Solar and other options to light up those summer nights

Rob Zimmer
Solar lighting has come a long way in recent years and you'll enjoy the many new, creative and colorful styles of lights available at local garden centers statewide.

The world of solar lighting has exploded in variety and affordability over the past few years. At many garden centers at home stores, you'll find solar lights and other lighting options that will truly take your breath away.

From glass flowers that tower 5 to 6 feet tall to lighted columns and pillars, solar fairy garden homes, bug lights, as well as classic solar stakes, you'll discover an amazing new world of enjoying your garden after dark.

Solar blooms

Solar flowers are especially popular, blending metallic garden art with breathtaking colored glass and, of course, solar lighting technology to create wonders of art.

You'll find them in many colors, as well as shapes and sizes. From 8-inch floral lighted stakes to 6-foot tall extravagant blooms, solar floral elements are an amazing choice for gardens and patios.

You'll find solar powered, light up daisies, irises, tulips, hydrangeas, sunflowers, lilies and more.

Solar powered lights in floral form are quite popular, such as this wonderful hydrangea solar light stake, perfect for gardens, patios and large containers.

Fireflies and more

Butterflies, dragonflies and fireflies light up the night in the form of colorful and creative bug lights. I found these at silver Mist Garden Center, Waupaca. Made of heavy, durable crackle glass and metal, these fun and colorful creations promise to be the centerpiece of your garden, day or night.

During the day, the colorful glass sparkles in the summer sun, hanging from trees, shrubs, arbors and shepherds hooks. At night, they sparkle in colorful shades as the solar powered elements begin to glow.

Lighted columns and pillars in a multitude of stunning designs are another lighting option to dress up your night garden.

Vintage lighting

Cottage style gardeners will love glass lanterns painted in shabby chic, distressed white, perfect for holding candles, LED lights or solar strings. These elegant lanterns and bring a vintage charm to the outdoor garden and patio.

Miniature or fairy gardening is taken to a whole new level with solar powered, lighted cottages, castles, lighthouses and more! Enjoy the beauty of your fairy garden all night long with these beautiful, lighted options.

Fairy lights

Even the world of miniature, or fairy gardening lights up as a number of cottages, cabins, castles and other tiny structures now feature solar light up options.

Lighted cottages, gourd homes, log homes, and outdoor structures of many kinds feature solar light up options, bringing the fairy garden to magical life at night.

Whatever your gardening style, there are lighting options for you. Lanterns and hollow metal art in many shapes, sizes forms and themes are perfect for inserting a candle or LED light string.

You can even turn any hanging planter into a beautiful, night time lighted masterpiece with specially designed lights created for hanging baskets, allowing you to show off those incredible hanging baskets all night long.

Visit your local garden center or home store to check out their selection of colorful, creative and, most of all, fun styles of solar lighting and more.

Find Rob Zimmer online at On Facebook at Listen to Outdoors with Rob Zimmer every Saturday, 7 to 8 a.m. on