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
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
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:
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
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.
Solar garden lamps cost very little, typically $15. Mine have been
working perfectly for more than four years now. Low voltage lamps are
fine too, but they do not lend themselves for setting any distance
from an AC electrical source. I'm guessing that you don't believe in
batterys because you're afflicted with CCBD (ChronicCheap Bastard
Disease), that all the remotes for your TVs are plug-ins, and you
start your automobile by rolling it down a hill. Are you taking
notes, Pinhead Billy.
The only thing solar garden lights are good for is to indicate the sides
of walkways, like airport runway lights indicate the sides of the runway
for aircraft. They provide very little illumination for anything other
than showing that you should walk between them. You should carry a
flashlight in case there is an obstacle on the walk.
All of the solar lights I have bought suffered the same problems. After
a few years, the plastic over the solar cells turned milky and oxidized,
and the solar cells themselves looked like they were becoming un-laminated.
Actually runway lights are quite powerful, were you to actually walk
beside them on the tarmac you'd think it was daylight.
They provide very little illumination for anything other
That's all solar lamps are intended for.. thye're so one doesn't
wander off the path is all... whaddaya, a Boeing 1011?
That would be delaminated.
The Intermatic brand lamps I have work fine. The solar collectors
look good as new, as does the entire unit... shows absolutely no wear
and tear whatsoever. They've been working for more than 4 years now
(rain, shine, snow, hail, hot, cold, whatever... even birds shit on
them, washes away when it rains). No one expects solar lamps to give
much light... whaddaya sneak outside at night to peep at Hustler...
they're merely to find ones way with *minimal* illumination and to add
decorativeness is all. When I need LIGHT outdoors at night I flip on
my dual 150W incandescent floodlamps and remember to wear my miner's
hat. And there do exist solar lamps that give pretty good
illumination, ie. flag spots, but they cost five times as much as the
typical $10-$15 pathway units... if mine die next week I'm ahead of
the game, cost me like $3/yr and not a cent added to my electric
bill. And Intermatic will sell the entire top cap (contains panels,
batterys, and bulb) for like $4.
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.
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
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.
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,
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.
Uhh, I don't know how you went from lights to mailboxes. And, the
association is very loose indeed.
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
You are so out there. You or I or anyone else can't easily pull rebar from
Now we're circumventing by making up implausibles.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
Wish you would tell that to the morons here who seem to drive every where
else but the roadway.
Of course, as sure as you are of yourself, I am probably wrong, and did not
see what I saw, and don't know what I know.
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.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.