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Solar security lights

A good, inexpensive lighting option

If you need a security light for an outbuilding but don't want to run electricity out to it, there's another option. Solar security lights are a good alternative and only come on when needed. Dan Kennedy sells solar security lights. He says a downside to them is the bulbs aren't as bright as those powered by electricity. However, solar light technology has come a long way, and the type of bulb you choose can make a difference.

"There are a lot of lights on the market that are using LED technology," Kennedy says. The LED lights are great in that they're super efficient as far as energy use, and some of the flood lights actually will even have six, or eight LED lights in them. But the halogens are much brighter as far as just how bright the light is, and how far reaching that light's going to go."

The lights are motion-activated so battery life depends on how often they come on. The batteries usually come as a standard 10- to 12-volt pack, and some brands can last several years before they need to be replaced. The solar panel charges the batteries. So to maximize exposure to the sun, an important feature to have is a solar panel that's separate from the light itself.

"Typically you will want to install these under an overhang, so some of the units actually do have the solar panel attached to the actual light unit," says Kennedy. "What I would recommend that you get is one that has a good 15-foot extension cord so that you can mount that light where you want it but run the solar panel up and tack that into the roof or in an area that's going to have a bit more exposure to the sun." Sensors detect motion up to 35-feet away and within 180-degrees of the unit.  

A single solar security light costs between $50 and $90. A two-piece motion-activated unit can cost as much as $190.

Radio interview source: Dan Kennedy, Owner, Outdoor Solar Store

Click here to listen to the mp3

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