The way many people start to realize the benefits and power of solar energy is by buying a small solar power item, such as outdoor lighting. We see some examples of solar powered lighting numerous times on the freeway, where a road sign, miles from anywhere, will have a solar array and battery storage to illuminate it at night, and this technology is increasingly popular for home use.

Why should that be? With increasing application and availability, the prices of solar powered outdoor lighting are still falling. You can get many different forms of lighting. One of my favorites is the motion activated floodlight, which you can fix on a tree at the garden gate, or some other remote location where you need to be able to see at night. But what really makes solar outdoor lighting is that the concept is so easy, and doesn’t require any specialized knowledge – it is convenient!

garden lighting

Photo: by artur84

Forget the way it used to be done. If you wanted to illuminate anywhere at night, you would have to find an electrician, talk about what you wanted, be told how it could be done and what Codes would allow, get a price that was inevitably more than you had in mind, shop for more quotations, realize that the first price wasn’t so bad after all, but find that you’d missed your window to be done next week, and eventually have the work done, which involved digging, conduit and wire, connection in a breaker board, some drywall when you located the switch, and staying at home while the work was done. Is it any wonder that you often put those plans on hold? Alternatively, as a handyman you said “I can do it, darling”, and then you had to plan it out, measure, buy all those things, dig the trench, figure out how to wire up the wall, use up a weekend – forget it!

Instead, you can simply go to your local Home Depot, Lowes, or Wal-Mart, and pay just a bit more than a regular light fitting to get a solar powered outdoor light. Then you have to go through the process of reading the instructions (preferably), finding a screwdriver, if needed, and installing the solar powered light. Don’t expect the light to work perfectly straight away though – it probably needs to be up and in the sunlight for a day to charge the battery. And that’s it – a very convenient installation, accomplished much more quickly than a conventional installation by a contractor or home labor, and time to relax and enjoy!

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