Monday, April 6, 2009

Solar Pathway Lights?

It could be that Solar Pathway lights have been around for years and I've never noticed them because I had zero interest in landscaping a home, but this spring I have been noticing them everywhere! Are these a new modern marvel, or are they old news? Do they even work?

(HomeBrite Solar Lights, Home Depot)

Ever since Jared and I got our puppy a few weeks ago we've been spending a ton of time in the back yard. (After every meal if you catch my drift.) And we realized that it is impossible to see the dog, who has a shiny black coat, at night. I'd love to add some pathway lighting to our boring back yard, even though we have no landscaping to spotlight. It would make those late night potty confirmations that much easier.

So I decided to start small and test out a solar pathway light to see if it could answer our dark dilemma. I found a $5 stick light at Target in the home and garden aisle and bought two of them. I couldn't find the online product so unfortunately I can't share a link but they look pretty much like any of these. And I noticed they were available in a few different finishes; oil rubbed bronze, black, and stainless steel.

(HomeBrite Solar Lights, Home Depot)

The key is to place the lights in an area of your yard that actually gets sunlight throughout the day. Obviously no sun = no solar power = no light, duh. So I found a few sunny spots and stuck the lights into the grass. That night when we took the dog out after dark we were greeting with a faint glow. There's a reason why these lights were only $5 a piece, you get what you pay for. They provide a subtle glow but it's actually just enough for us to see the dog. And by morning the light really needs more sun to soak up enough power to light it again the next night.

The pro's:
  • No wiring required; just plop it down and your ready to go
  • Cost effective; I saw a 10 pack for $45 at Home Depot this weekend
  • Eco-friendly; they are self powered thanks to the solar technology on top
  • Convenient; they provide 10 hours of illumination

The con's:

  • Not as bright as an ordinary light; but you might enjoy the softer glow
  • Sunshine required; pretty self explanatory

I can't really think of too many con's because I actually like these as an outdoor lighting solution. Can you offer any reviews? I'm sure there's something I am missing and I'd love to hear what other people are saying about these lights. Now that I've discovered the solar lights, I can't wait to spruce up the backyard with some landscaping that's worthy of being in the spotlight. I better start practicing my persuasive speech to get the husband on board!


heather said...

I also got mine from target and the instructions say to not put them anywhere near a streetlight. My house is on a corner...across from a streetlight so I can't place them on one side of the house. They look great in the backyard though and do have a subtle light. I also have a solar powered spotlight that lights up my entire backyard (it is motion sensored) - love the spotlight.

Erica said...

Heather, thank you for the info. The lights I bought didn't come with any instructions or information at all which was surprising. I wonder if they don't want you to put it by a street light because it isnt bright enough under additional light? hmmm interesting. I'll have to keep an eye out for solar powered spotlights, and the motion sensor would definitely help with the dog!!!