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Bringing Solar Power to Your Garden - Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Outdoor solar light has become very popular and quite practical for lighting up the garden, patio area, driveway, and other areas around the home.  The environmentally friendly light is warm, subtle and provides accent light for the home.  Outdoor solar lighting is generally simple to install and does not require other power sources or any wiring.  Since these lights do not use electricity, there will be no addition to the electricity bill when it comes.

Safety 
Solar power options can be very safe as they do not require power cords, making them useful in outdoor situations that include installation near ponds and/or swimming pools, and even for sheds or playhouses where children may be spending their time.

Longevity
The rechargeable batteries that are typically used in solar light products last about two years when they are properly cared for and allowed to recharge periodically.  The replacement batteries are easy to order online or from the manufacturer and the LED light bulbs used in most solar lighting run for up to 100,000 hours.  Though they are not replaceable, they will likely last a lifetime.

Care
Direct sunlight powers solar lighting.  This means the dust and/or mud must be cleaned from them periodically to allow them to easily store energy for when they are used.  Certain solar light products may need to be stored indoors during rainy or snowy seasons because they do not work as well when cloudy and during the winter.  When storing them switch the solar lighting off and store them in a dark place.

Weather
Designed for all temperatures, various solar light products are constructed with glass that should not be left outdoors when there is a lot of snow or rain.  Extreme storms or windstorms can damage some solar lighting products.  If there is a concern about certain solar light products being blown away, hanging fixtures can be used and do work well for lining ponds, creeks, and swimming pools.


Various uses for outdoor solar lighting:

Decking Lights
Solar lighting can add a bit of a glow to a patio area or outdoor decking.  They also provide safety when walking around the areas when it is dark.  At dusk most of the models turn on and will continue for about eight hours on a full day's charge.  In addition to adding a sense of safety, solar lighting on decking and patios is a design element.  They are available as decorative sconces, string lights, tiki torches, and various other models.

Stair Lighting
These lights are typically less conspicuous, but very similar to decking lighting.  Solar lighting illuminates the steps, which would often be dark at night and difficult to see.  Small mounting screws usually come with these step lights, making them easy to install and allowing them to fit most staircases.  Remember, the solar light for steps will only work if they get enough sunlight to charge them during the day.  Sometimes remote solar panels are available that can be placed in the most sunlight for charging.

Rope Lights
A simple string of rope lights can light up a fence, railing, walkway, or pool area.  As an alternative to holiday lights, this energy efficient solar lighting is available in strings of thirty (30) to fifty (50) lights and come in white or multi-coloured strings.  The installation of this solar lighting is nearly effortless, but like others solar lighting must receive direct sunlight to charge.

Path Lights
For an extra bit of garden design and a bit of garden glow, these small lights can be dotted around a walkway or garden.  This solar light needs to soak up as much sun as possible so make sure that trees, long stalks of grass, or tall plants to not overshadow the lights.

Floating Pool Lights
This decorative solar lighting is available in various shapes.  The floating orbs can be purchased in shapes of colourful balls, transparent spheres, flower, and many others.  With a sophisticated glimmer, these lights will shine and reflect off the water.

Security Lights
This solar light option is ideal for bringing attention to suspicious movements outside homes.  Solar-powered security lights do not use electricity so they do not add to energy costs.  Installation is easy because there are not wires involved, unlike other floodlight and security options. 


Purchasing Solar Lighting
Check with the local tax laws before buying any of these new technologies in solar lighting.  There may be some tax breaks or even sales tax exemptions available.  For purchasing solar lighting, many utilities companies, cities and governments are offering certain incentives.  Also, check for the durability of the product before purchase.  This should be the first concern when it comes to buying solar lighting.  It is important to know whether the manufacturer provides a guarantee against harsh winters, extreme weather conditions, and harsh UV rays that threaten to shorten the life span of the products.


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