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Solar lights for decoration and security around the home

Updated on December 2, 2010

Solar garden lights are easy and convenient to set up

You would be hard pressed to drive down an average suburban street without seeing small twinkling lights lining driveways, gardens, and patio areas. Small DIY solar light installations have become immensely popular these days, and with good reason. Lighting up your garden is a great way to showcase your efforts around the home, adding value and turning it into a friendly and inviting retreat. Secondly, lighting up the outside of your home can be an excellent deterrent to thieves and other criminals. Even if you lighting system is not a full-blown security setup, a well lit exterior still indicates that a home is well lived in, making it a less attractive target.

Although it is possible to get a component solar lighting systems, consisting of separate solar panels, trees, controllers and lights, it is far more common to buy self-contained garden lights which require little or no maintenance or installation. These solar lights consists of a small solar panel (technically known as a photovoltaic cell) which is able to convert the sun's rays into electrical energy, a small rechargeable battery to store this energy, a light level since which causes like to activate when darkness falls, and of course an actual lamp. In most modern garden lights LEDs are the preferred option, rather than incandescent bulbs. Most people would by now be aware that LEDs are far more efficient than any other kind of commercially available light, since they convert to a less electrical energy into a usable heat output. Although early LED lamps had a very cold blueish light, modern LEDs have evolved and are now available in warmer shades of yellow and orange, effectively emulating a warm Candlelight glow.

If you don't own a lot of tools and don't have much experience as a handyman, don't worry. Self-contained solar lights are incredibly easy to install, usually requiring no more than a quick assembly (usually attaching the light to a small stake or post) and then in some way to fixing it in your garden. A lot of the time you can simply push the lamb into soft soil, while in some cases you may want to fix it to a tree, defence, or the side of the house.

Probably the only thing that needs to be addressed is the placement of solar lights, since they clearly need to be able to collect enough energy to recharge the battery adequately during the daytime. Most commercially available solar cells still require direct sunlight to able to supply sufficient voltage to the battery. This means that if you are life is going to be in the shade, it may only run for a few hours rather than illuminate all night long. Generally speaking, solar garden lights need about six hours of direct sunlight to fully recharge.

There is very little maintenance required for self-contained lights of this type, but to keep in mind the requirement for light, as mentioned above. If you have solar lights become dirty or covered in leaves or bird droppings, they may not collect enough sunlight and this can affect their performance. It's a good idea to go around every few months with a brush or a cloth, and give a small solar panels and light sensors a quick wipe to ensure ongoing performance.


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      solarpathlights 6 years ago

      Good lens, the solar energy can save energy and give more protection to our

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      Elena@LessIsHealthy 7 years ago

      Interesting and very well presented.