Use outdoor solar landscape lighting for emergencies

Solar Landscape Lights For Indoor Emergency Lighting

Solar landscape lights. They can also be used for emergency lighting, for ‘just in case’. Repurposed (dual use) as not only outdoor lighting, but indoor lights when the power goes out. Here are a few tips and recommendations about this simple but effective concept.

Not only will they spruce up your landscape appearance during the evening, but also become a potential source of lighting for inside the house, if you need it.

Solar Landscape Lights – Repurposed For Indoor Emergency Lighting

Ordinarily, a power outage won’t last too long. Flashlights and/or battery powered LED lanterns will likely be good enough. However, for those into prepping and preparedness, some will also prepare for a longer lasting power outage. Or even a grid-down situation.

While there are a number of ways to go about it, one simple solution for indoor emergency lighting is to use solar landscape lights. Just bring a few of them in at night..

How it works

It’s solar, so the lighting is free. And you’re looking at many, many years of service. The way it works.. It’s simple. Typically, a built-in solar panel will charge a built-in rechargeable battery during the day. A light sensor will detect when it’s evening or nighttime, and automatically switch on a LED light.

Use them anywhere

Typically spiked into the ground. Maybe along a walkway. Edges. Wherever..

I have about a dozen fastened to my chicken yard fence. I used tie-wraps (cable ties) to secure the plastic solar landscape light post/tubes to the top portion of the T-posts. The light/globe assembly can be easily pulled out or inserted back into the tube.

Easy to bring inside

I like this particular style of solar landscape lights (there are lots to pick from). The top part/assembly (with the solar panel, charger, battery, and LED light) easily twists off of the glass globe.

Flip it over for access to the battery compartment. The battery can be replaced and/or upgraded. The easy twist off top assembly also enables you to simply bring this part inside for emergency lighting (rather than the entire globe too).

However you may instead choose to bring in the entire thing with the globe as well (including the attached top solar lighting assembly). This may help with scattering the LED light – instead of a harsh single-point light source (example photo below). It’s simply a personal preference for emergency usage.

Solar landscape lighting also works for indoor emergency preparedness lights.

Some are brighter than others

I searched for a similar style on amzn of high quality, and which appears to disassemble like what I have. Here’s the best reviewed solar landscape lights. They also output 10 lumens each:


Let me say this.. Solar landscape lights are not super bright. That is, compared with other methods of emergency lighting. However some are brighter than others (e.g. 10 lumens in the example above). As it is with most things, you do get what you pay for..

In my view, generally speaking, solar landscape lights are bright enough for emergency preparedness to illuminate a room in your home. Especially when you figure that the sun will recharge them (no need for an AC powered battery charger). They will always be ready to use. Plus, these will last for years and years – all free solar power..

Here’s a photo showing my solar landscape light with the globe assembly attached – setting upside down indoors. It provides a decent glow. Also, after your eyes adjust to lower light levels, it really is pretty good for seeing around.

Solar landscape light being used indoors

Upgrade the battery in your solar landscape lights

My landscape lights each came with a 700 mAh rechargeable NiMH battery. That’s not too bad. However since the battery compartment is accessible, I could upgrade to a larger capacity battery.

For example, I’ve posted about my favorite rechargeable batteries. The Eneloop. The one’s that I have are rated at 1900 mAh. That’s more than 2.5 times the capacity..


Emergency indoor lighting for when the power grid is out. It’s just one tiny aspect of prepping and preparedness. There are LOTS of ways to deal with this. However this one little ‘trick’ (dual use) is something to consider. I like the fact that it’s simply harnessing the sun’s energy. No plug outlet necessary ;)

[ Read: Best AA Rechargeable Batteries – The Eneloop – Why I Like Them ]

[ Read: LED Lantern Technology For Preparedness ]


  1. I have these solar motion sensor omlights that operate off a single 18650 lithium battery.
    They are very bright, have 2 brightness settings and they are motion sensitive so great for hallways and stairs. you don’t have to turn them off.
    4 to 6 hours of sunlight and they are good for a couple days.

  2. Ken, I was not able to view the pictures, but will watch the video. When I was living in South America, alone, until the D.H. could get there, I found some solar lights for outdoors, that had flat bottom stands. These could swivel up and down. We lost power a lot, due to the copper in the soil, that would draw lightening to the transformers. If too many were hit at one time, it could take six weeks before we had power. I could pick these up, and bring them in at night, so I could use my kindle. The stand allowed me to put some books underneath, on the nightstand for just the right lighting. Of course, I could carry one along with me through the house. I didn’t want to light the place up like an airport, with not many lights in our area. I also left some outside close to doors and windows for extra security. I had “accidentally” brought an illegal handgun into the country, behind a nightstand drawer, inside, where it got stuck on some tape, so I didn’t see it. But I digress.
    We bought some cheap ones to sit on the coop here, but half cracked last winter.

  3. I, too, have used these lights during a power outage. However, unless they have an on/off switch they stay on all night or until the battery is dead. Unless the next day has sunlight they won’t recharge and that night has no solar light working. Just be sure they have an accessible on/off switch.

    1. That’s a good point. My lights do not have a switch, and yes they will simply run at night until the battery goes out. An easy workaround while using the light for emergency lighting is to remove the battery when you’re done. Thus saving any remaining charge until it’s ready to charge again under the sun (but turn that switch back on or it probably won’t charge!). My landscape lights have an easy access battery compartment to pop out the AA size battery. However, a switch sure is easier. Thanks for the tip.

  4. Those solar lights are also good for charging AA nicad and nimh rechargeable battery’s for other uses, but I don’t know if the nimh battery’s will be damaged overtime charging in a nicad charger/solar light.
    That would be a last resort for me but it would work.

    I made sure a while back that I will have several lighting options available and several ways to charge my battery’s. if the need arises.

  5. i liked this article. i’ve been going to get some solar lights for the use inside the house. i never considered the removable battery option or the on/off switch. the grandkids don’t like the dark and this will help eliminate fears during power outages and alot safer than our kerosene lanterns. thanks for the article.

  6. Had these outside for over 2 years. Work really well. Light a whole room if needed. Can mount on wall. 3 ways to have turn on.
    (product link from Amazon )

    Solar Lights Outdoor 120 LED with Lights Reflector and 3 Lighting Modes,Solar Motion Sensor Security Lights, IP65 Waterproof Solar Powered Wall Lights for Garden Patio Yard Deck Pendant Lights(4-Pack)
    Brand: HMCITY

    1. HMCITY look almost identical to the omsolar lights I have.
      Could be same manufacturer, dunno.
      Mine have been in the elements for 3 or 4 years now and still working great, I don’t remember but the quality shows.
      Very bright.
      The new ones from omsolar offer a remote control option along with the motion function, they sell for about $25 for two.

      The cheap ones serve their purpose but deteriorate in time.
      My old ones self destructed after 1 to 2 years outside but I left them out in all seasons so they suffered more.
      I still have several I never used plus around 40 or 50 of those little solar cells I intended to use for little projects but never did.

  7. – Because I was frequently not at home whenever we would have a power outage, DW and the boys were quite happy to have a simple solution to having lights in the house easily until Pappy was home to fire up the generator if needed. Half a dozen lights were quite within the abilities of a six-year-old boy to bring in and could be set up atop a waterglass to light living room, Bathroom, kitchen and such. The on/off switch is a nice touch; I had not seen those until I bought these.

    One quick note. Look at the little solar panel when buying them. bigger panel = brighter light. Often, we wouldn’t need the genset, the little one burner butane stove was all that was needed for supper. Wash the dishes in the morning and use disposables as much as possible.

    – Papa S.

  8. most cheap solar lights are made with low grade plastic on the p.v. panel . they cloud up after time in the sun so you will need to maintain them by polishing them periodically . like the headlights on a car . try to find better ones with glass if possible and keep them clean . the difference is very noticable in brightness for longer time and the batteries will last longer . get good batteries for replacement .

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