Solar water features are popular outdoor home decorations that are powered by sunlight, cutting down on excess energy usage and pollution. There are several types of solar water features to choose from, and manufacturers use a wide selection of materials to create these products. Ceramic and terracotta are common materials used in water feature construction. The water features are also offered in a plethora of different styles, including fountains and solar powered birdbaths, all designed to improve the appearance and serenity of the backyard. Solar powered water features can be made at home or purchased with solar panels already installed.
In order for solar water features to function properly, the most important element is the water pump, which includes a filter to keep debris and dirt out the water as well as other components of the feature. The pump must be constructed and positioned to be submerged in the water and also in direct sunlight as much as possible, as even a short time in the shade may reduce the pump's ability to keep the water feature active. Depending on the region's climate, solar powered features may only be able to function during certain months of the year.
The most common materials used to create solar fountains are fire glazed ceramic, concrete, and terracotta, and resin. In most cases, the solar water features are mold cast to create the entire piece or, for large designs, may be cast in several pieces for assembly at a later time. Water features are typically black, gray, or bronze finished, but bright colors can be added for visual interest, especially with fire glazed ceramics. It is not uncommon for people to add flower gardens at the base of the structure or add water plants in the feature to provide more color and create a more serene space in their yard.
Solar water features can be as simple in design as a man made flowing stream with colored stones, or as ornate as a three tiered water fountain complete with statuary work. Two or three tiered fountains are often used for more formal settings and can be very large, though it is possible to find smaller ornate versions that are suitable for any yard space. Many homeowners choose a birdbath design for their water feature, as these products offer the additional benefit of attracting beautiful, colorful local birds and butterflies to the area. Regardless of the style of the water feature, they are most often installed for visual beauty, the soothing sound of running water, and added value to the home.