Garden Solar Lights - Do any of them actually last?

Discussion in 'The Pub' started by Taller, Mar 13, 2015.

  1. Taller

    Taller Silver Supporting Member

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    I like the effect of solar lights along my walkway and around my garden, but hate spending money on things that don't last and I've never had any long term luck with these things. The batteries are expensive to replace and my experience is that after shelling out money for replacement batteries, the lifetime is even less than what they provided originally.

    Ironically, I think UV rays are clouding the little solar cell, much the way headlight covers on cars cloud over after a (much longer) time. Either that, or the solar cells themselves end up being of such a poor quality that they just don't last.

    My wife and I were in Bed, Bath, and Beyond last night and they had some really cool looking solar garden lights that caught my attention, but I just couldn't bring myself to spend the money for what I thought might only last for one season before I'd have to pitch them.

    Anybody know what the deal is with these things, or have any advice for getting them to last maybe a few years, at least?
     
  2. mid-city tim

    mid-city tim Member

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    Don't most of them use standard AA rechargeable batteries?

    Crack those babies open and replace the crappy generic batteries for some name-brand HD ones.

    Can't help with the clouding issue though except to say maybe use a headlight cleaner and then clear coat them.
     
  3. drewl

    drewl Member

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    Keep the solar cell clean and free of dirt or debris and clean the battery connections and keep them free of rust and corrosion and even the cheap one's that cost $1 will work fine for years.
     
  4. 84superchamp

    84superchamp Silver Supporting Member

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    they don't last long (a couple years for mine) but they are dirt cheap.
     
  5. CRAIG4FSU

    CRAIG4FSU Whatever... Silver Supporting Member

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    Nope.I grab a new set for the walk about every summer.They do look good at night when your land scaping is kept up.
     
  6. Trotter

    Trotter Supporting Member

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    They kinda suck. Ours only lasted a summer.
     
  7. 84superchamp

    84superchamp Silver Supporting Member

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    just a guess but i think if you pulled them, removed the batteries and stored them inside for the winter, they would last longer but that's a lot of trouble.
     
  8. mango

    mango Member

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    I've got a few that have never been moved and have been buried in snow for the last 3 winters,they are all glowing right now (I was just outside),
    The ones that aren't working encountered a shovel along the way somewhere.

    just lucky I guess,I'm sure they were dirt cheap in the first place .
     
  9. harpinon

    harpinon Silver Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    The battery company owns the solar light company.
    Alex Jones already broke the story.
     
  10. sixty2strat

    sixty2strat Member

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    Bought a solar powered light for a over a door door that has no light, and I haul my gear in through that door. It was 18-25 bucks IIRC. I've had it for 4 years, the walk lights I got for cheap at the same time are in a land fill.
     
  11. Edmond

    Edmond Member

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    Last time I looked at them, they were about $2 each from Target. Seems cheap enough to me to be expendable if one is just looking to line up a small area.
     
  12. ned7flat5

    ned7flat5 Member

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    A while back the wife bought a bundle - turns out they all had NiCads AAs - evidently a profitable means by which to off-load a stock of redundant battery technology. They worked for a short while - some got dimmer than others - some never seemed to want to recharge and eventually they all failed - just a waste of plastic. I'm stuck with a pile of NiCads.

    I'd go with hardwired lights if I felt the need to illuminate my garden - I'm usually watching TV (or asleep or both) inside the house so I'm not sure who/what the outside lighting is for anyway apart from attracting bugs.
     
  13. bluesjunior

    bluesjunior Member

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    Agreed, my wife is the gardner in our home and she has had around 20 of the cheap solar ones in our garden(s) for going on 5yrs or so. I am the fixer upper when things get broken, and only twice have I been notified about problems with the lights. Once it was a cracked screw hole in the fixture itself the other time it was a broken wire which was easily soldered together.
     
  14. DYNA BILL

    DYNA BILL Member

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    I've never had very good luck with any of them. Gave up and went to low voltage.
     
  15. Taller

    Taller Silver Supporting Member

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    The ones I've purchased have the more expensive NiCads.
     
  16. GGinMP

    GGinMP Supporting Member

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    Same here, or at least we will be in a month.
     
  17. localmotion411

    localmotion411 Supporting Member

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    They're chintzy and will be yard garbage in short order. Please for the sake of your neighbors pass on them and get low voltage.
     
  18. Otto Tune

    Otto Tune Member

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    No.
    They look like a AA but it's really a 4.3 v rechargeable.
     

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