Thursday, September 10, 2009

Solar Security Outdoor Lighting

My wife and I live in a rural area and our home is somewhat secluded. The home was built in mid 1980 and has a carport instead of a garage. My wife is heavily involved in athletic activities at our son's school and on occasion, arrives home alone well after dark. She was always concerned about the lack of lighting in the carport on these occasions so I set out on a mission to put her mind at ease at least on this issue. The solution turned out to be a solar powered security outdoor lighting fixture. However, this was not the first idea for a solution.

My first thought was to add a motion detector to the existing light fixture in the carport. But, despite my best efforts, I was unable to locate one that would work with the overhead light fixture that we presently have. My next thought was to replace the existing light fixture with a new one equipped with a motion detector. I struck out again due to the inability to locate an overhead light fixture with motion detection. The only thing I could think of was to purchase a hard-wired wall mount fixture and have it mounted on a post in the carport. While my wife's safety is most definitely an item in which no value can be placed and no expense spared, I still felt like there must be a less costly solution. That's when I came across a solar security lighting fixture and did the research and installation following the steps outlined below.

Determine the best location to mount a fixture that will provide adequate lighting for your area of need. The location you choose may limit your choice of fixtures to a certain type. This is why it is best to determine the mounting location first.

Research the different solar powered outdoor lighting fixtures that are available. These fixtures come in a variety of light bulb types such as incandescent spot and flood lights, halogen, and LED. I chose the LED type because according to the reviews I read, the lights seem to last longer and shine brighter. The LED fixtures are a little more costly so your budget could be affected by this choice.

Determine if you will need a fixture that requires remote mounting of the solar cell. With most fixtures, the solar cell must be able to receive direct sunlight for at least six hours each day to provide the maximum charge to the battery system. A fixture with a remote mounted solar cell allows the light fixture to be mounted at a location that receives no sunlight and allows the solar cell to be mounted in direct sunlight up to approximately 15 feet away depending on the fixture.

Purchase and mount the fixture at the desired location. Allow the fixture to fully charge the battery system. Most solar powered outdoor lighting fixtures require the battery pack to be charged for 3 to 4 complete cycles before using the light. Once the light is fully charged, wait for darkness and adjust the light to shine directly on the area of need.

With the development of solar security lighting there is no limit to where lighting can easily be installed. By following the steps above, you can provide a more safe and secure property for you and your family.

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