Solar landscape lights

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A couple years ago, we installed solar landscape lights. Thanks to a fortuitous geographic location, they work relatively well (i.e., they light up well past midnight). My problem is that they're too fragile. I have them installed along the walkway and along the driveway, and about half of them have been broken in half by a opening car door or a misstep.
I'm looking for a durable set of lights that don't have any cheap plastic connectors between the post and the light. Anyone have a product to recommend?
Thanks! Tony
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I have two solar lanterns set near my deck. As I quickly discovered solar lighting is more for decorative effect than for reliable lighting; they're not very bright and don't work well or at all when days are cloudy... they definitely don't work when their solar panels are covered with snow. The ones I bought (Lowes) are essentially all metal, except for the glass portions (they're actually made very well - brushed and heavily laquered sturdy aluminum) I don't remember the brand at the moment... but perhaps if you didn't install them where they could be damaged by opening car doors and being stepped on. I'm sure that if I installed mine the same as you did yours the ones I have would get broken too.
Okay, found the paperwork... here is the "Intermatic" model I have (LZ1400 IH): http://www.intermatic.com/Default.asp?action=prod&pid 9&did=2&cidI&sidv
I have the "pewter finish", two lamps came in a set, $30, still working after four years, and no corrosion.
I originally bought them thinking to hang them from the trees at the foot of my driveway, but then decided they would soon walk away with passerbys, so they ended up inside a perennial bed at my rear deck. They wouldn't have been much good as driveway markers anyway, like I said, they are not reliable lighting. There do exist more powerful solar lamps but they are rather costly.
I don't have a good picture:
http://i13.tinypic.com/54ijslu.jpg
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In my experience, solar garden lights last about 2 to 3 years, ma. The photovoltaic cells deteriorate and the NICAD batteries can stand only so many charges/discharges.
I removed them and installed 12 V Malibu lights, although I had a long run to the transformer. They actually provide enough light to see by and their price compares with the solar lights. Be sure to use 7 or 12 Watt bulbs, instead of 4 Watt.
--
Walter
www.rationality.net
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Actually the batteries poop out first. Typically they are Nicads which suck. Replace once a year and you're all set.
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If they are like the cheap hollow plastic ones that I got at the Borg here is what worked for me. I pounded a length of rebar into the ground and slid the hollow lightpost over it.
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You remind me of my neighbor on the corner who drove angle irons at the edge of the road to keep cars from touching his lawn (weeds), he's now in prison. I don't think pounding rebar into the ground is such a smart idea, certainly not for someone who is opening car doors into their lamps and walking into them. I know I sure wouldn't want any rebar pounded into the ground alongside my driveway (not anywhere on my property), tires are a lot more expensive than any stinkin' lantern... not that your rebar stanchion is going to protect the lantern anyway, it won't.
Btw, those lanterns are supposed to break-a-way in case someone trips and falls on one... someone's kid falls on your rebar the parents will own you. Unbeknownst to you what you built is known under the penal code as a man trap... anyone gets hurt tripping on your [hidden] rebar you will go to prison for a very long time. Anyone places any type of low walkway lamps do NOT make them stronger.
Didja know that rural mailbox posts have to be break-a-way too... I believe 4" X 4" cedar is as strong a post as is permitted in most municipalities... mailbox posts nowadays are typically made of plastic with a break-a-way point at ground level. But I see all sorts of tank- like mailbox stanchions, some place huge boulders at the post base, they're willing to kill people who inadvertantly hit their lousy $20 mailbox. Some even use those thick walled steel 'indestructable' mailboxes that will come through a windshield and take someone's head off... those are not approved by the US Postal Inspector. There's some moron about a mile down the road from me who actually constructed a 2' high raised bed flower garden at the edge of the road for his lousy cheapo $10 mailbox, the moron doesn't care if someone avoiding a deer gets killed... doesn't even have a reflector. And every winter the snow plows push that monstrosity into the culvert and every spring Mr. Moron builds it back.
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If the mailbox and its supporting post is on the road shoulder proper, yes, post should be breakaway. If actually on the owners property, not a requirement. Post can be a 2X4, a hollow metal rod, a 4X4, or a brick wall with planter incorporated is on the owner's property. Reflective material is also optional in that case. Many incorporate that on the most distant mailbox from a street proper. Most municipalities/counties require 10 feet for right of way as far as distance from edge of road. Right of way/shoulder is usually noted in the land/property survey, also called easement. Survey usually also notes that no part of any structure can be on that part of the land. Utility easement, if present, is usually 40 ft. An example is if the electric utility has utility poles running through the property.
The plastic housing and remainder of a solar landscape light has incorporated breakaway (actually top part just falls off, instead of breaking). The lights are for twilight condition simulated light conditions. Meant for a general guide, not full light. There is no benefit putting such lights immediately adjacent to a driveway. Probably, ill-advised as I read here so far.
The hollow plastic won't drive into hard soil, or rocky areas. The rebar thing is a good fix to that. The uppermost portion of the light, the light fixture itself, will still breakaway. Dave
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Well of course, rural mail delivery is always from the roadway, the rural deliverers are not going to enter private property with their vehicles, in fact they are not going to drive off the roadway proper... the mailbox must be reachable from the vehicle window while the vehicle is on the roadway proper.
Below you spoke of urban/surburban delivery, where the mail deliverer walks, not rural... and a lot of other gobbledygook about surveys, etc.

If you want to drive rebar into the ground go right ahead, but if someone gets hurt you'll wish you didn't. And if you can drive rebar into rocky soil then there is no reason you can't pull the rebar back out and insert the lamp stanchion... guess you can't think that sophisticatedly... no one drives wooden fenceposts into the ground either, they make a hole with something more suitable, like a fencepost digger or augur. I guess hammering a piece of rebar to make a small hole is okay, but it's just plain stupid to leave it there... no way will that piece of rebar protect the lamp from collision damage... if someone opens a car door into it the entire lamp will be damaged, but more importantly the rebar sticking up is likely to do major damage to the door, will cost a lot more to repair than replacing 50 of those cheapo lamps. And what if someome inadvertantly drives over that lamp and the rebar punctures a perfectly good tire... me, I'd snatch that piece of rebar out of the ground and use it to beat your ignorant ass to a pulp.
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Uhh, I don't know how you went from lights to mailboxes. And, the association is very loose indeed.

Wrong.
Wrong. With permissions, they will deliver parcels to the private area specified by that permission.

Wrong. They can and do use easement for traveling to a mailbox out of the easement. The mailbox is just out of the easement, but away from the road.

Obviously you don't understand. And, whether rural or urban is of no consequence.

You are so out there. You or I or anyone else can't easily pull rebar from rocky soil.

Now we're circumventing by making up implausibles.

Duh.
The hole or the rebar? The plastic piping fits over the rebar, making it more or less stationary. The plastic pipe won't fit in a hole made be rebar of the standard 2 diameters.

I've already pointed that out as not very smart.

If you drive an awful short car with a awwwwwfully low door. Otherwise, it will hit the light fixture itself. And, the light fixture will breakaway.

Again, said its not smart to put such near a driveway.

Now resorting to thuggery, blackmail, intimidation, communicating a threat. If its real soft sandy ground, maybe. Otherwise, I'd stand there waiting a long time for you to get that rebar out of the ground. La, la, la, la, hum, hum, hum. Guess I'll take nap now. Dave
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"Dave" wrote:

You're WRONG! And everything you subsequently said is pure BS.
General delivery rural mail carriers do NOT enter private property, not even for delivery of certified mail... they will insert a "pick-up at PO" notification card into the rural mailbox... the pick up card typically won't say what, just pick-up at PO. USPS rules are the same in all 50 states. Dave, you are a certifiable idiot.
http://www.usps.com/receive/businesssolutions/cityruralandgeneraldelivery.htm
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Sheldon wrote:

yes, they do enter private property, they drive right up to the house and beep the horn. for people with disabilities, they may even go to the door.
and mailboxes are NOT always beside the roadway. as dave said, in certain cases, such as elderly or disabled, the physician can issue a letter to the mail carrier and subsequent office, and request that the box be placed closer to the door of the home, in an area of the driveway that the mail carrier can still have access to from the car.
links don't always prove anything.....on this one, it ultimately depends on the carrier and what they do.
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Look at the weblink a bit he/she provided. Its business associated. The previous part of the thread was about private mail I assumed. (you probably did too) Well, actually, solar powered landscape lights originally.
Now that I reconsider all said. The person seems to have little control in his/her life, and, I made the mistake of taking that away in this thread. My apologies to "Sheldon".
Take care Rachael. Dave
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Dave wrote:

oh, i saw the link. i knew what the original post was about too....been following the thread....i just had to back ya on the mail delivery policies though...

you too, rae
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No, you are wrong, as usual, Sheldon, and everything you say subsequently is pure BS.

Then why dod the mail deliverers walk up to our doors here and put parcels on porches? Why do they get out of their cars/trucks and walk up to knock on the front door to see if we're home to take a certified or anything we have to sign for? Huh? Could it be, Sheldon, that you are, as usual, full of shit? Your link proves nothing. Crawl back under your bridge.
--
Ann, gardening in Zone 6a
South of Boston, Massachusetts
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Dearest Sheldon, I live in a rural area. The postal service has a form for specifying delivery on private property of parcels, rather than holding for pickup. Mine is the front porch. They usually deliver parcels outside of the detached garage not visible from the street as I've fenced in the yard since, and have 2 nice dogs. Sometimes they leave it by the front gate as Fedex and UPS does. Don't tell the local postal inspector, otherwise I'll have fill out another form.
Some real life experience goes along way. I didn't look at the weblink as my personal mail and parcels are not of a business nature indicated by the weblink. I know both of my rural carriers by first name. They are both happy that they can put mail in my mailbox from the easement instead from the road proper. A haven from what little traffic exists.
Oh. The pickup notice. That's normal unless you've filled out the proper form for delivery to another location on the property.
Sorry to see you don't know how to use a newsreader, Google groups instead. Your welcome for all the education. Hope you've taken your medications today. Dave
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Dave wrote:

<laughs> there goes my dr. pepper....
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Parcels are not necessarilly mail, they're freight and delivered by a separate division of the USPS, tantamount to UPS. Some parcels are mail, those must fit into teh rural mailbox of there'll be a pick up card inserted notifying one to come to the PO. I get packages delivered to my door too but all MAIL goes into my rural mailbox at the side of the road, in fact in my case it's acoss the road because that's the direction the postal carrier drives on his route. Once again for the IQ impaired ALL rural US mail gets delivered to a properly located/constructed Postmaster approved rural roadside mailbox , NEVER EVER anywhere else. Handicapped are welcome to obtain a PO Box. All US post offices have handicapped parking. If someone is all alone and doesn't drive or is too ill to leave home there are agencies that can be designated to pick up mail from the PO, ask ones medical provider, church, town clerk, etc.... but most folks have family, neighbors and friends who can pick up their mail... but even if you're dying the rural route carrier will only deliver roadside[period]
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Sheldon wrote:

Go ask a physician, RURAL mail boxes can be placed elsewhere under certain circumstances, all you have to have is a special note or letter stating the medical problem, be it severe nerve damage of the legs or any other problem that can cause you to not be able to walk too far, or simply some other disability or handicap. Then you take that letter to local PO. They will help you make the arrangements to have your rural box moved to a better location for you, whether that requires moving the box across the road or not. I know this, because when working at the clinic, i constructed several of these letters for patients. It worked every time.
Not only will your carrier leave parcels in a designated area (you know, what dave was talking about? the rural form on agreement of where to leave something that doesn't fit in the box?), but they will leave extra mail, etc. in that area also. The only exception is something that has to be signed for. If it's certified/return receipt and you are not home, then they will try again the next day to deliver it. Then, they will leave a note stating that you have certified/return receipt mail that you need to pick up at the local PO.
Our area for delivery when not home is the back-porch, or one of the other vehicles upon rain. If they leave something in one of the other vehicles, then there is a note at the door stating so.
Now to clarify, the united states postal service offices do this, not the parcel service. although the parcel services will leave things at your home also.
oh, and whoever you give your key to can pick up your mail at the PO also....you only have to have someone designated upon the possibility of you needed someone to pick up something that the PO put a slip in your box for.
oh, while i know that i don't always use the best grammar and tend to type one handedly due to holding the baby, so my punctuation and caps aren't always right....your spelling is slipping a little there, Sheldon. Just thought you should know, since you think you are so perfect!
Take care & make some friends before life is over. It would suck to not have anyone at your funeral that could call you friend.
Rae
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Wow, I guess they would have to shoot my carrier. We have a box at the street. When we have deliveries, or prelabled packages to be picked up, we leave an orange placard that says so. In order for the postman to do this, he has to go beside our garage, open a metal gate, go into a courtyard with a Lab/Rott mix dog and a Corgi, pick them up, sign the receipt, and leave. If they're delivering, they just put them there on a table.
We used to do ebay, and at times had ten or fifteen packages there. Every once in a while, we get a new carrier for a day, and we have to help them through the process, but not ONE has refused to pick up or leave in the side yard. We still get and send a lot of packages, and no problems.
Yeah, right. We're going to leave ten packages at the curb until the postman comes.
Hope the gummint don't find out about this.
Steve
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Dave wrote:

snickering, no, lol! rae
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