Most succulents prefer bright light to full sun, but many -- including desert dwellers -- need protection from intense rays. Many have waxy or hairy coverings that protect and limit water loss, but others are remarkably tender. In native habitats, older plants provide essential shade. Gradually acclimate succulents to sun, especially young or recently purchased plants. Well-hydrated succulents generally withstand hot sun better.
Foliage colors often intensify in bright light, but this, too, varies by plant. Too much light can leaves stems and foliage pale and washed out. Overexposure scorches and damages tender plants. Too little light can cause plants to stretch, at odds with stems underneath. Hens-and-chicks normally fade in shade, but some afternoon protection extends rich color in hot climates.