Garden Lights – Alternative Energy Options
Basic Alternative Options
Your garden lighting doesn’t always have to run on electricity. You might want to try using candles, flares, torches, or lanterns, although many of these options tend to work best around seating areas. For the rest of your garden, you may want to try solar lighting, which is covered below.
You can set up these types of portable lighting anywhere, but wind can be a problem, especially when it starts to blow smoke in people’s faces. Many candles and flares release pleasant scents, which can add greatly to the ambiance of the mood you’re trying to create for your guests or even for yourself. You can also get scents or oils with chemical repellents that will deter insects (especially mosquitoes) that are attracted by the light. Here are some options for non-electrical lighting:
o Lanterns, lit either by candle or oil, can be hung around the garden to give a gentle, golden light.
o Flares or torches resemble large candles. They are often on sticks (short or tall) that can be stuck into the ground. They’ll burn for 6 to 8 hours and cast a warm, romantic glow all around.
o Candles, while they don’t provide a great deal of light, create a magnificent atmosphere with their gentle flickering. Protect the flame so that it doesn’t blow out and so that no one gets burnt or gets smoke in their face.
Solar garden lights are constantly improving. They may be a great option for you to use in your garden. There are more and more options for battery and solar-powered lighting equipment for garden use, which is especially useful if you have a garden where it’s difficult to provide a cable power supply.
You can buy single, stand-alone solar-powered units mounted on a spike that you can simply push into the ground wherever you want. They’ve got a small integrated solar panel that collects and stores energy during the day. They can be turned on manually at night, or many even have a light sensor that will turn them on automatically when it gets dark and off when it gets light again. You could even set up a cluster of lights that are all linked to a single large solar panel, but remember that this option would also require cables and wiring.
Solar-powered lights have a lot of great “green-energy” qualities, but they also have drawbacks. Solar lights work best in bright, sunny locations where plenty of sun light is available for energy storage. Yes, solar panels are definitely becoming more and more efficient as years go by, but their storage life is still limited. The sensors and circuitry within the panels are also delicate and easily damaged, so you’ll need to handle them with care. In the proper location, solar lights are ideal for lighting remote paths. And they’re great if you have children, because there is no risk of electrocution.