Solar Path Light
At first glance, a solar path light seems like a great idea. What could be better? Pollution free, rechargeable energy that provides needed lighting for your house’s exterior. Well, it is a great idea provided you have sufficient sunlight during the day to fully recharge the batteries. Solar lights also a great idea if you don't have neighborhood pranksters to pull them out of the ground and walk away with them.
There is no doubt about it -- path lights are attractive and functional. They can provide just the right amount of lighting for your guests to find their way from the driveway to your front door. They are virtually carefree -- simply push them into the ground and forget about them. Most are powered by rechargeable NiCad batteries that will last about two years before needing replacement.
The downside of solar lights is that you need direct sunlight to recharge the batteries. If your pathway only gets two or three hours of sunlight during the day you can only expect a few hours of lighting in the evening.
They also make easy targets for petty vandals who don't think twice about pulling them out of the ground and walking away with them. This problem can be avoided with the installation of hanging solar lights or solar spotlights which are permanently installed.
No matter which type of solar lights you decide on, it's worthwhile is spending the extra money and getting a set of good quality lights. Some of the cheaper sets have been known to be destroyed in high winds. Good-quality solar lights also have better components for collecting solar energy, meaning that they can gather sufficient energy even during overcast days.
Are they for you? The first step in answering this question is figuring out exactly how much direct sunlight your pathway gets during the day. Six hours should be the minimum for providing about six hours of lighting during the evening. If you don't get enough sunlight, consider installing hanging solar lights or specialty solar lights which can be placed higher for more sunlight exposure.
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