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Lighting Up Your Yard With Solar Powered Outdoor Lights

Updated on July 28, 2010

Outdoor Lighting

Among our usual spring chores has always been the repairing of yard lighting units. Changing the blown light bulbs in itself can be a hassle, but when any of the electrical units cease to work, or is broken due to the antics of carefree and careless youth, digging out and replacing a row of expensive lighting often becomes your only option.

Solar lighting used in less electrified locations has traditionally not fared much better. Supplying faint and iffy power at its best, it was just as dysfunctional at the end of a year's worth of use. The cheap plastic and chintzy construction makes anywhere you place them a no pedestrian zone, and with our active family, we have never been a stay off of the grass kind of home.

A couple of years ago we decided to give solar lighting another -and more serious- try. The technology for solar power has advanced a great deal, but the cheap options remain and are what most of us are familiar with. We determined to stay away from the set of 10 for $20.00 sold at the box stores, and invest instead in quality solar lighting that would save us loads of maintenance, hassle and money in the long run. Don't despair, good, quality solar powered outdoor lighting is available for as low as $3 - $5. a unit.

We started by replacing the wired electrical lights along the front walk. These were always our most vulnerable lights, subject to small children rolling down the hill of our front lawn all year long, and serving as the sideline in many a slanted football game. The solar lights we put in were an immediate improvement over both the broken tendencies of the electrical lights they replaced and what I was used to expect from solar lighting.

Elegant Solar Powered Outdoor Lighting

Good Solar Powered Yard Lights

The first thing I noticed was the quality of the light. This was not the flickering, wavering wisp of a dot of light such as I was used to seeing generated by solar power. Instead a strong, steady light emerged. Not enough to read by of course, but certainly bright enough to light the walkway.

After weeks passed I realized that I had never had to straighten any of them, their grip in the ground stayed sure and firm. Now after two winters, I can tell you that some have become tilted, no doubt due to the late season’s repeated freezes and thaws.

But that was the extent of our spring outdoor lighting maintenance this year, after our second winter with good solar outdoor lighting. We simply walked about the yard and straightened a few wayward light stakes, re-securing them into the ground. There are still no cracks, no dysfunction, and not even a single blown light bulb.

After our initial replacement of the lighting along the front walkway, as months passed with no incidents or outages, we began to replace almost all of the outdoor ground lighting. In fact because we now know how easy it will be to maintain and how pleasantly reliable solar lighting can be, we've expanded our outdoor lighting to reflect off features of the yard never lit before.

Even in difficult locations -amidst rocks, dirt or garden soil, on slopes facing vicious winds- the newer, quality solar lighting units stand bright and unbent. To place difficult lighting in such places before just seemed like too much effort for too little reward asking for too much trouble.

Now we put lights everywhere, brightening up flower beds and shrubbery, at each gate and along a portion of the fence. In differing forms, they're around the patio, embedded in the deck, by the mailbox, and widely spaced landing lights line either side of the driveway.

Quality of Outdoor Lighting On a Warm Summer Evening

Spending a few more dollars to buy quality lighting really does make a huge difference in every way. The higher quality is apparent in functionality, construction, longevity, and in the vastly improved range of designs and styles. These solar powered lights look like lights, lamps, lanterns, light-sticks and lamp-posts, even neon colored monkey grass, but they generally do not look like tiny round spaceships dotting your lawn at varying angles with lids that double as Frisbees.

Even during the daytime quality solar lighting units look great, a real compliment to your garden. And the finish endures with no drying and cracking. Good, quality solar powered exterior lighting can update your yard and instantly sharpen the look of your lawn.

Incredibly easy to install, use and maintain, they are also very convenient to move about to accommodate changing garden plans. This gives you the freedom to design and redesign your yard without sensitive lighting systems getting in your way. Inexpensive in the long run, durable, reliable, convenient and great looking, the new outdoor solar lighting choices come in a variety of fixtures and finishes allowing for selective combinations in styles to highlight each area of your garden appropriately and still provide a pleasing cohesion in the overall appearance.

As I write, spring has sparsely sprung; it is yet a veil of green over a knobby, old, winter-withered frame. But there is abundance in its promise of -amongst many things- warm summer nights to come, spent perhaps with friends and family over a leisurely barbecue, or alone in your thoughts sheltered by the night's sky. Make sure your yard is ready to welcome with earth friendly -and user friendly- quality solar powered outdoor lighting.

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    • Origin profile image

      Origin 

      8 years ago from Minneapolis

      This is the first time I've heard about solar powered lighting for outdoors, I've heard about it for indoors I believe, but not outdoors. Interesting hub!

    • profile image

      Justine76 

      8 years ago

      "spring has sparsely sprung; it is yet a veil of green over a knobby, old, winter-withered frame. But there is abundance in its promise of -amongst many things"

      even in a "commercial hub" one can find poetry.

      I will most certainly be purchasing lights this year for our yard, but had not considered solar as my Mother in law's were crappy. Broken in days. I will check these new types of solar powered yard lighting you mention. Thank you.

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