Solar gutter lights are an eco-friendly device that provides outside lighting for a house (or business) along the rim of the roof. They can serve as both a decorative element to a home and an extra security feature.
This type of lighting system may be fastened to the corners of a home, above the garage, or on other overhead areas. More often than not, these lights are motion-censored. Nowadays, most of them are solar-powered, and for good reason.
By being solar-powered, these lights keep your monthly energy cost minimized. They do not use electricity and are a “green” product since they depend on energy from the sun in order to power up.
Best of all, there is also a lot less upkeep to worry about. You do not have to fuss with wiring, cords, or batteries. This is not only less hassle but generally safer.
How Much Solar Gutter Lights Cost?
As you would probably assume, there are a variety of options when it comes to solar gutter lights. That means a variety of prices. Different stores, brands, sizes, styles, material and other factors can lead to a change in the price. Also, consider how many pieces come in a package to determine the best bang for your buck.
Some prices might be for only one light, but most packages are sold with a set of multiples inside. If the lights are larger or have brighter lighting, you might not need many units to achieve your goal. Because of this, a cost estimate can be hard to give, but it’s safe to say that most solar gutter lights cost more than $50.
It would be rare for a typical package of solar gutter lights to run over $100. If they are more expensive, they are probably industrial sized or come with more units in a set.
How Do These Lights Work?
Solar gutter lights are usually made to be fastened to the roof, or in some cases, hung from it. As far as installing the lights, most consumers are able to do it themselves. Often times, the lighting system will come with clips or brackets that are designed for it. If not, you can easily find materials and tools for this task at your local home improvement store.
On each lighting device, there is a solar panel. These panels are comprised of photovoltaic cells (also called solar cells). Throughout the day, sunlight hits these cells, which generates energy for the device.
When night comes (or perhaps a particularly cloudy day), the light is able to come on by using that energy as power instead of traditional electricity. Logically, a bigger solar panel means more cells, which would equate to more power, giving off a brighter light in the end.
However, that is not always the case! Just like a normal battery or a light bulb, some panels can create just as much power without being larger in size.
Motion sensors, which most gutter lights have these days, work in a few different ways. For example, “passive” motion sensors detect heat and radiation, while “active” sensors use a special signal that is disrupted by movement. In any case, gutter lights work as a nice-looking way to keep your home safer and better lit.
Factors to Consider Before Buying
While shopping online for your lighting system, make sure you look at the specifications on the box and compare units side by side. Factors to consider when shopping for your new solar gutter lights might be:
Efficiency: As technology has improved through the years, new ways of packing power into a more compact size have become possible. Rather than physical size, you want to keep your eye more on the level of efficiency when it comes to anything solar powered. This is sometimes represented as a “percentage”, but is often not mentioned on the package.
Lumens: Visible light is measured in lumens, and gutter lights offer a very wide range. It could be anything from 20 to 1000. Knowing the lumens in a device can help you figure out how many you might need for your home. With lower lumens, you will probably want more units added.
Size: If the unit you are eyeing is rather large in size, having several of them hanging from your roof might be more of an eyesore. Of course, they do usually give off more light. In the end, it all depends on what the consumer wants to achieve in relation to looks and functions. (Be sure that your roof or gutter can support the weight, as well.)
Aesthetics: Some lights are designed to be more decorative, while others are kept simple and purely serve the purpose of illumination. Each homeowner has different goals in mind, so aesthetics might not be important to all.
What Are the Brightest Solar Gutter Lights?
While solar gutter lights can have up to thousands of lumens, that doesn’t always make sense for the average homeowner and their neighbors.InnoGear offers some popular options that are affordable and give off a great amount of light. This brand comes highly-reviewed by consumers that have purchased from them.
Particularly, the large rectangular sconce-style gutter lights that they make have 36 super-bright LEDs and can produce over 450 lumens each. They have three settings for lower, medium, and high lighting. Even on the dimmest setting, these produce plenty of illumination.
Why Use Solar Gutter Lights?
While they do have a great appearance at night, the biggest reason for adding a lighting system to your home is to make it safer. A study performed by the Department of Criminology at UNC found that about a fourth of burglars are deterred from robbing at night if a home has outdoor lighting (Source).
Furthermore, nocturnal wild animals like racoons, opossums, and rats are often turned off by the presence of bright lights. Add security and curb appeal in one by installing solar gutter lights to your home.