Solar powered garden lights : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

I was strolling around Home Depot yesterday and came across these solar powered garden lights. The panel itself is mounted on top of the unit and is about 4x4 inches. It powers 2 AA batteries which powers the bulb. A full days exposure to sunlight is supposed to make it work for 8 hrs of darkness. They are controlled with a photo electric switch, which you could turn off with a piece of tape. They cost $40.00 for a box with two lamps in it. The concept is excellent and the price is reasonable. I imagine that in total darkness two such lamps would seem much brighter than it sounds. I just thought I would pass this on to the group. Its a lot safer than candles and lamps, and requires no fuel. I only wish there were larger units available. I just thought I would pass it on to the group.

Bill in South Carolina

-- Bill Solorzano (, February 11, 1999


I bought six garden solar lights at Home Depot. They were very disappointing. The light is very dim and not light enough to put on your kitchen table to use for reading, etc. Do not waste your money! They do not last 8 hours. I have put a couple out in my backyard and by about 10 PM they go off!

-- Freddie the Freeloader (, February 11, 1999.

Such lights are not bright enough to be worth the money.

I can offer a practical solution though. I've built 2 LED task lights, and they are bright enough to use for reading/cooking, etc.

Get a 9-LED white light from Jade Mountain, normal lightbulb socket and 10-ga wire. Hook it all up into a Radio Shack project box, and get a 10-D Ni-Cad battery. Light uses 75ma / hour, and once you break the battery pack in, it lasts upwards of 45-50 hours.

Use a small solar panel to recharge, and it's good for upwards of 10 years (Battery should last 10 yeard, the LED light should last your lifetime).

Cost isn't cheap (I paid around $200 for both lights plus the solar panel). You will have a hard time locating the 10-D cell battery, as I got it surplus, and have been unable to locate more. Use a 10-AA (800ma size) battery bank, and recharge it more often).

Want more details, email me.

-- Bill (, February 11, 1999.

We saw the same ones at HD and we discussed them with one of the clerks. He said not to waste our money, that they had alot of returns because moisture gets into the solar panel area and blocks the sun absorption. We did see some others at Wal-Mart, however, that have a modified design. They have a clear dome over the enclosed area that has the solar panel so moisture, presumably, drips off. Has anyone seen or purchased these? We're planning on buying quite a few if they work well.


-- jhollander (, February 11, 1999.

Hey Bill; Perhaps you neede to look at the lawn lights that are 12 volt type,just down from the solar ones at HD. The 12 volt lights run off a transformer which uses 120 volts to energize the system. But you knew that already. I had plans when I worked for HD in Florida to use these inside the home if needed. They do come with 12 lights of either 4 watt,7 watt or 11 watt. Depending upon the amount of light needed for the area to illuminate. If you recheck these 12 volt lighting systems you will find that you could set these up w/ a 12 battery system with fuses to make sure it doesn't over illuminate the bulbs. Hope this will help your situation... Furie...

-- Furie (, February 11, 1999.

I'll look into it. I already have the two lights, lanterns, candles, so I'm pretty much set, as far as light goes. However, it doesn't hurt to look. :)

Thanks for the suggestion.

-- Bill (, February 12, 1999.

I did purchase two of the solar-powered deck lights at Home Depot. Agree that they're not powerful enough for reading or stitching, but will work very well as "night lights" for hallways, bathrooms, etc. Mine came with two mounting options: a stake for placement in the ground (flowerbeds, etc.) and a wall-mount. I plan to place the ground stakes outside so the lights have someplace to sit during the day while recharging, and the wall-mounts in the house where I can place the lights for use at night.

-- ArkieJohn (, September 26, 1999.

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