solar lamp lifespans vary, but lifespans usually come down to the quality of the lights and how well they’re cared for by users. Les Jardins solar lamps are built to last a lifetime with sustainable, extremely high-quality materials. Les Jardins solar bulbs typically have lifespans of four to six years, and they are replaceable and interchangeable across all of the brand’s solar lighting collections.

Are solar lights supposed to stay on all night?

Most users set their solar lights to an automatic setting, which allows photocell light sensors in the solar lamps to turn on when it’s dark and off when it’s light – without any need to physically turn the lamps on or off. This means the lights stay on all night. However, some users may prefer to manually turn them on or off when they choose.

Why do solar garden lights not last long?

The most frequent cause of solar garden lights malfunctioning is dirt and debris accumulating and causing the light not to work properly. Dirty solar panels do not allow the battery to fully charge and shorten a battery’s overall life. The best way to prevent this is to keep solar garden lights clean.