Do Solar Water Features Need Electricity?

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Solar power is taking landscaping to heights never imagined, but it sometimes doesn’t seem like the better alternative. Whether you’re concerned about using electricity near water or you don’t know how effective solar power can be, you’re in the right place. These features are an integral part of your yard, so let’s get started below.

Solar water features need electricity. Most have a panel that’s wired to bring the electricity to the product, which means you don’t have to charge it. Therefore you typically don’t need an external source, such as a 12V outlet to operate it.

Throughout this article, you’ll also discover the following info about the use of electricity in solar water features:

  • How much electricity is used in the process
  • How it’s used and how solar panels can convert energy
  • Whether or not solar water features are worth the investment

How Is Electricity Used in Solar Water Features?

Photo 185587372 | © Hollyharryoz |

Solar panels use electricity, which means that all solar-powered water features use some form of electricity as well. Fortunately, you’ll still be able to run your solar water features without much maintenance.

Here’s how solar panels use electricity to run your favorite water features:

  • Solar panels absorb the sun’s rays to create energy. Sunlight exposure is the key to solar panels that work properly. You need to keep the panels clear of dust, dirt, and other debris if you want to get an optimal energy transfer. When the sunlight hits the panels, it converts through the cells, generating electricity.
  • Electricity builds up inside of the water feature, filling the battery bank. As stated by Primrose, some water features have a solar power battery bank that stores energy for long-term usage. Even if the sun isn’t shining, you’ll be able to enjoy your water features at night or on a cloudy day.
  • The energy is transmitted to the device’s internal components. Science proves that the sunlight absorbed into the cells of the solar panels transmits via usable electrical currents into the internal components of the water feature. In simple terms, the water feature absorbs electricity from the sunlight through the panels.
  • When you turn it off, the panels hit a maximum load capacity. Solar panels used to have an unlimited absorption rate, which caused them to overload and overheat. Fortunately, there’s a limit to their absorption these days. Your solar panels on the solar-powered water features will stop pulling in the energy when they’re full.
  • Solar panels can absorb sunlight through the clouds. Again, not too long ago, solar panels weren’t quite as efficient. These days, solar water features can pull sunlight and energy through clouds, though it’s not at the same absorption rate. Nevertheless, having your features powered throughout the year is a nice touch.

As you can see, solar water features efficiently pull sunlight to convert it into energy. This process might seem simple, but it’s the reason that you can use these features with electricity without the need for batteries, cables, or BlueTooth connectivity.

If you want to know how much electricity is consumed while using these water features, read on.

How Much Electricity Is Used?

If you’re concerned about not being eco-friendly, rest assured that solar is one of the world’s most efficient energy methods. Most standalone devices don’t need external solar panels, which means that their energy consumption is practically irrelevant.

You can calculate how much solar power your water features are using by trying some of the suggestions below.

  • Check the amps, watts, and volts of the solar water feature. Almost anything that uses electricity, including solar energy, includes watts, volts, and/or amps. If you want to get straight to the point, then there should be a tag or guide included with the water feature. Many of them have the numbers listed on the unit.
  • Consider whether or not it has to be charged from a wall outlet. Many solar devices require external charging occasionally. The primary charge comes from a wall outlet, whereas the solar panels are designed to maintain the charge for hours, days, or weeks. These features usually cost less.
  • Determine the brightness of bulbs or the quantity of water moving through the water feature. If you’re not able to access the aforementioned units of electricity, you’re not out of luck. Light bulbs will have wattage and/or lumens listed, which you can use to calculate the total energy consumption.
  • Check your energy service provider to see how much energy is being used (if your water feature is connected to external solar panels). Otherwise, you might not be able to find out how much it uses. The good news is that all solar products are sold with energy units to inform you how much electricity is being used and how often.

Water features don’t use a lot of electricity, even if they have to be charged with an external source. They typically won’t increase your monthly bill too much, unless they’re connected to a swimming pool.

To learn whether or not solar water features are worth the investment, head onto the next section.

Are Solar Water Features Worth It?

Solar power water features are more than worth the investment for many homeowners. Whether you’re using them for your swimming pool or as standalone features, they’re an excellent aesthetic addition. However, they’re not the best choice for some people. If you’re on the fence and you want to know if you should get one, you’re in the right place.

Is There Enough Sunlight in Your Area?

Although they’re capable of absorbing sunlight through clouds, it’s not the most efficient transfer. If you live in an area with constant cloud coverage, then you’ll have trouble using the water feature to its maximum potential. You’d be better off getting a traditional water feature and using solar panels to boost it every once in a while.

Are the Panels Big Enough to Absorb the Proper Amount of Sunlight?

If you’re powering the solar water feature with external panels that aren’t mounted to the product, then you need to make sure that they’re big enough. Inexpensive solar panels come as low as $150 for 100 watts, so there’s no reason that you couldn’t find a decent setup without breaking the bank. Ensure that you’re getting the proper amount of electricity to power the water feature.

How Often Will You Use the Solar Water Feature?

If you’re not using it too often, then there will be plenty of power stored in the battery bank. Features that are used daily will require more energy, which means you’ll need bigger panels or more external sources powering the water feature. This process can be costly if you’re not sure how to make it work.

For the most part, solar water features are sweeping the industry. Being able to power your features without spending more money while also benefiting the environment is a no-brainer for countless homeowners.


Solar water features need electricity like any other water feature, but the electricity comes from built-in or external solar panels. Calculate the energy expenditure, ensure that you keep the panels clean for the best energy transfer, and enjoy your new-age solar-powered water displays!

Here’s a quick recap of the post:

  • Solar water features usually come with built-in solar panels for an instant electrical transfer.
  • You can see how much energy is being used by checking for tags, packaging, and light bulbs.
  • Many modern solar panels are capable of pulling energy through the clouds to power the solar cells.
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