Friday, November 2, 2012

Let There Be Light

Back in July, Ace Hardware had a sale on solar lights. You've probably seen these around. They operate by charging a solar panel in the top and will run for most of the night, giving off a decent, if not large, glow. Ace had them for $5 each.

Now, I've had problems with the back exterior house light. Sometimes it works. Most of the time, it does not. From April through September, that's not really an issue. There's enough light outside that getting onto the deck isn't a problem. You can easily see the steps. But, as I was thinking ahead in July, something so rare that it ought to be a national holiday, I knew that the days would come when I would be coming home in the dark and just being able to find that first deck step would be difficult. Add rheumatoid arthritis to the mix and I needed something, anything, to mark the location of the first step. Viola. For $10, I got a couple of solar powered lights.

They had to be assembled, but that was easy. Unscrew the domed top and remove the cardboard surrounding the light. Unscrew the bottom and pull the stake from inside the shaft and push it into the bottom of the stake. Then, pull the tab on the top of the dome to allow the light to charge. All set to go.

The final thing was to decide exactly where to put these in relation to the back steps. I had no idea how much light would be given off. I just needed to illuminate the steps enough to see them in the dark. I should probably also look at getting some kind of edging to staple onto the front of the step riser to see it better.

Thinking about all these things makes me feel really old. This is what you'd do to make grandma's house better. But, I realize my mobility has taken a big hit. I used to bound up the steps when I'd come home or jump off them to chase a cat out of the yard. I don't do that anymore. I can see a day, in the future, where I'll be packing up the last of my things and moving out of this house. Making it friendly and accommodating to my current life means that moving day is held farther at bay.

I wound up putting the lights right by the bottom step.

I've been trying, since July, to get a night photo that shows the amount of light these things produce. This is the north side of the steps light. The south side has a problem now in that the sun doesn't climb very high in the sky and the recycling can casts a nice shadow over the light. I need to see if it's getting enough of a charge with the limited amount of sunlight it does get.

They give off a fairly nice white light when charged. I can see the steps. I've also been thinking perhaps there are solar lights that would clip onto the stair railings. The big thing would be to simply get the back light fixed. It's on the list. It's on the list. I have a bunch of other electrical items that need fixing first however.

I do think these add a nice glow to the back. I'm debating pulling them if we're to get more than 6 inches of snow. The card to which they were attached didn't say if they would survive a winter. But, if I pull them, getting them back into frozen ground would be a challenge. I'll just leave them for now. At $5 a piece, it's not much for a bit of peace of mind.

Beverage:  Dr Pepper


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