You know the appeal of entertaining into the evening – the dusk makes everything pleasant, as the heat of the day falls off, and the conversation with your friends takes on a relaxed tone. As dusk falls, the path lights come up automatically, and you turn them off to cut down your electric bill. Or at least, before solar yard lights, that’s what you had to do.
Solar path lights are definitely for you if you’re a home-owner with a garden
Solar powered garden lights exist because someone is always walking around in the dark, and stumbling over a change in level in the walkway, or tripping into the rosebush. Getting some lighting, on the path at the very least – even just to accent the places that are natural walking hazards, is a good idea.
Fortunately, advances in solar cell technology, and even more importantly, advances in rechargeable batteries, mean that you don’t have to hire an electrician to run out lots of cable to light up your garden. Solar garden lights are self contained – there’s nothing that can be chewed on by animals, or be a hazard that someone trips over.
Solar path lights come ready to use
The only effort required, is choosing the location you want to illuminate. It can be any place that faces direct sunlight. Throughout the day, the solar cells charge up the batteries enclosed in the light for the night. A simple light sensor will trigger the lamp when dusk hits, and turn it off at dawn.
Solar pathway lights rely on technological advances made in the last ten years or so, advances in Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) allow these solar lights to produce a significant amount of lumens per watt.
If you remember feebly glowing night lights running from solar cells before, you’re in for a shock. Good, high quality LEDs can produce enough light to read by, comfortably, and the light from LED equipped solar path lights is very pure white, bringing out the colors of your garden nicely.
Now, these aren’t good for area lighting, at least not yet, though the same microelectronics techniques that allow computer processors to keep getting more powerful appears to be starting up for LED lights. (LED lights are already as efficient as compact fluorescent bulbs, with no mercury in them. If current trends on their manufacturing capabilities continue, they’ll be roughly twice as energy efficient soon.)
The other major advance is in the storage batteries. Because of the emphasis on rechargeable batteries for cellular phones, laptops and GPS units, there’s a lot of development going on to cut costs, increase the capacity, and make them more compact. Combine these with smaller, more efficient solar panels, and your solar path lights installation can get smaller as the years go by.
In short, solar garden lights are just now becoming practical and are likely to get better in the near future
Solar energy is not restricted to its use in solar path lights — it can also be applied for solar deck lights and solar pool lights. If you have a shed in your backyard and you don’t want the troubles of running electric wires from the house to the shed, a solar shed light can be very useful.