The Garden Community for Garden Lovers

Solar power in sunless garden?

Shropshire, England Eng

Although my garden faces east, there’s a green beyond with tall trees, and flats beyond that, so I get very little direct sunlight. I only get direct sun between 11-1, when the sun moves to the south to shine along the block.

I’ve got a solar-powered four-bowl water feature which only works for a couple of hours. Obviously I’d like it to work more, but don’t know how.

Is there a safe way to get power to it other than by direct sunlight? It has a socket for mains power – but the manual says *when used indoors*. (The mains lead wasn’t included.)

I’ve not experimented because I’m a tad paranoid about water and electricity coming together – unless you’re very lucky, you don’t often get the chance to make a second mistake.



If it is outdoors and the manual says mains power is only if you are using indoors then no you can plug it into the mains. You could ask an electrician if there is any way of sorting but might well find it cheaper to buying a mains powered outdoor water feature.

23 Apr, 2011


thanks! I suspected that there was no safe way to run this one of the mains - but i wondered if there were cables/plugs that let you run an outdoor item from indoor electricity. but as you say, prbaboly better to get a dedicated mains-power one. *s* i only got this one because if was 50% off in a sale, even though i lived on tbe 7th floor at the time!

25 Apr, 2011


new thought: okay, converting this one to mains isn't on.

But is there a way of adding non-mains power? a battery pack (although that might work out expensive in Ever-Readys!) or some form of power pack that I could charge up on the mains, disconnect from the mains when full and then connect to the feature?

The problem with a dedicated mains-powered feature is that it'd have to be near the back door or window, so there'd no trailing cables for me to trip over; most of the area being paved, doubt the council would agree to it being dug up to lay cables safely!

13 May, 2011


I wouldn't have thought so but ask an electrician. If you are able to go that route use rechargeable batteries. All electrical cabling outdoors should be buried in conduits or run along overhead.

13 May, 2011


thanks, I'll ask my handyman friend next time I mug him to do some stuff for me!

14 May, 2011

How do I say thanks?

Answer question


Not found an answer?