It’s hard enough to keep the plants in your garden alive without deer getting into it. Will solar lights keep deer away? Motion sensor lights can be a part of the solution to keep the deer out of your yard, but powering those lights can be an issue.
So, will solar lights keep deer away? Solar powered yard lights are an effective way to deter deer from your garden. These friendly herbivores can be easy to keep out during the day, but many of the most common species of deer are nocturnal. Since they prefer to do most of their grazing at night, motion sensing lights will come in handy since deer are skittish to anything that poses as a threat. A bright light creates just enough of a scare to keep the deer out at night.
The unexpected spot light signals to the deer a potentially dangerous situation. This will automatically kick in their biological flight response. Since the light comes on suddenly when it detects the motion of the deer, it creates an unpredictable scare instead of a predictable scare. Other deer deterrent option are predictable, which can lead to the deer growing accustomed to the deterrent. Keeping the deer on their toes is the best option of triggering the flight response.
Since gardens can be far from any power source, extension cords are often required to power something like a motion sensor flood light. That’s where solar power comes in. Luckily, there are several solar powered lights that can scare deer away.
Best Solar Lights for Keeping Deer Away
These deer deterring solar lights come in a pack of two, which allows you to guard both sides of your garden.
It’s sensor mode detects deer up to 33 feet away. After one full day of charge, the lights can come on 150 times in sensor mode. This means weeks of life on a single charge.
It can be mounted on a fence or staked into the ground.
What The Reviewers Are Saying – People are giving these solar lights 4.6 out of 5 stars. They loved the sensitivity to motion in comparison to other products that wouldn’t turn on. It is easy to install and comes with the flexibility of going into the ground or screwed into a wall. The lights are bright and very responsive.
These solar lights come in a pack of four so that you can place one on each side of your garden or yard.
The upgraded design now has two flashing lights to create confusion.
Only five hours of charge will provide over twelve hours of light time.
What The Reviewers Are Saying – Reviewers are giving these lights a solid four out of five stars. These lights have a longer coverage, up to half a mile per light. It is recommended that it is mounted four feet above ground to work effectively. People have found that it works when it catches deer up close by surprise. If a deer is far away, some have found that it actually strikes their curiosity and draws them closer.
Though this only comes with one light, it is the cheapest option that works great for smaller gardens.
It has a solar powered light to scare deer away, but also uses an ultrasonic sound to catch deer that are not within eyesight of the light.
It can mount in the ground or on a wall through slots in the back.
What The Reviewers Are Saying – Customers love this light. Many bought a couple of them to take care of larger gardens and yards. It scored the highest out of all of the lights with 4.7 stars out of 5, but that comes with a major caveat. A lot of the reviews are for a previous product that used the same product page, but is no longer being sold. After scrubbing out all of the old reviews for a different product, you’re looking at roughly a 3.9 out of 5 stars. Not quite as great, but still a solid product.
Best Solar Noise Machines for Keeping Deer Away
The upgraded model is waterproof and includes a flashing strobe light with the solar ultrasonic alarm.
The speaker sends out a high pitched screech that deer can hear, but humans cannot.
The battery is powered by solar or by a USB port through an outlet.
What The Reviewers Are Saying – Customers mention that it takes about 2 weeks to completely clear out the deer, but this thing works. There are older reviews that complain about the quality of the solar panel, but that was upgraded in the latest model. Since the upgrade, customers are happy with the charge time and length of time required between charges. The waterproof design makes it robust even in the wettest climates.
This ultrasonic alarm works in the most rugged environments. It’s 7 sensitivity settings allows it t be customized to any application.
You can use rechargeable batteries that are powered through the solar panel or regular batteries if you don’t get direct sunlight.
What The Reviewers Are Saying – This solved many customer’s problem with deer and rabbits using their lawns as a hang out spot. They also mention that the customer service was terrific. A few customers received defective units, but received very quick responses and had new units in their yards in the matter of days.
This is another 2-in-1 product that uses flashing lights and ultrasonic sound to scare deer away.
Though it is powered through solar, it can be plugged in for the spots that don’t get much direct sunlight.
Includes a remote for a manual engaging the siren.
What The Reviewers Are Saying – There are four different working modes that make it easy to use for different applications. Many customers bought multiple to put in their front yard, backyard, and gardens. They use the flash mode for spots near their house and the siren mode when it is further away. It works keeping out deer, racoons, and bears from rummaging through their gardens and yards.
Where To Place Solar Lights To Scare Deer Away
Buying solar lights is only half the formula to keeping deer out of your garden. You want to make sure you find a good place with direct sunlight for your solar panel to fully charge every day. Make sure the lights are pointed away from your house and any neighbors house so it doesn’t create light pollution. The goal is to scare the deer away, not keep you up at night.
Try placing at least one light at each end of your garden, facing out from your garden. You’d like for the lights to turn on before the deer enter your garden.
If you find that deer are starting to come into your garden a couple of months after you install the solar lights, you should move the lights to a new location to surprise the deer.
You could rotate the location of each light every two weeks to ensure the deer don’t get comfortable with the spot lights coming on. Repeat this strategy for two months to create a danger area for the deer. They will learn to avoid this area permanently.
You might wonder if these solar lights are going to deter deer, but attract other unwanted bugs. We’ve covered that in detail in another post.
How To Charge Solar Panels Without Sunlight
The best option for fully powering solar powered lights and ultrasonic sound machines is to keep the solar panel in direct sunlight. If your yard is shaded, then you have a couple of options:
- You could make sure that the solar lights you purchase have a separate solar panel from the actual light so that you could place the panel in more direct sunlight. These lighting options typically provide an added 6-10 feet of power cord between the light and solar panel.
- You could use mirrors to direct sunlight from open areas towards the solar panel.
You could have found a great spot to place the solar panels, but you will inevitably have cloudy days where the sun doesn’t provide enough sunlight to fully charge the solar panels. Most solar lights stay charged for 10-12 hours. Since these lights use a motion sensor to turn on, you could easily get through a week with little to no sun and still have enough charge to scare away the occasional deer.
But if you find yourself in a situation where you haven’t had sun in over a week, you can change out the batteries in the solar light. These solar lights are typically powered by 18650 (3.7V 2200mAh) lithium batteries. You can make sure to have a few of those ready to go and a battery charger to keep them powered for when you need them. It’s easy to use a Phillips head screwdriver to swap out the rechargeable batteries in this instance.
Sustainable Alternatives To Scare Deer Away
Though solar lights tend to be the quickest, cheapest, and most environmentally friendly option, there are alternatives to test out if you find that solar lights end up not working for you.
We kept a couple of considerations in mind as we researched these other deer repellent options:
- The product has to be environmentally friendly. That means it won’t harm the deer or other animals. It also won’t harm any vegetation.
- The product should not be a nuisance. For example, a motion detection air horn could effectively keep deer away from your yard, but it will keep you and your neighbors up at night as well.
- We eliminated any chemicals or sprays, even if they claim to be environmentally friendly. Too many chemical products are safe today and recalled ten years down the road.
Without further adieu, here are the top three alternatives to keeping deer out of your garden and yard.
Motion Activated Sprinklers Keep Deer Away
If you find that the solar lights and noise machines don’t work, you can try motion activated sprinkler that automatically comes on to spray the deer with water when it approaches your yard.
This works the same way the motion activated light and noise machines, but takes it a step further. By actually making physical contact with the deer, you stand a better chance of scaring them away.
Environmentally Friendly Liquid Fence
There are many chemical sprays available out there, but we shied away from recommending anything that isn’t natural. There are also a lot of egg based sprays that have a strong sulfur smell. We want to focus on keeping only the deer out. We found that products using urine from predatory animals have consistently received strong reviews.
You can spray the urine as a perimeter around your garden or yard. Out of the half dozen products we researched, Liquid Fence came in at the top. It comes in three different forms, depending on the size of the area you’d like to treat.
- Ready to use spray bottle that can be immediately sprayed for small garden applications.
- Larger bottle of concentrate that requires you to mix it with water. This is a better bang for your buck, but probably overkill for a small garden. Use this with a tank sprayer if you’d like to keep deer out of a small yard.
- Granular pieces that can be included in your fertilizer the next time you use the garden spreader in a larger yard.
Physical Barriers To Keep Deer Out
This is the most expensive, but the most effective option. Installing something like a tall fence could add to your garden’s aesthetics while keeping the deer out for good. Make sure the fence is tall enough that the deer can’t jump over it.
White tail deer can jump up to eight feet high, so try to make sure parts of the fence can reach seven to eight feet in height. This could be accomplished by adding a trellis to the fence to add extra height.
There are more aesthetic options like the Faux Ivy Leaf Privacy Trellis that sits on top of your fence.
Deer aren’t the only animals you should try to keep out of you garden. Solar bug zappers can keep away bugs and pests from eating your plants.