Which solar fountain is best?
Fountains are a great way to add elegance and a sense of calm to your garden. While traditional fountains are expensive to install and can’t be easily relocated, solar fountains eliminate these issues. In addition, portable solar fountains don’t require a specialist to put in, and can be moved throughout your yard as the season dictates.
There’s a lot to consider when buying the best solar fountain for your garden. Before you start your search, have a peek at the Smart Solar 2-Tier Solar Fountain, which comes in three stylish designs and features a 6-hour battery to keep things moving when the sun goes down. Whether you’re a master gardener or you just want to liven up a patch of grass, here’s what to consider.
What to know before you buy a solar fountain
Solar pump or solar fountain
If you have a birdbath in your garden that you love, consider getting yourself a solar pump. Solar pumps are just what they sound like — water pumps with an integrated solar panel. They’re an easy way to plus what you already have since they can be placed in any vessel containing a few inches of water. Of course, they must be submerged to work.
On the other hand, solar fountains include the body of the fountain in addition to the solar pump. Hence, if you want a completely new look of your yard, a solar fountain is the way to go.
On a sunny day, identify what would be an ideal spot for a solar fountain in your garden. Then, be sure to check at a few different times to see where shadows fall as the sun moves. Most solar fountains will have some sort of battery backup so they can keep running in the dark, but battery life and charging times vary. If nighttime operation is important to you, consider a solar fountain with a timer to better regulate after-hours use.
Solar fountain power is measured in watts. Solar pumps average 1 to 3 watts, while solar fountains average 5 to 15 watts. The more wattage, the more robust the water flow will be.
Solar fountains are generally made of ceramic, stone or resin. Although ceramic solar fountains look beautiful, they can be delicate. Moreover, stone solar fountains are solid, but they’re often the most expensive and the most difficult to move. Nevertheless, resin solar fountains are durable alternatives to ceramic or stone, but they can look cheap if the design’s not great.
Be sure to check your fountain’s weight before you make a purchase. Even if you’re not planning to move it often, it’s good to know whether you can pick it up yourself, or you’ll need an extra pair of hands.
What to look for in a quality solar fountain
This is probably the biggest factor for most buyers. What kind of plants are in your garden? What do the other decor pieces you already own look like? As a result, you’ll want a solar fountain that matches.
If you decide to purchase a solar pump instead of a solar fountain, this will allow for more customization. Again, solar pumps will work in any vessel with at least a few inches of water. If you find the perfect bowl at a flea market or make the perfect urn in a ceramics class, you can turn them into fantastic solar fountains.
Note the height of your prospective solar fountain. This is the height you’ll have to bend down to for maintenance, cleaning and other needs. If there’ll be seating nearby, measure that too. Big lawn chairs shouldn’t go next to a small solar fountain.
Some solar fountains will have a second-tier birdbath. If you have many bird feeders, you’ll want a larger birdbath to accommodate all of the birds who will get thirsty after stopping by for a snack.
Some solar fountains allow you to decide how the water flows. Do you prefer a more sprinkler-like spray or a gentle trickle? Watch videos online to get a feel of what you prefer. Remember that it’s not just how the spray looks; it’s how the spray sounds. This is especially important if you’re trying to create a relaxing oasis vibe.
Many models have interchangeable nozzles to achieve the spray look and sound you desire. Others may have dials or switches that will allow you to adjust the water stream.
How much you can expect to spend on a solar fountain
Solar pumps cost between $15-$30 but remember that they need to be submerged in something. Further, mid-range resin solar fountains run between $100-$200, whereas higher-range resin solar fountains, ceramic fountains and stone fountains start at $200 but can reach upwards of $500.
Solar fountain FAQ
Will my solar fountain work on cold days?
A. If you still get sun on cold days, then it will. However, bear in mind that your fountain is running off sunlight, not heat. Just make sure to consult the care materials that came with your fountain to see if it’s appropriate for the fountain to be outside during chilly weather.
What if my ideal solar fountain location is shady?
A. While most solar fountains have fixed solar panels that require placement in direct sunlight, a few models have portable solar panels that connect via cord to the unit itself. This means you can put the fountain wherever you want as long as there’s a sunny spot nearby.
What’s the best solar fountain to buy?
Top solar fountain
What you need to know: This solar fountain is a made-to-last statement piece.
What you’ll love: It features two tiers with adorable turtle sculptures climbing up the side. Very stable.
What you should consider: The fountain needs lots of direct sunlight to function properly.
Top solar fountain for the money
What you need to know: This birdbath with a solar pump insert is a classy addition to any garden. Don’t doubt its quality due to its low price.
What you’ll love: Interchangeable heads let you pick the perfect spray. Available in copper, gray or green.
What you should consider: The spray mechanism needs to be very well secured to ensure proper operation.
Worth checking out
What you need to know: Its resin and fiberglass structure makes for a sturdy fountain available in sophisticated black, earth and rust-colored finishes.
What you’ll love: Its pineapple design adds a touch of whimsy to your garden. The fountain comes with a 16-foot cord for the solar panel.
What you should consider: Some users say the fountain is top-heavy and tips easily.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Frank Paiva writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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