Energy-Efficient Lawns: Solar Innovations to Power Up Your Home’s Outdoors

Did you know that you can capture solar energy with an LED bulb-adorned garden umbrella to illuminate your patio at night? Installing huge panels on your roof is not the only way to use solar for electricity cost savings.

As more and more states like California and Utah use solar power to offset more than 60 percent of their total energy consumption, you can do so too, not just through centralized solar installations, but through solar-powered landscape devices and features.

Solar umbrellas and lamps

Twelve percent (12%) of an average home’s energy consumption goes to lighting. If you have a big garden that needs illumination, using solar lights is a good way to save energy.;Unlike their older counterparts, today’s solar lights have photovoltaic cells and batteries that are more efficient in capturing and storing energy, and in providing quality lighting. Your garden can burn steadily all night after a day of decent exposure to sunlight, thanks to modern high-efficiency panels and LED (light-emitting diode) features.

There is also a design for every lighting need. Lamp posts in varying heights and floor lamps of different shapes can brighten your garden pathways, house corners, and decks. Task lights, floodlights, and spotlights are available for security lighting.;There are also ambient pool lights and table umbrellas with LED lights, which look perfect beside swimming pools.;

Most of these are standalone devices that make them quick and easy to install. No need for wire installations.They can also last you a long time. LED light bulbs can last for more than 100,000 hours while incandescent bulbs may last two to three thousand hours. For better results, look for those that offer a Lifetime Replacement Guarantee.

Solar fountains and water features

Do you have a pond or fountain in your garden?Water features can create a refreshing and relaxing ambiance to it. But they require water pumps, which consume a lot of electricity. However, if you use solar energy to run your water pumps and fountains, you don’t have to worry so much about electricity costs, a messy power chord, and access to a power outlet.

Like your favorite water structures, solar water fountains are great for entertaining party guests. They have different water features like spray, waterfalls, and man-made creeks.

Solar hot tubs and pool heating

Water heating is the second-highest energy expense in homes, next to cooling and heating systems. In-ground pool energy use can account for as high as 30 percent of a home’s energy bill as it requires not only water pumping but also heating.

Fortunately, you don’t always need to change your hot tub or water heater to use solar energy. You can always use solar collectors during the day. At night, you can run the solar on your water heater’s secondary loop.

You can lay your solar collectors or panels on the ground, the roof, or custom-built racks. Start with 80sq.ft. ofsolar panels and add to it if you need your water to heat up faster. Solar water heaters can get you to over100°Fin six hours.

Solar greenhouses

This one’s still in its infancy and uses a technology called solar glazing, where films of photovoltaic cells are embedded within glass windows. You can glaze an entire greenhouse or just part of it. Solar glazing is expensive but has the potential to power up to 75 percent of your home’s energy needs.

How about you, what solar-enabled device do you want to have in your garden? The invention of solar umbrellas, solar fountains, and solar glazed greenhouses is only the beginning of many other solar-powered solutions. Who knows, the next invention could be the one you’ve been waiting for.

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