|Tuesday Products: Solar Garden Lights|
|Written by Heleigh Bostwick Tuesday, 21 September 2010|
Garden lights in the past were used for practical reasons including illuminating pathways, providing security, or showcasing favorite plant material by way of spotlights. Today, with the advent of solar and LED technologies, garden lights can now be fun as well.
In fact, you can create a whole "garden" of solar lights. If you're feeling artistic, you can create an entire garden scene from solar garden lights, complete with tulips, bluebells, mushrooms, and hovering dragonflies, butterflies, and hummingbirds. Cattails and colored globes around the edge of a small pond are also a nice accent, particularly if there's a path along the water's edge. And yes, in case you're wondering I actually have seen all of these solar or LED lights sold at garden centers.
The way solar garden lights work is fairly simple, and of course, they use the power of the sun and not electricity. A solar panel sits on top of the fixture and is connected to circuitry inside the light fixture. There's also a light sensor, a rechargeable battery that is charged by the solar panel, and a white LED. When the sun sets, the LED runs off the charged battery.
A single LED on one garden light is not enough to illuminate a path but a group of three to five is usually enough. Many higher quality solar garden lights have more than one LED, but if you want a spotlight, solar garden lights are probably not the way to go. Less expensive solar garden lights made from cheaper plastic tend to become brittle or discolored over time making the light appear dimmer so if you're in it for the long haul go for better quality and pay a bit more.