Solar Powered Garden Guide

With the advent of technology and low cost of production, solar garden products have become cheaper, and water features that were previously costly to run on electricity, can now be run on solar power. As such I decided to create this site that reviews some of the best water features that are run by solar energy that are available to buy as well as some of the coolest solar powered garden products.

The sound of moving water has been an integral part of garden design for thousands of years, spanning nearly every culture on Earth. It is often considered a source of peace and tranquillity, which is why it has been such a common element of landscape architecture for so many centuries. Many home-owners today are bringing fountains into their own gardens in order to give their yard that same sense of serenity. Fortunately, modern technology has made this easier and more affordable than ever before.

Don’t you just love the sun? Its that consistent source of energy that you can rely on, as long as you knew how to harness it. And with new technology on the market, and the development of micro technology, small solar panels are cheap and effective.

This means your next garden project could be something as effective and easy to install, as a solar water garden feature, with all the pros of a good water feature, and none of the cons such as power usage, water bills, maintenance bills.

You need not limit yourself to water features of course, there is solar lighting, solar powered fountains, bird baths, ponds, and even solar waterfalls. Although they sound crude in reading, these products get more and more beautiful, more advanced as technology improves. Beautiful, as well as functional, these solar power features are the perfect gardening choice for your yard. You can use them in a small allotment, a large garden, a small patio and even your front driveway if you were so inclined.

Solar Technology for your Garden

Modern solar technology is vastly superior to what was available just a few decades ago. Solar panels are no longer the large, bulky eyesores that were seen atop homes during the 1980’s.

Improvements in materials and design have allowed for much smaller, more efficient units that are capable of generating the same amount of power within a more compact package.

This in turn has led to a number of small, solar-powered devices that can be used without any connection to a dedicated power source. The water pump is just one such device; but they are essential to the operation of a proper water fountain.

Types of Solar Garden Water Features

The range of garden water features available in the UK is quite extensive, though a bit limited in the solar range. Below I will look into the most popular water features, and try and pick out the ones that have solar alternatives.

Solar Garden Spitters

dragon garden solar water spitterSpitters are pretty much what they sound like – these are features, typically animals or figurines that spit a stream of running water, and are great for aerating your fish ponds or for a a pleasant audible backdrop to your garden. See a range of Garden Spitters here.

Solar Water Wall Feature

lion head spittinng garden wall solar water featureWater walls are extremely popular these days and make an astounding singular feature, and amazingly enough can be place in even the smallest of areas, and can be used to cover up less than attractive areas of the garden. One of my favourite garden features. See a range of solar water wall features here.

Tabletop Solar Garden Fountain

table top water feature with gnomesAs the name suggests, these are small fountains, more popularly in the form of pots or animals and look great on an elevated surface, such as a garden table.

Solar Powered Water Feature Urn

Mayan Urn Solar garden water featureUrns have been quite popular for many many years, and have a Grecian elegance to them, and can come in several forms and sizes, including in table top sizes. See a range of solar water urns here.

Tiered Solar Water Features

ambient tiered water featureTiered features pretty much consist of layers that create cascading water levels that look great if located in the right area. A well designed tiered water feature can look elegant, but a cheap one can make your garden look gaudy, as such my advice is to make sure you pick something with decent details, but don’t go overboard. See a range of tiered features here.

Solar Bird baths

Trunk Birdbath water featureBird baths are pseudo ponds that you can allow your feathered friends  to have a splash and play in. the reason why these come in solar versions is so that the water keeps rotating and doesn’t become stagnant, as stagnant water attracts all sorts bugs, and can get a bit manky. See a range of solar bird baths here.

Solar Water Fountains

A solar water fountain can be an outstanding addition the backyard or garden of any suburban home. (read our reviews of solar water fountains)

A solar water fountain has two main advantages over a more standard version; practicality and conservation. From a practical standpoint, these fountains can be placed quite literally anywhere. Because they are not dependent on a hardwired source of electricity, there is no need to limit the possibilities to areas of the garden that have access to an electrical outlet. This allows them to be placed anywhere the homeowner sees fit, as well as allows them to be easily moved from one place to another. You can even have a solar fountain in a pond

Benefits of Solar Powered Water Features

Energy conservation is another primary advantage that these features offer to consumers. Again, as these water features do not require a connection to the public power grid, they do not contribute to the use of fossil fuel-based energy. Instead, the only requirement is access to direct sunlight. This means that no matter how many water features one chooses to place in a garden, they are virtually free of charge when it comes to keeping them in operation.

When it comes to a solar water feature, there are dozens, if not hundreds of style and design options. From reproductions of classic works of art by Michelangelo and Tivoli, to more modern, abstract pieces; there is bound to be something for every taste and preference.

However, they can vary considerably in cost, depending on the specific nature of the feature. Obviously, size is one of the main factors, as larger designs tend to be much more expensive than those of a smaller stature. The internal workings of the feature can also have an impact on price, as those with multiple pumps and waterways are generally more expensive than simpler models.

If you’re in the market for a unique accessory for your yard or garden, a small solar water feature can be ideal. They are relatively inexpensive (in most cases) and can add a calming touch to any landscape design.

How to Pick the Right Solar Powered Water Feature for your Garden

Sun Cover in your Garden

If your garden doesn’t get decent sunlight, then you might want to consider whether a solar feature is right for you. If the solar cells don’t charge enough, your feature wouldn’t work as its supposed to. As such the first main thing  to consider is the location in your garden. Make sure that there is plenty of light coverage, especially in the early evening if possible.

In particular make sure that trees or large bushes don’t block out sunlight, and make sure that you maintain any plants that might grow to cover the solar area.

Other Location Factors

Make sure that you have at least a rough idea of the area where you want to set up your garden water feature, in many cases people buy these, without realising that some need to be on flat surfaces. In particular if you are buying a heavy feature, say one made out of concrete, you ought to make sure that there is adequate support for it, and that it wont damage your lawn.

Get an idea of where you want to place the feature and actively measure the dimensions, that will help you narrow the choice based on the maximum size of a water feature that you can have in your garden.

If you buy one that requires plumbing, make sure that you have access to water supply, though most smaller solar water features tend to be self sustaining units.

Getting the Right Solar Panels

As you quite well know, the primary power is via your solar panel, which means that its one of the most important parts, and as such you should try and keep a few things in mind.

Consider detachable panels if you have limited access to sunlight – often placing a detachable solar panel over an area that has better sun cover, you could maximise the time that your feature works.

You should most certainly make sure that your garden feature comes with a number of solar panels that seem reasonable for the size of the feature, the more the panels, the more energy is being stored. Small panels for a large water feature typically means a low daily working life.

Advantages of Solar Garden Water Features

Cheap to run. If the feature isn’t using electricity, then it works out cheaper than the traditional electrical features.

No need for plumbing. Typically most solar water features aren’t plugged int the plumbing, but tend to be self sustaining loops, once you have fed the volume of water necessary to run it, you need only to replace it to clean the water.

Ease of installation. As most features don’t need electric cabling, or plumbing, you could unpack your water feature the day you buy it or the day it arrives and its ready to go!

Solar  UK Water Features Brands Reviewed

How will we review water features? Well the first thing to understand is that every review is subjective. As a result, instead of writing my own personal reviews, I will be reading what others have said about a particular solar water feature and summarise that with my own thoughts.

The key here is to have a number of independent reviewers leaving their thoughts and comments and then picking the best water guide based on the information available. So instead of you having to trawl the web for hundreds of reviews, let me present the best water features I find by category and by review, instead of simply listing them all on one page.

What are the reviews going to cover?

The first and primary thing I will look into is the general over all star rating of a product.

This will be followed up with affordability and or value for money.

I will then look at the features and list out the best bits if I can find them.

The final piece of the puzzle would be to look at reviewer comments, from the product itself to the company selling the product, and or the general perception of the brand that sells the solar water feature.

Do you have a review, comment or opinion you would like to submit to? Please let me know and I would be happy to include your comments. If you have specific complaints about any solar features you may have bought for your garden, then contact us as well – we would like to also feature some really bad products to advise others to stay away.

What Solar Water Feature Brands will you Review?

We will be reviewing a range of brands that offer solar water features, some of the best are covered below:

  • Primrose
  • Aqua Moda
  • Direct Global Trading
  • Smart Solar
  • VicTsing
  • Greenfingers
  • PK Green
  • Bermuda
  • SolarCosa
  • Ambiente