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As a founding employee of Gardener's Supply, I wore many different hats over the years. Currently, I have my own company called Johnnie Brook Creative. The gardens around my home in Richmond, VT, include a large vegetable garden, seasonal greenhouse, cutting garden, perennial gardens, rock garden, shade garden, berry plantings, lots of container plants and a meadow garden. There's no place I'd rather be than in the garden.
It's not hard to see why solar garden lighting is popular. Of course it's great that you don't have to pay for electricity, but more important for most folks is the fact that you don't need to install wiring. Take the light out of the box, put it beside your walkway or in your garden, and you're done. Because most solar lights have a built-in darkness sensor, you don't even need to think about turning them on and off. The technology for outdoor solar lighting is constantly improving. Solar lights are looking more attractive, shining more brightly, and their run-time is getting longer.
Placement of a solar light is all-important. For maximum solar gain, the solar cell should face due south and be positioned on an angle so it is perpendicular to the sun. The surface of the solar cell should not be shaded by foliage or structures at any time during the day. If the light has an automatic on-off sensor, it should not be placed near any other bright light source, such as a street lamp, because it may cause the light to shut off prematurely.
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Last updated: 3/12/19
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