The summer of 2022 is going to be the summer I went solar. No, not those panels decorating so many roofs. I’ve gone solar with casual lighting for my deck and front porch.
It really started with the front porch and wanting a soft light that would give a little illumination to the dark porch. A dusk-dawn light lit the driveway and garage doors, but the front porch was very dark. I had been undecided about what to put out. One of the big tall flicker lanterns would have been perfect, but even though the neighborhood is very crime free I was concerned that it just might slip off the porch in the middle of the night.
The At Home store provided the answer: 2 $3.99 solar lanterns to put in each of the planters at the front of the porch. Perfect! Just enough soft light to give the porch a little security and if the battery goes out in the garage door opener would allow me to see the lock on the front door!
I thought that was all I needed until a few days later the Dollar Tree (DT) had little tables and matching solar lanterns that called to me. So I picked out the light blue-green color (they also had black and red) and came home very pleased, but also wondering exactly how long a flicker candle from the DT would flicker. I decided that if it made it through the summer I had gotten my $5 worth of light for the deck. Both the table and lantern were perfect additions to the deck decor and each night I sat outside very peacefully waiting for the lantern to come on. Being outside from late evening through dusk to sunset is one of my favorite things to do unless 1) it is hot and humid 2) there is no breeze and 3) the mosquitos are biting.
But I wasn’t done yet. After a week or so I decided to go back to DT and get another lantern (this was not the first trip I had made to DT since I bought the table andfirst lantern, just to clarify things). This one I hung on a hook under the eave of the house and even though I liked it there it found a better place hanging on the hanging plant stand.
Like the first lantern it looked good by day and by night. So, I went back to DT to buy a third, and final, lantern. I almost cried when I got there because they were all gone. All! And another display had taken the place of the stands and lanterns so I knew there were no more. Apparently I wasn’t the only one to discover how affordable they were and how nice they looked in their places.
To console myself I picked up several of the $1.25 yard stakes, again wondering how long something that cheap would last and hoping they would make it through the summer and maybe into the fall. These don’t flicker and they are LED and while they have a white light it only radiates a short distance which is perfect to just shed a little light here and there.
I’ve had flicker lights inside for a several years. I still burn a candle for a little fragrance, but the flicker lights turn themselves on and off so I don’t have to remember to extinguish them when I leave the house of go to bed. At Christmas I’ve added strings of tiny lights to greenery for a year or two and the soft glow of the lights across the mantle gave the house a real cheeriness. I’ve left the garland up well into January just because I wanted to continue to enjoy its glow.
My summer replacement for the garland is this large jar with a wire handle filled with a string of lights. It is unattractive by day, but lovely at night. Just to note the picture doesn’t capture the tiny light spots of the lights reflecting in the jar, but it is very pretty.
Why didn’t I think of this and the solar outside lights years ago?