Solar Landscape Lights

My wife wants landscape lights for the front yard. She's convinced that solar powered lights will work fine, but I'm not sure. They do seem to be less expensive than their hard-wired transformer & timer operated counterparts. One of my concerns is that there are many areas of our yard that do not receive direct sunlight. Another concern is that they don't seem very bright.
Has anyone had any experience with these solar-powered lights? I'd be most grateful for any comments or opinions on the pros and cons of solar vs. standard landscape lights.
Thanks in advance.
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<< Has anyone had any experience with these solar-powered lights? >>
Next door neighbor bought and installed them. Looked good in daylight. First night, one winked out. Later in week, they were all dim. After fussing with them for a month or so, they are now replaced with hard wired lamps on an automatic sensor and timer set up. Technology wasn't quite up to the job in this case. HTH
Joe
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Put some along a slate-rock walkway over a year ago - have had no problems with them. This walkway is under a sycamore tree, so in the summer they're pretty much shaded. Even in these short days of winter we're still getting light from them. Only thing I've done is to make sure the solar panels doesn't get very dirty, and once in a while we'll have to replace the battery. But so far haven't had to do anything. I just imagine that very late into the night they do dim out, but we're asleep by that time, so it's not a concern - at least for us.
We even took one to our summer property - we don't have a septic tank installed yet so we have a porta-potty inside a tarped enclosure. Set the light outside during the day and inside the enclosure after the sun went down. Made a good night-light.
If you're looking for something that will keep bright lights from sundown until sunrise, you want the hard-wired kind. But for us, these are just fine.
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Banister Stairwell wrote:

we went to the local harbor freight retail store to get something and i picked up a solar lawn light.. the wife said: put it back its junk... she saw some in either kmart or walmart and she knows all the clerks there and was told the same thing about the ones that they sell also... so i would take her word for it... but in your case let the wife have her way and she will also be saying that they are junk.... anything i ever got with a solar cell on it or a rechargable battery turned out to be junk.. they never lasted very long...
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My neighbor got rid of his, not bright enough. Banister Stairwell wrote:

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Banister Stairwell wrote:

Our neighbor has some solar lights along a walk. They put out enouch light to find them in the dark - useless, imo.
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1) They need full sun all day to even last 2 hrs at night. Any amount of shade greatly reduces on time 2) Kiss winter operation goodbye. Store them inside. Shorter days, longer shadows, and frozen batteries don't work too well 3) If you expect to illuminate more than a foot of ground forget it. They serve to mark the path. Thats it. Think of an LED keychain light. 4) Batteries are a maintance item.
Having said that, I have quite afew. They can add some visual contrast to the landscape at night in areas you can't run power. The ones that change color are interesting to watch.

most
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I bought 4 last fall at a bargain - $15? For marking paths or driveway borders thay are excellent. They don't light but a very small area, so they won't do the same job as a wired light system. I expect they will get better very quickly. One item that might be of interest is the solar-powered motion sensor lights. They put out a lot of light for a limited time. You can mount the panel away from the light. About $80. Rex in Fort Worth
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There must be a big difference between brands and models. I have six Nicholas Cole solar lights and they last all night even in winter. If they are covered with more than four inches of snow the batteries will not charge so you will need to brush them off after a snowfall. I do know mine work at -24 degF so they are more reliable than the power company. I have the yellow double LED models and they work fine for marking a path but I would not rely on them for lighting steps. Mine are a year old and I have not had to change the batteries yet so I cannot comment on battery life.
Bill
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My neighbor has solar landscape lights. Pretty nifty and less fuss than hard-wired to install. But your answer depends on how much illumination your wife wants. If she wants her lights to pump out a lot of illumination (like to the point where people driving by would notice), the hard-wired ones are by far the better choice because the solar jobbies are really only good for a little bit of atmosphere light, or *just* enough for someone to keep from tripping over something along a narrow pathway in the very dark. Which is why most people just use them for sidewalk marker lights or next to deck stairs. They're also notorious for not throwing out the same amount of light from day to day. How bright they burn depends on how much sunlight the collector cells receive during the day. Winter months are pretty dismal because the sun's lower in the sky, and there tends to me more overcast days especially in the northern states.
Having a wife myself, once they make up their minds about having something, opinions of others rarely convince them to drop the idea. So here's a suggestion: Why not buy just one solar light (instead of maybe wasting a bunch of money on a whole bunch), stick it wherever your wife plans to put them, and let her see for herself over a few weeks whether they live up to her expectations.
AJS
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BS> My wife wants landscape lights for the front yard. She's convinced that BS> solar powered lights will work fine, but I'm not sure. They do seem to be BS> less expensive than their hard-wired transformer & timer operated BS> counterparts. One of my concerns is that there are many areas of our yard BS> that do not receive direct sunlight. Another concern is that they don't BS> seem very bright.
Personally I would go with a solar sensor as opposed to a timer. Timers need to be reset as the length of daylight hours increase for the summer and decrease for the winter. We use an outdoor transformer with built-in sensor here. Elderly friend has the mechanical timer and always has to be fiddled with (guess who!).
BS> Has anyone had any experience with these solar-powered lights? I'd be most BS> grateful for any comments or opinions on the pros and cons of solar vs. BS> standard landscape lights.
No personal experience with the solar lamps but you will need a brighter light source to charge properly so seems they will not work all that well in a shaded area.
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Banister Stairwell wrote:

We have both solar & hard-wired. The solar are dimmer which is nice for defining the edge of the low retaining wall between the yard and patio. They do need a lot of sun to last more than five or six hours. If you need them all night long, year round, or in a shaded area, go hard wired.
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