Image Source: AmazonFew things are more soothing than the gentle sound of cascading water and the playful warbles of songbirds. It’s even better when that experience happens right in your own backyard. By installing a solar-powered bird bath fountain in your front or back outdoor space, you can enjoy that experience all the time.
What is a Solar Powered Bird Bath?
It’s simply that: a bird bath whose fountain pump is powered by the sun’s energy. As well as being more energy-efficient and nature-friendly, solar powered bird bath fountains are also known for their low costs and ease of setup and maintenance. Plus, when it comes to conserving energy, you can’t beat free solar power!
The best solar bird bath fountains not only create a peaceful outdoor ambiance but also serve as a source of fresh, clean water for wildlife. And while communing with local songbirds will tickle the nature lover inside of you, the solar powered aspects will have you feel like you’re doing something good for the planet as well.
Whether you’re shopping for your first solar bird bath fountain or upgrading an older model, how much do your really know about selecting and buying a solar bird bath fountain? What should you be looking for? Here are some tips on things you should consider when searching for a solar bird bath fountain.
The Basics (What’s in The Box?)
All solar bird bath fountains come standard with a solar fountain pump, a solar panel, and a cord to connect the solar panel to the solar pump. Some also come with solar-powered LED lights. There are two types of solar bird baths:
Solar Only: Standard solar bird bath fountains operate only when the solar panel is placed in direct sunlight. A cord connects the panel to the pump, but these fountains lack a battery pack or a standard electrical cord. Without direct sunlight, the fountain won’t run if the solar panel is not directly exposed to sunlight. Additionally, indirect rays will affect the speed and power of the water flow.
Solar with Battery Backup: These fountains can operate on either solar or battery power. In direct sunlight, the pump will be powered by solar energy and the battery pack will be recharged by that solar energy. In the absence of direct sunlight, the solar fountain can be run with battery power. The lifespan of a battery generally lasts between 12-18 months, but with repeated charge and discharge cycles, the battery capacity may reduce.
Placement of the Solar Panel
You can place your solar bird bath fountain anywhere you like, even in the shade, but the solar panel needs to be in direct sunlight. The length of the cord (generally between 9.5 feet and 16 feet long) determines how far apart you can place them. Other options include mounting the panel on a roof, deck, or patio railing or simply using a stake to secure it to the ground. A fun fact to remember: the bigger the solar panel the more power it provides.
Size and Placement of the Pump
The size of the pump should be determined by the size of the fountain. Choosing the pump size involves certain factors like the amount of water you’d like to pump from either a low-volume unit or a high-volume unit. The pump size will also determine the height at which you’re able to regulate the water.
Placement of the pump depends on whether you don’t mind it being shown or if you want to hide it from the world. Fortunately, newer models incorporate the pump into overall design aesthetic, eliminating the need (and hassle) of hiding it.
Durability and Materials
Since it’s going to spend all of its time in the great outdoors facing all kinds of weather conditions, your solar bird bath needs to be sturdy and built to last. A good rule of thumb is the heavier the material it’s built from, the higher the quality. Regarding materials, weight should be a consideration. A lightweight solar bird bath fountain is preferable for installation purposes, but it is also likely to be more fragile. The base of the fountain should be solid and strong like steel, iron, or concrete. Materials such as ceramic, terra cotta or glass are other viable options.
Design and Aesthetics
The style and design of the solar bird bath fountain you choose is a purely personal decision. Whether you want something neo-classical or modern, single or multi-tiered, or one that has a big ceramic dog sitting next to it, the choice is yours. You have the freedom to be as creative as you want. Still, you’ll want to choose a bird bath that feels natural in its space, like it was meant to be there.
For such a simply designed item, there’s a lot to consider when choosing a solar bird bath fountain. To make it easier for you, we’ve reviewed the latest solar bird bath fountains on the market. Let’s take a look at some that we were especially impressed with.
Top Solar Bird Baths
We loved the four-tiered Mediterranean look of the ASC Smart Solar Sundance Ceramic Birdbath Fountain. The classic cascading bowl design had us wondering if we were in a villa in Mykonos or in our own backyard! Even better, the low voltage 1.6 watts water pump recycles the same water, making this fountain as energy efficient as it is gorgeous. Its terracotta construction made it feel solid and strong and we liked the choices of sizes and color schemes. Its solar panel comes a timer and we really liked the LED lights that illuminated the fountain at night. At an affordable price point, there’s a lot to like about the ASC Smart Solar Sundance Ceramic Birdbath Fountain.
|Thick and Sturdy||Must Be in Direct Sunlight|
|Easy Assembly||Can Be Sluggish on Cloud Days|
|Low-Voltage Water Pump|
4.0 out of 5.0 stars
The smooth rock finish of the Sunnydaze 3-Tier Solar Water Fountain is perfect if you’re looking for an inconspicuous solar bird bath fountain that will blend right into the natural environment. Its 17 inches offers good height for the 3 tiers of cascading water and at 14 pounds it’s easily movable. We especially liked the generous 16-foot connecting cord that let us place the fountain far from the panel. In the absence of direct sunlight, a built-in battery with on/off switch will ensure the pump keeps pumping. Polyresin construction materials give it a sturdy feel. Like all Sunnydaze Decor products, it comes with a one-year warranty. If you’re looking for an earthy design that’s a departure from typical standing solar bird bath fountain, the Sunnydaze 3-Tier Solar Water Fountain should top your wish list.
|Lightweight||Solar Panel Must Be in Direct Sunlight|
|Good Value for Money|
|Built-in Backup Battery|
4.0 out of 5.0 stars
We loved the natural green color, oblong design with leaf trim, and “spitting” frog that makes the Smart Solar 22300R01 Ceramic Solar Bird Bath so much fun. We especially appreciated how its light and compact design made it easy to move it anywhere we want, whether in a garden, as a table centerpiece, or just hanging out on a backyard patio … just as long as it’s in direct sunlight. Fortunately, a 10-foot cable that connect the pump and fountain lets the two be easily separated. We also liked how the fountain recycles water from its bowl. At a low, low price point, the Smart Solar 22300R01 Ceramic Solar Bird Bath is as affordable as it is pretty and energy efficient.
|Compact and Light||Requires Full Sun Exposure|
|Affordable Price||No Backup Battery|
4.0 out of 5.0 stars
The Smart Solar Country Gardens Solar Birdbath is a low maintenance, traditional solar bird bath fountain that was designed to attract wildlife, and the cute faux turtles make it looks like it already has! It has a classic weathered stone look that works with any patio or backyard garden, and its ease of setup and maintenance make it perfect for those who want to keep things simple. Made from ultra-durable glass reinforced concrete, it’s tough enough to take on the harshest weather conditions. We especially liked its patented underwater solar panel and pump system and how the water recycles from a hidden reservoir. Plus, turtles! At an affordable price, there’s a lot to like with the Smart Solar Country Gardens Solar Birdbath.
|Large Diameter Bowl||Weak Fountain Pump|
|Concrete Construction||Backup Battery Not Included|
|2 Nozzle Heads|
4.5 out of 5.0 stars
We loved the classic vintage look of the VIVOHOME Solar Outdoor Garden Bird Bath. It looks just as great in a garden or it does on your front patio. It’s made from weatherproof and long-lasting polyresin, so it has reliable durability. Plus, just like the Statue of Liberty, the faded copper will turn green over time! It’s very lightweight … maybe too light, as we found it can topple in strong wind. Garden stakes could help with that. Its solar-powered fountain pump gets the job done in an energy efficient manner. Multiple fountain heads offer different water patterns, giving this solar bird bath fountain great versatility and visual appeal. At an affordable price, we declare the VIVOHOME Solar Outdoor Garden Bird Bath a winner!
|Energy Efficient||May Topple in Heavy Winds|
|Easy Setup and Maintenance||Paint Can Chip|
|Weather Resistant||No Backup Battery|
4.5 out of 5.0 stars
The Sunnydaze Décor Solar Outdoor Water Fountain is so classy, birds may need reservations. This gorgeous solar bird bath fountain will bring a true touch of elegance to your outside environment. We loved the large bowls and the 34-inch cascading fountain. A top pineapple fountain design that adds a fun, quirky touch. We especially liked the LED lights that illuminate the gently falling water at night. Setup was quick and simple, and the polyresin and fiberglass materials were strong and sturdy, but light enough to make moving it around easy. Plus, Sunnydaze Décor offers a one-year warranty! While a bit on the pricey side, the Sunnydaze Décor Solar Outdoor Water Fountain delivers excellent value for the money.
|34-inch Cascading Fountain||Confusing Instructions|
|Easy Setup||Light Water Flow|
|1-Year Warranty||Solar Panel Must Be in Direct Sunlight|
5.0 out of 5.0 stars
With its embellished peacock feather design. the Bits and Pieces Solar Glass Bird Bath is a strikingly beautiful bird bath fountain that will instantly add dynamic visual appeal to your backyard. Designed in metallic painted glass in detailed three-dimensions, its wide bowl holds just the right amount of water. We especially liked the center solar panel that charges during the day and automatically illuminates at night with six glowing LED lights. The 2 AA rechargeable batteries and on/off switch only added to the appeal of this gorgeous solar bird bath fountain. We felt the tall and sturdy powder-coated metal steel stand gave the entire piece strength and stability. Plus, the Bits and Pieces Solar Glass Bird Bath comes at such an excellent price point, you might be tempted to buy two!
|Beautiful Design||Requires Full Sun Exposure|
|LED Lights Included|
|Backup Batteries Included|
5.0 out of 5.0 stars