Category: Home Improvement

Chiminea-fireplaces 0

What is a Chiminea and How is it Used?

Chiminea-fireplacesChimenea is a Spanish word for chimney. It’s also referred to as chiminea. Both words are pronounced as che-meh-neh-yah and used interchangeably today. People with Spanish origin use the word chimenea, while most Americans these days use chiminea because that was how their ancestors spelled it based on how they heard the word years ago. Some prefer to use chimenea because it seems closer to its roots that way.

Chimineas or chimeneas have been around for centuries. They are seen and used widely in Mexico and the western states like Arizona and California. These earthenware outdoor fireplaces are mostly made of clay and hand-decorated. These can be functional fireplaces or you can opt to use it as garden art or accent pieces on the patio to achieve a rustic or southwestern ambiance.

History of Chimineas

Around the 16th or 17th century, chimeneas were first used as cooking vessels by chefs in the small villages of Mexico. As they cook food using a chimenea, families come together around it for warmth.

This wide-bottom, vase form earthenware was traditionally made of clay and had a vertical, narrow chimney for the smoke to channel through. The fire pit had a wide opening at the side to take in enough woods to produce a good fire. This design allowed the chimenea to be used in the rain.

Chimeneas are also similar with other stoves. It has similarities with the traditional potbelly stove. A potbelly stove is an old-fashioned, cast-iron wood-burning stove with a flat top for its fireplace for cooking food or heating water. Chimenea is also the same with kotao, a wood-burning stove used in Eastern European countries. Kotao is used with round and large cooking pans. The only difference is that potbelly stove and kotao both have a wider and more open fire pit, while chimenea has a confined fire pit.

How to Use a Chiminea

When you want to use a chiminea to cook food, load some woods in the fire pit and ignite fire into it. Generally, the wood will be in full burn within 15 minutes, which produces enough heat to cook food. Like other fireplaces, control the flame with wood. Several kinds woods can be used for chiminea but aromatic woods are the popular choice. These woods include cedar, mesquite, hickory, or pinon. However, in the advent of technology, some chimineas now run on gas or propane.

Things to Consider Before You Buy

Don’t fall victim to impulsive buying just because of the eye-catching motifs of the chiminea. Think of the following before you purchase the best Chiminea:

  • Material – Chimineas are mostly made of clay and terracotta. However, there are also chimineas that are made of steel, copper, cast iron, or cast aluminum.
  • Fireplace size – Check whether space is enough for standard-sized wood. You might end up buying special-sized wood for your chiminea.
  • Shape and design – Check the chimney thickness, how it stands, or if the shape and design are in harmony.
  • Your location – Go for a chiminea that runs on gas or propane if you reside in a place that prohibits the use of both indoor and outdoor wood-burning fireplaces.

Where to Place Your Chiminea

There are three things you need to think of when deciding where to put your chiminea: safety, position, and surface.

Think of your safety. You would want to put your chiminea at a place visible from inside your house. These locations include your patio, deck or courtyard.

The position of your chiminea could matter a bit. Even though it’s going to be hard to predict, position the back to face the breeze or the wind. But importantly, set it up straight and vertical as this position ensures sooting in the fireplace.

Check the surface of the location you want to place your chiminea. It should be fire-safe. If you want it placed on your wooden deck or terrace, you can place a 3 feet by 4 feet platform or patio hearth made of pavers or brick. It’s best to place it on concrete, brick, and stone patio surfaces.

Also, ensure that there is no overhead cover on the location such as eaves or patio roof.

How to Care for Your Chiminea

Like any earthenware, chimineas are prone to cracking. Being made of clay, chimineas have a low-fire glaze. It’s advisable to coat your new clay-made chiminea with an acrylic finish or sealer. This serves as your outdoor fireplace’s shield from water and moisture, thus, re-apply every 6 to 8 weeks. In connection with that, provide your chiminea with a cover.

During rainy or bad weather, store your chiminea in a basement, garage, or shed to prevent serious damage.

Maintaining the cleanliness of the fire pit could be a drag. But this will do the trick: Put sand, lava rock, pea gravel or fire glass in the fire pit. You can just rake out the ashes and turn over the sand. During cleaning, just put them in the bucket and hosed off with water. Then, set the sand mixture to dry before putting it back to the pit.

Not much is required of you to have a relaxing outdoor area with a chiminea. It just takes a presence of mind and safe behavior.

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Best Fly Killer Reviews

fly-imageFlies are one of the most successful and predominant insects on the planet. This insect evolved at the time of the dinosaurs and continues to exist today. The common house fly is the species that has been a pest throughout history. This is the particular species that fly killers are designed to get rid of.

Best Fly Killer

The best  fly killers with the potential to eliminate multiple flies are once are preferred and easily make it to the top of the list of best fly killers. Other factors considered include the all-round effectiveness, easy of use, and its price.

Tanglefoot #27 2PK Window Fly Killer

Tanglefoot-2PK-Window-Fly-KillerThe Window Fly Killer by Aeroxon is counted as the most highly effective and unique fly killer in the market. Apply the window sticks in various shapes like flowers and butterflies to a suitable window pane. Flies are naturally attracted to light so a window surface is perfect. The flies will feed on the Azamethiphos pesticide bait on the stickers. This bait attacks the nervous system and leads to death in a couple of minutes. The volume of pesticide is too low to affect humans. But, it is still wise to apply the stickers at a height that is out of reach of children or pets. Also, wear gloves when handling the fly killer. They have the potential to get rid of any household flies and lasts for a period of up to 6 months.

Aspectek 20W 6000sqft Coverage Electronic Indoor Commercial insect and mosquito killer zapper eliminator

Aspectek-6000sqft-Electronic-Commercial-eliminatorThe Electronic Insect Killer by Aspectek is perfect for families interested in the non-toxic fly killer. This electronic killer is built with a 20-watt black light to attract the flies. On making contact with the electronic grid the flies are zapped and killer. It is entirely based on electrical current and free of poisons or toxins. It is practical to install anywhere in the home and safe with children and pets. The electric current is mild for humans and causes no harm, but take extra care when handling for moving or cleaning. Once it is hanging from the ceiling or placed on a table top, this insect killer is ready to work. A convenient tray will catch all dead flies for complete ease in cleaning.

Raid Flying Insect Killer Insecticide Spray

Raid-Flying-Insect-Killer-InsecticideFor fast killing action, the Flying Insect Killer by Raid is certain to be the solution. The latest insect killer formulas by this brand include synthetic pyrethrin relatives of Phenothrin and Prallethrin neurotoxins. The concentration of the toxins isn’t high enough in the insect killer to harm people or pets. But, it is still best to avoid breathing in the fumes when using the spray. It is a reliable spot killing spray to attack the individual flies. Once sprayed, the fly will soon take its last breath. Spray directly onto a fly to achieve the best results and it is very inexpensive to use.

Prozap Final Fly-T Horse Fly Spray Quart

Prozap-Final-Fly-T-Horse-SprayThe Final Fly-T Horse Fly Spray by Prozap is a natural based product that relies on pyrethrins. Chrysanthemum flowers create the pyrethrins and highly effective at controlling flies. This spray is relatively non-toxic to people and animals. Stay safe when using the fly spray by using a suitable pair of gloves and avoid breathing in the fumes. This is a further direct spray and must make contact with the fly to work. This natural compound is water-soluble and washes off easily. A ready-to-use spray is practical for the home while purchasing in bulk and using in a garden sprayer is practical for outside spaces. Using in bulk is fairly inexpensive and useful for spraying outbuildings and barns.

Willert R37.24 Fly Swatter

Willert-Home-Products-R37-24-SwatterThe Fly Swatter by Enoz is sure to the most cost-effective option. It is humane, safe to use near children and pets, and non-toxic. The fly swatter is available in multiple styles and colors. The preferred swatter has a metal handle for greater kinetic energy delivery and long-term durability. Flies rely on eyesight and air pressure senses to react to danger. This swatter is built with holes in the head of the swatter to attempt to fool the fly and combined with a person’s swift movement; the fly isn’t able to get away in time. This Ezoz swatter is effective and timeless and one of the most effective fly killers over the years.

The Bottom Line

If you are looking for the best fly killer, actually, you have many choices. You can choose a fly poison, a fly swatter, or an electric fly killer.

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Best Moth Trap Reviews

Moths aren’t the most serious problem, but they still have the ability to be quite a nuisance. Moth traps are most effective with the pantry meal worm moths and clothes moths. The pantry moths get attracted to flour and wheat sources. Clothes moths on the other hand, are attracted to natural fibers like felt, silk, fur and cotton. The different items of clothes are used to lay their eggs. The most destructed part is the larvae which takes a great interest in the clothing fibers or the raw flour particles from wheat or grains.

The arrival of synthetic fibers has made a significant deterrent to moth infestations in storage trunks and closets. This material has no nutritional value to benefit the larvae. Plus, the burlap storage for flour and sealable containers are used in place of paper to further limit a reliable food source. However, there is still the chance of a moth infestation in a pantry or closet, so it is worth considering the moth traps to control potential issues.

Best Moth Trap

Our lists of best Moth traps are easy to use, safe, and effective and price is rarely an issue. Any of the suggested traps will have no problem in controlling moths from closets or pantries.

Catchmaster 812sd Pantry Moth Traps

Catchmaster-812sd-Pantry-Moth-TrapsThe Moth & Pantry Pest Trap by Catchmaster is among the most effective and safe moth traps in the market. It is intended to be used on panty moths and a type of glue trap. This moth trap lures the pantry moths like raisin moths and meal moths using a sexual pheromone. It is free of toxic chemicals to make it safe to use around children and pets. This trap is intended to be easy to use. Simply open the packet, open the triangular trap and place it in the desired location. No fuss, no mess. Effective, safe and easy, the moth traps do not come much more efficient than this.

Springstar S1524 Jumbo Clothes Moth Trap

springstra-moth-trapThe Springstar S1524 is a favorite choice for the clothes moth infestations in trunks and closets. It has a simple sticky glue trap design and relies on a sexual pheromone to get the attention of the moths. This moth trap has a usable lifespan of up to four months. The Springstar traps come in packs of two and most effective when both are used at once. This gives the widest coverage in a confined closet or similar space. Nontoxic and safe, simply open the packet, open the triangle-shaped trap, add the pheromone, and position on a shelf or floor space.

TERRO T2900 Pantry Moth Traps – 2 Pack

TERRO-T2900-Pantry-Moth-TrapsThe 2900 Pantry Moth Trap is from the respected Terro brand and certain to get the job done. This moth trap relies on a sticky glue surface with a pheromone lure concealed in a triangular-shaped trap. It is entirely non-toxic and easy to use and quite similar to the top-rated Catchmaster. Both are safe to use in homes with children and pets.

owever, the Terro branded product is slightly more expensive and offers little extra for the high price tag. The Terro trap is certain to give the desired outcome and its all-round performance is among the best.

Pro-pest Clothes Moth Trap 3 Packs (6 Traps)

Pro-pest-Clothes-Moth-Packs-TrapsThe Clothes Moth Traps by Pro-Pest is a further option that makes use of the pheromone infused sticky trap. It is effective, easy to set up, safe to use, and works much the same as the top-rated traps. This trap is designed to attract and trap the males to stop reproduction. The trap contains a pheromone lure that is easily hung on a wall, placed on a shelf, or left on the floor. This moth trap isn’t listed at the top for the simple reason it is more expensive, but gives the same effectiveness. Use two of these clothes moth traps at once to get the best results.

4 Allure Moth Traps, 6 Diamond Shaped Pantry Pest Moth Control Pheromones Traps

Allure-Diamond-Shaped-Control-PheromonesThe Pantry Pest Moth Control Traps by Allure are perfect for homes with limited pantry or counter space. These traps are intended to hang and use pheromone on a sticky glue surface. This trap is slightly more complex to use. It is necessary to bait the trap inside the cardboard and hang it in the preferred place. It can last for a period of up to 3 months. Once its usable lifespan has passed or it collects enough moths it should be replaced with a fresh one.

The Bottom Line

If you are looking for the best moth trap, our list of best moth traps can help you easily buy what you want. And they are all effective to trap moths.

Sunforce-82156-Solar-Motion-Light

Sunforce 82156 60 LED Solar Motion Light Review

Sunforce-82156-Solar-Motion-LightIf you need a solar motion light, this Sunforce 82156 60 LED Solar Motion Light can really offer you safety and add security around your property and home. It is bright enough to illuminate a very large area. Beside this, you can customize its settings, making it satisfy your needs. There are 3 dials on its back and you can select the time period, light level and the sensitivity of its motion detector. As a solar security light, its performance and various settings make it the best of the best.

Powerful LED Lighting

Sunforce-82156-Solar-Motion-Light3This best solar outdoor light can detect a range of 180 degrees. Due to its 60 LED bulbs, it is able to illuminate a 30-foot area. Its automatic motion detection enables it to offer a bright light source for your pathways, home, or any darkened area around your home or garages. This solar light has a 6v solar panel, 60 LEDs, a pack of 6v rechargeable batteries and screws that are used to mount.

Well-constructed

This outdoor solar light is made of plastic and aluminum, so it is durable and weather resistant.

DIY Installation

The installation is also pretty easy and you can do it yourself without hiring an electrician. Therefore, this can save some money for you. The first thing you need to do is to connect the solar light to the solar panel and fully recharge its batteries by leaving the solar panel out in the sun for about 3 days.

Adjustable setting

It also has a switch which allows you to turn it on or off manually. It also allows you to customize 3 settings, so you can make it work in the way.

There is a dial on this outdoor solar light, which is specially designed for motion sensitivity. You can use this dial to change the duration of light or the sensitivity of light that you desire. The initial setting of the motion sensitivity is in the middle, which is the normal setting. You can turn it up or down if you need the maximum sensitivity or overly sensitive. And you can get a range of 0 to 30 feet.

The second setting allow you to adjust is the duration. This light allows you to adjust its duration from 8 seconds to 2 minutes.

The third setting you can do is to adjust its sensitivity of the light. For example, sometime more light is needed on a very dark day. By settings its sensitivity, you can make it work even during the day light. Of course, the initial setting should be the lowest setting, which means the motion sensor only works at night. This is also the most economical. When it works, the motion sensor can cover an area in a 180-degree sweep by moving back and forth.

In the end

This Sunforce 82156 60 LED Solar Motion Light is a solar security light that illuminates a large area. It also comes with many adjustable settings, so you can easily customize it according to your needs. It is able to cover a range of 30 feet in 180 degrees. Therefore, it can offer continuous security.

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Instant Hot Water Dispenser Installation Tips

instant-water-dispenserIf you want to heat water instantly, you really need an instant hot water dispenser that is really a good addition to your kitchen sink. Once you open your faucet, you can get hot water. This is so amazing. You can have water boiled at your fingertips. It is very convenient to use. You can use instant hot water for tea, coffee, as well as hot chocolate. You also can use it for making a cup of jello, oatmeal. Or noodles. If you use a rice cooker to cook rice, you can fill hot water to shorten the cooking time. Cooking pasta is also very fast if you fill nearly boiling water into the pot.

Such an instant hot water dispenser brings so many benefits and has plenty of uses. You also can invent your own uses.

Well, someone may think it may be hard to install. However, it is not the fact. Before installing one, something also needs to be considered. Do you plan to install it yourself or just hire a professional? If you are a good DIYer, you can install it yourself. Or, hiring a professional is a good choice. It is recommended to consider all the aspects of the job, which can make the job go more smoothly.

When you try to find a place to install an instant hot water dispenser, the following things are available for you to look out for.

Space above the sink

The first thing you need to consider whether you have enough room on the top of your sink to install the instant hot water dispenser. If there is an existing extra hole in the skin, it is great, because you don’t have to remove something to make a hole free up for your water dispenser. If you have to, you may need to remove the built-in soap dispenser or other sink accessories. Or, you may need to purchase a new kitchen faucet. You need to choose a 2-hole kitchen faucet instead of a 3-hole version, because a 2-hole faucet is able to open up the necessary mounting hole. You also may need to drill your sink for an additional hole, depending on what type of water sink you have.

Space under the sink

Also, you need to make sure there is enough space under the sink. The space under the sink in some kitchens may be limited. The space might be occupied by deeper sinks, home garbage disposals, drain pipes, reverse osmosis systems, or dishwasher lines. Therefore, before purchasing an instant hot water dispenser, make sure there is enough room for the dispenser’s 5/8 insulated tank on the wall. The water tank can sit on the back wall or the side of the cabinet.

Water Source

After choosing the right place to install, the following question is how to connect it to our water line. It needs a 1/4 or 3/8 tap water supply line that ties in to your sink’s water supply. There are many options to add the water line. You can install a saddle valve, a new tee, or a dual outlet angle stop. Choosing which one depends on what you need to work with.

Power source

The last concern is the power source. Because instant water dispensers are powered by electricity, a regular 110v outlet is needed to plug in to. There might be some outlets under the sink that reserve for the dishwasher or the garbage disposal. If there is an empty outlet, it is better. If there is not an empty outlet, you may need to hire an electrician to install one. The expense should be taken into consideration.

Zyliss-Easy-Manual-Processor-Chopper

Top 5 Best Food Choppers Reviews

If you have used a manual knife to do chopping tasks, you will find it is so difficult. In these situations, a food chopper is a must-have item in your kitchen. When it comes to chopping performance, food choppers give the same performance that a knife can give. However, such a chopper can do the job faster and much more efficiently. We only selected manual food chopper, because they are much simpler in design and if you can an electric one, these motorized choppers will blur the line between a small food processor and a food chopper. Therefore, we only discuss food choppers that are going to be activated manually.

Best Food Chopper

The following top 5 best food choppers were selected for you. They are all able to make your food vegetable preparation quickly and easily. And they are all compact and can be stored in your cabinet or in a deep drawer. Their accessories, like the bowl, the cutting parts, are all dishwasher safe. Therefore, it is pretty easy to clean. Once the chopping task is finished, you just need to throw these accessories in your dishwasher for easy and quick cleaning. Although some components are made of plastic, all the blades are made of stainless steel.

Several ways are available to power these choppers, including pull cords, crank handles, and pump action. Different models one this list may use different ways. However, it is up to you. You decide which one is the best. Generally, all of them are protected a 1-year warranty at least.

Zyliss Easy Pull Manual Food Processor and Chopper

best food chopper Zyliss-Easy-Manual-Processor-ChopperThis model features a unique design and it is made in Swiss. It is so strong that it is able to deal with even frozen foods. This one uses a pull cord that needs you to give it some good pulls to make the blades spinning quickly. Its mechanics are inside its cover, so it is only suitable for damp wipe for cleaning. Other parts are all dishwasher safe, so it is simple to clean. The bowl has a capacity of 25 ounces, make it very portable for RV campers, dorm rooms, etc. Although it is a little pricey, its performance and high quality justify its price tag. What’s more, it is protected by a 5-year warranty. If you need a high quality manual food chopper, this one is definitely one of the best choices.

The Pampered Chef Cutting Edge Food Chopper

Pampered-Chef-Cutting-Edge-ChopperThis one has the highest price tag on this list, but it is also the easiest to operate. You just need to push its handle down at first, and then you can chop vegetables beneath its sharp blade with ease. We check many customer reviews, and most people think it is a delight to use. It comes with a 5-year warranty. Therefore, this one is designed to be so strong that it can last for many years in your kitchen.

As the best food chopper on this list, some people maybe are not able to use this mode. This is because the operation requires strength. To use it, you need to physically press down its blade and forcefully using its hand at the top. Therefore, this model seems not suitable for those who have fragile bones, or arthritis in the arms and hands.

Freshware KT-402 4-in-1 Food Chopper

Freshware-KT-402-Chopper-Vegetable-ContainerThis Freshware KT-402 features a self-contained and neat design, so you can use it to dice, chop and slice any veggie with ease. Its blades are very sharp. And this chopper uses gravity to make all the work done. The operation is very easy. You just need to upraise its handle, and then place the vegetable beneath it, and then push down, and then all the work can be done by this best food chopper. All the components are very easy to clean because they are all dishwasher safe. And it is also easy to store. When you don’t need to use it, just store it in your shallow drawer, not occupying your countertop space. If you need a basic food chopper for your family, this one is worth considering.

Chef’s Rival Chopper

Chefs-Rival-Chopper-Ultimate-Euro-GourmetAs one of the most versatile food choppers, this Jesco Chef’s Rival Chopper offers more option in its crank handle. It allows up to 9 attachments to work with, help you do anything that an electric unit can do. You can use it to dice, slice, juice, chop, grate potatoes, separate eggs, and more at its 26 ounce bowl. It also can be a great RV food chopper, because even you are in a pinch, you can use this manual chopper to make a gourmet meal. Its versatility and affordable price make it one of the best models on this list. Plus, it is protected by a 1-year warranty. And its blades can last for a lifetime of use.

Chef’n VeggiChop Hand-Powered Food Chopper (Arugula)

Chefn-VeggiChop-Hand-Powered-Chopper-ArugulaThis chopper uses a pull cord. If you need one with a pull cord, consider this Chef’n VeggiChop Hand-Powered Food Chopper. Actually, as a pull cord model, it performs the same as the Zyliss chopper because of tis easy pull cord, dishwasher safe features, stainless blades, as well as its compact size. The only issue is it only offers a 30-day warranty from its manufacturer. However, this doesn’t imply it is not worth buying. Once you have it, you will be impressed by its functionality, durability and ease of use. It can be great for your kitchen. If you need a basic chopper to deal with light duty work (like cutting lettuce, chopping onions, making salsa, etc), it is the best one.

Moonrays 91381 Payton Solar LED Plastic Path Light Review

Moonrays 91381 Payton Solar LED Plastic Path Light Review

Moonrays-91380-solar-paath-lightsThis Moonrays 91381 solar path light can really bring you 2x-brighter lighting and there is no wiring needed. Therefore, you can buy these 8-pack solar lights to easily decorate your outdoor space. They are made from durable plastic and has hammered-glass lens, so they can last for a long time for you due to their weatherproof feature. Their hammered look is very classic and gives shape and style to the light which shines. Its light beam is able to cover a wide range area, because the beam delivery 120-degree wide angle. During the day, the built-in photovoltaic solar panel will charge the built-in rechargeable battery that is a rechargeable 400mh AA NiCd battery. At dusk, the Led bulb will be turned on and powered by the rechargeable battery.

Compared with other solar path lights, they can be much brighter, because each can put out 2.5 lumens of lighting. Lumen is used to measure the brightness. And if the battery is full charged during the day, they can last for up to 8 hour at night.

Plus, a 1-year warranty is included.

We think, as one of the most popular solar path lights, if you are looking for an economical way of path lighting, they are the best. They are very cheap. Even if you need plenty of them, they will not be a big burden for you. The average rating is 4.2 out of 5 stars. We also check many customer reviews and they highly recommend this pack.

[rating: 4.2/5]

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Garden-Creations-JB5629-solar-accent-lights

Ideaworks JB5629 Solar-Powered LED Accent Light Review

Garden-Creations-JB5629-solar-accent-lightsThis solar accent light doesn’t need any electricity and no wiring is needed. Therefore, you can easily install them at any place you like. They will absorb solar energy to recharge the built-in batteries and shine at night. They can turn on or off automatically. All the materials are weatherproof, so they can last for a long time.

Many people have bought them. One reason is the price. The price is very low. Generally, you need to buy plenty of them to decorate your garden. Therefore, even if you buy a lot of them, they will not cost you much. And when they run, they don’t need any electricity energy. Therefore, they will not increase your energy bill.

This Ideaworks JB5629 Solar-Powered LED Accent Light set includes 8 lights and each measures 4.25″ by 4.25″ by 13.5″. The installation is pretty easy. You only need to plugin them into the ground.

[Rating: 4.2/5 stars]

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Solar-Deck-Lights-combo

Solar Deck Lights – Showing your Deck or Patio in its Best Light!

Solar-Deck-Lights-comboOne of the many specific uses of solar lighting is for brightening up the decking and entertainment areas outside our homes. If we’re having a few friends round for a barbecue or a few glasses of wine then solar deck lights can add mood, decoration and safety to the area.

One of the criticisms of solar lighting in the past has been that it is much less bright than electric lighting and doesn’t last as long. While this is still true for some models, more powerful solar sets are coming on to the market all the time. Already we have solar spotlights and task lights that have a separate solar panel that can be placed to optimally receive the most amount of sunlight per day while connecting via cable to a lighting unit up to 15 feet away that uses multiple LED bulbs. These systems are far more powerful and can match the light from a 40 watt incandescent bulb.

In the case of solar deck lights you may not need the most powerful lights but you will probably want lighting on the railing posts and gate posts, if there is a gate leading to stairs down to the garden. You may want another landscape light or two fixed to the wall and lighting the whole entertainment area, depending how big it is. Or you may just want some accent lighting that shows off your deck or patio in its best light!

The two most common types of solar deck lights are post cap lights and recessed lights. The first type is usually fastened to the top of the railing or on 4 x 4 or 6 x 6 posts, brightening the stretch of railing below and around it. They will be sold in sets for you to place along the deck railing at intervals. They may be made of plastic but the best ones are from aluminum, as these stand up well to all weather conditions (which is why window frames are often made from aluminum.) Most of these lights will use a small solar panel in the top, together with a rechargeable battery and one or two LED bulbs inside, using this set up to collect, store and release the power as lighting when darkness falls, when they will turn themselves on automatically. They are easy to fix to the post and, once there, really require no maintenance at all, making them very attractive compared to the electric lights that need wiring up.

The second type of deck light is the recessed light. These are designed to be flush mounted into the decking and up-light, similar to the lights that are used for driveway lights. They are more difficult to install than the post lights as they need to actually become part of the decking and can be walked on – you will need a drill. Because they will be walked over they will also have to be very strong and durable as it’s not just the weather they will get battered by.

With prices coming down and designs becoming better at lighting larger areas for longer periods, solar deck lights are a good option for you as a replacement for electric lights. They are easy to install, need no maintenance and use no electricity so they will save you money, time and effort in the long run.

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Setting Your Expectations Correctly with Cheap Solar Lights

Hoont-Outdoor-Solar-Step-LightBefore rushing out to the nearest garden center or lighting store to add a set of cheap solar lights to your household it is best to consider the many options you have with these items, to avoid being let down by getting a set that doesn’t do what you had hoped.

It is important to bear in mind the limitations with these lights and not believe all the hype and buzz surrounding them – though of course there are very good reasons for being excited by the possibilities that solar lighting brings to the home, as you will see later.

Firstly though, consider what you will be asking your purchase to do. If you are buying a couple of small, cheap rock lights and are expecting to place them on your deck to light up the whole area when you have a party then you will be disappointed. They are designed only as accent lighting to be placed in a flower bed or light up around a hazard like a pond for a few hours during the evening. They normally have a small solar panel, a small battery and an LED bulb that processes the sun’s energy, stores it and releases it – as most solar outdoor lights do – but they are certainly not designed to produce strong lighting throughout early and late evening and into the night.

In this situation you will probably need to “up” your budget and go for some post lights and deck lights that you will install at regular intervals around your decking, providing both mood lighting and safety lighting that will illuminate step areas or other hazards. In other situations that require task or spot lighting the cost per unit will be higher still as you will need a light that uses a larger panel and multiple LEDs to provide adequate illumination. So cheap is not always the way to go with these lights.

Now we have covered the main downside that people experience with outdoor solar lights, let’s take a quick look at all the advantages of these units over electrical lights, before giving you a couple of tips how you can save money when purchasing them.

Firstly they use zero electricity so any cost differential between the outlay for these lights and that for electric lights is paid back over time. This makes them more environmentally friendly than electric lights, of course. Also, they have virtually no maintenance required to keep them running – there’s not even an on/off switch in most cases and they will turn themselves on as the light starts to fail.

Being easy to install – pathway lights are often pre-mounted on spikes that are driven into the ground – also means that if you buy a large set of units it doesn’t involve much work to get them all set up, unlike electric lighting which involves a qualified electrician to wire everything up and hide the cabling.

Buying solar lights in sets is a good money-saving idea. Some manufacturers like Westinghouse will package their lights in 6, 12 or even 24 lights so that you can choose a set large enough for the job at hand and place at regular intervals around your property – doing this will mean that the work you ask of each light will be less, as it will be spread out amongst more units. They are usually quite attractive designs too, so having lots of lights adds to the overall ambiance of your garden, yard or driveway area.

Of course another way to save some money when buying solar landscape lights is to get them online. Garden centers are a good idea to get a look and feel for how they work, but you will find cheaper prices available at the many specialist solar lighting web sites. Choosing one with a variety of brands, images, clear specifications and product information, a good ordering process, secure payment and a proven delivery process will give you the peace of mind to order online.