Love Island 2019 villa lights – Get that look!

Love Island is back for a fifth series and as ever the villa is setting this year’s must-have outdoor
lighting trends

The 2019 Love Island Villa Garden Lights!

Love Island Villa Garden
You don’t need to have been watching too closely this year to notice that Love Island has gone ball light crazy! I mean sure, there were a few ball lights knocking around last year, but this year they have taken things to a whole new level! There are the massive ball lights around the villa garden, ball lights by every bed and even ball lights on every table on Love Island: Aftersun.

Ball Lights In The Love Island Bedroom

Ball (shape) lights in the bedroom too!

We have a sneaking suspicion that the ball lights on Aftersun may indeed be our very own Shapelights Sphere which appeared on The Only Way Is Essex a few months ago, but we can’t say for sure.

Shapelights Sphere on Love Island: Aftersun?

Either way, the Shapelight Sphere is a 35cm diameter version of all the indoor or outdoor ball lights you can see on Love Island or Love Island: Aftersun. Why do I say that? I say that because you can use our Shapelights anywhere indoors or outdoors! Shapelights can be USB charged or solar
powered outdoors or you plug them into the mains and use them indoors. Once powered up Saheplights can be set to gently change colour from white, warm white, blue, light blue, green, lime, purple, pink, orange and red or you can set your Shapelight to stay on your favourite colour.
A keener eye will have noticed the main love island tree has been beautifully wrapped in warm white fairy lights this year as it was last year too. We offer two ranges of warm white solar fairy lights to help you get that Love Island look. We have our value Elan range which comes in 100 (10m) and 200 (20m) lengths. Or our premium Lumify USB Solar Fairy Lights which, like our Shapelights, can be USB charged so you don’t need Love Island weather to keep them going night after night even if you don’t have a great solar panel location. Our Lumify USB chargeable solar powered fairy lights come in 100 LED (10m) and 300 LED (30m) lengths.

Are these the solarcentre Lumify Solar and USB Fairy lights?

Warm White Solar Fairy Lights on Love Island 2019?
Finally, we come to the legendary Love Island Terrace where we’ve seen everything from group chats, awkward one to ones and first kisses. If you can draw your eye away from the drama you will see that there is a lot of festoon lighting creating that romantic ambience.

Festoon lit Love Island Terrace 2019

We have plenty of festoon lights for you to choose from. From our value range we have our Elan Solar Festoon Lights which offer 20 5cm diameter festoon balls along a 10m string. From our premium USB chargeable Lumify range we have our stunning warm white Lumify USB Solar Vintage
which come in two lengths: 10 bulbs on a 7m string or 20 bulbs on a 14m string.

Do solar lights work in winter? – the definitive guide

  1. Do solar lights really work in winter?
  2. Why are my solar lights not on dusk till dawn in winter?
  3. How do you charge solar lights in winter?
  4. What are the best solar lights in winter?
  5. How do you to charge solar lights without sun?
  6. How do solar lights work in the shade?
  7. Can you use rechargeable batteries in solar lights?


  1. Do solar lights really work in winter?works-in-winter

All Solar lights work in winter as long as the Solar panel receives enough daylight to power up the batteries to a point that the light can function assuming no faults.

Many people ask if our lights work at winter after having a poor experience in the past, normally with very cheap budget type lights.

All solar lights use rechargeable batteries and with a good set of Lithium Ion batteries costing upwards of £10 so a solar light is less it’s likely to be very limited in performance.

  1. Why are my solar lights not on dusk till dawn in winter?dusk-till-dawn-solar-lights

“Dusk to till dawn” or “always on” are the most common type of solar lights that run at night until dawn or until the charge in the batteries runs out. However the dusk till dawn description can build unrealistic expectations and here at Solarcentre we try our best not to use that description as the time of year, panel positioning and of course the specification of the light all determine how long the light will operate for.
21 December 2016 is the next solstice and the sun will rise at 07:07 and set at 16:21 in London, that’s 9hrs 14mins of daylight or 14hrs 46 mins night.



For our premium solar products 1hr direct sunlight can provide up to 1.3hr LED/SMD light output.

Here at Solarcentre we launched two massive technological advances in our solar lights, Power Saving mode, which doubles the light run time by reducing the power going to the LED/SMD bulb.


Our first Dual Solar Panel lights were also introduced on the Kodiak range. Both features combined offer more than 4 times the runtime of comparable lights without these features.



  1. How do you charge solar lights in winter?charging-in-winter

No matter what time of year solar lights charge in the same way, the main differences between winter and summer is that the length of time between sunrise and sunset reduces.

The sun in the UK is lower in the sky in winter which has two knock on effects. One being that sunlight has more atmosphere for the suns rays to pass through and the other that a solar panel will produce more when pitched at approximately a 45% angle rather than straight up.

Avoiding shadows is particularly crucial in winter as lengthening shadows that may not have been a factor in summer can make a review of a solar panels positioning an essential task in winter.

  1. What are the best solar lights in winter?best-winter-solar-lights

There are many solar lights that are best for UK winter conditions but it really depends on what you need the solar lights for.

Security solar lights with motion sensor are perfect all year round as the lights that only trigger when movement has been sensed, this is how we can make a security lights with 1,400 Lumens (the brightest in the UK). If bright lighting is essential in winter then we always strongly recommend a motion activated light to provide the best guarantee of the light being there when you need it.

Our range of remote panel solar security lights


Fairy lights of course use far less power and work all year round. Our Lumify fairy lights have a USB top up for if you ever have very long periods of no sunlight or if you’re struggling to get the panel in a good position for the winter sun.

Last but not least our dual panel lights with power saving mode boast the best light runtimes for always on light in winter!

  1. How do you to charge solar lights without sun?solar-lights-without-sun

Solar panels use the energy from daylight and not direct sunlight, direct sunlight provide the best conditions as it’s the least diffused through cloud. Even the angle of the sun throughout the year is massively affected just by the amount of atmosphere the rays need to pass.

Dark thick cloud will absorb far more daylight than thin white clouds and will in turn reduce the output of the panel. So even on a cloudy and rainy day your panels are still working away.

  1. How do solar lights work in the shade?solar-lights-in-the-shadew

As above solar lights still work in the shade without sun but for the best performance, no matter the time of year, solar panels should be angled directly at the sun with nothing in the way to diffuse the light.

  1. Can you use rechargeable batteries in solar lights?battery

All “real” solar lights should have rechargeable batteries to work, the solar panel simply recharges the batteries during daylight and the lights come on once the sun has set.

Why not check out our full range of solar lighting designed here in the UK for the UK – Click Here For Solar Lights

Solar vs. Mains LED Garden Lights

Why Solar?

Outdoor LED solar lights can be a lifesaver when mains power lights are simply not an option, but how do they measure up to hardwired electric lights? And what if your garden is shady or you live somewhere that rarely sees the sun?

Mains vs. Solar Lighting

ss9901-1OK, here’s the bad news – solar LED lights can’t compete with mains powered lights where brightness is concerned in most cases. That said, high quality solar lights can be seriously bright these days and often surprise customers that are used to cheaper lights. From here on in it’s all good news.

Solar LED lights are simpler and safer to install
, they are free to run, they give you the freedom to put lights anywhere and they are environmentally friendly. Utility lights, such as our high powered solar security lights, also provide a great backup in the event of power cuts which seem to be becoming increasingly common these days.

Location, location, location!

So, what if you live in the UK and you don’t have that perfect south facing garden? Designing solar LED garden lights that work year round in the UK is a real challenge, so we are constantly looking for new ways to innovate around the problem. We’ve added some great features to our lights in recent years which include USB charging and Powersaving Technology.

Our enhanced USB charging technology on our Lumify USB Solar Fairy Lights gives our customers the option to fully charge their lights quickly and easily via USB in. Once fully charged by USB, Lumify can run for weeks in dull winter conditions with very little help form the sun. More and more of our products now feature Powersaving technology.

At the flick of a switch you can put the solar LED lights into Powersaving mode which reduces brightness slightly in return for doubling runtime each night. We advise customers with challenging locations to use Powersaving mode when the clocks go back in October and then put them back into standard mode when the clocks go forward in March.

They make the garden look great!

Our customers love sending us pictures showing how they have used our lights creatively to enhance their outdoor space.

“Little to say except a fantastic product at a great price. The garden looks magical!”

“Brilliant lights, charged originally via the USB which took around 4 hours. Came on at night, really bright and turn off automatically after 8 hours. Brilliant to be able to charge via USB as well as the solar panel especially if you have a party happening. Very good connections with waterproof seals. PERFECT Would recommend to anyone and would buy again if I need more.”

“I was sceptical about ordering this security light but thought it would be worth a try. It is nothing short of brilliant. So easy to install and works perfectly. Can really recommend it.”

“These are easy to install, give great light and offer good value. Recommend highly.”


962A national report of homeowner habits, published by Lloyds Bank Insurance, showed  the amount of 25 to 34-year-olds spend on their outdoor spaces double the national average, it also showed that people have spent an of £747 on outdoor spaces in the past year. Solar lights give life to your garden after dark.



Memorable Lights From Literature Infographic

It’s enlightening to discover how important a role lights can play in literature. You may have read some of these novels; you may even have read and seen them all. But did you ever realise the significance of the lights, and how this contributed to the overall story?

Our latest infographic describes memorable lights that exist in these tales, and explains how the image of light is used, perhaps for symbolism or imagery. It’s also interesting to see how light often makes an appearance in woeful stories, where the light and the dark are usually conflicting images.

Are there any memorable lights that you can think of from literature that aren’t on our list? Are there any that you’d read about but never really paid attention to?


Solar Lights Not Working? The Ultimate Guide

Top 16 tips to get your Solar Lights back up and working.

  1. Cover that panel
  2. Replace those batteries
  3. Dodge the shadows
  4. Is that the best angle?
  5. South Facing?
  6. Water ingress
  7. Hungry Squirrels?
  8. On /off switch
  9. Passive Infra-Red (PIR) dials?
  10. Lux sensor dial?
  11. Battery seating/strip
  12. Charging behind glass
  13. Is it plugged in?
  14. To solder or not to solder?
  15. If all else fails there’s always the mains
  16. Grubby solar panel



  1. Cover that panel


Covering the solar panel will often trick the lights into thinking night time has arrived early and therefore the light will come on. Solar lights typically stay off automatically by day as they are busy converting the light into energy to be stored in the batteries. This energy is then used at night to power the light. If it’s well after dusk and your light hasn’t come on cover the panel, if it does decide to work you know there’s another source of light hitting the solar panel that’s tricking the light into thinking it’s still daylight. Sometimes a subtle tweaking of the panel location can remedy the situation and have your light behaving as it should do.

  1. Replace those batteriesbattery

Did you know that solar lights often have regular rechargeable batteries inside them? They should always be rechargeable batteries; NiMH or, in more modern products, Li-ion batteries. Because the batteries charge by day and discharge by night, when the light is on, the batteries will lose their charging capability over time. A sign this might be happening to your lights is reduced runtime in the evening, even after a sunny day. Good batteries should last for 1 – 2 years or more before they need replacing but this is only a guide. Some customers tell us they’ve had lights running for more than 6 years and are still using the original batteries – this is the exception rather than the rule though.

  1. Dodge the shadows16948728780_1d8a225209_z

Shadows are best avoided, particularly any falling on the solar panel a couple of hours either side of midday when the sun is at its strongest. Every 3 – 4 months it’s worth taking a quick look at the solar panel around midday to see how shaded the panel might be. Panels installed in the height of summer when the shadows are short are particularly susceptible to shade seeming to come out of nowhere as the sun gets lower in the sky as the seasons change.

  1. Is that the best angle?sunny

    Whilst not as important as outright shadows the angle of the panel can have a real effect on light runtime, particularly throughout winter when the sun is very low in the sky. If your solar light features a panel angle that can be easily adjusted then getting up to a 45 degree angle when winter is at its peak will harvest as much sun as possible.

  1. South Facing?compass

A Solar panel is a lot like a satellite dish – it will work most effectively if it’s pointing in the right direction. The sun rises in the east and sets in the west, so a south facing panel will harvest sunlight from dawn until dusk. Solar lights can still work if they’re not facing due south; it just means they may not work to their full potential.

  1. Water ingresswater

    Despite the obvious design flaw many solar lights can suffer from issues with water ingress. Well designed and manufactured lights shouldn’t suffer from this issue and you can keep an eye out for IP ratings to learn which products offer the best protection.

    Whilst water may not always present a problem, as some lights allow water to drain away without it accessing any of the sensitive electronics, if water has caused the light to stop working there are still some things you can try: Remove any cover(s) present holding any moisture in place. Store the light for a couple of days in a hot water cupboard to dry out the light. Reassemble the light, double-checking the batteries are well seated. Give the light a day or two to charge and then turn the light on at night.

    It’s also worth checking with the manufacturer. A correctly installed light with a warranty should be covered for water ingress, email a photo or two and you should find a replacement is with you before long.

  1. Hungry Squirrels?hung

Sometimes we get customers sending us interesting pictures where the wildlife have got a bit peckish and helped themselves to some nutritious wire from a string of fairy lights for example. The damage can sometimes be repaired with some electrical tape and plenty of patience. If this isn’t possible it’s worth checking with the manufacturer to see whether spares are available to save disposing of the whole product.

As we’re talking about the wire, with any installation where the wire could be subject to tension, for example a string of fairy lights in a tree, always try to leave plenty of slack between branches. Strong winds can put undue pressure on the cable causing damage that can be hard to find and even harder to fix.

  1. On /off switchpower

This is a classic that we had to include; we’ve even had electrical engineers overlook this one. Not all solar lights have an on/off switch but for those that do make sure it’s set to on. If it’s hard to tell whether the switch is on or off, cover the panel to simulate night time and it should be easy to find out.

  1. Passive Infra-Red (PIR) dials?pir

Some more advanced solar security lights have adjustable dials to fine tune motion detection sensitivity, allowing you to stop cats, bird and other wildlife from triggering the light unnecessarily. This is no one size fits all solution here as the height you install the light, the distance of the light from the motion you wish to detect and even whether the motion is moving across the PIR’s field of view all effect how this should be set. Simply put if your light isn’t activating when you need it too, start with maximum sensitivity and work back from there so the light it only activating as required. A bit of trial and error, preferably with someone to help provide the motion if you’re up a ladder, will get the job done quickly.

  1. Lux sensor dial?dials

This is similar to the PIR however in this case the lux sensor determines how dark it has to be before the light will activate. This can be useful if there are other sources of light that could be tricking the lamp into thinking it’s still daylight and therefore stopping the lamp from activating. Sometimes it’s the reverse, the light could be installed somewhere relatively shady with a remote panel in a good sunny spot. In this scenario setting the lamp to activate when the ambient light is much darker could be useful to save the lamp operating when not required.

  1. Battery seating/stripfix-battery

Another easy thing to check is whether the batteries may have either worked their way loose in transit or as a result of installation. If they’re not touching the terminal contacts the batteries won’t be getting a charge by day or being able to provide that charge at night. If you do detect a loose battery remember to give it a day or two to charge in the lamp before operating the light as the battery may have been flat to start with.

  1. Charging behind glasswindow

While you or I can sit behind glass and feel the full effects of the sun it’s often not the case with a solar panel. Double and even triple glazed windows are very common these days and will often render many of the sun’s rays hitting the panel useless. It’s always best to get the panel outside of any glass in a good sunny spot when charging, put simply the fewer obstructions between the sun and your solar panel the more charge will be generated.

  1. Is it plugged in?

Another one you might think we’re making up here but it does happen. If you’ve got a remote solar panel that’s separate from the lamp you need to make sure the solar panel cable is firmly plugged in, with waterproof connectors tightened if present. Sometimes solar lights will have the batteries stored in the solar panel, other times the batteries will be stored in the light head itself but ultimately if the panel can’t charge the batteries or the batteries charge can’t reach the lamp you’re going to be in for a disappointing light show.

  1. To solder or not to solder?solder

As a general rule of thumb it’s always worth contacting the company you bought from to discuss the issue prior to firing up the soldering iron. Often companies can look favourably on a situation where a customer has tried to help avoid a light ending up in landfill for the sake of a loose wire but ultimately it is going to invalidate any warranty – unless of course you’ve had a chat with the company beforehand.

  1. If all else fails there’s always the mainspylons

Plugging a mains charger into a light or removing batteries and mains charging them can seem like a good idea but unless you’re using a compatible mains charger bought with the light things could go downhill. Solar panels output a specific voltage compatible with circuit componentry and battery voltage. A mains charger might fry circuitry or overcharge batteries, ultimately leading to a purchase of a new light. If the batteries are easily removable, and clearly labelled and you have the appropriate charger then you could guarantee performance for a night or two but you might be better off getting a good solar friendly location to charge your lights in the first place. As always if you’re in any doubt follow the instructions or seek clarification from the company you purchased from.

  1. Grubby solar paneldusty

If you live near a busy road or the panel is in a dusty spot you may find your solar panel performance dips off over time as a result of a film of dust and dirt building up on the panel. Giving it a quick wipe over with a damp cloth every so often will keep it working to its full potential.

Thanks for reading this far, we hope you’ve either got your lights up and running or at least have some ideas of how to get them back up and running again. Always remember if your lights are covered by a 12 month warranty, and all good solar lights should be, provided you’ve followed the instructions you’ll have a replacement on its way to you in no time.

Here at the Solarcentre we have designed Solar Lights for more than 10yrs for UK.

We use the latest Solar Panels along with the most up to date LEDs.

Check out our Dual Panel Kodiak Range:




Our garden post lights with power saving mode :





…last but not least our USB backup range of garden fairy lights.

How to light up your garden with solar lights

Last week here at the Solar Centre we got a unexpected tweet from a local  designer of contemporary flower pots and coffee tables and his lit up garden:


Adam goes on to show how to light up your garden with our solar lights:

The picture really shows off Adams flowers pots using our Solar Spotlights to highlight the features of the hand folded moulded and laid planter along with lighting up the flowerbeds with our Solar Post Lights.


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The Solar lights used in Adams garden are:

Solar spot lights:

Solar post lights

The Flower planters in Adams garden are: