Eco-Saturday: Solar landscaping lights

This is more of a product endorsement than a how-to, but I was so pleased with the outcome of today’s landscaping efforts that I had to share.

We’re a week out from Planting Day, which longtime readers of this blog know is my favorite day of the entire year. I spent most of today getting the backyard ready for next week’s gardening extravaganza — tilling the garden area (Ron rented this little Stihl tiller, which was very lightweight and easy to use, even for a first-timer), buying a quarter-ton of flagstone and turning it into stepping stones, fixing a small problem I discovered with the fence I installed a couple of weeks ago, shopping for odds and ends, and installing solar landscaping lights to mark the stepping-stone paths I’d just put in.

I’m sure the batteries compromise some of their environmental integrity, but I’ve been a fan of solar accent lights for years. I bought my first one when we lived in Belleville. It cost $30 and produced a weak amber light that ran down a couple of hours after sunset. I wasn’t impressed, but I liked the fact that it didn’t require any wiring, and I figured the technology would improve over time.

Nearly 15 years later, you can buy bright white solar accent lights for $2 apiece. I picked up 10 of them tonight and spent longer removing the bar-code stickers than I spent installing the lights themselves. They don’t use any electricity from the power company, and I didn’t have to wire anything. More importantly, when I buy solar-powered products, I’m showing their manufacturers there’s a market for alternative energy, which hopefully will drive more and better technology in the future.

Here are a few grainy shots of the new lights in action. I love that star pattern the diffusers make:

solar1 solar2 solar3 solar4

You aren’t going to end global warming with a handful of accent lighting, but you’ll save a little energy and make the garden a little prettier — and the more you enjoy your garden, the more time you’re likely to spend working in it, growing your own vegetables and herbs and reducing your reliance on factory-farmed produce. There’s no question that’s good for the environment.

Emily

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4 thoughts on “Eco-Saturday: Solar landscaping lights”

    1. Target. They’re pretty, but they haven’t held up terribly well; they’re mostly plastic, and several of the ones I installed along the walkways in the backyard have broken when my husband accidentally kicked them on his way past. They’d probably be OK in flowerbeds and low-traffic areas, though. For $2 apiece, I probably shouldn’t gripe too much.

      1. Thanks for the quick response. Our son recently passed away and we thought they would look nice by the grave. I will check Target

      2. Aw … I’m sorry to hear that. 😦 They’d probably work well at a gravesite. If it’s an upright headstone, I’d put them just in front of it to reduce the likelihood of someone accidentally bumping or kicking them. The ones Ron and our collie mix haven’t wrecked are still working well after being in use for the whole summer. If Target doesn’t have them (they’re a seasonal item, and our local Target has rotated out a lot of the garden stuff already), I think I’ve seen similar ones at either Lowe’s or Menard’s — can’t remember which.

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