The Old Way
Once upon a time if you wanted outdoor lights, you had to assemble the lights, dig ditches, run wires, find and outlet for the transformer(these were low voltage systems using 12 volts), connect the light connections to the main cable, cover the ditches and set back to enjoy the fruits of your labors. If there was a sidewalk or driveway involved, then the work had just begun, trying to get your main cable across these obstacles. They worked great until the bulbs started getting older, then they would fade a little, burn out or their connection would corrode and need occasional cleaning and reinserting.
The New Way
Solar Outdoor lighting has made improvements by leaps and bounds over the last decade. The efficiency of the solar panels including the reduction in their size coupled with the quality of the batteries they charge has made the purchase of solar lights very economical. In the beginning, they only had one color, bluish white. They have now developed an amber color which is less artificial looking.
They can be purchased individually or in sets. If you only want to light up a feature in your yard such as a tree, you can purchase the light to do it. If you want to light up the walk to your front door, you can purchase a set to do this.
Now, installing outdoor lights has never been easier. All you need to do is decide where you want to install a light, stick it in the ground and you are done. If you decide you dont like that location, just pull it up and move it. No wiring to fuss with or move, no timer to set and no connections to worry about.
Overall: For the person with a lot of time to spend on installing all the components involved with the old system and the maintenance they require, they are less expensive and dependable to a point. For the person who is busy, likes instant gratification, and may want to change the location of their lights to gain different effects, solar lights are the way to go.
Never give up, Never surrender
The Old Way