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Green Home Improvements .info is written by Charles Faust. Charles has been in the home improvement industry since the early 1990's and has owned his own company for a little over 10 years. This blog was created to show Charles' efforts in making his lifestyle more "Green" and how his product selections for his clients are becoming "Greener".

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Archive for the ‘Solar Power’ Category

Solar Powered LED Lights

Written by green1 on Apr 11th, 2008 | Filed under: Light Bulbs and Timers, Solar Power


Part #2 of cheap solar power.

A couple weeks ago I bought a few cheap solar powered lights from a home center and this is the review on the solar powered LED clip light. This solar powered light is intended for lighting outdoor tables but I found many other uses for it. The solar panel size is about 2″ wide by 7″ long and it charges 3 1.2 volt Ni-Cd batteries. The batteries provide power for the 6 LED lights and 6 LED lights provide a ton of light!

Solar Powered LED Light

We found that the solar panel is large enough to charge the batteries in such a short time that the panel has the potential to be used as a battery charger along with being a good light. This is where the issue about cheap products enter in, the cheap plastic housing does not look like it will hold up if I keep opening it. I assume that someone with a little skill could rewire it and charge the batteries externally if they wanted to. So far the black plastic has not warped due to being left out in the sun all day. Hopefully Hampton Bay designed this solar charger so it will hold up to the UV rays!

Since my 6 year old daughter has a passion for sleeping with flashing lights and leaving them on all night, this light is our green solution! Now that she uses this as her night time reading lamp and as her night light we are going to put a couple of batteries companies out of business. I feel that this product could be considered green since it provides power (lights) by using the sun. Since the light only cost around $15.00, I would recommend it for anyone that is looking for some cheap solar lights.

Stay tuned for our next review on solar powered lights for your stairs (outdoors stairs).


Solar Powered Lights - Tiki Torch

Written by green1 on Apr 8th, 2008 | Filed under: Gardens, Inside and Outside, General Information, Light Bulbs and Timers, Solar Power

A Green Home Improvement for your back yard.

About a week ago we went to a local home center looking for LED lights and ended up shopping for solar powered lights. Searching for cheap solar powered lights at the home centers is an easy task but the risk of getting poor quality is always on my mind. We ended up buying 3 solar products all with a price tag of about $15.00 (USD for my foreign visitors). I’ll review the solar powered tiki light in this article and the other two in the next few days.

Solar Powered Lights

The first one is a fake bamboo outdoor light with 3 flickering light bulbs. For some reason I assumed that the pole was made of real bamboo and was a little bent when I discovered that it was cheap plastic! While it only took a minute to assemble the pole, the joints were not that strong. I also noticed that the tent spike attachment that holds it into the ground only goes down a few inches and I doubt that it will stay upright in a strong wind. After it was up for a few days I ended up taking it down and gluing the joints with a strong glue.

Overall the solar panel works great and provides enough solar gain to power the lights for most if not all of the night. I feel that the light looks real enough and the overall idea should cut down on people burning fuel in their outdoor lights. I might look into getting a piece of real bamboo for the pole so I can drive it into the ground more and not risk the unit blowing over. I ‘m up in the air about calling this solar powered light a green product, since it uses solar power it’s sort of green. On the other hand it uses cheap plastic that will fall apart with the UV rays so I don’t see the pole lasting as long as the actual solar panel and battery.

In the past I have used other products by the same company with very good luck. All 5 of our ceiling fans operate perfectly so I can just hope that this product holds up. Some of our other solar lights from the same company are still in service with the original bulbs and batteries after 6-7 years! If I find a source for 1″ bamboo poles we might add a few more of these in our back yard.

Solar Powered Bamboo light

If you know of a good source for solar powered lights please leave a comment and share your source!

Note- Don’t install the lights around goats, the one in the picture kept knocking the light down until I gave up and moved in to my front yard.