In this guide we’ll look at the best solar water features.
I’ve compared design, build quality, size and cost
to give you my top recommendations.
Everything I Recommend
More Detailed Solar Water Feature Reviews
Ornamental Umbrella Fountain Solar Water Feature Review
This Ornamental Umbrella Fountain Solar Water Feature wouldn’t look out of place at Downton Abbey. It brings all the elegance of a stately home straight to your back garden.
But, you’ll be pleased to learn, it doesn’t come with the same astronomical price tag!
It’s made from resin which makes it much more economical and practical, yet still durable and weather resistant.
A lovely ornamental scene is depicted within the fountain. The water comes out the top of the umbrella, trickling down its ‘spokes’ and cascading past the models of a little boy and girl, into the bowl below.
The solar panels are incorporated into the design meaning there are no trailing wires to hide. This is great, meaning it’s a self-contained unit that can be positioned wherever there is sun. For best results, the fountain needs to be placed in direct sunlight.
In terms of assembly, it’s incredibly easy to put together and can be ready to go in less than ten minutes. Once set up, you are rewarded with a gentle trickling sound that is very relaxing.
The solar water feature is easy to maintain and just requires topping up with water every now and then in dry weather.
This is an elegant and effective solar water feature that creates a lovely calm feel in the garden. It would no doubt be the perfect addition to a traditional-style garden, but could look great in more modern settings too.
Traditional Barrel Solar Water Feature Review
This Traditional Barrel Solar Water Feature has a realistic wooden look, with a design resembling a classic-style water pump, and is made entirely of high-quality, durable plastic.
It includes a battery which charges in the sun, allowing you to use the fountain even on cloudy days or at night. The battery will store enough energy to keep the water flowing for 4-6 hours once the sun goes down.
As well as powering the fountain, the solar energy also powers LED lights which sit in the bowls of the of the water feature. These can be turned on at the push of a button, turning the fountain into an illuminated centrepiece at night.
This is a great value solar water feature with quite a few nice elements for the price. It’s also easy to set up and run, with a battery that lasts a long time.
Pitcher Cascade Solar Water Feature Review
This Pitcher Cascade Solar Water Feature is made of durable resin that gives the appearance of dark red terracotta – it’s perfect for creating a Mediterranean feel in the garden.
Given that it’s solar powered, this water feature doesn’t need to be connected to any mains outlets and there are no wires to worry about. What’s more, it has a battery that stores unused solar power, meaning the fountain can even be used when there’s no sun in sight!
The battery can store enough power to allow you to use the fountain for six hours on cloudy days, plus it means you can even have the fountain going at night.
There are few things that beat the relaxing sound of a fountain in the background whilst entertaining friends outside in the evenings.
In terms of design, this solar water feature is very attractive – its cascading terracotta pot composition wouldn’t look out of place on the terrace of a Spanish villa.
And with this beautiful solar powered fountain, you can bring this stunning rustic charm into the comfort of your own garden!
Dancing Couple Birdbath Solar Water Feature Review
This elegant Dancing Couple Birdbath Solar Water Feature has a beautiful bronze-effect finish. It’s charming design depicts a couple dancing under a pavilion.
Again, the actual construction material is in fact durable, weather-resistant resin, making it much more affordable and easy to move around than true bronze – but it doesn’t lose any of the charm!
The water emerges from the top of the pavilion and trickles down the roof creating a soothing sound, filling the bowl below.
The solar panels are built into the bowl so there are no trailing wires. As a result, the water feature needs to be placed somewhere which gets direct sunlight.
This is a very attractive and elegant piece, accurately resembling bronze yet with all the practicalities of resin. The solar panels are also well disguised and I would say this is one of the best solar water features for both traditional and contemporary gardens.
Water Mill Solar Water Feature Review
This cute Water Mill Solar Water Feature allows you to bring a miniature ‘working’ watermill into your garden. The wheel turns as the water runs over it, creating a relaxing trickling sound. It’s also quite fascinating to watch.
The little house lights up at night which is both enchanting and practical. Children and adults alike will love the image of the illuminated windows. Plus, it acts as a small light source out in the garden.
Once again, it is made of durable, weather-resistant resin, yet you’d never believe it was plastic. It looks like it’s come directly from the potter’s kiln!
As with many of the entries on this list, this solar water feature needs to be positioned in direct sunlight because the panels are built in to the feature itself.
It has a second panel that powers the lights at night. These lights provide a gentle glow, giving the illusion that the mill owners are sitting cosily in their home.
Blumfeldt Sphere Fountain Solar Water Feature Review
If you are looking for a modern design, this super stylish Blumfeldt Sphere Fountain Solar Water Feature could be just what you’re after.
With the appearance of dark grey basalt, this contemporary-looking fountain features a sphere on top of a twisted-pedestal base.
The water bubbles from the top of the sphere, trailing down into a flat pool at the top of the pedestal. It’s the sort of water feature which could just as equally be a bold centrepiece or an understated addition to the garden.
As the water gently cascades, it creates an ambient tinkling sound that is very relaxing.
In terms of construction, it’s made from durable resin which means it can stay outside in all weathers without problems.
This solar water feature has a large solar panel on a stake. It can be positioned wherever necessary to catch optimum sunshine.
This panel provides enough energy to run the fountain even on days with light cloud. Plus, an added excellent feature is that it can store power in a rechargeable battery.
As a result, this stored power is able to keep the fountain running for up to eight hours even on very cloudy days.
In addition, this stored power supplies electricity to the LED lighting which lights up the source of the fountain at night time.
The gentle trickling sound of the water and the glow of the lighting make this an attractive water feature, both by day and by night!
Cobbled Birdbath Solar Water Feature Review
This Cobbled Birdbath Solar Water Feature looks beautiful, with an effect that replicates real cobbled stone, but is far more practical than a real stone bath.
It’s actually made from polyresin so it’s much lighter and easier to manoeuvre than stone, whilst still being extremely durable. This material is excellent in that it is both UV and frost resistant.
The attractive design is made up of two tiered bowls: one main bath bowl and one raised, smaller fountain bowl.
Two model birds perch on the birdbath, and it’s sure to attract real birds to your garden, too. It’s perfect for garden birds to sit on for a drink and big enough for them to have a splash around.
This is very important for the birds in your garden, particularly during the hot, dry summer, but also in the freezing winters.
Seeing as the fountain is powered by solar energy, there is no need to worry about connecting anything to mains power.
As a result, this birdbath is very easy to set up and the solar panel can be positioned on a stake in a position that gets lots of sunlight.
The fountain requires no maintenance, except the occasional water top-up in dry weather. When the solar panel is placed in full sun it will create a steady flow of water for the fountain all day long.
The sound of the trickling water is gentle and calming. It creates a beautiful ambience in the garden and is the best solar water feature for encouraging birds to visit!
Things to Know Before Buying a Solar Water Feature
Having a water feature in the garden is great. It’s something that can really boost the relaxing ambience of your outdoor space, bringing a bit of zen with the soothing flow of running water.
Traditionally, water features have been a bit of an expense and hassle to set up, pushing up energy bills and requiring outdoor wiring. However, solar-powered water features are fuss free and have no running costs. They can be set up in minutes with no expert knowledge, and placed anywhere in the garden with adequate light.
They really are the way forward when it comes to garden fountains, but there are a couple of things to bear in mind before buying one. To make sure you get the best solar water feature for your money, I’ve put together the following useful information:
There are three main benefits of buying a solar water feature compared to a mains-powered model.
- Running cost = £0. This has got to be one of the biggest draws of a solar-powered water feature. They don’t compromise on design, so you don’t lose out on anything a mains-powered feature would have, but they don’t cost you anything to run. You’ll know exactly where you stand; you just need to make the initial purchase, and that’s the only money you’ll spend!
- Placement freedom. You can put a solar water feature anywhere you want in the garden; you won’t need to worry ‘is it possible to connect to the mains from here’ as you would with a traditional feature. The solar panel will need to be somewhere bright or in direct sunlight, but you’ll still have plenty more scope on where to put it.
- Hassle-free set up. A solar water feature can be up and running within ten minutes of getting it out the box. You can get one on the day of a party, and have it flowing atmospherically on the patio by 6pm. Unlike mains-powered water features, which require a lot of forward planning: digging up turf to lay cables; calling in an electrician to sort out the wiring, solar-powered fountains can be assembled by anyone in mere minutes.
Of course, along with these three factors there are other benefits to choosing a solar water feature. They’re eco-friendly because they use renewable energy, easy to re-position as much as you like, and will never be aesthetically hampered by visible wires.
There are solar-powered water features available in almost any material (within reason!), so you’re more likely to be limited by your budget than by construction options.
As with traditional main-powered fountains, you can find designs made of stone, bronze, pewter, copper, clay… the list goes on! Stone is extremely long lasting, even when exposed to the elements, as is apparent from our longstanding national heritage sites! Less hardy materials, such as clay, will likely show signs of wear over time and may need to be brought in to protect against frost.
There are also a lot of solar water features made from resin, a strong and hardwearing plastic material. Resin tends to be UV resistant, so it won’t fade in sunlight, and extremely weatherproof – able to be left outside in snow and frost without suffering adverse effects.
You may be put off by the sound of ‘plastic’, but resin can be moulded to mimic the forms of wood, stone, and clay, in a very believable way. As a result, resin is also a very long-lasting material that will make for an excellent, low-maintenance water feature. Plus, it will be a lot kinder on your wallet than more traditional constructions!
When it comes to investigating the longevity of the fountain-system itself, the best thing you can do is check customer reviews. Cheaper items do not necessarily mean ‘bad construction’, just as more expensive items don’t necessarily mean ‘quality product’. To get a good feel for how long-lasting and sturdy the pump system is, the most useful research is to read about what other customers have experienced.
Finally, to help your solar water feature last longer once you’ve bought it, it’s good practise to do a small amount of occasional maintenance, which leads us on to the next section…
Solar water features don’t require much maintenance. However, there are a few things that are worth bearing in mind to make sure you really get the most for your money, and keep your fountain going for many years.
Taking Care of Solar Panels
Solar panels are low maintenance by design, which is great news, but they may need a bit of help to keep them working at their optimum potential.
You should make sure that solar panels are kept clean. Any debris will obstruct the solar panel and stop it from being able to catch the sun’s rays. This will stop your water feature from working well, and also could lead to permanent damage of the solar panel over time.
Any time you pass by, remove any dead leaves or other large pieces of debris which may have landed on the solar panels of your water feature.
Occasionally, every couple of months or so, you should give the solar panels a proper clean. Make sure to only clean them when they are damp, and never use an abrasive sponge.
You want to avoid using any powerful soaps to clean solar panels as this can cause damage. Instead, use a soft rag and a biodegradable soap to gently clean any grime from the panels. Depending on how often you clean them, you may just be able to rinse the panels with water instead of using soap.
Storing Your Water Feature in Winter
An excellent benefit of a solar water feature is that it is extremely easy to move around and store, particularly if it is made from resin or another lightweight material.
It’s best to store water features away in winter. If the feature is left outside, when the temperatures drop below freezing, any water that remains in the pipes will freeze and expand. This could cause damage to the workings of the fountain.
Before storing your water feature, empty it of water and dry it off with a cloth as best you can. Try to allow the pipes to drain as well, if possible. You want to make sure that it’s as dry as possible, because temperatures can still drop below freezing even in garages and outhouses.
If you like to use your water feature as a birdbath, and don’t want to rob the birds of their drinking hole in winter, consider replacing the fountain with a birdbath bowl over the winter months. You can replenish it as necessary and stop it from freezing. This way, you can store away your water feature, protecting its mechanism, but continue to offer the birds in your garden a water source.
Some solar water features have built-in solar-powered batteries which will store solar energy and allow the feature to be used when there’s no sun.
This is really useful to look out for, allowing you to get the most out of your water feature even on cloudy days. Plus, with the help of a built-in battery, you’ll even be able to use your solar water feature at night time.
Many water features with built-in batteries also feature LED lights. If you choose one of these designs, you will be able to use the fountain as an illuminated water feature in the evenings.
Solar Water Feature FAQs
Most polyresin water features are weather and frost resistant and will be fine outside for most of the year. In very high winds they could be blown over, so make sure they are in a slightly sheltered spot. Where possible, store your water fountain away when temperatures start to drop below freezing. If water is left in the pipes of the water feature, and freezes, this can cause damage to the fountain mechanism.
To keep your water feature looking clean and fresh you can buy products to add to the water. These prevent the growth of algae, green water and staining. They’re extremely easy to use. Generally, you just need to add a small amount of the water treatment to the water in your fountain every 2 weeks during the summer months.
If you are running an 8 W mains-powered water feature for 10 hours a day, and your electricity company charges you a rate of 14p per kWh, then it would cost you just over £0.014 to run the fountain per day. If you ran it every day for a month, this would cost £0.42. A solar-powered water feature costs nothing to run.