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Why Use Solar Lights in Your Yard and Garden?

Apr 24, 2008
You've probably seen homes by now that have solar powered lights in their gardens or walkways. Maybe you've been impressed by them, maybe you thought they didn't provide enough light, maybe you thought they were just amazing.

Solar garden lights tend to generate a wide range of reactions. Much of this has to do with the range of quality available, and how they've improved over the past several years.

The early solar powered garden lights often didn't really produce a good light or even much of it. My mother had some and really didn't like them because of that. The light produced was yellow and dull. But many of the lights I see now are significantly superior to what she had tried.

Style has also improved tremendously. You'll hardly even notice the solar panels on some designs.

What Are the Advantages?

The simplest advantage to using solar lighting outside is that you don't have to run wires. It's incredibly easy to install and no wires means no electrician or running a cord from the house. The lights go where you want them.

The lights are also quite affordable, especially when you consider that you only pay for the lights, not for the electricity to run them. That can add up over time, even if it's hard to calculate directly.

They can also fulfil many functions. There are path lights, security lights, pole lights and more that use solar power.

The lights also turn themselves on at dusk. You don't have to remember to turn them on, and better yet, you don't have to remember to turn them off in the morning. It's nice to have something you don't have to think about. Just don't install them where their light might interfere with your sleeping.

Surely There Are Disadvantages!

Of course there are! Solar lights may cost more initially. This can be offset by the ease of installation, however.

They're also somewhat subject to weather conditions. If they can't get enough light during the day, they can't work. This means you don't want to rely on solar powered lights as your only source of outdoor light. They do get some power even from dim sunlight, and so may run for a shorter time or with dimmer light when they aren't getting enough sunlight.

Solar lighting is continuing to improve, and I fully expect to see more and more good quality products coming onto the market that use solar power. Solar power has gone from an excessively expensive technology to a fairly affordable one in the small scale, and it looks promising on the larger scale these days as well. Why not take advantage of that around your own home?
About the Author
Stephanie Foster runs http://www.seriouslysolar.com/ for people who are thinking about solar power in their homes. You can shop for solar powered lights at her site.
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