Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Our New Solar Lamp-Post Lantern: Sustainable Problem Solving

Most house maintenance purchases are anything but gratifying - repairing infrastructure, for example. How exciting is it to shell out $1000's of dollars, so that your roof stops leaking? Or upgrading your electrical outlets, or replacing dead appliances.... Recently we purchased something which both solved a problem and really tickles my eco-fancy, an exterior solar lamp-post lantern.

The Problem: years ago, when our sewer pipe was replaced, the workers accidentally cut the electrical line to our walkway's lantern lamp post. We put in a string of LED yard lanterns, and just left the post/lantern as a relic. Since we expect to be moving, it needed addressing, but how do you do lights when you are - thanks to worker error - effectively off-grid? We searched the internet for a solar option and voila! A few days later this lovely fixture arrived from Solar Illuminations. My husband simply took off the old lantern and replaced it with this new one.
It is so cleverly designed. The reflector multiplies the light so it really looks like there are multiple reflectors. It charges during the day and emits a blueish light after dark. It's beautiful, so adds both lovely form and sustainable function to the walkway to our house.
Solar yard lights are imperfect - they naturally depend on full sun, and this one is under a lovely spreading tree. But it generates enough light to shine a few hours in the evening and every time the lantern catches my eye, it pleases me. More than I can say for most household repairs!

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