Tag Archives: home accessories

Solar Yard Lights: Good For The Planet And Your Budget!

Alternative energy sources such as solar lighting are not only environmentally friendly, but inexpensive and convenient if you have any technical problems. Using these lights can benefit a wide range of people, even if they did not previously consider using solar powered outdoor lighting in their yard or around their home.

Landscape lights are used to add beauty to yards and make them more pleasant and easy to enjoy, but they are also used for visibility and safety. Lighting in yards or attached to the building exterior can discourage intruders, but most often it makes walkways and driveways more visible and safe by simple illumination. Lighting can also highlight garden features such as statuary, fountains and special plantings.

There are many advantages that come from lighting your yard with solar powered lights. The most obvious is that every bit of electricity required to light your yard will add to your electric bill, and solar-powered lights consume no electricity. Many years ago, expensive solar lights redeemed themselves over several years by saving homeowners money. Now, however, solar-powered lights are no more expensive than conventional electric lights. Once your solar light is installed, you will never pay another cent to use it until it is time for the light to be replaced.

Another advantage of lights that use solar power is that they are simple to use, without any hassle. Once you choose a site that gets ample sunlight, attach your light or sink a pole and support and you’re finished, unless the light comes with a switch. Solar lights collect energy throughout the day and store it in batteries. They do not require any wiring. Traditional lighting, on the other hand, requires carefully hidden and protected wiring, and sometimes even needs to be installed by an electrician.

Before installing solar yard lights, check with a landscape expert or your solar lighting retailer to learn how to assess a location for suitability. The lighting must be installed in a site that receives an adequate amount of sunlight in order to properly charge the batteries. If installed in an area that is in complete shade all day the lights may not work. Finding an acceptable site is easier due to improvements in batteries, other storage devices and solar cells. It is likely that these improvements will continue allowing solar yard lights to be installed in additional areas.

Another area of concern is how long a fully charged light will function, and how much time you will leave the lights on every evening. Lights are rated by these criteria; look them over carefully and decide which one best suits your needs. There are many online resources that can help you in this search. Take advantage of these and comparison shop when looking for solar yard lights. Some examples of places you may look are department stores. Lots of solar lights are available in department store chains at great markdowns. It’s easy to find inexpensive solar lights that can make your yard shine!

Learn more about Residential Solar Energy and Solar Yard Lighting.

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The Many Types Of Gazebos For Home

Exterior space outside a home require outdoor shades to be truly useful. No guest or homeowner wants to spend much time baking under a potentially health-threatening sun. The gazebo is one such outdoor shade structure found in homes. Its most basic elements are a circular shape, a series of posts, and a roof combined into a freestanding structure. Gazebos are somewhat large so fit best into big back or front yards.

Most people who own a home will have come across the lightweight, portable gazebo. It is easy to set up as the supporting frame structure is made of rigid plastic or hollowed metal tubes. The shelter walls and roof are fabric to keep the entire structure very light. The great advantage is that these structures can be set up quickly and with minimal effort. The great disadvantage is that these structures are not robust and need to be taken down for the winter.

The roof and wall fabric can be made of many materials, with canvas being the classic selection. However, nowadays canvas is rare due to its propensity to get dirty and contaminated with microbial growth. Modern synthetics resist the color-fading sun light as well as microbial growth much better. They are also lighter, waterproof, and can be woven tightly to reduce light transmittance.

In addition to portables, the other kind of gazebos is the fixed structure that is often constructed out of wood, metal (iron or steel), and possibly brick. Wood gazebos must be treated in order to fight erosion by the elements. Iron and steel are much more durable as long as rust is managed. Such large structures demand a solid foundation entailing the sinking of concrete footings to hold the beams and platform. The work is arduous and is best done with the help of professionals.

For any of these permanent, heavy structures, it is important to ensure that sufficient open space exists around the final structure so it is easy to move around, in and out of the gazebo. The ground also needs to be level otherwise it is hard to ensure that the final structure is free of tilt. Clearing the dirt to make level ground followed by laying a surface can help improve the surface.

Many of these problems are discussed in gazebo kits which can be purchased online or at a home improvement store. Complete schematics and hardware are included with the kits. Raw materials such as wood must be purchased separately. After the gazebo is completed it can be supplemented with add-on improvements. For hot climates a mosquito netting will make the evening more bearable by keeping out small bugs and insects. For very sunny areas a hanging shade can add to the shade power of the gazebo.

You can locate more ideas on home outdoor shade. This and other topics on shades for the window exterior are available to everyone.

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