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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Let there be light!

I had heard that people used the solar yard lights for instances where the electricity was out for whatever reason. I marched myself to Lowe's on the day after the tornado and purchase two. One lasted for two hours that night. The other had given up sometime during the night. Since there is no way to turn the light off, short of taking out the battery, I had just left it burning all night. Lowe's traded the cheaper $2.98 light for a $5.98 light since the cheaper one had sold out during the intervening day.

Putting the light into a bottle and setting it in front of the kitchen window had two advantages. First, the light was high enough to shed light on much of the kitchen. Second, the light reflected from the window panes, adding additional light.

Someone, somewhere said that some of the solar lights on stakes had an on/off switch. That would certainly be handy. I have not seen any.

Solar lights now grace my yard.

These are 2.4 something...lumens, maybe. The brighter ones that are 7.5 can be aimed at the ceiling and will illuminate the whole I have been told. These were $15.

The ones I bought had batteries that did not seem to last long. So, I replaced them with Duracell. I think it was a dumb, uninformed move. The batteries in the solar lights said "rechargeable." Another stupid move almost took place as I considered putting them in my recharger after the lights came on. Since they are "solar rechargeable," there would probably have been a small explosion!

In the kitchen window (pic above) in the Aladdin's lamp, I keep a box of matches and two tea candles. These are the first move after the lights go out. They sit on foil, one on the stove and one in the bath tub.

Okay, so my daughter just called while I am working on this post. Now, I have less than five minutes to get out of here.

Your turn
Have you ever used these solar lights when the electricity goes out?


  1. Linda! Get the duracell's out of there! Put the solar rechargeables back in and stick them in a sunny window or outside in the middle of the lawn through the day. If they still don't last more than a couple of hours after they've been fully charged, then you need new solar rechargeable batteries. You can find them in most garden centres, much cheaper than regular rechargeable batteries.

    I have one solar light with a pull cord- it has a solar panel that's on the roof of the entranceway, with the light in the entranceway. It's brighter than most, and handy for rooms/sheds without hydro. I have a bunch of the cheaper ones sitting outside, or mounted onto all the buildings, so if I need something out there after dark I don't have to wander around blind.

    I've never thought of bringing them in for a power outage. I'm a candle girl. But most often around here, if I need light, I also need heat, so candles are dual purpose.

  2. I have a drawer full of candles, two kerosene lanterns, and a camping light with D batteries. The electricity goes off regularly out in our rural area. I have solar lights out in the yard, but never considered bringing them in the house. Wendy is correct, all you need to do is leave them in the sun during the day, they pretty much stay on all night.

  3. I do use the solar lights for emergency lighting. I haven't had a problem with them dimming. Just keep them outside in full sun all day. Maybe the one you had was defective? Can you exchange it for another?

  4. LindaM, I heard the salesmen repeatedly tell customers they did not have to have sun shine on the unit. So, what did I know? LOL. I will call the company and see what they say.

  5. Jan, I am terrified of fire. Dark is better in most cases for me than a candle!

  6. Wendy, I hoped to get more than two hours from the battery before purchasing replacements. Those are back at the store. But, I do have one solar battery in the window sill, so I will put it back out and see what happens. Maybe you could post a blog with the light you are talking about. Or, I would love to hear about it on my email. This sounds brilliant. Do you have a pic or name brand?

  7. I bought a solar-charging, hand-crank lantern to keep for when the electricity goes out. The charge gained by cranking doesn't last long, and the solar charge doesn't stay bright very long. Still, better than nothing, eh?!

  8. Exactly! I won a hand-cranked light from a blog. The charge does not last long, either, but it IS better than nothing.


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