If you’re looking for an affordable and easy way to light up your yard or garden, solar lights are a great option. But for people that live in condos, apartments or zero lot lines you may not have enough space to put up an elaborate setup for your solar lights.
Even if you have a large yard you may want to have a method of lighting up the far reaches of your yard without running power lines…that’s where solar lights come in. Most people already have a fence running around the perimeter of their yard…why not put it to good use and mount the lights on it?
Can Solar Lights Be Mounted To A Fence?
Since solar lighting is lightweight and does not require any wiring, they are very easy to mount to fencing. Most manufacturers have already designed their solar lights ready to mount.
For example, the solar lights you’ll buy will likely have mounting holes, mounting brackets, or even C-clamps as part of the design. You’ll also find that manufacturers tend to include packets of screws and anchors, or at the very least, double-sided tape, inside the boxes as well.
Still, when it comes to outdoor solar lights for your fence, you need to start by figuring out what type if solar light you want:
- Solar Lights That Mount To Fence Boards
- Solar Lights That Mount To Fence Posts or Caps
Both of these types of solar lights are meant to go onto your fence. However, their placement will differ slightly. For example:
Fence Board Mounting
This type of solar fence lighting will go directly onto the fence panel itself. Since fence panels are flat and vertical, you’ll have an endless list of light styles to choose from. For instance, you can get solar lanterns, bollards, canisters, sconce, or dome lights, among plenty of other types.
Post or Fence Cap Mounting
This type of solar fence lighting is just as the name suggests. It’s a solar light explicitly designed to go on top of each fence post. These lights also come in a wide variety of designs. However, they’re much more straightforward to mount. All of these lights have a cap opening at the bottom that fits directly onto your fence post.
Once you decide on the exact types of solar lights you want, you can then plan for how you’ll be mounting them onto your fence. A little bit of pre-planning will go a very long way.
What’s The Best Way To Mount Solar Lights To A Fence?
There are 4 general ways to mount your solar lights to a fence, each with a unique strength.
Some of the most common mounting methods include:
- C-clamps: Some solar fence light designs include c-clamps already built into the unit. These are to mount the lights around pipes or batten, and you can tighten them by hand.
- DIY clamps: Even if the light’s design doesn’t include a clamp, you can still add them yourself. For example, saddle clamps can mount a solar light shaft to a wall.
- Screws: The most common mounting method is to drill holes in the fence and screw the solar light to it. Many solar fence lights already have mounting plates with screw holes pre-drilled, only requiring you to drill matching holes in your fence.
- Double-sided tape: There is also the option of double-sided tape for anyone who prefers not to drill holes in their fence. Of course, your solar fence lights will require heavy-duty and weather-resistant double-sided tape to make this happen.
At some point, you’ll probably wonder which one among those 4 mounting methods is the best. Well, that question doesn’t have a simple answer. Instead, what’s best will depend on 2 things.
- Firstly, the best mounting method will depend on the solar light’s shape and design. For example, you can mount some lights directly onto the flat side of the fence. However, others might need to be mounted over the top of the fence instead.
- Secondly, the most suitable mounting method will depend on the type of fence you have. For instance, drilling a few holes is enough to mount your solar lights on a wooden or vinyl fence. However, you’ll need a much different method for a chain link fence instead.
Let’s take a look at the mounting methods you can use according to the type of fence you have:
You can use whatever mounting method the solar fence light is designed for with a wood fence.
For example, you can drill holes in your wood fence and mount solar lights with screws or even DIY clamps.
Careful, though! You don’t want to drill all the way through your fence. Instead, you only need to drill deep enough for the screws to get a tight hold on it.
C-clamps are also an option if you have a light that mounts onto the fence’s batten.
And, of course, double-sided tape is also an excellent solution if you prefer not to drill holes in your fence.
When it comes to mounting solar lights on a vinyl fence, your options are pretty much the same as a wood fence.
While you can drill holes into vynil, it’s not suggested as this can lead to moisture getting underneath the vinyl paneling which can lead to cracking…especially if you live in a location that get freezing weather during the winter.
If you do decide to drill your vinyl fence, make sure you are extra careful if you use an electric drill or screwdriver since the smoothness of the vinyl surface can cause the drill to slip and damage the fence.
So, when it comes to vinyl fences, try your best to mount lights using clamps or double-sided tape while avoiding drilling as much as possible.
Unfortunately, your options for mounting solar lights onto a chain link fence are pretty limited. Simply put, the only parts that are solid enough to mount anything are the top rail and line post.
Since both those parts are cylindrical, your only real choice is to use a c-clamp or something similar to mount your lights.
Let’s be clear: it’s entirely possible to mount solar lights onto a chain-link fence. But, sadly, the number of methods you can use to do that is limited.
Similar to chain-link fences, the options you have for mounting solar lights onto an iron fence are also limited.
However, unlike a chain link fence where there’s only one option, you do have a couple more choices when it comes to installing solar lights on an iron fence.
For example, some solar lights come with built-in hooks that make it easy to hang them over the top of an iron fence.
If your solar lights don’t have any built-in hooks, you can use a wire hanger or coat hanger to create one. Simply bend the metal into a U-shape and then twist the ends together to form a hook.