When it comes to illuminating your home’s surroundings for enhanced security or lighting up your backyard, there are numerous methods at your disposal. However, when faced with the latest choices, people often find themselves torn between two options: solar LED lights and traditional wired lights with LED technology. To provide you with a comprehensive and practical comparison guide, we’ve put together this resource. By the end, you’ll have a clear understanding of the differences, enabling you to make an informed decision that aligns perfectly with your requirements and complements your home.

solar led light vs wired led light

Solar vs. Wired LED Lights Comparison Table

AttributesSun LED LightsWired LED Lights
Energy SourceSolar CollectorsGrid Electricity
Price FactorsAffordable upfront, zero energy billsCostlier at the start, continual energy expenses
Eco ConcernsZero emissions, diminishes carbon tracesLeads to increased emissions, enlarges carbon traces
Set-Up ProcessSimple, wire-free setupNeeds expert set-up with cabling
UpkeepMinimal upkeep necessaryFrequent checks and change of illuminators required
Light IntensityDimmer lumens output compared to conventional onesSuperior lumens output, more luminous than sun-powered
Movement RecognitionPotentially less responsive compared to standard versionsHighly responsive with customizable settings
Duration of UseExtended use, no need for illuminator changesShorter usability, may require illuminator changes

What are The Solar and Wired LED Lights

Solar LED lights are a type of outdoor lighting that operates by harnessing solar power. They recharge themselves using built-in solar panels, which store energy in an internal battery. One key advantage is their flexibility in placement. You can position solar LED lights wherever sunlight is accessible, offering versatility in installation locations.

On the other hand, wired LED lights, also known as standard LED lights, are conventional lighting fixtures that are directly connected to the home’s power grid. These lights are hardwired and rely on an AC power source. Unlike solar LED lights, their installation is limited to areas where a wired power source is available, which can restrict your placement options.


installing solar led light

When it comes to installation, the process for solar LED lights is notably simpler, requiring minimal expertise and no involvement with live wiring. Essentially, all you need to do is affix the solar light onto a suitable surface, ensuring that the solar panel on the light is oriented toward a source of sunlight. Alternatively, if the solar panel is connected with a cable, you only need to orient the panel in the direction of sunlight, while the light itself can be positioned as needed.

On the other hand, installing classic wired LED lights is a more involved task. It demands more time and a working knowledge of electricity. If you lack electrical expertise, you may need to enlist the services of an electrician, adding to the overall cost. Additionally, handling wired LED lights involves working with potentially hazardous high-voltage electricity. 

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This installation process requires a broader array of tools, including hand tools and a drill with appropriate drill bits. Furthermore, suppose there isn’t a power cable available at the desired installation location. In that case, you’ll have to undertake the task of routing the cable to that spot, necessitating even more advanced knowledge, skills, and the procurement of additional materials.

Lighting Control

When it comes to lighting control, the options can vary depending on the type of light you select. Both solar and wired LED lights offer distinct control features.

Solar lights often come equipped with a range of sensors, making them highly automated. They can operate continuously, activate on motion detection, or automatically switch on at dusk and off at dawn. These lights are designed for convenience, requiring minimal user intervention.

Wired LED lights, particularly those without built-in sensors, can typically be controlled via a house switch. For example, if you purchase an LED floodlight without integrated sensors, you can activate it manually through a wall switch. Depending on the model, these lights may also be available in single-mode or multi-mode configurations. Control for wired lights often involves using a manual switch located inside the home.


thief looking to break in the home

Both types of lighting, solar and wired, serve as effective options for enhancing security, but there are significant distinctions between them.

Wired lights are known for their strength, providing brighter illumination that can cover larger areas. They offer a consistent level of brightness, ensuring reliable security lighting.

Solar lights, on the other hand, are powered by built-in batteries that can gradually drain, leading to reduced brightness over time. 

Typically, solar lights have lower initial brightness levels to conserve energy and extend their operation during the night. However, a key advantage is their independence from the home power grid. In situations such as power outages or deliberate power cuts by intruders, solar lights will continue to provide illumination around your property.

To maximize coverage, an ideal approach is to combine both wired and solar lights strategically. Solar lights can be installed in areas where live wiring is not available, ensuring comprehensive coverage of all dark areas on your property. This hybrid approach leverages the strengths of both lighting types to enhance overall security.

Durability and Safety

Surprisingly, wired lights can be more prone to failure over time. This is primarily due to the heavy electrical load they often bear, occasionally exceeding their rated voltage, leading to burnout. While many wired lights are marketed as weather-resistant, the high heat they generate can cause housing and seals to degrade, allowing moisture to infiltrate and potentially cause short circuits.

solar led light on sun

Solar lights, in contrast, are generally more durable. They generate less heat and are designed to withstand weather elements. Many solar lights come with IP ratings, indicating their resistance to dust and water intrusion. Their construction is robust, contributing to their longevity.

Wired lights involve working with potentially hazardous high-voltage electricity and intricate wiring. It’s crucial to install and secure wires properly. Incorrect wiring can result in light burnout and may even lead to a power breaker short circuit if not done correctly.

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Solar lights offer a safer alternative as they do not require complex wiring or high-voltage connections. They operate on low current and are easier to set up securely. Installation mainly involves positioning the light where needed and orienting the solar panel toward the sun or ensuring the integrated panel faces the sunlight.

While both types of lighting can be durable, solar lights tend to have an advantage due to their lower heat generation and robust construction. In terms of safety, solar lights are the safer option, as they eliminate the risks associated with high-voltage wiring.

Impact On The Environment

solar green energy

When it comes to considering the environmental impact, solar lights clearly emerge as the superior choice, aligning with the principles established from the beginning.

Solar lights are the environmentally conscious winner in this category. They harness renewable energy from the sun, which significantly reduces your carbon footprint. Furthermore, they come with the added advantage of not contributing to your electric bill, allowing you to illuminate your property without any adverse impact on your wallet.

In contrast, wired LED lights are directly connected to your home’s electrical grid. While they are more energy-efficient compared to traditional lighting, they still consume electricity. As a result, they do contribute to your carbon footprint, although to a lesser extent than older lighting technologies.

In the End, Which One To Go With

In conclusion, the choice between solar LED lights and wired LED lights hinges on your specific needs and preferences. Wired lights excel in providing constant, robust illumination, making them ideal for large areas and prolonged nighttime use. However, they require expertise in safety and electronic wiring.

On the other hand, solar lights offer unparalleled flexibility by allowing placement in areas without access to a power source. Quality solar lights are durable, weather-resistant, and require no wiring, making them suitable for DIY installations. They do rely on sunlight to charge their batteries during the day, which can impact their performance at night. Additionally, non-replaceable batteries may necessitate the purchase of new lights in case of battery failure. Investing in higher-quality solar lights with replaceable batteries is a prudent choice.

While solar lights may not match the brightness of their wired counterparts, they are portable and versatile. Wired lights, once installed, are stationary and require a complete reinstallation to change their location. Nevertheless, wired lights offer reliable, bright illumination, with the advantage of adjustable power output and modularity, allowing for the integration of external sensors for added functionality.

In practice, a combination of both types can be even more beneficial. Install wired lights around your home and garage for dependable, comprehensive coverage, while strategically placing solar lights in areas further from the home, like fences and dark spots. Elevated placements, such as trees or behind outbuildings, can deter theft. Ultimately, the choice depends on your specific lighting needs and the balance between solar lights' convenience and wired ones' reliability.