The holiday season is in full swing, which means that more and more homes are starting to display their decorative lights. In a previous post, we talked all about ways to save energy while still getting festive. One of the options is to swap out traditional Christmas lights for solar powered Christmas lights. In an effort to be more energy conscious, that is something that I did for my own home this year. Since putting up our solar powered Christmas lights a few weeks ago, I have discovered that there are definitely some pros and cons to this choice.
The solar powered lights that I ordered were very simple to set up. Each string of lights came with its own small solar panel and stake that easily went into the ground. The panel is not bulky and it is barely noticeable. Once I stuck the solar panel into the ground, the lights were ready to be strung up.
In past years we have needed to employ extension cords in order to place the Christmas lights around the front of our home. Not only do extension cords take away from the aesthetic appeal, they also present tripping hazards and can be a significant electrical safety hazard (click here to learn more about using extension cords safely). Solar powered lights do not come with that extension cord baggage, which makes them much safer.
Have a grand idea for how your home will look outside this Christmas? Have your hopes been crushed when you realize that your home’s outdoor electrical outlets will not allow your plan to happen? Yep, been there. In the front of our home, we only have one outdoor electrical outlet, which has made things rather difficult on the Christmas light front. This year I didn’t have to worry about that one outlet, and I could place the lights wherever I wanted.
If you are sticking with traditional lights, you can speak with a licensed electrician about adding electrical outlets to the outside of your home.
Solar Christmas lights run solely off of solar energy. This is great for saving energy, and it is also great for not increasing spending on electrical bills–especially during a season that can already be expensive.
The biggest con that I have experienced so far is the fact that our solar Christmas lights truly do need the sun. I know it sounds obvious, but they need actual sunlight, not just cloudy daylight. On sunny days, our lights twinkle when the sun sets, but if the day has been cloudy, they do not light up at all.
As mentioned above, our solar powered lights will only light up after a day filled with sunshine. However, even on the nights that the lights do go on, they are still not as bright as traditional Christmas lights.
In many ways I have loved the ease and simplicity of solar Christmas lights, but it has been really disappointing not being able to see them light up every evening. Perhaps next year, I will try a mixture of LED lights and solar Christmas lights in order to consistently have our home lit up at night.
**Please note that these opinions are based on one person’s experience with solar powered Christmas lights**
Looking for more electrical or energy efficient advice? Contact us at Flame Heating, Cooling, Plumbing, and Electrical!