Unless he means Memorial day, July 4, and Labor Day, there usually isn't
enough daylight to keep them going very long after sun goes down. Sure,
there is the occasional winter day when you need shades and can get a
sunburn, but they are rare.
I mostly agree about solar landscape and path lights, at least the cheap
Chinese ones like HF and others sell. A dim glow is all they seem
capable of. Never played with high-end ones, if there is such a thing.
Since there is a streetlight over the end of my 60-foot driveway, I
simply don't even worry about it. About the only time I even turn
outside lights on is on Halloween, so the kids will know I am open for
There is a person in our town that goes G-O-N-Z-O at Christmas. They live
on a street that has an overhanging canopy of trees, and the four people get
together and really overdo it. Driving down this tube is incredible, and
the procession is endless from all over the state. This year, they went to
LED's, and wow, am I impressed. I once played 21 with Elvis for fifteen
minutes, grew up in Las Vegas, and met lots of stars. It takes a lot to
impress me. The clarity of the lights, and the "flavor" of the lights was
stunning. 200% noticeably different.
That said, lights are only bulbs. And the OP refers to regular lights, not
the new efficient LEDs. The old ones probably have higher energy
requirements. There's the electricital source. So, I guess a guy COULD
hook it up to a solar collector array ($$$$$), and a bank of a few dozen
($$$$) 6v. deep cycle batteries, then come off with an inverter, or even get
low voltage lights. Use it 3.8% of the year, and maintain it the rest of
the year, and replace stuff as it died off. Then, if one lived in a wintry
place where there was no sun for a week or ten days, there's always the back
up of just plugging it all into an AC plug.
I don't know how many trees that type of system would save, but it sure
would use up a lot of lead and copper. But then, they'd have to clear the
trees to get at the lead and copper in the first place. Such a dilemma.
Every pathlight I have seen that's solar powered didn't give off as much
light as a Bic lighter, and didn't last longer than one year.
My opinion of the solar electric concept is this. If you're going to
do it, you might as well just do it once for the entire house. With
the tax incentives, utility rebates, payments, etc, that are available
at least in some states, payback period in many cases is now
in the reasonable zone. Then you have a quality system that
you can use to power whatever you want. To have individual,
cheap crap, unreliable solar for typical household things like
sidewalk lights makes no sense to me. At least not from
what I've seen so far.
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