Monday, November 16, 2009

Easy Solar Security Lighting

Hello again. Steve here and I’m sorry it’s so long since my last post. I’ve been a little busy with the holidays and other projects. One of which being the installation of some solar security lights.

I live in a fairly decent neighborhood. It’s not paradise, but it’s reasonably quiet. I have decent neighbors who tend to pay attention to what’s going on in the area and would not hesitate to call 911 if they saw a suspicious person prowling around. That said, this is modern America, and we are never too far from the riffraff.

That fact was made clear as day to me, when a very nice couple that lives a few houses down the street from me had their car broken into a couple of weeks ago. It was a BMW SUV, parked right in their driveway, and the thug broke their window to get in. The car alarm scared them off, especially when just about every light in the neighborhood came on, but now Jim and Nancy have a window they have to replace.

Personally, if someone is going to be prowling around my house, I would rather scare them off BEFORE they break my car window (or anything else, for that matter). I do have a motion sensing security light on my front porch, but I usually turn it off at night. It uses a lot of electricity when it senses the neighborhood cats. I decided to get two sets of solar security lights – one to replace my front porch light and another to mount on my garage. I am actually thinking about getting one for my backyard too, but I haven’t decided yet. My dog is fully capable of letting me know if someone is in my backyard, and probably a lot more effective than a light at scaring off intruders… but I digress.

After doing my usual research, I decided on a Maxsa Solar 80 LED Security Floodlight for the garage area. I mounted it on the corner of the garage furthest from my front door, so it will pick up anyone coming up to my garage, or my side yard. The thing I really like about it was that it is BRIGHT. I actually looked at the Westinghouse version, but the Maxsa had better ratings and was a few dollars cheaper. The Westinghouse did have a 100’ detection range, where the Maxsa had 40, but for my house 100’ is overkill. I don’t need it to detect the neighbor across the street!

For the front door, I got a Solar Powered 15 LED Security Light and Motion Detector. It’s not nearly as bright as the Maxsa, but for the front porch, it’s fine. The light just reaches the edge of my garden lights. The thing I liked about it was that it was less expensive than the Maxsa and it is fairly small. I was originally going to remove the light I had on the front porch and replace it with a solar light, but I couldn’t find one with as big a footprint. This one was small enough that I just mounted it under the eve and I can barely see it.

Oh, yea, I’ve been meaning to mention something: I frequently show off my new gadgets to my neighbors. It seems like everyone now has some kind of solar lights somewhere on their property and a few have already installed solar security lights. We are becoming quite the “green” street.

More information on solar security lights can be found here.

Merry Christmas!