Ah, Christmas. That special time of year when love is everywhere, everyone is happy and peace reigns on planet earth. Well, anyway. For the eco-minded, however, the Christmas holidays also represent a time of excess, waste and conspicuous consumption. But hey, we Christmas tree lovers want to enjoy the holidays too! This is an idea that will reduce energy consumption during the holidays and alleviate any guilt you may have for enjoying the general Christmas cheer – solar powered Christmas lights. The idea of solar Christmas lights first came to me some time ago, when I read an article about a city in New Zealand LED Christmas Lights that equipped the entire city center with these solar Christmas lights. I have never liked decorating the garden with strips of Christmas lights, but I thought it was a great idea. Although I love Christmas, I always shudder to think of all the wasted energy that goes into an outdoor display. Here, I thought, was the perfect answer.
How they work
Battery-powered Christmas lights aren’t new, but they are generally relegated to interior decorating projects. Solar powered lights are designed to be used outdoors, but they work under the same concept. The sun charges a battery through a small solar panel during the day, allowing for several hours of brightness after dark. Although batteries may not store enough power to display a screen from dusk to dawn, they certainly should be able to put on a show at least until the kids go to bed.
When I started researching these products, I wondered how reliable they were. This question was answered fairly easily by checking the websites of retailers that allowed in customers. The general consensus among consumer reviewers was that outdoor solar Christmas lights work quite well. In fact, there was only one slightly negative thread among reviewers, which is that solar LED lights emit a somewhat otherworldly blue hue, which some found took a bit of getting used to. Otherwise, most were extremely satisfied with their purchase.
How much they cost?
A string of about 100 solar LED Christmas lights will cost you around $ 30, not much more than normal outdoor LED lights. This means that giving your garden the solar Christmas light treatment is very cost effective and is probably worth a try. If you try them, please tell me what you think – if I hear enough positive feedback, I could become an outdoor Christmas lights enthusiast myself!